Best of Twitter from @ernestsemerda for October 2013

This Best of Twitter summary features the most relevant Tweets and stories I shared on my Twitter account ( in the month of October 2013. Posting these tweets here on The Road To Silicon Valley blog allows me to expand on some of the ideas in the tweets and comment / express my thoughts in a deeper and more meaningful format than within the constrains of a 140 character tweet.

If you like what I posted here feel free to follow me on Twitter => @ernestsemerda <= and let me know what you think.

It’s official. I am part of the Bay Area Bike Share Network 🙂 Read more about this cool healthy and disruptive program on my previous post. Use the 30 min limit of this great service as an “excercise motivator” to peddle hard burning those calories. When you hop on a bike think excercise not just a A to B transport.

Another cool weekend at Foothill College sipping in information and learning new stuff. I have in the past covered in detail Silicon Valley Code camp in 2011 here and in 2012 on Raising Capital by Bruce Schechter from Band of Angel. Worth going at least once to experience this.

What’s hilarious about this whole new movement against sitting is that scientists have been saying this for years. Read Brain Rules by John Medina if you want to see for yourself. John Medina is a development molecular biologist and has summarized all scientific evidence that passed his “grump factor”. ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ — 60% of Americans suffer from Silicon Valley Syndrome. Get off your ass and ride a bike!

I am a big fan of flat orgs. The fat cats of yesteryears love hierarchy because they crave power. Today’s smart leaders are realizing that hierarchy structures create fear driven cultures. Not good for a company which is to compete in today’s competitive and fast changing landscape where talent is in short supply. Watch RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us for a fast intro to Daniel Pink’s book Drive and you will get the idea behind the no managers movement.

Good lessons here. Don’t build shit because you have a gut feeling or some super human power. Use data to determine what needs to be built and whether what you did before is worth keeping or killing. Learn from data. Be data driven. Lean Startup approach. I find that people who do not use data is because they are lazy or do not know how to read data to make better decisions. Both are unacceptable since they get you no where – read The Myth of ‘I’m Bad at Math’ below.

Scott Adams is a farken genius! Basically failure is where success likes to hide in plain sight. Your goals are most likely all about some sugar coated ferry tales. Adams basically says go out there and get shit done through a systematic approach. If you chase goals you constantly are riding a Sine wave and need to reset your expectations. People who use systems do better.

This is a good one! Having gone through all sort of roles in my 13 year career I have seen shitty managers which had no clue about software engineering micromanage their employees because they believed that typing away at a keyboard was work. #lol Design always starts in the head, then whiteboard/paper then discussions then more thinking then some prototyping before finally setting in to code. Code is a very small part of building something great.

Good reason why you should sleep more or use Melatonin to optimize your sleep cycle. Software Engineers are notorious for sacrificing their sleep to smash away through code to get shit done. The most productive time for a Software Engineer is mostly in the evening with close to 0 interruptions. There is also something in the air knowing you are one of the few folks awake in your hood. However, manage your sleep if you want to retain those super duper cells that make you a kickass software engineer.

Aussie lingo and humour. Definitely the perfect way to describe the ideal startup team.

This has to be the best implementation of education and gaming that I’ve seen in a while, or atleast since the prior Rewarded Play reviews. Too many educational startups focus on content delivery. Well that has already been done by a hundred other startups and beaten to death by cookie cutter startups. So what is next? How do you keep someone engaged while learning? This is where CodeCombat comes in. They teach you JavaScript by forcing you to code to get through the levels killing your enemy and getting through obstacles. Not to mention these guys got into YC13 Winter at Startup School 2013. Superb work guys!

Are you using GSDfaster to Get Stuff Done Faster? This is a pet project of mine that has been shaping over some time now. It grew out of my own need for a better system of managing notes. After reading David Allen’s GTD book I was inspired by the GTD concept and built a product which suits me. Yap it was initially just for me until friends wanted to use it too. So I opened it up on iTunes for anyone to grab. Check it out and let me know what you think.

There you have it. The debate has been settled with hard numbers. You may recall that Python’s The Zen of Python basically tells you to use under_score for identifiers in your code. Hint hint Python 😉

This finding is great. I hate it when people use the excuse of not being a maths person as an excuse for their laziness or shortcomings. Hard work = Results. Isn’t this what your parents told you when you were in school! Never too late to learn maths.

I’ve been quiet vocal about this monstrosity. Not just because the website is poorly written breaking most accepted programming fundamentals but because it cost so much and what was delivered is a total mess. There have been excuses from those responsible for delivery from “Facebook wasn’t built in a day”.. well Facebook didn’t have $300m to build it either .. to nonsense like complexity of back end systems. When you build real products they are all complex and will grow in complexity over time. Which is why you need people on board that have a history of delivering complex systems not mediocre individuals that talk a lot but fail to deliver. Everyone is an expert until they have to deliver something that works.

Those that know me well know how strong my passion is for the Python language. For years I have been championing Python as the language of choice if you must choose between the sea of languages out there. I have a intro to Python post here if you want to get started:  or take a peek at my rant about why PHP is a house of horrors. The sketch I did on a whiteboard might give you a clue where to focus your learning energy. Check it out.


And that wraps up the month of October 2013. There were obviously more tweets but these are the most relevant to this blog. I encourage you to follow me on Twitter if you want to be entertained and educated on the world of Tech, Silicon Valley and other ramblings.

~ Ernest