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Why Solid?

For five years, I've dedicated most of my side-project time to making apps and tools using the Solid Protocol. Many share its vision, but it's also common to hear criticisms. I'm often asked why I'm still working on Solid, or told about another project that is doing a better job at solving similar problems.

Today, I'll go through some of the criticisms, share my own concerns, and answer why after all these years I'm still choosing Solid.

Can you imagine a world where software lives unencumbered from the artificial limits we've created? One where applications work seamlesly with one another, and silos become a thing of the past.

I can, and this is what it looks like.

If you had asked my thoughts on interoperability some years ago, I wouldn't have had much to say. Nowadays, it has become one of my most revered ideals. And today, I want to take you along for a journey towards its summum: Interoperable Serendipity.

In July of 2011, I finished my degree in computer science and got my first job. That was 10 years ago.

Today, I want to look back and share some of the lessons I've learned. nothing.

You do, and I do. But technology doesn't.

Everything you love about technology, and everything you hate, is not its own doing. Technology is only a multiplier.

Use it for good, and it will flourish. Use it for evil, and it will corrupt everything in its path.

It's been more than a year since I started working in the open. Here's an update.

The Stones knew it.

Maybe you want to get a successful business by making a great product, but you need Marketing.

Maybe you want to get your dream job by honing your skills, but you need Networking.

Maybe you want to get lean and eat cake, but you need a healthy diet.

Sometimes, what you want is not what you get.

You won't usually see technical posts in this blog, but this time I decided to shake things up. I've been working with Laravel for many years now, and one of the main advantages is its easy of use and eloquence. In those areas, I don't find libraries that rival Laravel often.

But some months ago I found Cypress and it does. These two technologies don't seem like a good fit out of the box, but in this post I'll tell you what I've done to mix their magic.

Communication is an essential part of our lives. And there are two ways of communicating: in real-time and asynchronously.

Are you using both effectively?

Musashi is an outstanding novel that I'd recommend to anyone. I recently finished reading it, and after reviewing the notes I took and mulling over them, I've decided to publish them here.

This isn't a book summary, it's a Lessons Learned summary. Don't be afraid to keep reading if you plan to read the book, this will be spoiler-free. I will include quotes from the book, and I hope they serve as motivation for you to actually read it. If you already have, I invite you to let me know what you learned and how that compares with my takeaways.

Open Productivity

I've been a proponent of transparency and working openly for a while, but I struggled to translate this into something actionable myself. So I came up with this new methodology: Open Productivity.

For the better part of this year, I have been looking for a new job and struggling to find a good match.

The problem is not the "skills". My background is on web and mobile development, so I am looking for a fullstack, frontend or backend development position. There are thousand of jobs matching those skills. But how do you optimize to search for a job matching your values?

I have to confess that I didn't even know what I wanted. So I put my head down and tried to define what are the criteria for the job I am seeking. This is what came out.

With so much happening with blockchains, there is an ongoing discussion on the impact they have. In order to form my own opinion, I have studied three and I will give my take of them and the ecosystem. If you are not familiar with blockchain technology, make sure to read my previous article where I introduce the foundations and explain what makes it different from other technologies.

The word is out about blockchains and how awesome they are. Or how awful, depending who you ask. I have been spectating the discussion for years, but I recently decided to give it a real look.

In this article I will introduce the foundations on how does blockchain technology work.

Order vs Chaos

Conventional wisdom says order and planning are the key to achieve great productivity. But I've found the importance of chaos as well. In this post, I will tell you how to embrace both to get better results.

Have you ever thought how programming languages relate to one another? I recently did, and to my surprise there is a lot of similarities with human languages.

I’m sure you will see programming languages in a different way after reading this. If you don’t know much about programming, this will help you understand them a bit more.

I have always seen myself as a very rational and logical person. I have no problems acknowledging my ignorance when due, but if I have an opinion it’s usually a strong one. However, I have lately been looking at opinions and conversations in a different way.

I have always been a fan of planning everything. Over the years I've come to create a methodology which I call “Rigid-Flexible Planning”. More than a methodology, it's a philosophy with guidelines. So please, take this post as food for thought more than strict rules.

Value is an interesting concept. Everyone talks about it, and everyone says it's the make it or break it for a business. But... how do you find it?

Do you think you are capable of doing something perfectly in your first attempt?

Do you think anyone does?

Do you think perfection exists?

My answer to all of those questions is: NO.

Some time has passed since I started working on my own. One of the ideas I value the most is the power of feedback, experience and different points of view.

That's why I am starting a search for a Mentor or starting a Mastermind Group as one of my 2015 New Year Resolutions.

I have something to confess, I am surprisingly ignorant in many topics of general knowledge. I don't know much about economics, literature, sports or world news. And I'm not ashamed nor do I regret it. But before I explain why, let me tell you who's also ignorant this way: Sherlock Holmes.

Dr. Watson: His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. […]

Sherlock Holmes: You see, I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.

-- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

With time, I've come to observe there are three key components necessary for a healthy product to exist: Business, Design and Development. This post is by no means a deep revelation or anything new, but it is an analysis I would like to perform as an exercise to obtain some insights.

I am a software developer, and many people I speak with tell me how lucky I am of being able of doing everything myself. If I have an idea I can define, prototype and implement the whole thing myself.

There is a problem with that, though. I don't prototype. And chances are, if you're a developer, you don't do either.

I think people have a tendency of working always at their higher level, using their top skills when possible. As it has been said many times, simplifying is difficult, and purposefully downgrading yourself is quite unnatural. That's why I don't prototype, because I have a tendency of thinking something will be “easy”. But inevitably things start getting complicated and something I could have spotted with a simple prototype becomes a problem I am working on (and wasting my time on). I reckon there is a problem there, and my goal in this writing is to analyze the problem and start making an effort to improve my approach.

Last week I attended AppsWorld 2014 in London, a conference about mobile applications and the mobile industry overall. As I expected, It was a valuable experience, and I thought it would be a good idea to make a summary of what was said and what I learned. This will serve for myself as a way to process all the content and for anyone who is interested to see what happened.

There is a feeling I enjoy a lot. The feeling of Starting Something New.

This is my first blog post, and because of my personality the first thing I did to prepare it was reading the first posts of blogs I follow. It didn't help too much, so I did a list of what I should include here and that's it, I started writing. It wasn't so painful as I thought it'd be.