Matthew Lindfield Seager

Hot tip: Use cling wrap for long term cable storage

✅ cheap
✅ available everywhere
✅ comes off easily
✅ no residue
✅ all cable/peripheral types

Biggest downside is speed of application. For frequently used cables splash out on some Velcro strips

Enjoyed listening to Brittany Martin interview Sam Saffron on the latest Ruby on Rails Podcast:…

There’s a few things I want to investigate (particularly around slow tests) but it looks like I’ll have to relisten as the show notes are a bit sparse.

Today I learned you can run rails notes to get a report of all comments in Rails that start with FIXME, TODO or OPTIMIZE (by default):

Search is hard and people expect Google quality search on every website they visit.

We’ve been considering ways to improve search in an app at work.… looks like an interesting option, wrapping some learning around Elasticsearch

Good Episode of Work Life on Bouncing Back (or forward) From Rejection:…

Timely for me as I try to go against my instincts and put myself out there a bit more

Haha! Had some fun watching this video of 3 Japanese Internationals take on 100 kids in football 😆

Coincidentally, today I happened to read two very different (age and content) but complementary articles on Code Audits:

I just listened to a great podcast episode on Managing Burnout at work.

Some really good tips on identifying and combatting burnout and its overlap with stress and depression.

It hit close to home from a previous job so I’m looking forward to digging deeper into the topic!

Australia Post to start inspecting all mail for violent images

Under the Criminal Code Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Bill 2019 it’s now a criminal act for an ISP, CDN or hosting provider to allow someone to access violent content.

What’s next? Holding Australia Post and OfficeWorks criminally liable for pamphlets people print out and send in the mail or civil engineering firms liable for bill posters people stick to the sides of underpasses!

We don’t want OfficeWorks deciding what people can print, Australia Post inspecting every item of mail or local engineering firms folding or moving to another country but that’s exactly what this poorly thought through law is going to do to Internet companies if it’s not amended or, better yet, repealed!


YAML is too vulnerable to attacks to consider for new projects.
Thoughtbot Application Security Guide

(As discussed on The Bike Shed)

Kayaking on the Parramatta River with a friend this morning was an awesome way to start the holidays, even if I did get up earlier than I would have for work! 🙂

I really enjoyed listening to Spy Master by Brad Thor yesterday and today! Well written, well narrated and good right up to (and including) the last sentence!

My only regret is that I didn’t know to start at the beginning of the series!


Notes to future me about installing pre-release Ruby/Rails versions:

rbenv install --list
rbenv install 2.7.0-rc1 (doesn’t exist today)

gem list rails --remote --prerelease --exact
gem install rails --version 6.0.0.beta3 (latest today)

Standing room only at Rorosyd this evening!

Great talk by Donna Zhou on how to give a good talk! 🙂

Today I needed to GET a list, pluck the IDs and then do a DELETE request per ID.

I did the first part with Postman but quickly rejected it for the looping/deleting part.

I probably should have used Ruby but next I reached for Shortcuts, a versatile Swiss Army knife on an iPad!

I love learning new Git tips and tricks, especially when they explain the why as well as the what!

Changing the Rules of the Gamification

From walking on the spot before bed to reach 10,000 steps in Pedometer++ or going for late night jogs to close my rings I’ve discovered I’m a sucker for gamification… completion metrics especially, but also streaks (and badges to a lesser extent).

While that’s probably not a bad thing if it means I go for an extra walk, the same instincts sometimes cause me to stay up way too late levelling up in free to play games or to neglect useful or more important things in my life to complete a series on Netflix.

Conversely, I haven’t been great at consistency or persistence in my life. I’ve never managed to learn an instrument or a second language because they’re not really things I can accomplish in 6 weeks before I lose interest.

Knowing these two things, I have tried to craft my environment to limit how much I get tricked into doing things I don’t really want to do while simultaneously trying to trick future me into doing things that I want to do in principle but don’t want to do in the moment.

Some of the things I do to protect myself include:

  • pay for games up front, as these games tend not to be ad-supported and usually don’t have exploitative game mechanics
  • delete a game outright if I find it’s taking over my life (because I certainly won’t just decide to play it less)
  • increase the friction to play games by only installing them on my iPad (which I don’t always have with me) or using Screen Time to help make myself aware of how much time I’m spending on them
  • don’t allow push notifications which might tempt me back in to the game or app (in fact, all my notification settings are quite strict, especially on my watch which I wear 23/7)
  • only subscribe to Netflix/Stan/whatever one month a year (and then only during holidays) so it’s not a constant temptation

On the flip side, late last year I started to deliberately try and build positive habits. Some of the approaches I am using include:

  • using the Streaks app to track my progress and encourage consistency (“streaks”)
  • starting with small, easy to accomplish tasks which I have been adding to as they become routine (my first habit was brushing my teeth every day)
  • choosing streak rules that require me to complete the task every day, or close to it, to help normalise the behaviour (e.g. posting to this blog). While I’d rather write an essay every week, I find once a week habits are too easy to break… miss one and there’s a two week gap, miss two and it’s been almost a month. Which flows nicely into my next point…
  • making the bar to complete a task very low so I at least get started. I’m much more likely to get started if the task is “pray for 1 minute” rather than “have a 15 minute quiet time”. Once I start I often do more, but I don’t have to, so the task is achievable, even if I’m exhausted or feeling down. Other examples include “post something to M.b” (280 characters is a lot more manageable than 500 words), “read 1 paragraph” or “do 1 sit up”
  • giving myself permission to not be perfect by allowing a rest day or two in a week to maintain a given streak (e.g. 5 days a week of non-work software development learning/practise)

I’ve still got a long way to go when it comes to consistency and persistence but I think I’m making progress!

I enjoyed watching my son doing some challenges today. And I only offered him unsolicited advice once! 🙂

It reminded me a bit of the Learn to Code courses in Swift Playgrounds that he and my daughter started previously. I’m interested to see where it all leads.

Pretty disappointed that even with a strong surplus the 2019 Australian budget leaves foreign aid at 0.21%, the lowest level it’s ever been (video, commentary).

At a time when unrest, global hunger and slavery are all increasing, we can and should be doing more with our wealth.

I love this Rails PR (and the original code it removes).

Some crazy optimisations/shenanigans were introduced but:

  • it was well documented
  • it solved an actual need (a hotspot in frequently used framework code)
  • it was removed once no longer needed

Open source done well!

📚 I’ve spent a decent chunk of today reading (listening to) Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer.

I’m about 2/3 through and can highly recommend it! (Just don’t click on the above link if you don’t want a mild spoiler shoved in your face)

The Amazing State of Technology in 2019

Book a private car 24x7 with no notice. Track it in real time. Shows up within a minute of scheduled time.

Public buses and trains run night and day. You can track them in real time. They show up within a minute or two of the scheduled time (or a replacement comes soon after).

Book an ISP technician for a suitable day (weeks in advance and only during work hours). ISP actually schedules it several days later (without asking, even though you aren’t available). You organise someone else to be on site for a 5 hour(!!!) window (can’t track technician in real time) but technician never shows (and you don’t even get an explanation until the next day). ISP reschedules for “earliest possible appointment”… a week and a half later (almost 4 weeks after original request, not on a suitable day and they didn’t even provide a window, this time someone needs to be on standby all day).

To make it worse, this is for a business (i.e. costs extra), stock standard DSL connection (no bleeding edge technologies to figure out), from the second biggest ISP in the country!

My wife and I have been trying to not let busyness be an idol.

I like the premise behind “No points for busy” but I think we can do better than “points for efficiency and productivity”…

Points for being present? For actually listening? For putting others’ needs first?

I’m looking forward to the inaugural RunWest 12km fun run tomorrow. My goal is 54 minutes or less.

After that it’s time for some longer runs with only 61 days until my second marathon.

Passion is a consequence of effort, not just a cause
Adam Grant on the WorkLife podcast (overcast link)