#

Just finished watching Get Back, the documentary about the Beatles, and all I can think is how much their process for making music is quite similar to making software. At least in my head.


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James Van Dyne

24 Feb 2024 at 08:31
#
🔗 There are no Original Ideas. But...
Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently. And it’s that process that is the magic.

That process, to me, feels like (how I imagine) making music. You get in a groove, riff with your teammates and you build something great.


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James Van Dyne

24 Feb 2024 at 01:17

Unintended consequences of Introducing new tech into our lives

 Introducing a new piece of technology into our lives has the ability to change us in ways we didn't foresee and don't notice until we have the opportunity to live without it. Smartphones are an obvious example, but this isn't about smartphones (entirely).

On a trip to Spain I misplaced my Airpods. Until they turned up 3-weeks later in my backpack (in that one pocket you never open because it's too small for anything...except a pair of AirPods), I had the chance to live as if I never bought them. While my runs were a bit harder...but I could actually think and sort my thoughts without music distracting me. 

I slept better, too. I hadn't realized that I had gotten into the habit of watching videos on the internet for ~hour most nights before bed on my phone. And since I was on my phone, I'd ultimately peek into Email or Slack. But without my AirPods, I couldn't watch YouTube in bed, so I'd just sleep.

I didn't expect purchasing AirPods would result in me losing an hour of sleep a night.

What about reintroducing older technology into our lives? I've found it can have positive affects in our lives. I recently refurbished an iPod Classic. I grew tired of streaming music –finding music is difficult (much easier to scroll around than type on virtual keyboard or tap through 4 different screens one handed) and it buffers.

With my iPod, on the train, my mind can wander like it used to. When I want to change a song, I just change a song. I don't get distracted by unlocking my phone, searching for the Music app, waiting for attempt to reload its state...before ultimately dumping me at the top of the navigation. When I start or stop a song there isn't this fear that bluetooth has messed up and I'm about to play music into a rush hour train (only works with wired headphones and there isn't a speaker on the device). I can relax and just enjoy the music.

When we buy new tech, we often only think about the promises of the product, and we don't think about the unintended changes that these products might bring. If we do not consider these and are not intentional when introducing tech we may find ourselves anxious and sleep deprived and without an understanding why.


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James Van Dyne

21 Feb 2024 at 22:20

The Week #190

 
  • 🎂 Leo turned 6! It feels like yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital (with me thinking "wait, they just let us take him, but we haven't a clue!")...and now he's 6. As we did gifts and cupcakes the weekend prior, we kept the celebration very simple: a slice of cake and a singing of happy birthday.
  • 🦷 As if on demand Leo lost his firth tooth (bottom incisor) .  The tooth fairy also exists in Japan (or at least it does for kids who watched peppa pig) and does not keep up with inflation or nor exchange rates. For his tooth he got  ¥100, analogous with the quarter - $1 I used to receive growing up.
  • 🐟 We did the loop to Enoshima to visit the Aquarium and grab a burger. It's been a few months since we've done it but this trip was probably the best and least physically demanding so far! He walked the entire 95% of the way, including the km trek from the monorail  to aquarium. What's more he didn't have any meltdowns and managed to turn his tooth fairy money into a plush from the crane game. Best of it there also were not heaps of people at the aquarium itself, so we could actually see the fish! 
  • 🎥 Leo has gotten really into making movies with the iPad. Before he had only used it for Kahn Academy Kids or Hiragana apps, but this week he's been opening iMovie and we've been making movies together. It's a lot of fun and a sneaky way for us to make home movies with everyone on camera, naturally.
  • 🎵 I started watching Get Back and it's fantastic. The way they make music reminds me deeply of the way we (should) make software products...or any other creative process really. You talk, you riff off ideas...and eventually, as a team, shape it into the final product. George had this line, which I don't recall well enough to quote, but he was writing a song and he expressed how he has to sculpt his songs. That's exactly how it feels when I'm writing a pull request...sculpting code.
  • 🐙 I met Chad, an internet buddy for lunch. It's always a treat to meet people you interact with online in person. We had a good conversation about schooling, climate jobs, and this particular moment on the web (including Tanzawa 🏔️). I hope we can have another one again sometime soon.

Me and Chad at the Kraken/Octopus Energy office in Roppongi

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James Van Dyne

19 Feb 2024 at 21:53



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