- Housefinding visit to the Bay Area: I love Los Gatos, it’s quirky, diverse, not too big, with a lovely downtown. Going for a Yoga Class today.
- Opened my first U.S. bank account on Thursday and had the secured Credit Card in the mail on Friday. And it works with Apple Pay. How cool is that!
- Easing in to the new role with first team meetings, they already have a cubicle ready for me. Everyone’s really nice.
- Starting every day with a TED talk and a news digest. Hope I can keep that up.
- “Chance favors the connected mind” – Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from
Finished my last class for the year, just in time before the holidays. Can’t believe I actually finished CS50x – Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science, it was quite challenging and time consuming, but I did it. I submitted my final project mere days before the looming deadline, and can’t wait to get my certificate.
We’re leaving London tomorrow, will only be back for a few days in Jan, and then off to California!
The new year will bring new challenges, and it will probably be some time before I work on another course. I have more practical things to learn now :-)
Nevertheless, here’s a video of my final project, an iOS 8 today widget, written in Swift: Dinner Tonight provides quick and easy access to daily dinner recipe suggestions based on the Epicurious.com RSS feed, with an option to toggle between the latest recipe and a random recipe. It was fun to try and learn Swift, and I think I got a good understanding while writing the app. A tutorial on Xebia.com helped me get started, as well as several tutorials on Raywenderlich.com Have a look:
- For CS50, I implemented the Spellchecker, once I got into it, not too hard
- And also this week, I used php, mySQL, CSS, and of course HTML to create a Stock portfolio site, with options to register new users, look up stock quotes, and buy and sell stock (virtually, of course).
- And I started reading Give and Take by Adam Grant
- The new iMac with Retina 5K display is awesome: “The tl;dr version is: if you can afford it, buy it.”
- For CS50x I get to implement a spellchecker, not sure when to find the time
- Reading Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow “Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.”
- The week of OS X Yosemite, new iMacs with Retina Display, and iPad Air 2
- Spent 3 days in Berlin…
- …and one night out in London to see Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy of Arts, “the most significant exhibition of the German artist’s work ever held in the UK, spanning his entire 40 year career and unveiling new work created in direct response to our spaces.”
- Oh, and had my Wordpress installation and webserver hacked to send out spam and who knows what else, so while travelling conveniently had to spend a lot of time trying to limit damage, clean up, and harden the WordPress installation.
- Bunch of fantastic updates for Adobe CC, including mobile apps that feel just magic – use an iPhone camera to capture a color palette, brush, or vector shape from real life? Check. Adobe Color, Adobe Shape and Adobe Brush do that for you. And Adobe Draw on the iPad has those and lots of other elements available via the cloud to use for drawings. All that functionality seamlessly extends to the desktop as well via Creative Cloud. CC was never about just “renting” Software – it’s about what you can do if there’s dedicated services available to tie all the creative work together. This is where innovation is now – not in the next feature for Photoshop on the desktop. “Today we start this new era of creative connectivity”. Worth watching the Adobe Max Keynote if you’ve got 2 hours…
- For CS, looking at Forensics this week, particularly as it relates to images. Wrote a program to reveal the hidden message in the image, one to resize a bmp image, and another to recover deleted photos from a CF Card.
- Ten Personal Solutions to Global Warming
- The car you drive: The most important personal climate decision.
- Make your house more air tight.
- Buy and USE a programmable thermostat.
- Eat less meat.
- and the list goes on.
- Cooler Smarter Interactive Web Tool
- Enrolled in yet another course: Behavioural Economics. Right up my alley: “How can we get people to save more money, eat healthy foods and engage in healthy behaviours, and more generally make better choices?”
- I’m sure, eventually all the pieces will fit together again – programming, sustainability, psychology…
- App Previews on the iOS App Store are a big deal for developers.
- And this one I need to remember when the time comes – how to get your site or product known – and ideally make it an overnight success…
- Anna’s Sketchnotes are awesome
- I learned how Systems Theory and Design Thinking are related to Sustainability in Practice, and discovered some related websites:
- http://theconsensusproject.com – 97% of scientists agree that climate change is indeed happening and that it is man made.
- http://grist.org – “Grist is a source of intelligent, irreverent environmental news and commentary that’s been around since 1999, when the internet was made of rubber bands. We cover climate, energy, food, cities, politics, business, green living, and the occasional adorable baby animal. Each day, we use our Clarity-o-Meter to point our readers to the news that matters most, and to translate wonky issues into stories that make sense.”
- Took my first steps in learning Swift:
- An absolute Beginner’s Guide to Swift
- Swift Tutorial: A quick start
- What exactly is GitHub anyway?
- How to use Git and GitHub
- Created my first very basic iOS app as an exercise in Swift: A totally pointless tip calculator. Why are Americans obsessed with finding the exact right amount for a tip? Why on earth wouldn’t a rough estimate be good enough? Anyway, a good learning experience nevertheless…
- And to lay the foundation, there is a fantastic Stanford course available in iTunes U: Developing iOS 7 Apps for iPhone and iPad
- Oh, and not least, I finished pset4 in CS50x, creating my first game in C: Breakout (and received maximum points – they didn’t grade for visual quality ;-). Not that anyone needs another incarnation of this, but every journey starts with a first step…
And even though this is a year old, it is still awesome to watch, a ‘before and after VFX’ reel from the Great Gatsby. Watching the film, it didn’t feel VFX heavy, but it certainly was!
I have decided to take up again the habit of writing weeknotes about what was important to me each week, particularly what I learned over the week.
- The week of the iPhone 6 launch! Massive queues in front of Apple Stores, best review: Austin Mann’s Camera Review, shot in Iceland.
- I updated to iOS 8 and all went smoothly…
- The Harvard Business School Product Management 101 Course has all materials available online.
- A bit of boasting: I earned 100.0% in Human-Computer Interaction on @Coursera and received my Certificate of Accomplishment with Distinction for the coursework on Human-Computer Interaction.
- And I went to Photokina, checking out the Nikon D750 – wonderful full frame DSLR with WiFi and video, not sure I’m ready to replace my D700 though, it’s seeing decreasing usage anyway – the Leica Gallery, the Panasonic DMC-CM1 Smart Camera – a glorified camera phone with a 1-inch sensor, apparently the highlight of the show – and of course I visited my friends at MacPhun and had a look at their wonderful App Tonality.
My week of researching Product Management / Product definition, prioritization, planning and roadmap tools… I notice I am taking the “Novice approach”, doing deep research and reading about techniques where an Expert would have an intuitive understanding of how to solve problems through years of practice. Anyway.
- ProductPlan looks like a great tool, if only to inspire how to approach the topic.
- A great article on Product Definition and Requirements Prioritization
- 5 Things to do in your first week with a new product
- Rarely say yes to feature requests