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Eduards Sizovs - January 2021


Eduards Sizovs

January 10 · Issue #14 · View online

I write about programming, leadership, mentoring, and hiring.

Hi there and welcome to 2021 👋
Here is a quick recap of what happened to me since the last newsletter.
Life in general
* Tallinn – more than one month has passed since I moved to Tallinn. Unlike my hometown, Riga, where restrictions are so strict and authoritative to the extent citizens are protesting on the streets, Tallinn takes a more pragmatic and liberal approach to COVID control. I’ll probably stay here until March and then move to a sunnier place.
* Floating – as a mindfulness meditation practitioner, I tried floating – a modern, hyped, and expensive method for relieving stress and relaxation. My conclusion: floating is crap. If you enjoy being locked in a dark plastic camera, swimming in artificially salted, stagnant water, then something is wrong with your life. Fix it.
I recommend the following books that I recently finished reading:
📚 The Almanack of Naval Ravikant – just wow. The book about life, happiness, and money.
📚 A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction A Pattern Language – another eye-opening wow book that teaches you how to appreciate the beauty of the environment and architecture. I was trying to find the print version of this book for ~5 years and finally got my copy in Russian:

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
* Trader’s license – if you know me well, then you should also know that trading has been a big part of my life. This month, after ~9 months of preparations, I’ve finally got my professional trader’s license. In practice, that means I can do legal, low-commission trading and investing myself and also on behalf of my friends and relatives. So, if you have savings and want to save them from inflation, bank defaults, and make your first steps towards trading and investing – I can help.
* From Coinbase Pro to Kraken – for Crypto trading, I recently moved from Coinbase Pro to Kraken, because Kraken has lower trading fees, better liquidity for certain assets, and allows margin trading. Coinbase sucks :-)
* Estonian investment account – I love Estonia for many reasons. One of them is relatively stable, simple, and well-defined tax foundations. Recently I’ve learned that you can create a personal investment account that allows postponing taxation liability to the moment when profits are distributed. Basically, if you’re making profits from investments, you don’t have to pay taxes in the same calendar year. You can decide to re-invest your earnings and pay nothing.
Upcoming Training
* 🗓 28-29 January 2021 – Online, Zoom – Soft Skills for Developers
* 🗓 25-26 March 2021 – Online, Zoom – The Principal Developer
Some of my tweets
Eduards Sizovs
The most common complaint I hear from developers is that managers put pressure and demand faster results. Developers fight for quality, others fight for time, some for lowering the price. It's an opportunity to grow.
Eduards Sizovs
Like a human body learning to adapt and growing under stress, conflict should trigger productive conversation, search for consensus and ways to improve. It's not pressure that leads to cutting corners, but conflict avoidance.
Eduards Sizovs
Learn to handle pressure and conflict well and embrace it as a source of growth. Otherwise, if you'll be given six hours to chop down a tree, you will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Eduards Sizovs
If you think that by calling developers "hackers", "ninjas", "gurus", "rockstars" in your job ads you'll attract more candidates, think twice. Only a small fraction of dev pool identifies themselves with those terms... and you better not hire them. "Developer" is good enough.
Eduards Sizovs
In any serious software system, there is an infinite number of places that could be improved. That leads to a problem: because there is always something to refactor, devs fall into the trap of refactoring everything randomly without considering the financial impact of their work.
Eduards Sizovs
But the primary goal of refactoring is to accelerate value delivery, not to make the system shine. So you should approach refactoring STRATEGICALLY and refactor only those parts of the system that slow down you and your team.
Eduards Sizovs
Before refactoring, ask yourself:

❶ “If I refactor now, will it help me deliver the value faster?”
❷ “If I refactor now, will it help me and my team deliver the value faster in ~1-2 week horizon?”
❸ “Is this the best use of my time?”
Eduards Sizovs
If you have doubts, don’t refactor. Learn to live with imperfect systems and control your desire to refactor everything. Refactoring must be strategic, not an ad-hoc activity.
Eduards Sizovs
Bashing developers who "don't know something very important" is not helpful at all. Do something about it – inspire, teach, blog, speak.
Wrap up
All right, my friends, that’s all I have today. If I can help you somehow – let me know. Stay in touch and keep positive vibes!
Tallinn 2021
Tallinn 2021
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