I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in a few high-performing software development teams over the years. There are a few key indicators: work is clearly defined, and tickets get worked through in days rather than weeks. Demos go well. Stakeholders are happy. Developers are not overworked to the point of excessive stress. Everyone is proud of the product, and most people on the team “just know” things are going well.

Recently, the primary team I’ve been working with over here at Digital Creators (five developers, two product designers and a product lead) has been humming. We’ve all been feeling…


Software development is demanding sometimes.

There are endless tasks to get done. Often they have deadlines attached. Usually, there are people who will be happy or sad depending on the outcome of the task.
Work takes up a huge part of our lives, and can be a source of joy and meaning.

But it can be draining.

There is often the sense of falling behind — that the to-do list will remain endless, forever.

It can be tempting to solve this by “doing more” — putting in extra hours, working weekends and so on. …


Part one of this article describes an initial analysis of the data sets released by City of Sydney — you’ll probably want to start there for context.

TL; DR

  • Having identified one of the possible uses for the City data sets as being “find my nearest X”, I set out to build a Proof of Concept app.
  • I chose the City’s seats data set — a collection of all the public seats and benches. I wanted to build a “find nearest seat” app, which is potentially useful for those with mobility issues or health issues that involve fatigue.
  • I had personal motivations…


Photo by Hugh Han on Unsplash

TLDR;

  • The City of Sydney has a data hub that allows you to explore the city in a data-driven way.
  • There are 20 or so decent sized data sets (>1000 points), and another 20 medium sized sets (100–1000 points). Another 60 or so data sets with fewer than 100 points are available.
  • Potential uses for the data sets include: Research based mapping using the existing (instructions here); Dashboard applications, perhaps including other data sets; Location based applications, including “find my nearest X”; Predictive analytics — what might happen based on trends in time based data.
  • The data completeness and format is…


Mindfulness is such a fundamental component of the human experience that it almost seems trite. Indeed the word itself — roughly translated as our capacity to know the contents of our attention — has been devalued through overuse in recent years. Yet it’s rich territory for both poets and meditators, as this anthology confirms and reveals.

Like many, I was first startled by poetry in high school. The terseness of Dickinson and the historical, mystical symbolism of Yeats gave me a new code to describe the world around me. I felt the same sense of arrest when I grokked a…


Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash.

What a ride the last month has been. A lot has changed with the release of this tiny snippet of genetic code into the wild. People are dead and dying, and many more are ill. Humans have stopped moving around the planet in vast quantities. Humans have stopped moving around many of their own countries in vast quantities.

The social order has inverted to be the anti social order.

The need for offices, has, in many cases, been obviated. Our instinct for connection has multiplied the users of one communication platforms twenty fold (Zoom…


I did a short survey of 55 developers about burnout. Naturally, being a burnout focused survey, pretty much everyone who replied was currently experiencing burnout or had experienced burnout in the past.

(Originally published on CodingMindfully.com).

Obviously this cannot be taken as representative of the software community at large, given the likelihood of those interested in burnout to have taken my survey. But the results are interesting, and tally with my own experiences of burnout.

I was curious to learn a few things:

  1. The symptoms of burnout typically experienced by software developers
  2. Whether developers had experienced adverse career effects due…


I did a short survey of 55 developers about burnout. Naturally, being a burnout focused survey, pretty much everyone who replied was currently experiencing burnout or had experienced burnout in the past.

Obviously this cannot be taken as representative of the software community at large, given the likelihood of those interested in burnout to have taken my survey. But the results are interesting, and tally with my own experiences of burnout.

I was curious to learn a few things:

  1. The symptoms of burnout typically experienced by software developers
  2. Whether developers had experienced adverse career effects due to burnout
  3. The internal…

Originally posted on CodingMindfully.com

As programmers we educate ourselves to a high degree about the internal operations of the platforms that we work with. We acquire knowledge about the structure and data flow in the frameworks and libraries that we use.

We develop intuitions about how complex systems fit together, and know how we can influence those systems to get them to achieve particular desired results.

It pays to have the capacity to learn about complex systems — it’s part of the job and if we want to develop non-trivial systems then we better understand how they fit together!

It’s…


In case you didn’t already know, sitting is the new smoking. It’s also a pretty prominent feature of most coder’s lives. Coding is a stationary, chair-bound activity for the most part (unless you have a fancy stand-up desk).

Coding jobs require you to occupy your chair for hours on end (unless, like me, you’re a work from home freelancer type, in which case you can sit on your couch for hours on end!)

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty attached to the mobility my spine affords me.

I like being able to move around during non-work hours as…

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