Blacksmith to Developer’s Lessons

Here are some lessons from one of my first inspirations Joshua Kemp: I’ve been coding for 4 years… here’s what I’ve learned


Mamba Motivation

I found this great motivational quote from former NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant:

“That’s what Mamba Mentality is,” Bryant said. “It’s understanding that every day you can work on something, every day you get better, and then you can fast-forward years later and it seems like it was a ‘Voila!’ moment, but you know that patience and perseverance every single day is what got you there.”

Tools for Faster Learning

Here are a few tools that have helped me consume materials faster

Youtube Playback Speed Control This allows me to watch videos at up to 4x the normal playing speed

Natural Readers and Free Text to Speech Reader These let me copy and paste text so that I can simultaneously read and listen to the text

Spreed This is more for leisure/fictional reading. With this tool, I can copy and paste text, and read it rapidly. It presents the text one word at a time at a single point on the page, so I don’t have to move my eyes at all.

Pomodollars: My Pomodoro Technique Upgrade

I have been using The Pomodoro Technique for almost 2 years now. It has helped me tremendously in being productive and focused.

However, I have only kept track of the number of Pomodori I complete each day. I have never really tracked my Pomodori over the week nor month.

I have modified my tracking by keeping track of the number of Pomodori I complete each month. I keep track of the number of completed Pomodori on a spreadsheet, and I multiply this number by 25. Basically I am tracking my number of focused minutes each month.

But since I need something gimmicky to motivate myself even further, I call these monthly focused minutes Pomodollars 🙂



Mixing It Up Boosts Learning

I recently read this article: The Interleaving Effect: Mixing It Up Boosts Learning.

A few interesting points were made:

Blocking involves practicing one skill at a time before the next (for example, “skill A” before “skill B” and so on, forming the pattern “AAABBBCCC”), in interleaving one mixes, or interleaves, practice on several related skills together (forming for example the pattern “ABCABCABC”).

Overall, the interleaving effect can be strong, stable, and long-lasting.

I am currently learning from Pluralsight courses. I think interleaving works nicely with Pluralsight because the modules are around 30-60 minutes, which can fit into a Pomodoro because I play the videos at 2x speed.

I also feel like I have more fun because I can take several courses at once and finish a module from each course every day. Plus I get the variety of many different subjects, and the repetition when the courses overlap.