Dev Storyteller

Thoughts of practical idealistic problem solver and software engineer, Mark Freedman.

Productivity Articles

Developers, You Do More Than Code

When it comes to estimating, developers live in an idealistic world. Despite repeated experiences of constant interruptions causing projects to overrun estimates, developers tend to look at subsequent projects with wishful thinking. It's strange. Most developers...

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Talking to Yourself

When I drive to and from work, I listen to podcasts. It makes the trip go faster, and allows me to focus on something other than the traffic. It also takes my mind off the day's events if it was a rather difficult one. Quiet Time But sometimes I need to shut...

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Wanting to Do Everything

I've been sick on and off for the past few weeks. It reached a pinnacle last week when I inevitably came down with the flu. I hadn't been this sick in a few years, and like many of us who's experienced this, not being able to do anything towards my goals was driving...

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Self Taught

Scott H. Young is one of the wisest and most intelligent self-help writers I've read, and the fact that he just started college makes this even more impressive. It'll be interesting to follow his writing as he matures, and to see how he reacts as he experiences life...

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Using the Calendar to Focus

The ability to focus is one of the most powerful habits that a person can establish. The reason people try so hard to get organized with to-do lists, GTD, etc., is because of the inherent need to free themselves up to focus on something important to accomplish....

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A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Panama

We all learned that phrase in elementary school when learning about palindromes, but this is taking on a new meaning for me. So many of us feel that we accomplish way too little from day to day. The majority of our accomplishments take place at work, likely because...

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Key Launcher Experiment, So Far…

As you may have read, I've been testing several "key launcher" type of utilities for about two weeks so far. Although a key feature (sorry -- no pun intended) of several of these utilities is an "autotext" feature, this is the least of my needs for this type of app...

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The Go-To Person’s Conundrum

Are you one of the go-to people in your company? How do you like it? How long have you been one? When you first realized you were one, how did it make you feel? Did it give you a feeling of security? Did it boost your confidence and ego? Did it give you courage?...

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Key Launcher Disclosure and Disclaimer

Amazing. I've only been posting on my blog regularly for a few weeks, and already I find myself in a position where I have to clarify something. It seems that by posting my intentions on trying out some "key launcher"-style apps, I've attracted some authors and...

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Re-Automating

Programmers are a curious bunch. We'll spend hours or days working on a solution for ourselves that'll save us mere minutes. Part of it is just the challenge of stripping down tasks to their bare minimum, even if the total time we save from ever running that task adds...

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Just Do It!

Every so often someone will create a simple blog post that whips you into shape. Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Jeff Atwood, over at http://www.codinghorror.com, it's happened again. His recent post, triggered by the simple but straightforward ass-kicking post...

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Focus

I'm not sure where I've heard it first, but without focus, genius is impossible. I'll take this one step further. Without focus, very little is possible. Without focus, you are a slave to impulse. Without focus, you are a follower, and will be a poor leader. I am...

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Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

I have spent more time in long meetings than I care to remember, where people spend hours trying to complicate things that should be so simple. I cannot begin to count how many hours people waste rehashing the same points over and over. If something cannot be...

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