Archive | December, 2016

Marcel Proust and Continuous-Integration

6 Dec

Introducing Marcel Proust


I have been reading Marcel Proust, “How Proust can change your life”, by Alain De Botton among other things. One of his ideas is very much along the ideas of Continuous engineering and extreme programming, which is to fail fast and move on. To fail is ok, its how you fail and move on that counts.


A friend in the pharmaceutical industry was telling me about some issues they were having producing medicines recently, I was telling them about transferable skills and some IT development processes like:

  1. Agile development process
  2. Continuous Integration and
  3. Lean methodologies

These approaches made sense to him, some of the ideas were new and interesting. These are ideas that have been adopted for software development processes, of course they come from Production line engineers in Japan, but that’s another story.

Makes sense?agile-product-development-1366x585

With Continious Integration, to move forward, you need to be making mistakes, failing correctly and learning from the mistakes.

Agile V the old wayagile-vs-waterfall-chart

As you can see, like most things, there needs to be a feedback loop. An ex soldier I know was telling me how in the Irish army, there is no feedback loop, information is a one way street, so my friend making life saving medicines wanted to know more about Agile and how it could move his project along.

One Proust quote in particular made a lot of senseproust

Interesting reading, I don’t think he would have known about Buddhism, but he was defiantly on to something, Marcels definition of enlightenment was…


The great aim of education…

2 Dec

Herbert Spencer once said…


I got a call this week about a job, the job was over three hours away and before I had finished the sentence, I had the whole journey for the job interview there and back planned and I went.

In Jack Kerouacs book, “On the road”, one of my favourite books, a character outlines why some people travel and some who don’t, he said, people who travel don’t worry about where they are going to eat, sleep, get petrol, they just go and figure it out on the way, sleep somewhere, eat somewhere and get there.

Some people think of all the problems, before they go, and in the end, don’t go anywhere.


One of my bosses who was a successful entrepreneur once told me

If i had known all the problems we had to solve to make this business, we would not have done it, we would have dome something easier, but because we solved each problem as it came every day, we made it happen

Over spring and summer 2016, I travelled around eastern europe mostly by train, because I always wanted to, I got a 23 euro flight to Lithuania from Limerick in April and I was off.

To some it now looks like a big journey, it wasnt at the start, if the first part didn’t go too well, i had the option to come back

The only thing I knew about Lithuania was:

1, Hannibal Lector was from there

2, It’s the central of europe

3, Donald Trumps wife is from there

So, I planned the first night in Lithuania and just went, I went north, then south, five and a half months later, and about 14 new countries later, I came back, thank you Ryanair.

While I travelled, I found cheap places to stay with, I was able to find 50 meter swimming pools, most days and navigate cities, countries, with google maps features and local travel apps, its easy when you know how.

All I needed to do was just go, I would figure it out by talking to people and seeing places for myself.

Where I have been in Europe recently


It’s not the first time I relocated for work, I have done it a few times in Australia, I relocated to Galway last year for a contract, in fact I’m willing to do it again. Why not?

In Australia, before I left, the IT focus I had was to:

See your career as a freelancer, you need to be willing to work for an hour, week or month as the idea of having a permanent role, no longer applies

Since I’m a European citizen, I had no problems crossing borders, it was too easy, since I have two passports, one woman in Bosnia told me I was born lucky twice. People in Bosnia can’t go anywhere easily, but the ones I met were very cultured

I remember reading a quote in Connemara a few years ago

“You have to see you life as a big adventure”

Which I think is important to remember when you are navigating life ups and downs and if you want to do something, just start and your half way there.

Casey Neistat made a video for Nike which sums it all up

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