Here’s a little practice I do. Before I take a break, or before I finish for the day, I like to leave code broken. As in, cannot compile. And with a note indicating what needs to be done next. This makes it easy to get into coding mode when you start again, because you have a direct goal instead of having to do a big planning session in your head.

The idea came from Richard Gabriel’s “Patterns of Software”, where he explains he always leaves his writing in the middle of a paragraph. I’ve done that quite often too, since reading that.

January 17 201401·12 pm31 notes

Coding tip: Leave your code in a broken state (via scriptsht)

I’ve found this same principle by accident before but have tremendous difficulty applying it because it makes it so much harder to “shut off” after I leave my work, which makes work creep over into my “downtime”.  So if you want to maintain a healthy work-life balance, this is probably not such good advice.  It is good for productivity though.

(via cjbrowne)

(via cjbrowne)

Many adults are put off when youngsters pose scientific questions. Children ask why the sun is yellow, or what a dream is, or how deep you can dig a hole, or when is the world’s birthday, or why we have toes.

Too many teachers and parents answer with irritation or ridicule, or quickly move on to something else. Why adults should pretend to omniscience before a five-year-old, I can’t for the life of me understand. What’s wrong with admitting that you don’t know? Children soon recognize that somehow this kind of question annoys many adults. A few more experiences like this, and another child has been lost to science.

There are many better responses. If we have an idea of the answer, we could try to explain. If we don’t, we could go to the encyclopedia or the library. Or we might say to the child: “I don’t know the answer. Maybe no one knows. Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be the first to find out.