2020-05-10: Weekly Review

3 minute read

Weekly Review

Preamble

Most of the articles this week are on the topic of structured knowledge management. Perhaps not the biggest shocker since I’m both working on a startup to help people manage their information as well as taking an online course on that very topic. Just like parallel computing, I think our ability to effectively apply the information that is available could be improved by many orders of magnitude using the right tools and systems.

Structure

  • Thoughts: What I’m thinking about based on articles I’m reading and things I’m working on
  • Systems: Tools and workflows I’m experimenting with to more effectively learn and get things done
  • Outputs: Things I’m working on in various stages of completion

Thoughts

  • Structured Knowledge Management
    • Articles
    • Notes
      • Structuring information in a way that is easy to capture, reference and make connections from is hard. With physical constraints (eg. books and paper), people had to get creative to index and compress all that they cared about. In today’s world of digital abundance, both from an information and tools perspective, people seem to have all but given up on trying to “manage information”. Linear newsfeeds are great for dopamine hits and scrolling addiction but are hard to make use of when the moment has passed. But it doesn’t need to be this way.
  • When the status quo is “good enough”
    • Articles
      • Sunsetting Documentation - Meta Stack Overflow

        Stack Overflow is already good enough at providing documentation of obscure features. Even when considering just the company’s mission of helping programmers “learn, share their knowledge and build their careers”, Documentation isn’t the most efficient use of resources.

    • Notes
      • Post-mortem of the stack overflow documentation effort. Was following it closely when it launched but like a lot of people mentioned in the retrospective, ultimately didn’t use it. Existing documentation was “good enough” and when it wasn’t, regular Stack Overflow worked. This one hit close to home because I did a similar post-mortem for the initial preview of Dendron. At that time, it was focused on consolidating all AWS documentation in one place with a small consistent hierarchy. It suffered from much of the same problems.

Systems

  • Using awless as a replacement for aws-cli:
    • Notes
      • I can never do anything on the AWS CLI without looking it up on the AWS CLI Reference page. awless makes it more manageable by reducing most commonly used commands to a small hierarchical set with sane defaults.
  • Using a project completion checklist
    • Notes
      • Got the idea from Tiago of fortelabs. Basically a checklist to do at the end of a project. My own checklist below as reference (it’s pretty basic).
      - [ ] mark out in task manager (rtm)
      - [ ] review and consolidate project notes
      - [ ] move projects into archives
      - [ ] update related areas
      

Output

  • Dendron
  • Thence Consulting
    • Automate provisioning/bootstrapping of a bunch of services
    • Figuring out if there was a better way of transfering 50GB of data from EBS to EFS besides rsync (there wasn’t unless you count parallel rsync)

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