My reading habits over the years

As a child and teenager I read a lot, mostly fictional books. I often went to the library and got lots of books as a birthday or Christmas present.

  • Astrid Lindgren
  • Tonke Dragt
  • Wolfgang Hohlbein

On of my favorite authors at that time was Ken Follet. I read through the 1000+ pages of the Pillars of the Earth on just two or three days. The more we had to read for German classes in school the less I’d liked to read at home. Occasionally I read a Preston / Child thriller.

After I finished school I worked as a sound technician at the Landestheater Detmold. Due to masses of spare time and to the lack of nowadays always on communication devices I got into reading again.

I re-read all the classics which I should have already read in school.  Because I didn’t had to, it was actually a lot of fun. I read a lot of the books from Thomas Mann,  from Heinrich, Klaus and Golo Mann as well.

During my studies I started reading non-fictional books and often bought different books about the same topic because I enjoyed reading things from a different perspective to better understand them.

So what happened to the habit over the years? Why did I almost stopped reading entirely?

Distractions by other hobbies

  • Working 40+ hours per week plus commuting
  • Surfing Facebook and 9gag
  • Binge watching
  • Children 🙂

What got me into reading again

  • Martin Suter
  • Paulo Coelho
  • Manfred Spitzer

My new most favorite author became Dan Simmons after I accidentally bought the book “Terror”
After I watched the TED talk Why I read a book a day (and why you should too): The Law of 33% I started to read again like crazy and started to build up a personal library

Review “The Passionate Programmer”

About the Author

Chad Fowler is best know for being CTO of 6Wunderkinder after its exit to Microsoft. Before he was Senior Vice President of Technology at LivingSocial.

The Book

Fun fact: the first edition of this book was titled “My Job Went to India: 52 Ways To Save Your Job” but Fowler found this title misleading: instead of improving from mediocrity to keep your job we wants You to focus on becoming exceptional and staying ahead of the pack. Continue reading “Review “The Passionate Programmer””

The Peter Principle by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull

I think I first came across the Peter Principle in the context of The Dilbert Principle.

Where Scott Adams states in a satirical fashion that “leadership is nature’s way of removing morons from the productive flow”, Peter and Hull just say that everybody in a big enough hierarchy always gets promoted to a position where he no longer can succeed and so reaches his personal level of incompetence.

Pretty  shocking, huh? Continue reading “The Peter Principle by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull”

Code Kata: Roman Numeral – Part 1

Christmas is over, so we get rid of the Christmas Tree.
Today I want to show You another Code Kata: Roman Numerals. The task seems to be quite easy. Write a program which converts a decimal number into a string which contains the equivalent as a roman literal. E.g. convert 1984 into MCMLXXXIV.

The requirements

We just use the characters from I to M.

Symbol I V X L C D M
Value 1 5 10 50 100 500 1,000

We first write a simple conversion function which ignores the abbreviation syntax, so instead of IX for 9 we write VIIII. To do so we use integer division and modulo operation.  We start with the highest number and work our way down. Have a look: Continue reading “Code Kata: Roman Numeral – Part 1”

New Year’s Resolutions & Technology Learning Roadmap 2017

I made a list of technologies I’m going to learn – or at least get an overview of – in 2017. I’ve already started to look into Rust and also did some web tech tutorials on codecademy. Because I read “4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Learn to Code from Codecademy” I will not leave it there but am going to introduce one or more of the following technologies into some actual projects at work. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions & Technology Learning Roadmap 2017”

Code Kata: Christmas Tree

Inspired by a blog post of Dave Thomas I started to implement my technology learning roadmap by writing little code katas.

To kill two birds with one stone I first solve a programming puzzle with my lingua franca Python. That helped me to concentrate on solving the algorithmic part of the puzzle because I don’t have to constantly worry about syntax and semantics.

Then I did the whole thing again this time in the language I want to learn: Rust

To give You an example how that works I will elaborate on the Christmas tree kata. Continue reading “Code Kata: Christmas Tree”

#SWEC16

I was reading “The Passionate Programmer” by Chad Fowler and came across an action point which literally read “go to a software conference”.

But spending hundreds of euros on a conference like OOP in Munich with travel costs and expenses for hotel and meals wasn’t quite the way to go as a father of two infants and plans of building a house.

A friend of mine – Thomas Berger – was always fancy about little independent conferences and barcamps which are very common in Berlin where he lives.

Sometimes You just have to keep your eyes open. And lo and behold I found a barcamp hosted by method park just 500 meters away from my company’s site. Like driving to work, getting home in the evening. Except on a weekend.

I purchased the ticket via openspacer and payed 29 €. I had not so high expectations because some colleague of mine stated that this event would likely be a recruiting thingy of the hosting company. Oh Boy, was he wrong! Continue reading “#SWEC16”