How to work with me: a follow-up

Looking at traffic sources for this blog, I noticed that one of them isn't spam —shocking! I skimmed through it and the comments, but it was particularly the title, Servant Mentality, what caught my attention.

The comments there and in general the ones I saw here and on Hacker News were very particularly polarized: on one end, those who take offense. On the other, those that don't.

The software industry, and the psychology of programming languages fundamentally changes the psique of humans.

I'm not saying it is the only thing that does it, nor that it does it to everyone, but there is strong correlation.

When programming, optimization becomes part of everyday vocabulary: from actual algorithm optimization and latency analysis to timeline estimates and defect triage. One thing learned is, there is no silver bullet, only incremental improvements applied to the measured bottlenecks.

There are those who take passion in what they do and take the lessons to "hack" their lives too. Optimizing life can become a very entertaining hobby worth talking about with those who share the passion for it.

Optimizing doesn't come without downsides.

Eventually, some people realize that sugar-coating things are a sign of uncertainty, as there is no need to beat around the bush when respect is not in jeopardy. You say what you want and how, expect an honest response or rebuttal and iterate until a better state is reached.

Turns out that the extreme logical mind can often be at odds with an emotional mind with regards to criticism: the logical —optimizer— mind can take joy in pointing out defects and addressing them —self included, objectively— while the emotional mind can be obstructed and manipulated by an immature ego which by fear defends actions as if they were immutable extensions of the self; defending work as if they were actual appendages at risk.

It is immature and ineffective to argue otherwise, but logic also dictates that friction is ineffective which is where “pick your battles” comes from.


When reading the list, the vast majority of the readers are picturing an imaginary author. When I read it, I picture a real author because I actually know him. So it's natural for the former to project their insecurities and frustrations and reveal a lot about themselves, unknowingly.

To those with reasonable arguments —in either direction— thank you.

To the whiners, thank you. Your unreasonable arguments are entertaining. Haters gun’ hate.

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