It’s been crazy busy (and crazy hot) over here, but I woke up super early this morning and decided to push this one out. Enjoy :)

  1. I’ve been heads down doing a (one-man) 4-week sprint these days. My goal was to see how far I can go trying to build both a decent web and a mobile app in this time constraint. Having only written a couple pretty basic “Hello world” front-end apps before, it was for sure a case of “under-promise and over-deliver” (putting it mildly). With a little over a week left in the sprint, however, I’m pretty happy (read: surprised) with how far I’ve got. Both web and mobile apps I’ve been building “look legit” (other people’s words, not mine). What’s more, it’s helped me demystify the whole “front-end dev” thing, which (for some reason) was a black box to me. Turns out, modern JavaScript (ES6) is a lot like other languages I have much more experience with (modern C++, Java) and the tools (e.g. CRA, CRNA, expo, NativeBase) are pretty great in helping you get started, without having to worry about environment setup. Just go build something fun this weekend, it’s never been easier.
  2. On the same theme, Ben Tossell did this cool experiment of “how many products can I build in 24 hours?” and wrote about the experience in a very interesting postmortem. Listen to what Nike marketing has been telling you all your life: just do it.
  3. Something incredible from the Artificial Intelligence front: AlphaGo Zero was able to become a Go (a board game that’s similar but more complex than chess) master in just a few days, without any human input (i.e. doing a fancy “trial & error”). This last part is huge, since most AI today requires a ton of training data and a ton computationally expensive “training” of the AI model (e.g. in the previous iterations of the AlphaGo, they input a bunch of play-by-play previous Go games as training input to the model and required an insane amount of computation over weeks). The most recent a16z podcast episode has a really great discussion on this.
  4. Came across a collection of very witty (and nerd-funny) Statistics-related quotes. My favorite: “statistics are like bikinis: what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital”. What’s your favorite? Leave a comment below :)
  5. Since Halloween is around the corner, I re-watched (for the n-th time) one of the best X-Files episodes, which always had a very horror film feel to it. The song played in the episode (which is a cover of the original song, as the John Mathis found the plot so disturbing that he didn’t allow his recording to be used in the episode) has been stuck in my head all week.

Co-founder & CTO @ AgentRisk. Former infra-tech guy (storage, networks). Startup nerd. Always building cool side-projects. #LongLA