What have I been doing in this COVID-19 period?

I’ve been silent on here and my social life has drastically reduced. It’s not that I have been putting things off thinking that I can do it tomorrow, it’s that I’ve ramped up production on side projects. I feel guilty if I shut down my computer before 10:30pm. As I type this I’m sitting up in bed thinking, I should bash one post out otherwise I will never get back into the swing of this when things stabilise. So, what has happened?

I am still working normal hours at work but I didn’t have commute so I have an hour extra to myself. Well the first thing was reading. I started reading a lot. I thought now is the time to get into Cal Newport’s philosophy of deep work, hunkering down, putting my phone to charge in the other room, and turning off notifications on my social media apps….. it’s not surprising, but this works. In the first month I read eight books:

  • The meritocracy Trap => A book that covers how the gap between rich and poor is increasing, and how structures like university and the erosion of middle class jobs.
  • Loserthink => Written by the cartoonist Scott Adams who also did an MBA and was a banker. He publicly predicted Trump winning before he won. This book covers the lies we tell ourselves to convince ourselves that our irrational, emotion led, view reflects reality when most of the time it doesn’t.
  • Brave new world => A classic novel about a dystopian society that does not allow uncomfortable truths and denies science that is also uncomfortable, feelings over facts (very relevant for current political happenings).
  • Hyperfocus => A book on how to focus on work.
  • Digital Minimalism => Written by Cal Newport. It covers the studies on how digital devices can suck attention from you and stop you from being productive in leisure or work. It also inhibits your ability to produce truly insightful and unique advances.
  • Bounce => The environment and factors that enable people to achieve great things.
  • Rebel Ideas => How diversity improves the outcomes of teams. Not this weird race and gender obsessed diversity, but cognitive diversity.
  • Network Propaganda => Written by Harvard professors on data analysis of online stories and traffic overtime to see how propaganda spreads in political internet bubbles.

Ok, whilst this was enjoyable, I thought that I should really be using my spare time to improve my professional skills so I hopped onto Amazon and got a few books to chow through:

I’ve been working with Rust for a year and a half now and even managed to build a few servers in Rust that are actually being used in projects. It was here that I saw that there wasn’t a general web development textbook. The mastering Rust textbook was a pretty awesome read, but the mircoservices textbook just didn’t hit the spot for a software engineer looking to get into web development in Rust.

Long story short, I signed a book deal with Packt and I am now spending the rest of free time for the year writing a textbook on web development in Rust:

I must say that the editing team is metal. You submit a chapter and they have revisions within a day. I think now I’ve reached my capacity till January. Writing on here is going to be less frequent until the book is published.

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