10 things that I liked in 2020

Written on 31 December 2020, 10:33am

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Last hours of the year, so it’s time for the periodic roundup of things that I enjoyed over the past 12 months. 2020 has been a really strange year, but not everything was bad.

  1. The scientific community for coming up with a vaccine in 2 days. You read that right, 2 days. Here’s for hope that this golden period of breakthroughs will have the same impact in the field of medicine as the Apollo moon landings had in the field of technology. Plus, after all this will be over, we will look back at 2020 and see it as a collective altitude training. Everything else will feel lighter and easier and we will be ready for bigger challenges.
  1. Apple Watch and the Airpods for helping me stick to a healthy routine. Just like the previous years.
  2. A place: Southern France. A wonderful, sunny place, full of history. To be visited again in 2021.
  3. A series: Better Call Saul. I know, it made this list also in 2018. Some things don’t change. Plus, this year we got to see Lalo. Tell me again!
  4. Liverpool FC for finally winning the Premier League. The first part of the year felt so good. So good that the rest of the year would not matter. But here we are still, with all the problems and top of the league again 🙂
  5. Philips Hue. For the long winter nights and because the lights influence the mood.
  6. A book: Andy Weir – Artemis. Quality stuff from the writer of The Martian. Had to take a day off to finish it. I loved the way it made me imagine humans living on the moon.
  7. The Starship. If the humans will set foot on Mars this century, it will be in a Starship. Hopefully this will happen during our lifetime.
  8. Reddit + Quora. The first one for keeping me informed, the other one for putting me to sleep 🙂
  9. Working from home. Because it magically gave an extra hour to all my working days. Here’s for hope that the ‘new normal’ will be nothing like the ‘old normal’.
2020

10 things that I liked in 2019

Written on 26 December 2019, 02:40pm

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

1. Liverpool FC. I am supporting Liverpool since the legendary 2005 Istanbul CL final and watching them closely since 2012-2013. In 2019 they produced one of the best comebacks in the history of football, they won 3 trophies and, after winning the Club World Cup, they can claim they are the best football team on Earth.
Would absolutely love to see them also winning the Premier League trophy in May 2020.

2. A book: The subtle art of not giving a f*ck. It’s about focusing on the important things in life and stop giving f*cks about the rest. Some notes here.

3. Nintendo Switch. Because it can bring the family together in amazing ways during the long, winter evenings. And because it allows the players to actually move while playing (with games such as Just Dance, Fitness Boxing, etc)

4. Security. I know, it was also present in the 2018 list. But guess what, I am pretty sure it will still be present in 2020. I am working in this field and I am enjoying every minute of it. I built how2factor.info, I attended a great workshop and learned a lot from a lot of sources.

5. A blog: Daniel Miessler. Because of his energy, newsletter and writing style. Second close – John Gruber.

6. A person: Greta Thunberg. Because our way of living needs a change. And meaningful change needs a leader.
Second close – Elon Musk, after reading his biography.

7. A place: southern Spain. Because of their over 300 days of sun every year, friendly people, affordable living and great cuisine.

8. A device: the Apple Watch. Because it changes my well-being in a subtle, but massive way.

9. A series: Stranger Things. Because it’s about childhood, friendship, courage and the atmosphere brings back nostalgic memories.

10. A game: Heroes of Might and Magic III. Because I still enjoy playing it after 18 years…

Random links #11

Written on 14 February 2019, 11:03am

Tagged with: , , ,

  1. The misinterpretation of the Mehrabian theory
  2. The four stages of competence
  3. How to avoid death by PowerPoint

There is a theory attributed to Albert Mehrabian according to which the non-verbal communication (NVC) accounts for 93% of the overall communication. In other words, what you say has virtually no importance, while how you say it (the tone and the body language) is almost everything.
Without negating the importance of the NVC, it is quite clear that the Mehrabian theory only applies in limited cases. In fact, the theory itself states that it applies only to communication about feelings or attitudes. This video does a pretty good job to debunk the 7% myth.
That being said, I strongly believe that the delivery can make or break a presentation. Take the same content and have it presented by two random people and you’ll understand what I mean.

The learning circle (or the 4 stages of competence) is a very useful way to visualize the learning process:

The circle of learning. Image from impower.co.uk

Finally, a presentation about how you should do your presentations 🙂 If you only have time to watch one video about improving your presentation skills, it should be this one:


David Phillips has become the leading Swedish figurehead in the art of making presentations

In a nutshell, keep in mind the following simple principles when working on your next slides:

  • use a dark background
  • add a single message per slide
  • use keywords or images, not sentences
  • use size to highlight the important elements
  • don’t use more than 5 objects per slide

That being said, you can deviate from the principles above in case you don’t present your slides on a stage in front of an audience. A slide like the one below could still make sense during a meeting where you brainstorm with other technical colleagues:

Target to your audience: if you’re talking to a bunch of other nerds, a slide like this can make sense and don’t bore anyone to death. But never show this on a stage!