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2013-06-21 / gerdk

Changing my Inbox Zero process

InboxI follow a simple Inbox Zero process.

Starting with the oldest mails in the inbox, I look at each one and decide what to do with it.

  • Delete permanently.
  • Move to the soft-trash folder.
  • File it (in my one filing folder).
  • Create a To-Do task from it and move it to filing / soft-trash.
  • Mark as follow-up and move it to filing / soft-trash.
  • Reply to it if I can do that in under two minutes.
  • Leave it in the inbox because it is a small task / quick answer but I don’t want to do it right now (indecision!).

I repeat this cycle until my inbox is empty.

When I get interrupted, mails are left over and need to be processed again.

What could be the solution? Tag everything with a follow-up sign? Do a To-Do for everything?

Starting today, I create a “to-be-processed” folder and move mails fitting this criteria there for later processing. This should clear my inbox faster without creating too much overhead.

I plan to then go over this folder – so I actually have to do Inbox Zero twice.

Let’s see if this is actually a good idea and how this affects my responsiveness and performance.

2011-04-13 / gerdk

Certification considered … doubtful

I had just read Martin Fowler’s article CertificationCompetenceCorrelation a day before a friend of mine pointed me to (the original article with the discovery of a keylogger on a Samsung notebook; it is no longer directly available). Then I heard about this: Samsung Keylogger Reports Due To False Positive.

So – what is the connection between Certification-Competence-Correlation and the false positive incident?

From the original authors bio:

Mohamed Hassan, MSIA, CISSP, CISA is the founder of NetSec Consulting Corp, a firm that specializes in information security consulting services. He is a senior IT Security consultant and an adjunct professor of Information Systems in the School of Business at the University of Phoenix.

Yup, that are quite a few impressive sounding abbreviations behind the name. So that person is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional – and still made such a terrible oversight. What does that say about the quality of the certification?

For me it shows (again) that a certification is – on its own – nothing more than a proof of willingness to spend some time and money to increase ones chances on the job market.

Never judge or hire someone on certifications alone; and by the way, that holds true for an university degree or similar as well. Let them prove what they actually can do in programming exercices or proof of previous work (which is usually hard to get).

Disclaimer: Let me finish by making it clear that someone who has a certification is not incompetent by definition – I want to make it absolutely clear that I strongly believe that a certification is not a proof of competence, but there is no implicit inversion, i.e. competence does not mandate absence of a certification.

Even more important Disclaimer: This post is written in the context of software development and software development only. It is not valid in any other fields. I certainly want my physician to have a degree and certifications 😉

2011-04-5 / gerdk

This is just amazing…

Watch this video with sound on (and I recommend a quiet, dimly lit area).

If you’re wondering where you have heard it before – it’s Johann Sebastian BachJesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (and I highly recommend listening to another very distinct version: Jaques Loussier‘s rendition on The Bach Book.

(Found this on Scott Berkun’s blog)

2011-03-30 / gerdk

Back in Time (Mercurial command line tip #2)

To revert a file back to its status at a certain point in time use
hg revert --date yyyy-mm-dd HH:MM:SS <filename>

Example: to revert all files in the current directory back to the state as they were on 25th of March 2011, do this:

hg revert --date 2011-03-25 .

Note that hg understands quite a few date / time formats (hg help dates has a list) but I recommend to stick to ISO 8601 format as used above.

2011-03-29 / gerdk

hg status: Don’t show unknown files (Mercurial command line tip #1)

I’ve used

hg st -m -a -r -d

for this until I read the complete hg status text.

Now I use

hg st -q

2010-07-20 / gerdk

Learning C# – Part 2

In Part 1 I discussed my reasons for this series and also introduced the book I’m using mainly to (re-) learn C#, Essential C# 4.0.

“Introducing C#”

Not much differences yet. Instead of main you use Main (but you can leave the String[] args param out and it still works in C#) and instead of String you use string and it is System.Console.WriteLine and not System.out.println.

It is nice though that composite formatting is right there in everything. In Java you would have to use MessageFormat.format or some other middle message stuff. But in C# you can write:

System.Console.WriteLine("There are {0} words in {1} lines. Remember: {0} words!", 10, 5);

Also there’s XML comments by using /** **/ and /// respectively. Nice generalisation of Javadoc comments.

There are some explainations around the CLI and how everything works, but that’s nothing new and not a 100% related to C# itself.

2010-07-18 / gerdk

Learning C# (again) – Part 1

When dot-NET and C# first came out, Microsoft did an extensive roadshow tour through europe. I attended a big 2-day event in Vienna, Austria and was impressed…not only with the amount of money MS was throwing at attendees (rarely is everything free at conferences…), but also with the quality of the speakers and – most of all – with the quality of the ideas and concepts that they presented (although the products itself had a long way before them).

I still fondly remember Don Box (then not yet a MS employee) introducing C#. With Emacs and csc and ildasm and a lot of “You still with me?” and no Visual Studio.

I then learned C# and dot-NET fundamentals – never needing them in my work-life and time-constrained that I am, I forgot  most of it rather quickly.

To re-learn C# again I recently bough Essential C# 4.0 by Mark Michaelis. I will post important things and especially the differences to Java as separate blog posts. Please note that important means: things I find important 😉 Your milage may vary.

PS: This event also included a live presentation by Bill Gates himself. Boy, was I impressed….such an influential person and such a horrible public speaker 😦