TITLE: The Will to Run, or Do Anything Else AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: November 18, 2010 3:43 PM DESC: ----- BODY: In "How Do You Do It?", an article in the latest issue of Running Times about how to develop the intrinsic motivation to do crazy things like run every morning at 5:00 AM, ultrarunner Eric Grossman writes:
The will to run emerges gradually where we cultivate it. It requires humility -- we can't just decide spontaneously and make it happen. Yet we must hold ourselves accountable for anything about which we can say, "I could have done differently."
Cultivation, humility, patience, commitment, accountability -- all features of developing the habits I need to run on days I'd rather stay in bed. After a while, you do it, because that's what you do. I think this paragraph is true of whatever habit of thinking an doing that you are trying to develop, whether it's object-oriented programming, playing piano, or test-driven design. ~~~~ Eugene speaking at Tech Talk Cedar Valley, 2010/11/17 Or functional programming. Last night I gave a talk at Tech Talk Cedar Valley, a monthly meet-up of tech and software folks in the region. Many of these developers are coming to grips with a move from Java to Scala and are peddling fast to add functional programming style to their repertoires. I was asked to talk about some of the basic ideas of functional programming. My talk was called "Don't Drive on the Railroad Tracks", referring to Bill Murray's iconic character in the movie Groundhog Day. After hundreds or thousands of days reliving February 2 from the same starting point, Phil Connors finally comes to understand the great power of living in a world without side effects. I hope that my talk can help software developers in the Cedar Valley reach that state of mind sooner than a few years from now. If you are interested, check out the slides of the talk (also available on SlideShare) and the code. both Ruby and Scheme, that I used to illustrate some of the ideas. -----