WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK (#42 – 2016)

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This week has passed by very fast, with a lot of hard work and a little bit of frustration.

Frustration

This week, has been a lot about frustration. Sometimes, specially when you miscalculate the time that a task will take, frustration starts to take its place on your head. I had to do a lot of reverse engineering during this week, which is a task that is inherently prone to be frustrating.

In order to cope with frustration, I have had to develop some strategies. When I feel frustrated, I just try to control my breath and rationalize the lack of results as a delayed success rather than a failure (“I have discovered all this thing that don’t work” instead of “I have lost all this time for no result”). Sometimes I just turn for a while to a different activity for a while and then I come back to keep on trying to find the solution for the problem.

The importance of feeling that your work is worth

It is obvious to say that, if you feel that your work goes nowhere is difficult to find the motivation to keep doing it. This point is related with the first one, but it is quite different. Sometimes it is your boss who needs to say something, sometimes is just enough to see some progress… but you need to feel that what you do keeps something going. Otherwise keeping motivation is very very difficult.

In the moment you find your work is insignificant, then there is a problem.

Creating something physical

For the first time in the past week the team and me started a project that will take most of my already rare free time. In this project I will be coding seriously for the first time for the Arduino platform and the Raspberry PI, networking and actuating physical devices included. I am excited about it and will share in the blog the possible problems I face.

Trust nobody (on the internet)

I faced for the first time in my life what I believe is a non-specifically targeted DoS attack that I needed to mitigate. I did and learnt a lot in the process. In the case of having to cope with one of this, act fast but think of each of the steps. In this case, it was a simple attack, most likely done by a script kiddie trying to look cool in front of an audience. Anyways, what saved me is that I had my logs properly configured and I was able to identify fast enough the cause of the attack. Long point short: keep your logs tidy.

Perfectionism vs. Productivity

“Better done than perfect” is something that you may want to abide by, but if you don’t value quality, you are totally lost creating monsters. And this is where I struggle. I think it is always worth to go for maximum quality and sometimes, specially for mockups, what is more important is to iterate as fast as possible. Something I have learnt this week is when to identify when something requires perfectionism and when it does not. And I think it is a very important skill to keep schedules working.

 

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