Monday, 1 October 2018

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.

Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street. 
     What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential by John C. Maxwell

#1 New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell explains how true leadership works and makes it accessible to everyone. Leadership does not come from your title. In fact, being named to a position is only the first and lowest of the five levels every effective leader achieves. To become more than a boss people are required to follow, you must master the ability to inspire and build a team that produces not only results, but also future leaders.

The 5 Levels of Leadership are:

1. Position-People follow because they have to.
2. Permission-People follow because they want to.
3. Production-People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
4. People Development-People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
5. Pinnacle-People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

By combining the advice contained in these pages with work and a willingness to learn, anyone can rise to a higher and more effective level of leadership and thus make a greater impact.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Deep Work Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Popular blogger Cal Newport reveals the new key to achieving success and true meaning in professional life: the ability to master distraction. 
Many modern knowledge workers now spend most of their brain power battling distraction and interruption, whether because of the incessant pinging of devices, noisy open-plan offices or the difficulty of deciding what deserves their attention the most. When Cal Newport coined the term deep work on his popular blog, Study Hacks, in 2012, he found the concept quickly hit a nerve. Most of us, after all, are excruciatingly familiar with shallow work instead - distractedly skimming the surface of our workload and never getting to the important part. Newport began exploring the methods and mind-set that foster a practice of distraction-free productivity at work, and now, in Deep Work, he shows how anyone can achieve this elusive state. 
Through revealing portraits of both historical and modern-day thinkers, academics and leaders in the fields of technology, science and culture, and their deep work habits, Newport shares an inspiring collection of tools to wring every last drop of value out of your intellectual capacity. He explains why mastering this shift in work practices is crucial for anyone who intends to stay ahead in a complex information economy and how to systematically train the mind to focus. Put simply: developing and cultivating a deep work practice is one of the best decisions we can make in an increasingly distracted world.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Your Competent Child: Toward A New Paradigm In Parenting And Education by Jesper Juul

Readers comments: A Fabulous, Important Book, Jesper Juul provides parents with such an amazing, simple, and absolutely vital approach to raising children that it rings true on every page. Some of what he suggests we as parents do is difficult - as it is against our "knee-jerk" reactions we may have learned from our parents, but all of it is right on about how we can raise confident, healthy, whole humans, right from the start. I was thrilled to have discovered a book that allowed me to see different possibilities with child raising. Anyone with a child will gain immensely from reading this book, seeing themselves (as I did, over and over again) in his numerous examples, and learning how to move on from there. Without reservation, I am grateful for this book and highly recommend it. No Parent Should Be Without It, There are not enough superlatives to describe how helpful this book has been to our family. With tremendous wisdom and a warm, pragmatic eye, Mr. Juul helps us redefine the ways we look at a child's behavior and our relationship to our children and ultimately, each other. This is a book that doesn't offer easy answers or 'tricks' to help in the raising of your child. This is a book that helps you see with a child's eye, hear with a child's ear, and feel with a child's heart in ways that feel so natural and obvious, you will wonder why you haven't thought of them before. But trust me, you haven't. It is a book that offers day-to-day skills along with the thinking that helps generate them, leaving the reader feeling smart and well-satisfied. This groundbreaking book should be on the shelf of all parents everywhere. If you read only one book on raising your child, this is the one. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you have children - read this book!, This is an amazing book that will surely turn upside down any thoughts you ever had about raising children.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger

In his signature larger-than-life style, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall is a revealing self-portrait of his illustrious, controversial, and truly unique life.

The greatest immigrant success story of our time.

His story is unique, and uniquely entertaining, and he tells it brilliantly in these pages.

He was born in a year of famine, in a small Austrian town, the son of an austere police chief. He dreamed of moving to America to become a bodybuilding champion and a movie star.

By the age of twenty-one, he was living in Los Angeles and had been crowned Mr. Universe.

Within five years, he had learned English and become the greatest bodybuilder in the world.

Within ten years, he had earned his college degree and was a millionaire from his business enterprises in real estate, landscaping, and bodybuilding. He was also the winner of a Golden Globe Award for his debut as a dramatic actor in Stay Hungry.

Within twenty years, he was the world’s biggest movie star, the husband of Maria Shriver, and an emerging Republican leader who was part of the Kennedy family.

Thirty-six years after coming to America, the man once known by fellow body­builders as the Austrian Oak was elected governor of California, the seventh largest economy in the world.

He led the state through a budget crisis, natural disasters, and political turmoil, working across party lines for a better environment, election reforms, and bipartisan solutions.

With Maria Shriver, he raised four fantastic children. In the wake of a scandal he brought upon himself, he tried to keep his family together.

Until now, he has never told the full story of his life, in his own voice.

Here is Arnold, with total recall.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Geecon Prague 2017

Recently I've had the opportunity to attend Geecon Prague conference. Taking into consideration the fact that there were only 3 available tracks, I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the valuable content of this event, and I'm looking forward to the next year.

I will mention some interesting talks:

Full-stack Reactive Java with Project Reactor & Spring Boot 2 by Mark Heckler
Mark has presented how easy it is to create a Netty-based Springboot 2 web reactive application. Non blocking Spring application can be produced as fast as Spring MVC one. It was a pleasure to listen to his presentation.

Software's Seven Deadly Wastes by Jez Halford

Jez summarized problems that take place during development.
The first problem he mentioned is Transport - movement of the work. Waiting for another team or for a process to happen. 
Second is Inventory - undelivered work. It is abandoned work, work in progress and working at once on many tasks. When we cancel a project, it is worth to make a meeting summarizing work and what can be done better. We should learn something from the failed project. The majority of the team could feel that it was no sense to work wasting so much time. Do small deliverables units, branch by abstraction, feature toggles. Visualize your work in progress. Stop starting and start finishing. Reducing inventory also reduce motion. Get rhythm. 
Third is Motion - movement of people around the work. Task switching, irregular meetings. Consider the whole system, take ownership, talk to people. 
Fourth is Waiting - delays in delivering the work, caused e.g. by waiting for another team, for an outside answer or clarification. Developers often find it annoying to simply wait for an issue. According to Jez, it may be helpful in such situations to address personally those who are blocking the task, as well as to complain to the teams and managers about it. To minimize this waste, deliver often, base performance improvements on evidence and refactor when you need to. 
Fifth is Over Processing - working too hard. It is solving imaginary problems, writing libraries in production code. To limit this waste, focus on string product ownership, fast feedback and remove stuff that is not used. 
Sixth is Over Production - doing useless work. 64% of built software is never used. We build features that won't be used. To prevent this, we can build automated tests, use continuous integration to be safer in refactoring process. 
Seventh is Defects - working on work. We must have proper test environment, fast release system. 
It was a good presentation to think over challenges in our work.

Deep dive and learn about your Operating System by Quentin Adam

Quentin presented how virtualization can be a performance horror for our applications. He described problems with processor caches and other abstractions. To mention some of them:

  • In java we can use -XX:+UseLargePages
  • We can change computer mode from energy safe to performance mode by C-States flag
  • The less complicated code, the better.
  • Be careful choosing data structures 
  • Do the next abstraction level only when it is really needed

It was a good presentation for high level developers to understand what system limitations our applications have.

High request rate system architecture - an Ad Tech case study by Jakub Dżon

It was an interesting presentation how ad platform is built. Jakub has shown selected architecture and how it has changed to meet the rising traffic.

Architecting for performance. A top-down approach by Ionut Balosin

It was a similar topic to Quentin's talk from the day before. To sum up:
srcdeps - source dependencies with Maven and Gradle by Peter Palaga

Peter presented library srcdeps that deals with source dependencies for maven and gradle project. 
It allows us to create a dependency between one project with another project with an exactly given commit. 
We must define project code repository and our project will retrieve dependent one, build it and install in our local repository. I think it is a very good idea to try it in microservice world. srcdeps has protection against releasing with source dependencies.  Gradle implementation is new and does not have all features that maven has. It does not have an ant and a sbt implementations so far.

Java 9 security enhancements in practice by Martin Toshev

It was a good presentation that showed how to implement secure TSL interactions in java applications both using java 8 libraries and java 9.

Analyzing HotSpot Crashes by Volker Simonis

Using a few application problems he deal with, Volker has shown how to analyze JVM crashes. He has presented all layers of the Hotspot where problems can appear. It was very interesting to look how Hotspot can crash, while Jit compiles. We can write Serviceability Agents to debug where problem appears.

Twitter's quest for a wholly Graal runtime by Chris Thalinger

Chris talked about Twitter experience with Graal VM. It is a project based in Oracle Labs developing a new JIT Compiler and Polyglot Runtime for the JVM. In twitter case (they are using Scala), it allows to reduce CPU usage by 10%.  It saves them a lot as they are using thousands of VMs. And JVM 9 contains Graal. It has also an enterprise paid option with more optimizations. Twitter has found a few bugs in Graal, but there are now fixed and for the last two years they have not found any new ones. 

High Performance Managed Languages by Martin Thompson 

Martin has made a talk that can be summarized by a quote of Albert Einstein he presented:

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, more violent. 
It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage, to move in the opposite direction.

He concluded, that contemporary choice of a technology to develop a new application is java, because of the ecosystem and optimizations on the whole stack (starting with JIT) that will make our application better then the one developed in low level technologies. To optimize we need to know the context. In the world with bounded budgets and time, high level technologies will serve us better. 
He advice to develop code as simple as possible and add new abstraction layer if it is really needed with more then 2 items of a kind.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Włam się do mózgu - Radosław Kotarski

Co jeśli większość metod, których w młodości i dorosłym życiu używamy do uczenia się wiedzy i umiejętności jest kompletnie bezużyteczna? Dlaczego pamiętamy tak mało informacji ze szkoły? Czas to zmienić!

Radek Kotarski wziął pod lupę setki naukowych artykułów i książek, a następnie przeprowadził na sobie serię eksperymentów, aby sprawdzić przeróżne metody uczenia się. Wszystko po to, aby wytypować skuteczne techniki, za pomocą których można w nowoczesny i przyjemny sposób zdobywać wiedzę. To one będą prawdziwymi wytrychami, którymi włamiemy się do naszych mózgów! W końcu przez całe życie mieliśmy i mamy jeszcze sporo do zapamiętania.