Various

So, is the world really faster?

Every now and then I hear people complaining that the world is now much faster than it used to be in time of our grandparents. But is it really so? Did people complain about that very fact in their time? Another common complain is that parents now have less time for their children or their partners. I don’t agree with this. I think that generally we work less now, don’t we have 8 hours long work day? Problem is that we have now too many options to choose from. It is difficult to choose and be happy with your choice, when choosing one option means saying no to all other tempting options. We have twitter and facebook statutes, google reader, rss.. and so on and so on. The amount of information is so overwhelming, that we always miss something. We just can’t catch up on it all. Therefore the world seems so fast. It’s not that much about the progress and innovation pace but about the number of small choices and distractions you face every day.  So why not just slow down and enjoy simple (offline!) things?

As a programmer I tend to follow what’s going on in the industry. I love learning new stuff. So I read about new technologies, I try them, dream about using them. And I often feel kind of guilty that I can’t learn them all. I always feel quite behind. Incapable of following. I guess that lot of people have similar problem of trying to do too much.

After reading that sleep is more important then food I decided to try to slow down and really sleep more. Yes, it does help :). I don’ t always manage to get those recommended 8 hours per day, but when I do, I can tell the difference. I just focus much better when I am fully rested (surprise:) ).  One of the requirements to get more sleep and feel better is to drop something off. Make more free time for yourself. Then your world will be slower again as it should be.

Environment and productivity

What kind of environment is best for work? Do you work in such? When I worked for IBM I was confined in a cubicle in a big open-space.  It was an experience I don’t want to go through again. The environment was “noisy by default”, there was a continuous sound-spam of chatting people. It was really difficult to concentrate and be productive.  The only way how to avoid it was to put on headphones and listen to some music.  But still I was disturbed by IM notifications and other crap.

Now I work in a small office in a team of five people and I am totally happy.  Most of the time nobody talks and if then it is mostly work related.  There is often silence, the only thing you hear is fingers tipping the keyboard.  I guess I sound quite nerdy, but I really like it this way. I believe this is the only way how to be really productive. Talk little, avoid being disturbed (if possible) and focus on the task at hand.  Then take a break, read some short article, have a cup of tea, or a little walk in the office.  That helps. If I deliver nice code, I am happy. If I don’t then I don’t like myself. Really.  I am far from being a perfectionist, but I like good work. I find it satisfactory 🙂

What helps me focus and create something is good music.  I can not play any musical instrument but I am an enthusiastic listener. I am particularly fond of jazz music. I know it may sound as a contradiction because jazz is often difficult to listen to, but it helps me to write code. Jazz is so full of energy and surprising ideas, that it lifts me up. It inspires me.  I love Pat Metheny for example. Listen here. Is it beautiful?

So .. this is the kind of music I listen to when I code. Or when I need to get new ideas. Or just to sit back and relax 🙂

What kind of music do prefer to listen to when you work? Or do you prefer silence?

Circus Cermaque

February, the last month of winter, is the worst one. I am tired of winter, of the ever clouded sky, of lack of sunshine.  And in these grey days I have met by chance three shining guys. At first all I could hear was distant sound of clarinet. I came closer and saw these guys playing joyful-melancholic music.

Circus Cermaque

It suddenly felt like summer. Sun was shinning and it was unusually warm for end of February. There is one thing I love on summer and that’s the street artists. They bring poetry to dull day-to-day life. Unfortunately I can’t play music at all and I found it quite difficult to dance in rhythm but I am an enthusiastic listener. This music was exactly of my taste: playful but with sadness and melancholy underneath, and one can’t say what style it actually it. It was a mixture of folk and jazz and improvisation. I could not resist and bought their CD. Every peace looks different, every peace is original 🙂

Circus Cermaque Booklet

Later I found out that Cermaque already released two albums and Jakub Cermak released two garners (at quite young age). It is not an easy listening like ABBA, it is fragile, gently disturbing and fascinating.

Listner here:

http://bandzone.cz/cermaque

Why I love my work

I consider myself lucky to have work that I love. I work as Javascript / C# developer for a company where I can be creative, I can try new technologies and constantly learn new stuff. In short: I grow, I develop myself. That’s great. I left my previous post not just because of low salary, but mostly because it just sucked. I did not trust my boss, as nobody did, he was that kind of person who tries to avoid responsibility. He had a gift to demotivate people by randomly checking what they are doing, peeking over their shoulders and so on.  Everyone hates that. No wonder people started to leave the company…

But back to topic: in my current company nobody checks how long I am at work, what sites I am visiting, I can go to town if I need to. If I need anything, like better keyboard, books to study, it’s not a problem I can just ask for it and I will probably get it.  I feel free and welcomed, and I feel that my work is appreciated (not just by money but by respect of my peers). That’s very motivating.  Another big motivating factor is enthusiasm of my co-workers.  It creates great atmosphere, so it’s pleasant to work with them. And not just to work, but to go to pub, get stoned and have fun… that’s part of team building 🙂

PS: I know that I probably suck at writing because English is not my native tongue, but it is an exercise for me, a part of kind of self development plan.

I’m going to IPO48 Prague

I have just learned about IPO48 and I am very excited about it. It is a 48 (!) hours long hackaton where people gather to form teams and deliver functional app prototypes.  It is a great opportunity to meet creative innovative people, make contacts with investors and start something new.

This is my startup idea – HistoryGraph. Check it out:)

Educational web-app displaying graph of historical timelines.

It gives you visual comparison of historical developement of chosen topics

(countries, churches, science, etc...)

so that you can spot not-so-obvious relations between various events.


I am currently looking for developers to join my team.  I need front-end, back-end developers, database specialist and graphic.  I am looking forward what will come out of it… who knows?