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James White

James White

1 year ago

I read three of Elon Musk's suggested books (And His Taste Is Incredible)

More on Personal Growth

Tim Denning

Tim Denning

1 year ago

Read These Books on Personal Finance to Boost Your Net Worth

And retire sooner.

Photo by Karlie Mitchell on Unsplash

Books can make you filthy rich.

If you apply what you learn. In 2011, I was broke and had broken dreams.

Someone suggested I read finance books. One Up On Wall Street was his first recommendation.

Finance books were my crack.

I've read every money book since then. Some are good, but most stink.

These books will make you rich.

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

This isn't a cliche book.

This book was inspired by a How to Get Rich tweet thread.

It’s one of the best tweets I’ve ever read.

Naval thinks differently. He nukes ordinary ideas. I've never heard better money advice.

Eric Jorgenson wrote a book about this tweet thread with Navals permission. A must-read, easy-to-digest book.

Best quote

Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy — Naval

Morgan Housel's The Psychology of Money

Many finance books advise investing like a dunce.

They almost all peddle the buy an index fund BS. Different book.

It's about money-making psychology. Because any fool can get rich and drunk on their ego. Few can consistently make money.

Each chapter is short. A single-page chapter breaks all book publishing rules.

Best quote

Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money — Morgan Housel

J.L. Collins' The Simple Path to Wealth

Most of the best money books were written by bloggers.

JL Collins blogs. This easy-to-read book was written for his daughter.

This book popularized the phrase F You Money. With enough money in your bank account and investment portfolio, you can say F You more.

A bad boss is an example. You can leave instead of enduring his wrath.

You can then sit at home and look for another job while financially secure. JL says its mind-freedom is powerful.

Best phrasing

You own the things you own and they in turn own you — J.L. Collins

Tony Robbins' Unshakeable

I like Tony. This book makes me sweaty.

Tony interviews the world's top financiers. He interviews people who rarely do so.

This book taught me all-weather portfolio. It's a way to invest in different asset classes in good, bad, recession, or depression times.

Look at it:

Image Credit-RayDalio/OptimizedPortfolio

Investing isn’t about buying one big winner — that’s gambling. It’s about investing in a diversified portfolio of assets.

Best phrasing

The best opportunities come in times of maximum pessimism — Tony Robbins

Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor

This book helped me distinguish between a spectator and an investor.

Spectators are those who shout that crypto, NFTs, or XYZ platform will die.

Tourists. They want attention and to say "I told you so." They make short-term and long-term predictions like fortunetellers. LOL. Idiots.

Benjamin Graham teaches smart investing. You'll buy a long-term asset. To be confident in recessions, use dollar-cost averaging.

Best phrasing

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — Benjamin Graham

The Napoleon Hill book Think and Grow Rich

This classic book introduced positive thinking to modern self-help.

Lazy pessimists can't become rich. No way.

Napoleon said, "Thoughts create reality."

No surprise that he discusses obsession and focus in this book. They are the fastest ways to make more money to invest in time and wealth-protecting assets.

Best phrasing

The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat — Napoleon Hill

Ramit Sethi's book I Will Teach You To Be Rich

This book is mostly good.  The part about credit cards is trash.

Avoid credit card temptations. I don't care about their airline points.

This book teaches you to master money basics (that many people mess up) then automate it so your monkey brain doesn't ruin your financial future.

The book includes great negotiation tactics to help you make more money in less time.

Best quote

The 85 Percent Solution: Getting started is more important than becoming an expert — Ramit Sethi

David Bach's The Automatic Millionaire

You've probably met a six- or seven-figure earner who's broke. All their money goes to useless things like cars.

Money isn't as essential as what you do with it. David teaches how to automate your earnings for more money.

Compounding works once investing is automated. So you get rich.

His strategy eliminates luck and (almost) guarantees millionaire status.

Best phrasing

Every time you earn one dollar, make sure to pay yourself first — David Bach

Thomas J. Stanley's The Millionaire Next Door

Thomas defies the definition of rich.

He spends much of the book highlighting millionaire traits he's studied.

Rich people are quiet, so you wouldn't know they're wealthy. They don't earn much money or drive a BMW.

Thomas will give you the math to get started.

Best phrasing

I am not impressed with what people own. But I’m impressed with what they achieve. I’m proud to be a physician. Always strive to be the best in your field…. Don’t chase money. If you are the best in your field, money will find you. — Thomas J. Stanley

by Bill Perkins "Die With Zero"

Let’s end with one last book.

Bill's book angered many people. He says we spend too much time saving for retirement and die rich. That bank money is lost time.

Your grandkids could use the money. When children inherit money, they become lazy, entitled a-holes.

Bill wants us to spend our money on life-enhancing experiences. Stop saving money like monopoly monkeys.

Best phrasing

You should be focusing on maximizing your life enjoyment rather than on maximizing your wealth. Those are two very different goals. Money is just a means to an end: Having money helps you to achieve the more important goal of enjoying your life. But trying to maximize money actually gets in the way of achieving the more important goal — Bill Perkins

NonConformist

NonConformist

1 year ago

Before 6 AM, read these 6 quotations.

These quotes will change your perspective.

I try to reflect on these quotes daily. Reading it in the morning can affect your day, decisions, and priorities. Let's start.

1. Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how."

What's your life goal?

80% of people don't know why they live or what they want to accomplish in life if you ask them randomly.

Even those with answers may not pursue their why. Without a purpose, life can be dull.

Your why can guide you through difficult times.

Create a life goal. Growing may change your goal. Having a purpose in life prevents feeling lost.

2. Seneca said, "He who fears death will never do anything fit for a man in life."

FAILURE STINKS Yes.

This quote is great if you're afraid to try because of failure. What if I'm not made for it? What will they think if I fail?

This wastes most of our lives. Many people prefer not failing over trying something with a better chance of success, according to studies.

Failure stinks in the short term, but it can transform our lives over time.

3. Two men peered through the bars of their cell windows; one saw mud, the other saw stars. — Dale Carnegie

It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.

The glass-full-or-empty meme is everywhere. It's hard to be positive when facing adversity.

This is a skill. Positive thinking can change our future.

We should stop complaining about our life and how easy success is for others.

Seductive pessimism. Realize this and start from first principles.

4. “Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, and stupid people already have all the answers.” — Socrates.

Knowing we're ignorant can be helpful.

Every person and situation teaches you something. You can learn from others' experiences so you don't have to. Analyzing your and others' actions and applying what you learn can be beneficial.

Reading (especially non-fiction or biographies) is a good use of time. Walter Issacson wrote Benjamin Franklin's biography. Ben Franklin's early mistakes and successes helped me in some ways.

Knowing everything leads to disaster. Every incident offers lessons.

5. “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.“ — James Rohn

My favorite Jim Rohn quote.

Exercise hurts. Healthy eating can be painful. But they're needed to get in shape. Avoiding pain can ruin our lives.

Always choose progress over hopelessness. Myth: overnight success Everyone who has mastered a craft knows that mastery comes from overcoming laziness.

Turn off your inner critic and start working. Try Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins.

6. “A champion is defined not by their wins, but by how they can recover when they fail.“ — Serena Williams

Have you heard of Traf-o-Data?

Gates and Allen founded Traf-O-Data. After some success, it failed. Traf-o-Data's failure led to Microsoft.

Allen said Traf-O-Data's setback was important for Microsoft's first product a few years later. Traf-O-Data was a business failure, but it helped them understand microprocessors, he wrote in 2017.

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” — Ryan Holiday.

Bonus Quotes

More helpful quotes:

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw.

“Do something every day that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.” — Mark Twain.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — Earl Nightingale.

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” — George Bernard Shaw.

Conclusion

Words are powerful. Utilize it. Reading these inspirational quotes will help you.

Samer Buna

Samer Buna

1 year ago

The Errors I Committed As a Novice Programmer

Learn to identify them, make habits to avoid them

First, a clarification. This article is aimed to make new programmers aware of their mistakes, train them to detect them, and remind them to prevent them.

I learned from all these blunders. I'm glad I have coding habits to avoid them. Do too.

These mistakes are not ordered.

1) Writing code haphazardly

Writing good content is hard. It takes planning and investigation. Quality programs don't differ.

Think. Research. Plan. Write. Validate. Modify. Unfortunately, no good acronym exists. Create a habit of doing the proper quantity of these activities.

As a newbie programmer, my biggest error was writing code without thinking or researching. This works for small stand-alone apps but hurts larger ones.

Like saying anything you might regret, you should think before coding something you could regret. Coding expresses your thoughts.

When angry, count to 10 before you speak. If very angry, a hundred. — Thomas Jefferson.

My quote:

When reviewing code, count to 10 before you refactor a line. If the code does not have tests, a hundred. — Samer Buna

Programming is primarily about reviewing prior code, investigating what is needed and how it fits into the current system, and developing small, testable features. Only 10% of the process involves writing code.

Programming is not writing code. Programming need nurturing.

2) Making excessive plans prior to writing code

Yes. Planning before writing code is good, but too much of it is bad. Water poisons.

Avoid perfect plans. Programming does not have that. Find a good starting plan. Your plan will change, but it helped you structure your code for clarity. Overplanning wastes time.

Only planning small features. All-feature planning should be illegal! The Waterfall Approach is a step-by-step system. That strategy requires extensive planning. This is not planning. Most software projects fail with waterfall. Implementing anything sophisticated requires agile changes to reality.

Programming requires responsiveness. You'll add waterfall plan-unthinkable features. You will eliminate functionality for reasons you never considered in a waterfall plan. Fix bugs and adjust. Be agile.

Plan your future features, though. Do it cautiously since too little or too much planning can affect code quality, which you must risk.

3) Underestimating the Value of Good Code

Readability should be your code's exclusive goal. Unintelligible code stinks. Non-recyclable.

Never undervalue code quality. Coding communicates implementations. Coders must explicitly communicate solution implementations.

Programming quote I like:

Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live. — John Woods

John, great advice!

Small things matter. If your indentation and capitalization are inconsistent, you should lose your coding license.

Long queues are also simple. Readability decreases after 80 characters. To highlight an if-statement block, you might put a long condition on the same line. No. Just never exceed 80 characters.

Linting and formatting tools fix many basic issues like this. ESLint and Prettier work great together in JavaScript. Use them.

Code quality errors:

Multiple lines in a function or file. Break long code into manageable bits. My rule of thumb is that any function with more than 10 lines is excessively long.

Double-negatives. Don't.

Using double negatives is just very not not wrong

Short, generic, or type-based variable names. Name variables clearly.

There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things. — Phil Karlton

Hard-coding primitive strings and numbers without descriptions. If your logic relies on a constant primitive string or numeric value, identify it.

Avoiding simple difficulties with sloppy shortcuts and workarounds. Avoid evasion. Take stock.

Considering lengthier code better. Shorter code is usually preferable. Only write lengthier versions if they improve code readability. For instance, don't utilize clever one-liners and nested ternary statements just to make the code shorter. In any application, removing unneeded code is better.

Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight. — Bill Gates

Excessive conditional logic. Conditional logic is unnecessary for most tasks. Choose based on readability. Measure performance before optimizing. Avoid Yoda conditions and conditional assignments.

4) Selecting the First Approach

When I started programming, I would solve an issue and move on. I would apply my initial solution without considering its intricacies and probable shortcomings.

After questioning all the solutions, the best ones usually emerge. If you can't think of several answers, you don't grasp the problem.

Programmers do not solve problems. Find the easiest solution. The solution must work well and be easy to read, comprehend, and maintain.

There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. — C.A.R. Hoare

5) Not Giving Up

I generally stick with the original solution even though it may not be the best. The not-quitting mentality may explain this. This mindset is helpful for most things, but not programming. Program writers should fail early and often.

If you doubt a solution, toss it and rethink the situation. No matter how much you put in that solution. GIT lets you branch off and try various solutions. Use it.

Do not be attached to code because of how much effort you put into it. Bad code needs to be discarded.

6) Avoiding Google

I've wasted time solving problems when I should have researched them first.

Unless you're employing cutting-edge technology, someone else has probably solved your problem. Google It First.

Googling may discover that what you think is an issue isn't and that you should embrace it. Do not presume you know everything needed to choose a solution. Google surprises.

But Google carefully. Newbies also copy code without knowing it. Use only code you understand, even if it solves your problem.

Never assume you know how to code creatively.

The most dangerous thought that you can have as a creative person is to think that you know what you’re doing. — Bret Victor

7) Failing to Use Encapsulation

Not about object-oriented paradigm. Encapsulation is always useful. Unencapsulated systems are difficult to maintain.

An application should only handle a feature once. One object handles that. The application's other objects should only see what's essential. Reducing application dependencies is not about secrecy. Following these guidelines lets you safely update class, object, and function internals without breaking things.

Classify logic and state concepts. Class means blueprint template. Class or Function objects are possible. It could be a Module or Package.

Self-contained tasks need methods in a logic class. Methods should accomplish one thing well. Similar classes should share method names.

As a rookie programmer, I didn't always establish a new class for a conceptual unit or recognize self-contained units. Newbie code has a Util class full of unrelated code. Another symptom of novice code is when a small change cascades and requires numerous other adjustments.

Think before adding a method or new responsibilities to a method. Time's needed. Avoid skipping or refactoring. Start right.

High Cohesion and Low Coupling involves grouping relevant code in a class and reducing class dependencies.

8) Arranging for Uncertainty

Thinking beyond your solution is appealing. Every line of code will bring up what-ifs. This is excellent for edge cases but not for foreseeable needs.

Your what-ifs must fall into one of these two categories. Write only code you need today. Avoid future planning.

Writing a feature for future use is improper. No.

Write only the code you need today for your solution. Handle edge-cases, but don't introduce edge-features.

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. — Edward Abbey

9) Making the incorrect data structure choices

Beginner programmers often overemphasize algorithms when preparing for interviews. Good algorithms should be identified and used when needed, but memorizing them won't make you a programming genius.

However, learning your language's data structures' strengths and shortcomings will make you a better developer.

The improper data structure shouts "newbie coding" here.

Let me give you a few instances of data structures without teaching you:

Managing records with arrays instead of maps (objects).

Most data structure mistakes include using lists instead of maps to manage records. Use a map to organize a list of records.

This list of records has an identifier to look up each entry. Lists for scalar values are OK and frequently superior, especially if the focus is pushing values to the list.

Arrays and objects are the most common JavaScript list and map structures, respectively (there is also a map structure in modern JavaScript).

Lists over maps for record management often fail. I recommend always using this point, even though it only applies to huge collections. This is crucial because maps are faster than lists in looking up records by identifier.

Stackless

Simple recursive functions are often tempting when writing recursive programming. In single-threaded settings, optimizing recursive code is difficult.

Recursive function returns determine code optimization. Optimizing a recursive function that returns two or more calls to itself is harder than optimizing a single call.

Beginners overlook the alternative to recursive functions. Use Stack. Push function calls to a stack and start popping them out to traverse them back.

10) Worsening the current code

Imagine this:

Add an item to that room. You might want to store that object anywhere as it's a mess. You can finish in seconds.

Not with messy code. Do not worsen! Keep the code cleaner than when you started.

Clean the room above to place the new object. If the item is clothing, clear a route to the closet. That's proper execution.

The following bad habits frequently make code worse:

  • code duplication You are merely duplicating code and creating more chaos if you copy/paste a code block and then alter just the line after that. This would be equivalent to adding another chair with a lower base rather than purchasing a new chair with a height-adjustable seat in the context of the aforementioned dirty room example. Always keep abstraction in mind, and use it when appropriate.

  • utilizing configuration files not at all. A configuration file should contain the value you need to utilize if it may differ in certain circumstances or at different times. A configuration file should contain a value if you need to use it across numerous lines of code. Every time you add a new value to the code, simply ask yourself: "Does this value belong in a configuration file?" The most likely response is "yes."

  • using temporary variables and pointless conditional statements. Every if-statement represents a logic branch that should at the very least be tested twice. When avoiding conditionals doesn't compromise readability, it should be done. The main issue with this is that branch logic is being used to extend an existing function rather than creating a new function. Are you altering the code at the appropriate level, or should you go think about the issue at a higher level every time you feel you need an if-statement or a new function variable?

This code illustrates superfluous if-statements:

function isOdd(number) {
  if (number % 2 === 1) {
    return true;
  } else {
    return false;
  }
}

Can you spot the biggest issue with the isOdd function above?

Unnecessary if-statement. Similar code:

function isOdd(number) {
  return (number % 2 === 1);
};

11) Making remarks on things that are obvious

I've learnt to avoid comments. Most code comments can be renamed.

instead of:

// This function sums only odd numbers in an array
const sum = (val) => {
  return val.reduce((a, b) => {
    if (b % 2 === 1) { // If the current number is odd
      a+=b;            // Add current number to accumulator
    }
    return a;          // The accumulator
  }, 0);
};

Commentless code looks like this:

const sumOddValues = (array) => {
  return array.reduce((accumulator, currentNumber) => {
    if (isOdd(currentNumber)) { 
      return accumulator + currentNumber;
    }
    return accumulator;
  }, 0);
};

Better function and argument names eliminate most comments. Remember that before commenting.

Sometimes you have to use comments to clarify the code. This is when your comments should answer WHY this code rather than WHAT it does.

Do not write a WHAT remark to clarify the code. Here are some unnecessary comments that clutter code:

// create a variable and initialize it to 0
let sum = 0;
// Loop over array
array.forEach(
  // For each number in the array
  (number) => {
    // Add the current number to the sum variable
    sum += number;
  }
);

Avoid that programmer. Reject that code. Remove such comments if necessary. Most importantly, teach programmers how awful these remarks are. Tell programmers who publish remarks like this that they may lose their jobs. That terrible.

12) Skipping tests

I'll simplify. If you develop code without tests because you think you're an excellent programmer, you're a rookie.

If you're not writing tests in code, you're probably testing manually. Every few lines of code in a web application will be refreshed and interacted with. Also. Manual code testing is fine. To learn how to automatically test your code, manually test it. After testing your application, return to your code editor and write code to automatically perform the same interaction the next time you add code.

Human. After each code update, you will forget to test all successful validations. Automate it!

Before writing code to fulfill validations, guess or design them. TDD is real. It improves your feature design thinking.

If you can use TDD, even partially, do so.

13) Making the assumption that if something is working, it must be right.

See this sumOddValues function. Is it flawed?

const sumOddValues = (array) => {
  return array.reduce((accumulator, currentNumber) => {
    if (currentNumber % 2 === 1) { 
      return accumulator + currentNumber;
    }
    return accumulator;
  });
};
 
 
console.assert(
  sumOddValues([1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) === 9
);

Verified. Good life. Correct?

Code above is incomplete. It handles some scenarios correctly, including the assumption used, but it has many other issues. I'll list some:

#1: No empty input handling. What happens when the function is called without arguments? That results in an error revealing the function's implementation:

TypeError: Cannot read property 'reduce' of undefined.

Two main factors indicate faulty code.

  • Your function's users shouldn't come across implementation-related information.

  • The user cannot benefit from the error. Simply said, they were unable to use your function. They would be aware that they misused the function if the error was more obvious about the usage issue. You might decide to make the function throw a custom exception, for instance:

TypeError: Cannot execute function for empty list.

Instead of returning an error, your method should disregard empty input and return a sum of 0. This case requires action.

Problem #2: No input validation. What happens if the function is invoked with a text, integer, or object instead of an array?

The function now throws:

sumOddValues(42);
TypeError: array.reduce is not a function

Unfortunately, array. cut's a function!

The function labels anything you call it with (42 in the example above) as array because we named the argument array. The error says 42.reduce is not a function.

See how that error confuses? An mistake like:

TypeError: 42 is not an array, dude.

Edge-cases are #1 and #2. These edge-cases are typical, but you should also consider less obvious ones. Negative numbers—what happens?

sumOddValues([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, -13]) // => still 9

-13's unusual. Is this the desired function behavior? Error? Should it sum negative numbers? Should it keep ignoring negative numbers? You may notice the function should have been titled sumPositiveOddNumbers.

This decision is simple. The more essential point is that if you don't write a test case to document your decision, future function maintainers won't know if you ignored negative values intentionally or accidentally.

It’s not a bug. It’s a feature. — Someone who forgot a test case

#3: Valid cases are not tested. Forget edge-cases, this function mishandles a straightforward case:

sumOddValues([2, 1, 3, 4, 5]) // => 11

The 2 above was wrongly included in sum.

The solution is simple: reduce accepts a second input to initialize the accumulator. Reduce will use the first value in the collection as the accumulator if that argument is not provided, like in the code above. The sum included the test case's first even value.

This test case should have been included in the tests along with many others, such as all-even numbers, a list with 0 in it, and an empty list.

Newbie code also has rudimentary tests that disregard edge-cases.

14) Adhering to Current Law

Unless you're a lone supercoder, you'll encounter stupid code. Beginners don't identify it and assume it's decent code because it works and has been in the codebase for a while.

Worse, if the terrible code uses bad practices, the newbie may be enticed to use them elsewhere in the codebase since they learnt them from good code.

A unique condition may have pushed the developer to write faulty code. This is a nice spot for a thorough note that informs newbies about that condition and why the code is written that way.

Beginners should presume that undocumented code they don't understand is bad. Ask. Enquire. Blame it!

If the code's author is dead or can't remember it, research and understand it. Only after understanding the code can you judge its quality. Before that, presume nothing.

15) Being fixated on best practices

Best practices damage. It suggests no further research. Best practice ever. No doubts!

No best practices. Today's programming language may have good practices.

Programming best practices are now considered bad practices.

Time will reveal better methods. Focus on your strengths, not best practices.

Do not do anything because you read a quote, saw someone else do it, or heard it is a recommended practice. This contains all my article advice! Ask questions, challenge theories, know your options, and make informed decisions.

16) Being preoccupied with performance

Premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming — Donald Knuth (1974)

I think Donald Knuth's advice is still relevant today, even though programming has changed.

Do not optimize code if you cannot measure the suspected performance problem.

Optimizing before code execution is likely premature. You may possibly be wasting time optimizing.

There are obvious optimizations to consider when writing new code. You must not flood the event loop or block the call stack in Node.js. Remember this early optimization. Will this code block the call stack?

Avoid non-obvious code optimization without measurements. If done, your performance boost may cause new issues.

Stop optimizing unmeasured performance issues.

17) Missing the End-User Experience as a Goal

How can an app add a feature easily? Look at it from your perspective or in the existing User Interface. Right? Add it to the form if the feature captures user input. Add it to your nested menu of links if it adds a link to a page.

Avoid that developer. Be a professional who empathizes with customers. They imagine this feature's consumers' needs and behavior. They focus on making the feature easy to find and use, not just adding it to the software.

18) Choosing the incorrect tool for the task

Every programmer has their preferred tools. Most tools are good for one thing and bad for others.

The worst tool for screwing in a screw is a hammer. Do not use your favorite hammer on a screw. Don't use Amazon's most popular hammer on a screw.

A true beginner relies on tool popularity rather than problem fit.

You may not know the best tools for a project. You may know the best tool. However, it wouldn't rank high. You must learn your tools and be open to new ones.

Some coders shun new tools. They like their tools and don't want to learn new ones. I can relate, but it's wrong.

You can build a house slowly with basic tools or rapidly with superior tools. You must learn and use new tools.

19) Failing to recognize that data issues are caused by code issues

Programs commonly manage data. The software will add, delete, and change records.

Even the simplest programming errors can make data unpredictable. Especially if the same defective application validates all data.

Code-data relationships may be confusing for beginners. They may employ broken code in production since feature X is not critical. Buggy coding may cause hidden data integrity issues.

Worse, deploying code that corrected flaws without fixing minor data problems caused by these defects will only collect more data problems that take the situation into the unrecoverable-level category.

How do you avoid these issues? Simply employ numerous data integrity validation levels. Use several interfaces. Front-end, back-end, network, and database validations. If not, apply database constraints.

Use all database constraints when adding columns and tables:

  • If a column has a NOT NULL constraint, null values will be rejected for that column. If your application expects that field has a value, your database should designate its source as not null.

  • If a column has a UNIQUE constraint, the entire table cannot include duplicate values for that column. This is ideal for a username or email field on a Users table, for instance.

  • For the data to be accepted, a CHECK constraint, or custom expression, must evaluate to true. For instance, you can apply a check constraint to ensure that the values of a normal % column must fall within the range of 0 and 100.

  • With a PRIMARY KEY constraint, the values of the columns must be both distinct and not null. This one is presumably what you're utilizing. To distinguish the records in each table, the database needs have a primary key.

  • A FOREIGN KEY constraint requires that the values in one database column, typically a primary key, match those in another table column.

Transaction apathy is another data integrity issue for newbies. If numerous actions affect the same data source and depend on each other, they must be wrapped in a transaction that can be rolled back if one fails.

20) Reinventing the Wheel

Tricky. Some programming wheels need reinvention. Programming is undefined. New requirements and changes happen faster than any team can handle.

Instead of modifying the wheel we all adore, maybe we should rethink it if you need a wheel that spins at varied speeds depending on the time of day. If you don't require a non-standard wheel, don't reinvent it. Use the darn wheel.

Wheel brands can be hard to choose from. Research and test before buying! Most software wheels are free and transparent. Internal design quality lets you evaluate coding wheels. Try open-source wheels. Debug and fix open-source software simply. They're easily replaceable. In-house support is also easy.

If you need a wheel, don't buy a new automobile and put your maintained car on top. Do not include a library to use a few functions. Lodash in JavaScript is the finest example. Import shuffle to shuffle an array. Don't import lodash.

21) Adopting the incorrect perspective on code reviews

Beginners often see code reviews as criticism. Dislike them. Not appreciated. Even fear them.

Incorrect. If so, modify your mindset immediately. Learn from every code review. Salute them. Observe. Most crucial, thank reviewers who teach you.

Always learning code. Accept it. Most code reviews teach something new. Use these for learning.

You may need to correct the reviewer. If your code didn't make that evident, it may need to be changed. If you must teach your reviewer, remember that teaching is one of the most enjoyable things a programmer can do.

22) Not Using Source Control

Newbies often underestimate Git's capabilities.

Source control is more than sharing your modifications. It's much bigger. Clear history is source control. The history of coding will assist address complex problems. Commit messages matter. They are another way to communicate your implementations, and utilizing them with modest commits helps future maintainers understand how the code got where it is.

Commit early and often with present-tense verbs. Summarize your messages but be detailed. If you need more than a few lines, your commit is too long. Rebase!

Avoid needless commit messages. Commit summaries should not list new, changed, or deleted files. Git commands can display that list from the commit object. The summary message would be noise. I think a big commit has many summaries per file altered.

Source control involves discoverability. You can discover the commit that introduced a function and see its context if you doubt its need or design. Commits can even pinpoint which code caused a bug. Git has a binary search within commits (bisect) to find the bug-causing commit.

Source control can be used before commits to great effect. Staging changes, patching selectively, resetting, stashing, editing, applying, diffing, reversing, and others enrich your coding flow. Know, use, and enjoy them.

I consider a Git rookie someone who knows less functionalities.

23) Excessive Use of Shared State

Again, this is not about functional programming vs. other paradigms. That's another article.

Shared state is problematic and should be avoided if feasible. If not, use shared state as little as possible.

As a new programmer, I didn't know that all variables represent shared states. All variables in the same scope can change its data. Global scope reduces shared state span. Keep new states in limited scopes and avoid upward leakage.

When numerous resources modify common state in the same event loop tick, the situation becomes severe (in event-loop-based environments). Races happen.

This shared state race condition problem may encourage a rookie to utilize a timer, especially if they have a data lock issue. Red flag. No. Never accept it.

24) Adopting the Wrong Mentality Toward Errors

Errors are good. Progress. They indicate a simple way to improve.

Expert programmers enjoy errors. Newbies detest them.

If these lovely red error warnings irritate you, modify your mindset. Consider them helpers. Handle them. Use them to advance.

Some errors need exceptions. Plan for user-defined exceptions. Ignore some mistakes. Crash and exit the app.

25) Ignoring rest periods

Humans require mental breaks. Take breaks. In the zone, you'll forget breaks. Another symptom of beginners. No compromises. Make breaks mandatory in your process. Take frequent pauses. Take a little walk to plan your next move. Reread the code.

This has been a long post. You deserve a break.

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Dr. Linda Dahl

Dr. Linda Dahl

1 year ago

We eat corn in almost everything. Is It Important?

Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash

Corn Kid got viral on TikTok after being interviewed by Recess Therapy. Tariq, called the Corn Kid, ate a buttery ear of corn in the video. He's corn crazy. He thinks everyone just has to try it. It turns out, whether we know it or not, we already have.

Corn is a fruit, veggie, and grain. It's the second-most-grown crop. Corn makes up 36% of U.S. exports. In the U.S., it's easy to grow and provides high yields, as proven by the vast corn belt spanning the Midwest, Great Plains, and Texas panhandle. Since 1950, the corn crop has doubled to 10 billion bushels.

You say, "Fine." We shouldn't just grow because we can. Why so much corn? What's this corn for?

Why is practical and political. Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma has the full narrative. Early 1970s food costs increased. Nixon subsidized maize to feed the public. Monsanto genetically engineered corn seeds to make them hardier, and soon there was plenty of corn. Everyone ate. Woot! Too much corn followed. The powers-that-be had to decide what to do with leftover corn-on-the-cob.

They are fortunate that corn has a wide range of uses.

First, the edible variants. I divide corn into obvious and stealth.

Obvious corn includes popcorn, canned corn, and corn on the cob. This form isn't always digested and often comes out as entire, polka-dotting poop. Cornmeal can be ground to make cornbread, polenta, and corn tortillas. Corn provides antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins in moderation. Most synthetic Vitamin C comes from GMO maize.

Corn oil, corn starch, dextrose (a sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup are often overlooked. They're stealth corn because they sneak into practically everything. Corn oil is used for frying, baking, and in potato chips, mayonnaise, margarine, and salad dressing. Baby food, bread, cakes, antibiotics, canned vegetables, beverages, and even dairy and animal products include corn starch. Dextrose appears in almost all prepared foods, excluding those with high-fructose corn syrup. HFCS isn't as easily digested as sucrose (from cane sugar). It can also cause other ailments, which we'll discuss later.

Most foods contain corn. It's fed to almost all food animals. 96% of U.S. animal feed is corn. 39% of U.S. corn is fed to livestock. But animals prefer other foods. Omnivore chickens prefer insects, worms, grains, and grasses. Captive cows are fed a total mixed ration, which contains corn. These animals' products, like eggs and milk, are also corn-fed.

There are numerous non-edible by-products of corn that are employed in the production of items like:

  1. fuel-grade ethanol

  2. plastics

  3. batteries

  4. cosmetics

  5. meds/vitamins binder

  6. carpets, fabrics

  7. glutathione

  8. crayons

  9. Paint/glue

How does corn influence you? Consider quick food for dinner. You order a cheeseburger, fries, and big Coke at the counter (or drive-through in the suburbs). You tell yourself, "No corn." All that contains corn. Deconstruct:

Cows fed corn produce meat and cheese. Meat and cheese were bonded with corn syrup and starch (same). The bun (corn flour and dextrose) and fries were fried in maize oil. High fructose corn syrup sweetens the drink and helps make the cup and straw.

Just about everything contains corn. Then what? A cornspiracy, perhaps? Is eating too much maize an issue, or should we strive to stay away from it whenever possible?

As I've said, eating some maize can be healthy. 92% of U.S. corn is genetically modified, according to the Center for Food Safety. The adjustments are expected to boost corn yields. Some sweet corn is genetically modified to produce its own insecticide, a protein deadly to insects made by Bacillus thuringiensis. It's safe to eat in sweet corn. Concerns exist about feeding agricultural animals so much maize, modified or not.

High fructose corn syrup should be consumed in moderation. Fructose, a sugar, isn't easily metabolized. Fructose causes diabetes, fatty liver, obesity, and heart disease. It causes inflammation, which might aggravate gout. Candy, packaged sweets, soda, fast food, juice drinks, ice cream, ice cream topping syrups, sauces & condiments, jams, bread, crackers, and pancake syrup contain the most high fructose corn syrup. Everyday foods with little nutrients. Check labels and choose cane sugar or sucrose-sweetened goods. Or, eat corn like the Corn Kid.

M.G. Siegler

M.G. Siegler

1 year ago

Apple: Showing Ads on Your iPhone

This report from Mark Gurman has stuck with me:

In the News and Stocks apps, the display ads are no different than what you might get on an ad-supported website. In the App Store, the ads are for actual apps, which are probably more useful for Apple users than mortgage rates. Some people may resent Apple putting ads in the News and Stocks apps. After all, the iPhone is supposed to be a premium device. Let’s say you shelled out $1,000 or more to buy one, do you want to feel like Apple is squeezing more money out of you just to use its standard features? Now, a portion of ad revenue from the News app’s Today tab goes to publishers, but it’s not clear how much. Apple also lets publishers advertise within their stories and keep the vast majority of that money. Surprisingly, Today ads also appear if you subscribe to News+ for $10 per month (though it’s a smaller number).

I use Apple News often. It's a good general news catch-up tool, like Twitter without the BS. Customized notifications are helpful. Fast and lovely. Except for advertisements. I have Apple One, which includes News+, and while I understand why the magazines still have brand ads, it's ridiculous to me that Apple enables web publishers to introduce awful ads into this experience. Apple's junky commercials are ridiculous.

We know publishers want and probably requested this. Let's keep Apple News ad-free for the much smaller percentage of paid users, and here's your portion. (Same with Stocks, which is more sillier.)

Paid app placement in the App Store is a wonderful approach for developers to find new users (though far too many of those ads are trying to trick users, in my opinion).

Apple is also planning to increase ads in its Maps app. This sounds like Google Maps, and I don't like it. I never find these relevant, and they clutter up the user experience. Apple Maps now has a UI advantage (though not a data/search one, which matters more).

Apple is nickel-and-diming its customers. We spend thousands for their products and premium services like Apple One. We all know why: income must rise, and new firms are needed to scale. This will eventually backfire.

Alana Rister, Ph.D.

Alana Rister, Ph.D.

1 year ago

Don't rely on lessons you learned with a small audience.

My growth-killing mistake

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

When you initially start developing your audience, you need guidance.

What does my audience like? What do they not like? How can I grow more?

When I started writing two years ago, I inquired daily. Taking cues from your audience to develop more valuable content is a good concept, but it's simple to let them destroy your growth.

A small audience doesn't represent the full picture.

When I had fewer than 100 YouTube subscribers, I tried several video styles and topics. I looked to my audience for what to preserve and what to change.

If my views, click-through rate, or average view % dropped, that topic or style was awful. Avoiding that style helped me grow.

Vlogs, talking head videos on writing, and long-form tutorials didn't fare well.

Since I was small, I've limited the types of films I make. I have decided to make my own videos.

Surprisingly, the videos I avoided making meet or exceed my views, CTR, and audience retention.

Recent Video Stats from YouTube studio — Provided by Author

A limited audience can't tell you what your tribe wants. Therefore, limiting your innovation will prohibit you from reaching the right audience. Finding them may take longer.

Large Creators Experience The Same Issue

In the last two years, I've heard Vanessa Lau and Cathrin Manning say they felt pigeonholed into generating videos they didn't want to do.

Why does this happen over and over again?

Once you have a popular piece of content, your audience will grow. So when you publish inconsistent material, fewer of your new audience will view it. You interpret the drop in views as a sign that your audience doesn't want the content, so you stop making it.

Repeat this procedure a few times, and you'll create stuff you're not passionate about because you're frightened to publish it.

How to Manage Your Creativity and Audience Development

I'm not recommending you generate random content.

Instead of feeling trapped by your audience, you can cultivate a diverse audience.

Create quality material on a range of topics and styles as you improve. Be creative until you get 100 followers. Look for comments on how to improve your article.

If you observe trends in the types of content that expand your audience, focus 50-75% of your material on those trends. Allow yourself to develop 25% non-performing material.

This method can help you expand your audience faster with your primary trends and like all your stuff. Slowly, people will find 25% of your material, which will boost its performance.

How to Expand Your Audience Without Having More Limited Content

Follow these techniques to build your audience without feeling confined.

  • Don't think that you need restrict yourself to what your limited audience prefers.

  • Don't let the poor performance of your desired material demotivate you.

  • You shouldn't restrict the type of content you publish or the themes you cover when you have less than 100 followers.

  • When your audience expands, save 25% of your content for your personal interests, regardless of how well it does.