Good morning, Timeboxers.

How are you feeling? Have you blocked out your day? I’m writing this late Saturday night but you can see my schedule for Sunday by clicking here.

I recently bought an “Ooler”. You may be more familiar with it’s predecessor, the Chilipad, made famous by Tim Ferris on his podcast. If you’re unfamiliar with either, it’s essentially a pad that you put under your bed sheet which is covered by a series of thin tubes through which cold (or warm) water is pumped. …

Good evening, timeboxers.

Today I’d like to talk about downtime and how I integrate it into my productivity system. If you’d like to see my schedule for the day you can click here.

When I talk to people about the way in which I’ve tried to design my life, I try to avoid the word “productive”. Sometimes I forget and it slips out but when it comes to lifestyle as a whole I prefer the word deliberate.

While being productive is absolutely essential to a fulfilling life it’s not realistic to expect to be productive 100% of the time. …

Good afternoon, timeboxers.

I hope you’ve all scheduled in a full and exciting day! (If you’d like to see my schedule for the day you can click here).

I wanted to share with you something that keeps me pushing myself even when I want to stop. It’s a pretty simple thing and, as always, it’s just about mindset but I think it’s worth thinking about.

What makes me go that extra mile is the sure knowledge that most people won’t. If you’re willing to push even a tiny bit past your natural stopping point, you’re ahead of 99% of the…

In a lot of organisations, release and deployment happen at the same time. That is to say that the release of a new feature to your user base is triggered by deploying your application to the server. Doing it this way is just a good way of making deployments scary and releases risky.

Let’s be clear on the two processes:

Deployment: The process of putting code into a specific environment (The production environment in this case).
Release: The process of informing and allowing customers to use a new feature of your application.

Note that the former of these is a…

Every company moving from a primarily waterfall-driven process to an agile mindset has a transitional period. It’s inevitable. This transitional period is usually punctuated by confusion, anger and a lot of mistakes with the self-appointed company agile aficionado screaming “Don’t panic! This is how it’s supposed to work!”.

This period will end in one of two ways.

The first is that the company successfully embraces an agile mindset and everyone is happy and lives the dream that they were promised with post-it notes coming out the wazoo and whiteboards dotting the landscape.

The second is a protracted period of what…

Random picture of a Mac, because that’s how work gets done

One of my favourite things to do as a web developer is design and build Single Page Apps. This means that I work very closely with Web APIs on a fairly regular basis. I have even designed Web APIs myself with varying degrees of success.

There are a lot of advantages to building your application in an “API-first” model and it’s certainly becoming more popular so before you embark on your next big build I’d like to share a few small things you can do which will improve the design of your API in a big way.

Before we get…

CSS preprocessors like SASS and Less gave us a whole slew of new syntax designed to reduce computer-reproducible bloat within our style sheets.

We got variables for our colours and dimensions, we got loops for our grid systems and complicated typographic boiler plates and we got selector nesting for syntactic encapsulation of our components.

One of these things is probably encouraging you to design bad systems.

CSS is a funny language because the number of choices available to a developer at the micro level is usually 1. …

Possibly my favourite thing about modern Javascript is something that I often seem maligned by other programmers. I don’t understand how such an awesome feature can get so much vitriol. Its sole purpose is to remove the burden of extra cognitive load from us lowly developers and (at least partially) ensure a consistent development environment in a team. I am of course talking about the Javascript ecosystem.

Whoever had the idea of applying a package management paradigm to software libraries for the sake of development deserves some kind of award. Was RubyGems the first example of such a system? …

Have you noticed my overly diplomatic title? It’s an attempt to frame this conversation in terms of what I prefer rather than what I believe to be objectively better in hope of diverting a flame war. I imagine it will not work.

React and Vue are ostensibly very similar and I have shipped projects using both. They both use a virtual DOM and they are both narrowly-focused view libraries. They are both solutions to the same problem as reactive HTML rendering tools but I believe they have a single defining difference that cascades down through your entire workflow. …

I have a guilty secret. I enjoy business books.

I’m not talking about high-level economics tomes here, I’m talking about books that tell you, as an individual, how to “make it big” (side note: I have yet to make it big).

For the record, some of these books are actually excellent. Eric Ries’ “The Lean Startup” is essential reading for any new entrepreneur launching a product. The vast majority of these books, however, are somewhat derivative. They tell the same stories, with the same messages to the same audience. …

Steven Poulton @ Aika

Productivity expert, CTO of Coaching Culture and Founder of Aika.

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