Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Being Efficient

Its funny how your thoughts/beliefs evolve over time. I used to think that multitasking was efficient and I worked hard at being able to multitask efficiently. I've since come to believe that multitasking is only efficient when you are engaged in many processes that do not require deep thought. If you are programming or are involved in any other "deep" thought activity, it is very expensive (time wise and otherwise) to keep switching modes. You are most efficient if you can spend 1, 2 or perhaps even 3 hours deeply focused on the task at hand.

The Energy Project Blog ( argues compellingly for 90 minute sprints as being the most efficient/effective.

The Four Hour Work Week ( also suggests some other valuable time management choices - such as only checking your email twice per day and grouping all calls at the same time.

These ideas are not unique, not non-obvious and are not rocket science, but they are effective. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of the good habits we should adopt or resume.

The challenge is to think critically about all the ideas we encounter and consciously decide which are valid/good and therefore should be adopted - and those which are invalid and should be ignored.

My Review of Data Persistence in Google App Engine

Originally submitted at O'Reilly

Every application needs data, and cloud-based applications in particular have unique challenges associated with data persistence. In this O'Reilly Breakdown, cloud programmer Dan Pilone takes you through the ins and outs of storing data in the cloud. You'll learn how to interact with Goo...

Very Helpful

By REC from Miami, Florida on 6/9/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Helpful examples, Easy to understand, Accurate

Cons: None

Best Uses: Novice, Intermediate, Student

Describe Yourself: Developer

Great introduction to core concepts of the AppEngine and how to persist data to it. Carried out in an easy to follow and comprehend conversational manner. Use of video makes it easy to follow how things are accomplished in Eclipse with the Google AppEngine SDK. Plus you pick up some other useful tricks just watching how he works.

Would be nice to have a searchable transcript of the conversation so you can review it for key terms and references they make to other training, technology and materials.

Would love a more comprehensive approach - including examples of data validation, use of GWT Designer, binding to Data Grids and more in depth examples of queries (using multiple parameters).