S01 E19
25 Oct 2021/01:20:48

Coder's Block

Oxide and Friends Twitter Space: October 25th, 2021

Coder’s Block
We’ve been holding a Twitter Space weekly on Mondays at 5p for about an hour. Even though it’s not (yet?) a feature of Twitter Spaces, we have been recording them all; here is the recording for our Twitter Space for October 25th, 2021.
In addition to Bryan Cantrill and Adam Leventhal, speakers on October 25th included Brigid Gaffikin, Tom Lyon, MattSci, Simeon Miteff, Edwin Peer, Ian, Nima Johari, Matt Campbell, Joshua Hoeflich, Bill, Ariel Machado, and Kendall Morgan. (Did we miss your name and/or get it wrong? Drop a PR!)
Some of the topics we hit on, in the order that we hit them:
  • BattleTris stories
  • [@10:15](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=615) Writer’s block, flow (instigating tweet)
  • National Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo
  • Flow wiki
  • [@16:54](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=1014) “If you’re just problem solving, you can’t have writers block” 
    • Many degrees of freedom
    • Shiny new object
  • [@20:39](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=1239) Remedies for writer’s block? 
    • Decide if you’re looking for tactics or strategy; is it small technical issues or not?
    • Tactics: Hone in on ‘the craft’ – work on the language
    • Strategy: Is this going to reach an audience/get an agent?
    • Write a scene from a different character’s PoV; write a vignette
    • This sounds like prototyping in software
    • If you’re stuck on debugging, write some debug infrastructure
  • [@24:16](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=1456) Doing something else entirely 
    • Brigid: ceramics, sound walks
  • [@27:43](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=1663) Not everything is burnout
  • [@34:13](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=2053) Software analogies to writer’s techniques
  • [@36:04](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=2164) Personal productivity obsession 
    • Writer Emergency Pack by John August, site
    • “You’ve got to get back to the coal face. You’ve got to finish it.”
  • [@41:00](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=2460) Does Rust make this indecision worse? 
    • Pressure to find the “right” way
  • [@43:56](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=2636) Arthur Whitney (wiki) > The best analog for software is poetry
  • Pandemic life, collaboration and conferences
  • [@51:51](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=3111) Hallway track. Software is collaborative but ultimately programming is a solitary act 
    • Nimo’s experience, it’s all collaborative. Code review, art
  • [@59:36](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=3576) Cliff code reviews, how to do good reviews 
    • Lack of code reviewers for Rust at Google
  • [@1:04:16](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=3856) Writer’s groups, different focuses
  • [@1:08:04](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=4084) Grad school during pandemic, gather.town - video chat platform for virtual interactions
  • [@1:11:54](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=4314) Goals, take the wins that you can, boundaries between work life and home life
  • Kendall Morgan “Thoughts on Code Reviews” blog post
  • [@1:17:38](https://youtu.be/QGs5hlH6cLk?t=4658) Bill’s experience switching things up, and enjoying computing again
  • Wrap up tweet
If we got something wrong or missed something, please file a PR! Our next Twitter space will likely be on Monday at 5p Pacific Time; stay tuned to our Twitter feeds for details. We’d love to have you join us, as we always love to hear from new speakers!