Archive for August, 2014

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Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Recently, I heard designer Stephen Hay talk about the concept Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. The idea resonated with me. Now, I don't mean to delve into Buddhist teachings. I'm by no means an expert on that. What I'd like to broach is the more practical implications of this phrase - or at least one possible interpretation thereof. Maintaining a beginner's mind that's curious to learn, try and fail keeps you from getting into a rut. It means being open-minded, avoiding the well-trodden path. Such ... Read more

Deep Learning for NLP

Richard Socher, Chris Manning and Yoshua Bengio have created a tutorial on "Deep Learning for NLP (without Magic)". The tutorial includes slides and two videos of talks held on the subject. It deals with how deep learning algorithms can be applied in natural language processing. Deep learning is a set of algorithms and models which work under the assumption that observed data is generated from multiple layers of hidden representations that interact with each other. Although not really new and for some ... Read more


Last week I was asked by a friend what I consider the most important aspects of leadership. Spontaneously, I came up with the following two: transparency dependability A good leader should always be open about her objectives and the team's goals. She's supposed to communicate timely and clearly - especially when it comes to bad news. A leader should also be dependable, i.e.: She should adhere to her decisions, admit when she's wrong and not act behind people's backs or have an agenda of ... Read more

Atomic Design

Recently, I came across an interesting concept called Atomic Design. In a nutshell, Atomic Design favours systems of reusable components in lieu of monolithic pages. Now, don't get me wrong. This is nothing utterly new, of course. Style guides and brand guidelines always consisted of reusable and combinable components, fonts and colours. However, in traditional web design up to the mid-aughts designs used to be rather fixed, rigid and monolithic. It wasn't until relatively recently that due to the responsive design movement ... Read more

Automating Boilerplate Software Development

Recently, I've come across an interesting service called Prelang and an open source project named Rails Composer that both strive to do away with a lot of the common boilerplate coding that comes with the initial setup of web apps. Interestingly, both target Ruby on Rails, a framework that prides itself in its DRY and convention over configuration approach towards programming. Hence, one wouldn't exactly expect Rails developers to be affected by tedious boilerplate programming that much. By and large, this probably ... Read more