Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously

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My workout plan this summer would make any fitness guru shudder. 

I try to go to the gym once or twice a week. I spend 25 minutes there. I run for a mile, do some curls and then finish off with a dumbbell bench press. It’s an admittedly ridiculous routine that does very little for my overall fitness. But I don’t care.  Continue Reading

27 May 2012, 8:00am | 20 comments

Success is in NP

One of the most interesting parts of theoretical computer science is complexity theory. At its core complexity theory attempts to answer this question: what kinds of problems are easy and what kinds of problems are hard for a computer to solve? Problems are divided up into two classes: P and NP.*

A problem in P is easy for a computer to solve. A problem in NP is (we think) hard for a computer to solve. However, all problems in NP share the same thing: if you have the right answer, it’s very easy for a computer to verify that the answer is right. 

So NP problems are problems where coming to the right solution is hard, but verifying that your solution is correct is easy. To me this sounds like success. Continue Reading

19 May 2012, 6:46pm | 8 comments

You Have To Get Good Before You Get Better

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I talk to a lot of people these days who ask me how to get started learning to code. I try my best to give advice: read books, try Code Academy, do a lot of Googling, check out Stack Overflow. Usually I try to check in with these people a few weeks after we talk. It’s interesting to see who starts to get good and who gives up.

What separates the people that get good at coding from the people who give up? In my experience, the people who are successful get good before they get better.  Continue Reading

15 May 2012, 10:26pm | 41 comments


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