jeffcarp Monthly: July 2019

Hi there,

I’m super busy preparing to hop on a plane to China very soon, so this newsletter is going to be on the brief side.

Here’s a nice Dolores Park doggo:


This month I want to share 2 articles as a package:

📰 How to Be Great? Just Be Good, Repeatably - Steph Smith

📰 Do Generals Matter? - Cathal J. Nolan

Initially these two articles don’t seem related at all. One is about productivity and the other is about military strategy. But there is a common thread between them: there are no easy wins. Winners are those who are willing to endure a long and depressing string of losses on the road to success.

These articles resonate with me. Software engineering is a career of repeated failure—both getting into the field (tons of failed interviews) and day to day on the job where everything you do is steeped in failure—debugging, rollbacks, bad data—my primary role is on a bug tracker, literally cataloging the nearly 1,000,000 ways Chrome has failed.

I find the lessons from these articles comforting. They tell me not to waste effort on big quick flashy wins. Success is gradual—it’s a function of putting in the work every day.


Updates from Personal Pursuits

Running 🏃

Elva and I ran the SF 2nd Half Marathon! My toe survived. I posted about it and my training season on the gram:

Team Jelva does the SF half marathon!!!! 🎉🎉 This training season didn't go exactly as planned... Sunday would have been my first marathon ever, but due to some training missteps (pun intended) - overtraining and new shoes at the same time - I spent most of the season recovering from a toe injury.

Through the process of being cooped up with an injury I decided what I want out of running is not speed. It's consistency. Getting an impressive time isn't as important to me as being able to be out there running every day, injury free.

So I'm very much looking forward to the Fall season, where I'll be re-attempting my first marathon at CIM, at a very reasonable and injury-free pace. 😁
July 30, 2019

“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.”

— N. R. Narayana Murthy, Indian entrepreneur (1946-present)

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