The Aggregation of Ideas

With a focus on Software Engineering

Part 1 — Finding Great Minds

Every person in recorded history who has had a great idea did not get there from scratch. They were springboarded towards that idea with the help of some external knowledge. It is impossible to solve a problem that you don’t even know about. Science is a fantastic example of this concept. I am by no means a scientist, but without Newton, there could not have been Einstein, at least not in the same sense. His contributions would have been different, if not altogether nonexistent. Without Einstein, no Hawking.

Part 2 — Question Everything

If you don’t already know who Alan Kay is, stop reading this and go watch any one of his vast number of fantastic talks. One of the points that Dr. Kay loves to make is that mindset and knowledge trump IQ every time. His classic example is that Leonardo Da Vinci was incredibly brilliant, and he was obsessed with creating an engine to power various vehicles that he prototyped through the decades that he was alive. He was unsuccessful. Henry Ford, on the other hand, was not nearly as brilliant, but with another 500 years of human knowledge under his belt, he was able to accomplish a task that eluded Da Vinci for decades.

Part 3 — Finding Yourself & Motivation

I certainly don’t mean to preach, and the title of this section was not chosen to diminish the reader to my level. If you remember I actually started this post by alluding to my own imperfections. This is targeted at those of us who are still on our journeys, or potentially even just now defining those things which are important to us.

Part 4 — Using Myself As An Example

I definitely have not reached the finish line of defining my own principles, but I am getting closer every day. Another great speaker who I have to thank for that is the wonderful Rich Harris of the NY Times, the guy who is also behind the svelte component framework. Perhaps this is just my own flawed perspective rearing its head yet again, but I think his talk on Rethinking Reactivity will be looked back on as one of the most impactful talks in the history of web development. The big takeaway from his talk, for me, is the idea of the framework as a compiler. Svelte is not the first thing to do this, not even the first front-end web framework. In fact, we have been using code generation since the ’60s and ’70s in the form of macros.

  • Alan Kay
  • Rich Harris


Software engineer, musician, and aspiring humanitarian. Call me Ty.

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