TheJach.com

Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

Two problems addressed by an issue tracker, testing, and code review

I haven't been coding much since "retirement". A bit here and there, and I enjoy it every time, but sometimes I'll go weeks without doing any. Still, what little I've done, I've recognized some insights about myself and the way I write software that I might not necessarily have fully gained if I still had employment. It's nothing mind-blowing, I'm sure many programmers either realize something similar already, or just don't have the same problems. (Parts of the methodologies of professional development try to prevent the problems from arising, and you can make use of those as an amateur/hobbyist/out-of-worker just fine, as we'll see.)

The way to approach this is by noticing two "problems". They both stem from the fact that left to my own devices, my development flow naturally drifts towards a lazy style reminiscent of when I first started programming and didn't know any discipline to make things better. Sometimes that's fine, you can just brute-force it, and indeed that's how many of the things I did got done. An example of this style is not using version control much -- just develop the whole thing until it's ready, then commit it and ship it! Once I have a "base thing" though, I can then more easily apply some discipline, so the two problems I'm now going to highlight come most strongly in the earlier phase.

The first problem I found nicely described by this old blog: Imagination Overrun. The second problem is also described there, Knowing When You're Done.

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Six-month early "retirement" report

Today I read The 2021 Early-Retirement Update since it showed up on HN. This prompted me to write a bit about my current situation -- admittedly not a report (I lied), mostly just a few quick and useless thoughts.

It always bemuses me when I see people figure out something like "There’s so much left of life, so much that will change, so much that will deviate from peoples’ original plans." The only constant is change! Yet here we are, someone careful enough in their thinking to pull off FIRE, who has probably read a lot, and yet this insight is new to them at the age of 41. (They're 43 now.)

So I'll write down some of my own thoughts I had well-before I hit the trigger to quit. (Last September was my final month, just in time for my 30th birthday on October 2nd.) These thoughts are what I think gave me the basis to be as "eyes open" about things as I could have. Maybe they'll be amusing for others to read too.

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