My Posts

Organic Proposals

Proposing solutions to problems is a critical part of knowledge work. The efficiency and effectiveness of our proposals are key measures of our success. It’s something I had to learn the hard way. By the end of my second year as a software engineer, I had only made one or two proposals to small problems […]

Software Entropy

Defining Entropy Entropy is a measure of chaos, or disorder, in a system. My college physics professor described entropy using two shoe closets. Imagine a clean shoe closet, where all shoes are paired and sorted by color. The closet’s entropy is the total number of arrangements its shoes can have. A clean closet’s entropy is […]

Notes on “Productivity” by Sam Altman

Here’s the original article on Sam’s blog. “Compound growth gets discussed as a financial concept, but it works in careers as well, and it is magic. A small productivity gain, compounded over 50 years, is worth a lot.” What are your productivity gains? make a list of what you need to do in a day […]

Notes on “A Philosophy of Software Design”

What’s the most important general idea in software? Knuth: layers of abstraction Ousterhaut: problem decomposition Even though it’s the most important idea, there is no course where problem decomposition is the central idea of the course. Simple rule: Abstractions should be deep The width of an abstraction is how big the interface is. The size […]