So Good They Can’t Ignore You

I think I should call myself a fan of Cal Newport.

After I finished reading Deep Work, I started another book by Dr. Newport, “So good they can’t ignore you”.

If I could only take one lesson from the book, it would be the lesson of having a craftsman mindset over having a passion mindset towards my view in career.

A person with a passion mindset is to expect what a job can do for him. It’s passive. In contrary, a person with a craftsman mindset is to explore what she can do in her job.

It’s not unusual for a passive person to jump from one job to another in short intervals because a job was not what they were “expecting”.

It’s interesting that in a research, people who used non-default browser are better employee. It’s because these employees are most likely find something that works for them instead of using something given to them.

When I was going through this book on craftsman mindset worker, it reminds me about the documentary, Jiro dream of sushi. I remember in the film, Mr. Jiro said he chose his career, stick with it and be the best of it. And that, is the craftsman mindset.

Well, I have chosen my career, let me the best of it.

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Hit Refresh

Hit Refresh written by Microsoft’s third CEO Satya Nadella is a very good read.

In the past decade, Microsoft was viewed as a big company with decreasing impact in the software industry. Google started to take over Microsoft’s productivity suite in the educational space (where Microsoft was strong at) and increasingly more company, especially in the startup, prefers to use Google’s G Suite over Microsoft Office 365.

In recent years, Microsoft has stopped or slow down the pace of Google take over. I think it’s because of Satya Nadella’s leadership.

I think Microsoft is making a come back. Microsoft is now energized. If you recently take a look at the love received from developers over their Visual Studio Code and the improvement of Office 365 application or on the web.

In the book, Mr. Nadella reflected how how he get Microsoft “refresh” from his personal story and his journey in Microsoft. After hearing the stories, I believe that your life experience affects the way you do business.

Mr. Nadella reflected on why chose “Refresh” as the title of the book. It’s truly a good fit of his plan with Microsoft. When you are looking at a page in a browser, sometimes, you need to hit refresh to get new content. After refresh, the main structure of the web page still retain, but you might get some new content. This is a good analogy with Microsoft. Microsoft is not building from scratch, it’s has hit refresh to give their customer new content with the past intact.

Deep Work

In the digital age, information are widely available anywhere and anytime. We don’t have to wait for the next morning for the library open to find out more about the topic we are interested in. We are one social media away from keeping us up to date about our friends and relatives. We have TV with us in our pocket.

In Deep Work, it introduced a world where one can spend time to focus solely on a single topic without being distracted by the constant incoming of emails, instant messages, meetings, and social media.

This book explained about how solving a difficult problem requires a person’s full attention. In research, a person most likely has abut 2 – 4 hours a day to get deep into their work. The book encouraged reader to eliminate as much “shallow work” so that there will be enough energy left for “deep work”. It also encourages to quit social media (the argument from the book is quite good) in our spare time. So that we let our mind relax in order to recharge enough for deep work.

It is a very good book.

After I read the book, I want to practice some of the advises from the author.

  1. Stop work after work. (shutdown complete)
  2. Allow myself to get bored. (quit or limit social media use)
  3. Mono processing. (leave multi-task to computer)

Back to WordPress

After almost a year on leaving WordPress to Medium, I decided to (partially) move back to WordPress.

It was the one feature I cannot live without from WordPress. It was the automatically embed of book when I post the book link from Amazon.

As I like to blog about the book I read, I found it will be very helpful to those who landed on my book review immediately has a glimpse of the book. As of now, Medium does not has this feature.

As of today, I will post my book review from WordPress only. The other stuff such as programming and random thoughts, I will keep it at Medium.

Superintelligence

The topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Computer science has been discussed for a very long time. We focus on how to develop AI academically and in the pop culture, we imagine how we human becomes when AI is doing everything for us.

Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom is a good start no matter how much you know about AI. It gives you enough information that by the end of reading this book, you will have the knowledge to either to inspire you to work in an AI industry or to give you insight on what to react to the rise of the AI.

After reading this book, I think AI is coming very soon. It is much more accessible to build an AI nowadays. The cloud computing making compute power readily available. Everything we do nowadays are on a computer instead of on paper, which leads to all the information is available for an AI to collect and analyze. Finally, a race to AI has started among the technology industry. It just a matter of time one AI will emerge and this one AI will build a better AI than we human can make, in a much faster and efficient ways.

As a matter of fact, I think we are already in an alpha stage of AI. Why? Just say “OK Google” from your phone.

Becoming Brilliant

The title is intriguing enough that when I read this book during break at work, I had to explain this book is not about how to get your children into the Ivy league schools or a how to book to get As in school.

Instead, this book helps me to understand the challenge in the current and future workplace. It gave me insight on how to raise a child to be successful beyond their schooling.

The 6 Cs, collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative, and confidence, are the pillars

I was interested in this book after listening to NPR reported about this book. It was sold out immediately after the story aired in the air. I had to wait for couple weeks before receiving a copy of this book.