Notes From ‘Blind Spots of the Developer Entrepreneur’

At the 2017 MicroConf, Ben Orenstein spoke about “The Blind Spots of the Developer Entrepreneur”. It was a talk packed with insights and actionable advice for the developer-entrepreneur.

The target audience for the talk is someone who wants to start their own business but hasn’t begun. But even if you don’t fit this criterion, it still offers value in the methodical approach it prescribes.

Personally, the talk resonated with me and renewed my interest in wanting to teach and building a viable business out of teaching.

Here are my notes from the talk. The points are his, the phrasing is mine.

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A Job Post From the Past

Back in 2019, I wrote a job post that I soon became fond of. Proud even. It received healthy attention and consistent praise:

  • To the point without unnecessary fluff
  • Exciting and warm to read
  • Mentorship offered
  • Thank you for no buzzwords

It also buried me in applications and responses. A good problem to have! Publishing the post here for posterity’s sake.

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Behavioral Science and the Art of Spending Less

There are four popular ways of growing your wealth:

  1. Spending less
  2. Investing wisely
  3. Earning more
  4. Getting lucky

They all differ in their effectiveness and difficulty of implementation.

  1. Spending less: the easiest of all
  2. Investing wisely: difficult; requires expertise
  3. Earning more: not easy, but the most effective
  4. Getting lucky: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

“Spending less” is the low hanging fruit out of the four. It’s directly tied to human behavior, and we can apply techniques backed by research to help us spend less.

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Demystifying SQL Queries

Let’s look at an average, everyday SQL query:

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SELECT something
FROM table
WHERE conditions

Not hard to draw parallels to other known concepts: Read on →

Consuming HTTP APIs in Ruby

What is your favourite technique for consuming HTTP APIs in Ruby? I like using HTTParty!

  • It offers a simple, intuitive API.
  • It makes it easy to support a whole bunch of standard API authentication mechanisms. Read on →

Postgres Text Search: Simple, Adequate

Searching for text within your data is a frequently requested feature, and often leads to excellent UX. Gmail’s web interface is entirely built on top of search. No wonder databases have supported basic text search operators like ~, LIKE, ILIKE etc for a long time. But they often fall short or give inaccurate results, as we try to evolve the feature. Say, searching in multiple languages, or searching for different variants of the same word: consider realistically, realistic, and realist, or searching one word, but not the other.

This is where full-text search comes in. Read on →

10 Actions You Must Internalize in Your Editor

We love our Emacs vs Vim vs <others> debates. In one argument Emacs rocks, in another Vim wins the day and in some other, TextMate takes the cake. However, more than we love our editors, we love being productive; after all that is all what this is about. By now, we know that the joy of writing code is well augmented by a good editor. It acts like a great force multiplier. We go to great lengths to curate the editor & its configuration to what suits us.

What happens when you want to use a different editor? Read on →

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Console Your Gems: Add REPL to Them

When you are working on a Ruby gem or a Ruby library ( why you would have a Ruby library that isn’t a gem is beyond me ), it is always often desirable to have a Pry session loaded with the gem your working on. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that REPL driven development is a a must-do when writing libraries. REPLs are like ice added to your beer when it isn’t cold anymore, except this ice is made from the same beer.

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I Am Speaking at RubyConf India

India’s premier Ruby conference is happening at Goa this year, in the third week of March. This year, my talk proposal got accepted and I am up on day 1 at 2.30pm.

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Hello, World!

Wikipedia tells us:

A “Hello World” program has become the traditional first program that many people learn. In general, it is simple enough so that people who have no experience with computer programming can easily understand it, especially with the guidance of a teacher or a written guide. Using this simple program as a basis, computer science principles or elements of a specific programming language can be explained to novice programmers. Experienced programmers learning new languages can also gain a lot of information about a given language’s syntax and structure from a hello world program.

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