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Photo by Kevin Glisson — https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinglisson/5855716978

Kea is the name of the latest state management library for React that you have never heard of.

It’s also the name of the smartest parrot in the world.

Much like kea the parrot, kea the library doesn’t invent anything new. Instead it manipulates existing tools to get results in the shortest time possible.

Kea the library is an abstraction over Redux, Redux-Saga and Reselect. It provides a framework for your app’s actions, reducers, selectors and sagas.

It empowers Redux, making it as simple to use as setState. It reduces boilerplate and redundancy, while retaining composability and making your code easier to read. …


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I never had a healthy relationship with money, it always felt more like an addiction.

Like a professional addict, I spent all my days in search of plastic gold, and whenever I would find some, I’d waste it all on …, well …, stuff. I honestly don’t know where it all went.

My life plan was simple: build an insanely successful company and until then, spend all that I earn like there’s no tomorrow.

I’ve been doing this for more than a decade.

It has worked out great so far, minus the insanely successful company. At this moment I’m slightly in debt and spending all that I earn. I’m also afraid that if I ever do come across a larger sum of money, it will only be a matter of time until I’m broke again. After all, it has happened before. …


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For as long as I can remember I’ve had one problem with my weight — there was too much of it. It never had a serious impact on my life, but at 110kg and 190cm (242lbs and 6'3" for you Yanks, Liberians and Burmese) I had at least 25 extra kilograms (55lbs) of joy around my midsection. This labelled me as clinically obese. I wasn’t happy and wanted it gone. So I did what any self respecting nerd would do: I started looking for answers on the internet!

Eventually I found a blog post advocating the paleolithic diet. I was intrigued and bought the suggested book. I went on a strict diet, ate only meat and vegetables, avoided bread, potatoes, rice and pasta and lost 10kg in 3 months. Then the progress stopped, most likely due to my affair with Belgian beers and French wines at the time. I tried being strict with the diet again, but progress remained flat. …


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Six months ago I started using the “don’t break the chain” system. Three months ago I wrote a blog post about it. Time for an update! Read the original post first, if you haven’t!

If you repeat any thought or action multiple times, your brain creates new neural pathways and makes it easier to think the thought or perform the action in the future. Whether you’re learning a new foreign word by repetition, repeating “I love myself” until you start believing it or practicing a physical movement until mastery, rote repetition changes your brain. …


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A bit more than a year ago (2012/11/13) I started a journal entry with the words: “I am going to figure out how productivity works!”

Fast forward to today and I think I have almost cracked it. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind.

The first 26 years of my life were extremely unproductive — I took on too many tasks, tried to do all of them at once, ran out of energy, procrastinated, got upset at myself, lost motivation, ate junk, drank red bull, worked throughout the night, multitasked, got something done, crashed, slept in and repeated ad nauseam. It was tiring and exhausting. …


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Last week I finished Code Complete, a classic book by Steve McConnell. Published in 1993 and updated in 2004, it’s one of the best platform-agnostic programming books ever written. While all of its 960 pages contain a lot of wisdom, two concepts struck a chord with me.

First, most of your programming time is spent reading code:

Code is read far more times than it’s written. Even during initial development. Favoring a technique that speeds write-time convenience at the expense of read-time convenience is a false economy.

If you ever had to read someone else’s code, you know how it goes. You can’t inherently grasp the meaning of every line and must spend a considerable amount of time deciphering things. The same problems apply to your own code 6 weeks from now. …


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There is great customer service — the kind you hear about with Amazon, Zappos, Apple, Southwest and many others. There’s mediocre service, which you get with most retailers. And then there’s downright awful I-can’t-believe-they-are-still-in-business customer service. This time, again, with Apple.

To be fair, I’m dealing with a “Premium” Apple Reseller, not Apple themselves. However as the only Premium Reseller with dedicated stores in the country, they are as close as it gets.

So what happened? I ordered a new Retina Macbook Pro. Here’s the timeline of events:

June 11 — Apple announces the Retina Macbook Pro.

June 13 — I write to my reseller telling I want to buy the one with 16GB of RAM. They reply that i might get it in 3 weeks, but didn’t promise anything. …


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I love Ubuntu. I really admire how Canonical took a great Linux distribution and turned into something humane.

There’s just one problem with it: it sucks, but it’s not their fault. Let me explain.

I’ve used Linux as my primary OS for over a decade. I know how it feels to edit XF86Config just to get 3D acceleration working. I compiled the kernel more times than I care to remember. I hacked the code of Fluxbox because I didn’t like how the desktop switching worked. Back then a full reinstall took two days to configure. Good times.


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I used to suck at setting goals. A lot.

At some point I had a new goals almost weekly. “From now on I will go to the gym 3x a week”, “I will only eat ice cream on weekends”, “Maximum one glass of wine with dinner”, etc. These usually lasted a week, only to be tried again months later. It was a vicious circle.

Then I learned of a technique called inevitability thinking — instead of setting goals and thinking of ways to solve problems, create conditions so that what you want to happen happens automatically.

In the words of Eben…

About

Marius Andra

Web developer and entrepreneur from Estonia, living in Belgium. Co-founder of apprentus.com

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