Technical Treadmill

The term ‘hedonic treadmill’ was coined back in the 1970s to describe the tendency to revert to a baseline state of happiness over time. In one limited sense it works as a metaphor for chasing pleasure without a lasting sense of fulfilment: buying a brand new car, for example, is exciting at first and brings some joy, but some time later it’s just a car and maybe what would bring you some new joy is to upgrade it to a brand new car.


Everybody loves to talk about self-documenting code, self-documenting architecture, self-eplanatory everything. If it’s obvious you should obviously know it. If it’s intuitive you should know it without actually knowing it. This comes up a lot when you talk about documenting a codebase and it comes up a lot with refactoring. Pull requests (contributions to the codebase) are fun because they also document a change of code from one version to another.


I have a feeling that this post might say more about me than anything else, but given that I mostly write about my own experience anyway that probably isn’t such a problem. A long, long time ago I wrote a post on Medium about how news on the internet becomes increasingly amplified until all you are hearing is distorted information. The post doesn’t exist any more but it ran with the idea that a piece of music can contain an incredible amount of detail and subtlety at an appropriate volume, but if you turn it up to eleven it’ll sound like complete and utter shite; every subtle flourish, every gentle melody, every aspect of harmony, all flattened out into an unintelligible dirge.

Trying out YJIT in Ruby 3.2

This isn’t going to be a deep dive into YJIT, benchmarking it and such like, just a few quick tips to get started with it yourself. First things first, though, some context! What’s YJIT? Yet another entry in the Yet Another series, YJIT is a new just-in-time compiler for Ruby. When you run your application, Ruby will optimise it on-the-fly depending on which code paths are accessed more frequently than others.

Twenty Twenty-Two

At the start of the year I wrote a post about my outlook for this year. I signed it off with a desire to check back on it in six months or so and see how things turned out. The post still lives on the old version of my blog and I haven’t migrated it over yet, but I was positive about some changes to my routine and hopeful about my health and work-life balance as a result.

Agile by name, but not by nature

This is an old post, originally written in 2014 during my time at New Bamboo. You can find the original in the web archives[^1] Agile is dead! Long live agility!1 A very befitting eulogy to the spirit of Agile, I’m sure, but also an unnecessary one. I think it picks the wrong battle. The whole premise of Dave’s argument (and every supporter of it) is one of semantics. You are not Agile, you merely exhibit agility.

Emotional Debt

Another day, another post about burnout. But really, I’m thinking more about that point that precedes it, the stall that–left unchecked–turns into a nosedive. The good thing is you do have an opportunity to pull back up, you always do, but it gets harder the longer you wait. The last few years have been different and difficult for everyone, regardless of physical or mental health. I’m not going to explore any of that because I don’t have anything to contribute that you won’t find in the total saturation of commentary on the topics; this is just to acknowledge that I feel it and it hurts that in an age of unprecedented progression and prosperity, for 1% of of humanity to take a step forward, 99% seems to have to take two steps back.

Conditional Git Config

I like to maintain a single configuration across machines. Mostly it works fine and I take account for whether I’m working on Mac, Windows or Linux. All I need to do is run a small script to set most of my shit up: for config in */; do echo "Stowing: ${config}" stow -t $HOME $config done My config files are structure in a way that stow likes: . ├── asdf │ ├── .

Out of the frying pan

I have a friend who once explained to me the concept of a comfort zone and what it means to go outside of it. It happened a good few years ago so my memory is a little hazy, but it came with a useful visual aid. Enjoy my crude representation of one. #+ATTR_HTML: :src /img/out-of-the-frying-pan/comfort-zone.png [[../../assets/img/out-of-the-fireplace/comfort-zone.png]] Your comfort zone, as you might imagine, is the place where you feel cosy, safe, and within the confines of what you know and are, I presume, confident with.


This is a bit of an unusual twist for me, in terms of what I generally write about, because I don’t really care about the world of celebrity that much. But something has been on my mind over the past few days since we saw a famous actor, Will Smith, hitting a famous comedian, Chris Rock, on stage, and then hurling some threats from back in his seat. Way back in 2011, I was on the receiving end of domestic abuse from the man who, at the time, was my sister’s boyfriend.