If you’re the kind of person who works with a computer at a desk then you’ve no doubt spent some time endlessly tweaking and tuning your setup to achieve the right feeling.

Having a nice desk setup can create a soothing sense of feng shui. You feel more productive, even if you aren’t actually getting any more work done.

I’ve gone through many variations of my setup. Some have been clear improvements. After years of writing at a cheap Ikea table with and a kitchen chair I finally invested in an ergonomic chair and a proper desk. …


All the ways advertisers and others get your data

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Photo: Michele Tantussi/Stringer/Getty Images

If you have used the internet at any point in the last 10 years, you’re probably aware that companies are collecting data for advertising purposes. The major players in this market are Google, Facebook, and a handful of startups and small data brokers looking at the new frontiers of data, such as connected appliances and energy grids.

It’s all part of the collection side of the data economy. Targeted advertising requires a high-resolution view of consumer activity in order to build more accurate models for advertisers. …


I’ve seen a lot of posts online from college students or career changers asking questions about what it takes to become a software engineer. Typically, these questions focus around what languages to learn, how to get into a particular company, and how to navigate the various paths to get there.

I wanted to write a rebuttal of sorts to these types of requests to clear up some misconceptions and perhaps offer some advice for the aspirational.

Software Engineers Aren’t Paid To Write Code

Inherent in the question about the “best” language to learn is an assumption that a software engineer is someone who gets paid to write code in some programming language. …

About

Robert Quinlivan

Robert is a writer and software engineer. robert@rquinlivan.net - www.rquinlivan.net

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