Try something like "Created X-PHP app in 2001. With one million downloads, X-PHP powers [large_number] sites as tracked by netcraft. (link here)"
You can't leave something like that out, it's an impressive accomplishment and ignoring it due to some PHP sensitivity is a bad idea.
The one and only purpose of a resume is to catch the eye of a reviewer and thus score you an interview. Once they see that you've published a 1M-download app and call you in for an interview then you can tell them what you've learned in the past ten years.
Think of it in terms of conversion rates. Some small percentage of resume readers are going to request an interview. Some smaller percentage of those are going to make an offer. You don't want to self-select your way out of that first pool.
Edit: I have old projects on my github that are ugly too. I put my misgivings in the readme. "This was written 5 years ago, it could stand to be modernized, the interesting parts are here (link)."
I interviewed and eventually hired the developer of a name-brand open source project years ago. I asked him about parts of the code, and after I hired him he confessed that he thought it was game over right at that moment of the interview: he was embarrassed about the PHP he'd written.
I didn't care a bit. He was a fantastic engineer, he recognized what he no longer liked about his old code, and most importantly he created and shipped a huge, popular project. Very few people can say that.
Claim it, be proud of it, and be prepared to talk about the mistakes you made.
That engineer, by the way, has now been at Google for years. He's doing just fine.
If you don't hate it, you aren't trying hard enough.
I would not equate hating the code with the code being something to be ashamed of.
I hate every goddamn piece of code I write.
It's much better to say "I wrote xxx and hate yyy design feature" than to say "I've never done anything".
If you are lucky they might even ask you about it in an interview, and then you'll get a chance to explain how & why you'd do things differently.
More likely, though, they'll see the name of it and go oh, I've heard of that - it seems to be used a bit so it can't be total crap and put you in the "interview this person" pile.
I too am now a bit embarrassed by the amateurish-ness of the code, and the security vulnerabilities within it. Previous versions of it back when I was actively working on it even hit Secuina security advisory lists under "high" and "severe" categories and led to my server getting hacked through a remote file include vulnerability (thanks PHP3/4 register_globals + allow_url_include INI settings on by default!). I learned a lot about PHP (in)security that summer, and had many angry users to deal with. Your experience surely can't be worse than that.
In addition, I too have NOT put the code on my GitHub account, because it's nothing like the code I produce today, and I don't want people to get the wrong idea about what kind of code I produce. I have never thought about just owning it and wearing it as some sort of badge of honor though - this thread has made me re-think that. It might be interesting to highlight its success and the lessons I learned through the process.
If a relatively non-techie person is reading your CV (i.e. if HR is doing pre-screening before passing select ones up the chain for consideration) they won't know to check the code quality, they'll just see that you were important for a significant project which proves you can handle yourself well technically.
If a techie person is looking at your CV, they will understand that a lot of code, especially code that is written in your own time so you don't have to go back and resolve QA issues, is far from ideal. If the project was popular, technically impressive, original, interesting, or any combination of the above if will be an advantage to you. A technical interviewer will probably bring it up in the interview, if they do you will be able to sell the good parts of it (and why they mean you'll be good in the position you are interviewing for) and discuss what you would do differently if you were starting now and why (which will give the interviewer a gauge of your ability to appreciate and learn from experience). Recognising a problem and how it can be addressed is more valuable in judging your real world (i.e. imperfect world) abilities than just talking about things that are right.
Disliking parts of your old code is normal. If you look back at your code from a few years ago and don't find things that make you cringe then either you were a savant, very lucky and "on form", had a lot of time to work on it which allowed for regular refactoring as the codebase grew, or (and this would be the worrying one) you just haven't learnt much in the intervening time.
In a backhanded way there is actually value that you can work effectively with "bad" code. Many places that are hiring are hiding their own shameful secret : they hate their own code. Sometimes something they are even screening for is to make sure the person is not going to baulk when they discover the reality of the code they are now involved in and who will be pragmatic enough to work with it try and make it better rather than declare it's a disaster and not their fault.
And yes, you include it. There are skills demonstrated in a popular open source project which are interesting and relevant, and very very few people are proud of the code they wrote in 2001, no matter who they are or what they do.
Anyone looking to hire you either grasps this, or isn't a sound enough developer to see past the popularity of the package. Either way you win.
True Story: I was in the same boat. Usually people have never used it, but google for it to verify it's real - and are suitably impressed.
However, one day I interviewed at a company who had not only heard of it, but actually used it in production! I couldn't help but blurt out "Really? The code is horrible isn't it." - This turned the tide of the interview, as it showed the interviewers I had the ability to objectively review code and learn from my mistakes.
I was hired, but had to suffer being the butt of all jokes for a long time.
I seem to remember an old piece by jwz talking about the "clean-up rewrite of Netscape" and how the poor folks who were doing it then had to re-fix and re-workaround all of the myrid ways that broken old versions of ftp servers implement the protocol. It was probably ugly code, but it worked, and the clean code only stayed that way until it met the enemy...
The fact that you belted something out that was useful and stable enough to still be active is a testament to your intelligence - and that is what a good potential hire employer is looking for.
BTW, you looking for a job in Durham? http://argylesocial.com/jobs/durham-nc-software-engineering-...
Of course it's not very impressive on a CV if no one uses it and no one's ever heard of it, so on balance I'd have to choose your predicament. Congratulations!
Also, some years ago I wrote an accounting application I wasn't particularly proud of and it was always with apprehension that I was going back to it to fix some minor bugs. Overall, it worked quite well though.
One day a coworker-friend IMed me to let me know that he had fixed a glimpse in it and said he was impressed at how lean the code was in it and how, ... You get the idea.
So two things: you will always hate your code because it's your creation, thus not/never perfect enough, and you will often find worse coders than you to provide some sort of relief :)
Most programmers - myself included - look at things we did last year, two years ago, etc and think "how awful is this?". I've yet to meet someone who doesn't.
Keep it on your resumĂ© - for all the reasons everyone else has posted.
Occasionally I have to dig out legacy projects in php and wonder how my code was ever scalable. My main thing was bad class decisions, naming and what to put in them.
If the code I had written had been downloaded a million times though, I think my view would be different, I would be proud of it. It doesn't get downloaded for no reason.
The only thing that matter is, if you had the chance to rewrite the code, would you know what to do differently? I think that's the real angle you should be going into an interview with. You have an app with a million downloads and if you were to do it all again then you would do X differently.
I don't know if you are referring to OsCommerce but I can tell you that is some pretty bad code in there but for the best part of 3 years I would use it on sites all the time. It doesn't make the idea any less brilliant.
If I were you, I'd milk that app's notoriety for all it's worth, though I might not make it too easy for people to find the code. Oh, and don't be ashamed of your baby. Even ugly babies are worthy of bragging if they're popular.
Yeah, well I did. Cool, I know. But hey, I like puppies better than kitties. Should I mention my amazing feat on this application to the NYC Fire Department?
Do you think the NYC FD will even care I saved 1.6 million kitties? Saving turtles is WAY cooler right now, sort of like node.js., I wouldn't want anyone to know that I was even good at saving kitties.
On the other hand, if you look at the question in a different way, you could say that the code (be it open source or not) every programmer must read before his end, is his own. As one looks at his life in one's deathbed, so should a programmer look at his code.
Quite the contrast with the Bourne Shell:"Nobody really knows what the Bourne shell's grammar is. Even examination of the source code is little help."â€" Tom Duffhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourne_shell#Quotes
As daunting and foreign as those threads seem to me, programming has a lot of known knowns - I can see where "how do I design" would be more daunting because it's such an unqualified expanse consisting almost completely of grey area. Stand before it, naked, putting yourself in the shoes of the designer, and imagine the horror of the client's most unspeakable words: "I can't explain it to you, but I'll know it when I see it."
All that aside, I think the advice that I've received from this community re: learning to program/hack is still sound as it applies to graphic design:
1) Have a project and work toward it. If you don't have one, make one. Be specific in your end goal.
This focus enables you to do the most important thing:
2) Steal like an artist. (via http://www.austinkleon.com/2011/03/30/how-to-steal-like-an-a...)
All the other advice in this thread is pretty legit. You probably don't even know what looks good, so don't start on your own. Do your research. Look at competitors in the space (or the closest you can find to it). Use open source/CC art. Follow the crumbs back to the artist's portfolios and see the other work they've done. Web and app design follows patterns and there are many pattern resources that you should use. Form follows function and usability should inform design: copy good patterns and make them great later. Copy copy copy.
And at the end of the day: hire a designer! It's a big ecosystem and we all need to eat.
The complete instructions were something like this:
1. Draw an oval.
2. Bisect the oval with a straight line.
3. Draw The Tick holding an oval bisected by a straight line.
Gets me every time. As a programmer, though, I actually do something similar for my artwork--except step 3 is "hire an artist".
I'm not sure I can bend my brain to work like that of an artist, but what I do is look at graphics design pieces and do A/B comparisons between them. What's better about one or the other? How are things aligned? What are the nuanced technical details of shading, shadows, colors, highlights? Why that font?
It's really the same procedure I use if I want to learn the best, say, coding style or technique for a language. I look at code, and compare it to other code, and choose which looks best, and analyze why that is.
That's very procedural. A lot of art people I've talked to just mess with stuff until it "feels right", whatever the hell that means. It works for them, though!
Logo's and "marketing stuff" are very different disciplines, although a good designer will be able to do both. A good logo makes the rest a lot easier.
The most sound general advice I can give you as a graphic designer is to focus on typography and whitespace.
When you get money, go back and email the artist(s) you liked best and ask them if they'd be willing to do some commissioned work.
There are plenty of on-line resources(1) to get started, but be aware that a lot of learning will be required. And that means a lot of failures. If you don't want your failures to be a part of your product/brand etc. then you should hire a professional(2).
Hire a designer - but for their design skills, not their photoshop skills.
You should (slowly) develop basic photoshop skills. This will let you go further before you hire a designer and also let you communicate with the designer much better.
1) Ask a designer friend to show you the very basics: layers, file format, resizing, colors, simple tools like text, bucket fill, etc.
2) Use a cheap Photoshop substitute - Paint.NET, Gimp or Pixelmator depending on your OS.
3) Learn by (i) watching a designer, (ii) reading online tutorials, (iii) trying simple stuff you need
Over the years, I've gone from simple to more complex:
- Crop & resize images and convert file formats.
- Convert transparent PNG icons to transparent GIF.
- Made very simple 16x16 transparent icons for web apps - by zooming in and toggling individual pixels!
- Changing the colors in a designer's graphic to try out different color themes in a web app.
- Simple text logos - watch a designer & you'll see a lot of this is about having a huge selection of fonts & picking a good font/color combination.
- Business card design - some cards are just good text, colors and alignment
- Basic fake miniature effect on some of my photos (following online tutorials)
- Simple app icons (again, online tutorials)
Edit: add opening paragraph
However, there are instances where this isn't always possible - sometimes I have to do some basic design. I've assembled a small collection of graphic/web design books that I try to make use of when I can. I'd recommend "The Non-Designers Design Book" and "Universal Principles of Design" to help you get started. In addition, I take screen clippings of interface elements that stand out to me and try to draw inspiration from them whenever I need to implement something similar.
I recommend the following resources:
1) Glyphish Pro icon pack - $25, pretty much everyone uses this high quality icon pack in their apps.
2) Tapworthy - Designing great apps - Great book with a lot of case studies and practical advice on grid based design, etc.
- choose at most 1 or 2 sizes (like 5pixels and 15pixels) - use only x*size for all your sizes (image sizes, margins, paddings) - choose only 2 or 3 colors (kuler.adobe.com). - check, double check and check again if what you created is easy to read/see. - check how your design looks in grayscale (will help the colorblind but is also a good contrast check)
I'm still figuring it out myself.
For web apps, I throw uncut, raw and basic app online and see if it rolls. When and only when I start getting signups and questions whether it will do X or Y, then and only then I start thinking about design.
I usually end up with either ripping ideas from some themeforrest theme and going my own route or just buy the theme and be done with it. Same for icons.
Bottom line is not to waste time.
I myself use a HTC Desire HD, which probably isn't in your budget :p
Most of my customers assume, all evidence to the contrary, that my products are made by some megacorp somewhere. (Most common guess that I've heard: made by Google, because they found it on the Googles.)
Interacting directly with early users also "humanizes" your company, which makes people both more forgiving of early mistakes as well as more likely to put a little bit of extra effort into helping you get better.
Listing on the Chrome Web store.
Asking friends and friends of friends.
Asking former colleagues.
Participating on relevant forums just answering people's questions, NOT pitching your product.
Tweeting product updates.
Using Olark to stalk visitors.
Emailing 3-5 popular, connected and intelligent strangers everyday to get feedback.
Writing a book.
Cross promoting and selling other popular products in the field to get to know customers.
In general, it'll probably work better with B2B offerings.
For both, though, giving some incentive to be an "early adopter" is a must.
My company is SaaS; to get some initial momentum, we offered early adopters their first year at a discounted rate, additional functionality at a fraction of the normal price, and an account credit if they connect us to another customer that ends up working with us.
We actually still do the latter; nothing is better than having your customers be your evangelists.
We needed the "well if big guy X" is using it then maybe it's worth checking out.
We met with some big guys and asked what else they would need to make it work for them. A few tweaks later and a 6 month free trial (plus discounted first year) and we were off to the races.
There are some customers who love us because we love feedback and work hard to implement the really good ideas.
Providing a free trial + personalized tweaks gave us the start we needed. It worked doubly well because we targeted the companies who have respect in the industry first.
1) Using social media (Facebook and twitter) for marketing
2) Make Facebook app/ Facebook fanpage it may help in viral growth
3) Search engine optimization
4) Service\content you are providing should be magnetic so that early visitors will be converted into early users
You can build an audience by making friends on hacker news, if you're known for making great contributions to the hacker communityyou can build audience. So it's important to be genuinely interested in the community. Once you have an audience you can make them an offer, and if it's any good you'll have customers. And interesting recent example of this is edw519 ebook. Ed genuinely enjoys the hacker news community and people enjoy his contributions which are basically his comments/submissions. I doubt his intentions was ever to sell an ebook of his comments, but he is doing that now, and the site promoting it has been viewed 20923 times, and that's only because he is part of the community and has an audience. see:http://edweissman.com/i-turned-my-hacker-news-comments-into-...
It's a small experiment on Ed's part, but it won't be worthwhile without an audience.If you're interested in more specific ways to build an audience stay tuned.
At my startup http://louderr.com we have been trying out as many ideas as possible to see what generates good CTR and loyal visitors. Word of mouth is working best, along with strategic advertising on social networks. Im looking forward to writing a blog post with lots of information about what worked and what didnt for us.
tl;dr: Guess and Check. Repeat. This is the hard part.
You don't mention what your motivations for setting up the site are. Since there appears to be no way to monetize it, there might be some other agenda?
Went off and took a look at govit.com site. A few comments:
The name "govit" just doesn't jell for me. I think you need something trendier, click2vote, SamClick ...
"Beta" suggests that the site isn't complete. Any progressive web site remains as work-in-progress as it adapts to the demands of the marketplace.
The concept appears to be sound. Needs heaps more marketing, PR, exposure, get talked about, get journalists quote your stats, etc. Yeah! lots of chicken or egg problems. But you have enough to build up momentum.
Let people sign in with Twitter as well as Facebook (which you have already). Encourage users to share the votes on FB, Twitter, etc (and make it easy for them to do so). Maybe have a weekly 'Featured Vote' or something. There are a lot of possibilities with a tool like this, it just needs some guidance. Giving people a way to "be heard" on issues that they care about is valuable.
what if you can turn it into a tool for government elected officials to engage with their constituencies - make it a tool that senators/their aides/whomever can ask questions of their supporters and collect feedback. You make it effectively a 'facebook for government' engagement?
Voting was used to set a comment to the "correct" level. Now no one can see where they're at, so good comments probably get more than they used to (depth).
Overall people don't think about points as much, so overall commenting is down (breadth).
PG should do another experiment where he hides the submitter and commenter names while showing the comment points for N hours (N tbd) after the comment goes live.
Looking at the distribution of comment karma before and after the change might give some clue as to that. Analysing two popular threads might be better, if we get the methodology right.
Likewise, if you're Amazon you can afford to send users contemplating buying away from your website with sponsored links because they will most likely come back to your big name site to complete the purchase. If you're not Amazon you probably don't want any distractions for the users not geared towards upsell.
To some extent their designs are stuck in a local maximum because their relative ugliness is part of their brand: if Craigslist tidied up their design they'd probably see a big rise in bounces from people confused by being sent to listings that don't look like Craigslist.
I think you'll find that really good design (and designers) always think of their audience first. This isn't just a design mindset, but a marketing one. That thinking is essential to creating any good product from a website to a cooking wok.
Regardless I think it matters. There have been a few threads on here about how developers can't design for crap, and engineer developed sites look ugly. So I give up. I'm going to finish coding my project, then pay some design firm to make my ugly baby pretty and launch.
While it may not the biggest part of design, graphics still do matter. "The way things look" plays a big role in how your eyes move through the space of your product, where your attention goes, and ultimately, where someone decides they've had enough and are ready to leave. Basic Examples: is the call-to-action button colored in a way that I can spot it instantly? Is the text readable enough that I'm not fatigued after a few posts?
There are other areas, but these are the key ones:
1) learnability -how fast can a first time (new) user figure out how to accomplish the primary tasks2) efficiency - how fast can a repeat user accomplish the primary tasks3) memorability - how fast can a user regain proficiency after a period of time
Core to this is understanding the primary tasks. Design is absolutely critical when you think about the essence of it as speed
Digg and Gawker are good examples of driving users away with bad design.
Which consumer segments are most price sensitive, and which are more likely to pay more for advanced features?Is improved technology enough to counter the advantages of having a dominant brand?How can I tie my consumer segmentation closer to actual feature preferences?Consumers say they're "very likely" to buy the product I want to develop. What does that really mean?
1. Caffeine and you: You have a certain sensitivity to this drug. You may also be misusing it. Generally speaking, it's a late morning, early afternoon only drug. Late morning is the only place it starts working as its an adenosine antagonist, and you don't start getting adenosine in any really effective amount in your brain until then. (Adenosine is the neurotransmitter which makes you sleepy because you've been up for a certain period of time).
If you drink coffee (or soda) when you wake up stop. Cup #1 of coffee is the Earliest you should use it, and shouldn't happen before about 13 hours before you want your "bed time" to be or about 3 hours after you get your butt out of bed (so let's say "11 am". All it does before then is a brief heart rate spike from the adrenaline surge, or possibly help with caffeine withdrawal from yesterday (which you will not have issues with if you use your caffeine only between say 11a-4p)
The bloodstream half-life of caffeine is 4.9 hours That means it takes about ~10 hours to 1/4 the amount of caffeine in your system as when you stopped drinking it. Additionally, as its an adenosine antagonist, its effectiveness skyrockets the later in the day you have it in you. So if you're shooting for a 12pm bedtime, stop drinking by 2pm-5pm to significantly reduce your blood stream level by bed time.
2. Your bed and you: What are you allowed to do in your bedroom from now on? Have sex, sleep, get dressed. That's it. If there is a tv in your bedroom, say bye bye. If you read in there, say bye bye. If you touch your bed during the day, stop it. If you're sitting there with thoughts for tomorrow, stop that. If you can't stop that, you have to schedule a time of day considerably earlier than bedtime where you lay out tomorrows tasks.
If you're laying in bed for more than 30 minutes without sleep, up and at em, go read in a different room.
3. Routine: You need to get into a set pattern. Set yourself a bedtime. Start winding down before that, not playing video games or watching TV, (especially sports or TV with lots of faces) in that hour before bed. Setup a ritual for sleep, including oral hygene, preparing for tomorrow, etc.
4. Reduce alcohol consumption: Alcohol lightens the depth of sleep. Especially while getting used to a schedule, restrict your intake.
5. Cool down your house at night. I don't care if you like the thermostat in the high 70's most of the time, at night you want high 60's and hide under warm blankets. It really really really will knock you out.
6. Lights are something people are sensitive to in varying degrees. I suggest erroring on the side of expecting yourself to be light sensitive. Use tools like f.lux to drop monitor brightness after sundown. Use timers to turn on/off lamps to make your house have a sundown. Eschew bright, overhead lights before bedtime. If your TV has multiple video settings, even make a TV setting that's overly dark to use past a certain hour.
On the flipside, try to get a North eastern room with lots of windows. Try to live as far south geographically as you can. Make lights turn on like crazy (again, timers) before you want to be waking up. Create lots of noise in your living space (not alarms, but things like tvs, etc) around the time to get up.
7. Eat breakfast, and to really reset yourself, eat nothing 16 hours before you want to wake up. (This works VERY well to fix jetlag).
Hacks for getting to sleep at a specific time:
- Take an hour long walk, go to the gym or go running during the day to get more tired.
- Try to get exposed to direct sunlight during the day, this is supposed to do something in your brain that helps it maintain the circadian cycle.
- Use F.Lux to keep your monitor from blasting your brain with sunlight analogue wavelengths in the evening.
- Try a cold shower or a cold bath about an hour before bedtime. Several people have reported that this helps them sleep.
- Have a schedule for doing specific non-open-ended stuff that doesn't get you anxious or worked out for half-an-hour to an hour before bedtime. The repeating ritual will prime your brain for sleep.
- Don't read in bed. Make your brain associate being in bed only with sleeping.
- Try meditation. Either do sitting meditation right before bed, or do mindfulness meditation while lying in bed.
- Maintain a very small sleep deprivation, like sleeping half an hour less than you would without any alarms, to fall asleep quickly.
- Fast during the day and eat a carbohydrate heavy meal right before bed. Post-dinner coma will knock you out.
Hacks for waking up:
- Set an alarm 60 or 90 minutes before the time you really wake up, eat a 100 mg caffeine pill and go back to sleep. The caffeine will kick in while you're asleep and you'll wake up when it's fully effective.
- Get a sunrise lamp or rig one up yourself with a power timer. The light will prime your brain for getting up when it's time to wake up.
- If you have a smartphone with an accelerometer, see if there's a smart alarm clock app that will detect when you're sleeping lightly and wake you up then. There's ElectricSleep for Android and EasyWakeup for iPhone.
- Committing to attending something early in the morning like 8 AM will make you anxious to wake up and get up in time. Anxiety isn't very fun though.
- Use mind judo to get up from bed without willpower: http://lesswrong.com/lw/fh/willpower_hax_487_execute_by_defa...
- If you've gotten yourself out of the bed at the time you want, but feel like going right back in, try a shower, a walk, or a run to make your body wake up a bit more.
It's much harder to spend two consecutive nights sleeping much less than usual to adjust to an early wakeup time than a single night.
- I drink a lot of caffeine (studies show that after a regular, high level of caffeine intake it doesn't affect your sleep patterns anymore).
- I take a 1 hour nap every day (usually around 3 pm)
- I go to sleep around 11 pm
- I naturally wake up around 4 am with no alarm
I like this schedule because I get a lot done before everyone gets up and then I have the whole day ahead. Plus, I really like taking naps.
Edit: Just wanted to add that I'm not naturally what you would consider a "morning person". My previous schedule for the last several years was something like: wake up at 2 pm, work, go to sleep at around 6 am, rinse, repeat. I kind of stumbled into my current schedule by accident.
There's a good wikipedia page on it ; go read that , read the whole thing .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_sleep_phase_syndrome
I got my diagnosis 3 years ago , after a melatonin-test . I had to do 24 saliva samples at 24 consecutive hours , they tell you from the graph whether your melatonin production is off .
The 'fix' is to take melatonin , as a pill , same time every night . For some that's close to a cure , for others it isn't (it drags my sleep phase about 50% towards a normal phase , if i take it further than that the fatigue kicks in again ) .Once you get diagnosed a doctor would start you off at 5mg , you can lower the dose later on .
So go get diagnosed , unless you think you can diagnose yourself .
I stumbled across an illuminating graph on the trends page of my Google Web History: http://imgur.com/Or18c
I've got that 3 am to noon gap, just like the OP describes. I used to think I was on a 25+ hour cycle, but now I'm thinking I just generally like to go to sleep late. If something grabs my attention and I end up staying awake a few hours later than usual, the sun comes up and that makes it harder to go to sleep... thus leading to what seems like a > 24 hour sleep/wake cycle.
Exposure to sunlight seems to help somewhat.
Maybe consulting a professional would be a good idea. Prescription drugs. I never cared enough to go that far.
I used to have really serious insomnia and I took co-q-10 in the morning for several years to help adjust my brain chemistry in terms of the sleeping and waking cycle. At one time, I didn't tolerate melatonin very well. If I took it, I felt half asleep for up to three days. Co-q-10 is the co-enzyme for melatonin. Taking melatonin does not cause the body to produce more co-q-10 (which is made in the body in a complex multi-step process and is often deficient because of a bottleneck at one or more step). But taking co-q-10 does cause the body to produce a melatonin spike something like 12 hours later. So if you need to adjust your brain chemistry in terms of the waking and sleeping cycle, co-q-10 addresses both halves of the equation whereas melatonin only addresses one half of it. I routinely recommend it as a means to address such issues.
I actually found that for me it seemed like that spike came more like 14 hours later rather than 12 but my body doesn't work right to begin with. I no longer supplement with co-q-10 but took quite high doses of it at one time and took it consistently for several years. I have heard that a magnesium deficiency is one of the things that will cause a co-q-10 deficiency. So I think treating for underlying deficiencies can eventually help the body produce its own supply and stop needing the supplements. I've worked really hard on underlying health and I no longer need this as a supplement and sleep a lot better than I used to.
-- Michele, BioHacker (thanks to pumpmylemma for that term :-) )
After enough practice runs, the poster claimed that in the morning he would automatically rise when his alarm went off and begin his morning routine. He claimed that he didn't really fully wake up until later.
I've discovered a few tricks:
1) Never rely on the alarm clock if I'm going to bed less than an hour or two before wake-up time (it's easy to sleep through). I'm probably going to make a much more substantial alarm clock and "here's what happened while you were asleep" briefing system using a TV, computer controlled room lights, etc. Other good alarm clocks: a cat which is trained to expect food whenever you wake up, or a girlfriend (or boyfriend, whatever is desired) who is a morning person.
2) Make sure the "wake up, become functional" process is inherently streamlined; get clothes, bags, etc. all ready the night before.
3) Remove any willpower from the "wake up, begin getting ready" process; once you make it a decision, vs. automatic, it becomes easy to just hit snooze over and over, and makes the actual waking up process itself more stressful. I usually feel great 1-2 minutes after I wake up, and almost always feel great once I'm fully awake, in the shower, etc., but the first 5-10 seconds is not as good -- and that can drag out to hours if you stay in bed trying to decide if you should wake up or sleep longer.
I'm slowly starting to feel less groggy every morning therefor enjoying more my days. This, inevitably makes me be more productive during the day which in turn makes me spend more energy feeling more tired earlier, thus going to be at more reasonable hours. A good vicious cicle if you will.
Also, I started swimming for about 45 minutes around two to three hours before bed time. Guaranteed Knockout.
I'm not a morning person, but if I've been up for more than an hour or two, eaten breakfast and gone for a walk before the events of the day start, I could probably fool you. The trick is to get up and get started.
Traveling abroad highlights my problem. In China I will be up at 5:00am (and enjoying it and wanting to make it last) the first few days, then my schedule will start to drift later and later until I am all screwed up again. As a dad I simply have to get up early sometimes and these fall asleep at 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00am get up at 6:30am days just wreak havoc on me and, sadly, I do not "adjust".
What's more, I had a job where for several years I had to get up every single morning at 5:15am. I was told "You'll adjust when you are forced to do it long enough". Nope. I never did. I'm becoming convinced some people just can't. It sucks, by the way.
1) Set an alarm clock for 5am, and wake up.
2) No caffeine after 12pm
3) Daily exercise
4) No computer use after 5pm.
5) Go to sleep as soon as I'm tired.
* * *
I wish I were one of the elite who didn't need to adhere to these rules religiously to become a morning person, but I know that I need ALL of them. No exceptions allowed.
I think that another one of the reasons that it cures my insomnia is that by getting up early and setting an intention for my day, I get into my purposeful mode and my thoughts become organized accordingly. Good karma. Neuroscience in the Tao te Ching?
Another important component to me being able to stick to these rules is that I have a significantly personally compelling reason to be awake, something to do with my time, but more importantly something to fill all the extra hours. i.e. I need to have a reasonably accurate prediction of how I will spend the next day's time by the night before.
That said, not everyone is a morning person. If you feel better being a nightowl, just try to adjust your life to it as much as possible.
Am I the only one who believes we should maybe consider changing a few things in the way the whole thing works?
- A lot of people are clearly way more productive durring the night. I've seen this applying to coders and to people that need to write essays but I guess there are more categories that fit into this.
- We don't all need the same amount of sleep. My almost-60 years old father can work intensively for around 12 hours (he is a taxi driver in a place that's like hell during the summer months), then work a bit more relaxed for 5-6 more hours and only needs a few hours of sleep every night (usually 3 to 5). Now, compare this to me: I just can't function properly if I don't get at least 6 hours of sleep (and that's a rather positive number, I usually need around 10 to bet completely okay).
- And then, summer people have no standard needs and can live with one hour of sleep now, then a few hours of work, then some more sleep, and so on.
I am not able to suggest a particular new system of daily life but I think we should discuss the topic. Maybe less days with each day being bigger and two "cycles" of productivity at each?
When I was working, my trick was this:
I made a stack of stuff on top of my alarm clock (my iPhone) by my bed in the morning, and kept it far enough away from me that I couldn't just slap it. On top of it, I put my work out clothing and my running shoes.
I also make sure that the alarm clock is loud enough to scare me awake as the adrenaline dump into the system makes it impossible to fall asleep. My wife wears earplugs.
First thing I do is run, usually a 5k or 10k run in the morning depending. It helps clear the head, and I'm awake for the day.
Right now I run at night, which makes me wired, but I find showering and benadryl takes care of that. And also the 22 month old that I'm now home with every day.
I was born a morning person, but high school and college forced me to abandon that lifestyle. Eventually my body caught up to me (10 years later) and I had to go back to being a morning person again. It was a simple thing to fall back into... I just started going to sleep around 9 or 10 in the evening. The nice thing is I now wake up without an alarm after 8 hours. Getting some early morning exercise and a decent breakfast help, too. Cutting back on caffeine as well - I dropped coffee for a few blends of tea, mostly green.
(The one thing that doesn't help is being up at 12:30 AM on a Saturday morning waiting for the cross-compile of a linux kernel for my used-to-be-Nook to finish. This is almost as slow as bootstrapping Gentoo from stage1.)
I get up at 7 a.m. ; sometimes even at 6:30 a.m. Even if I have periods of time in which I go to sleep at 2 a.m. I still have to get up at 7 a.m.
The golden rule in such a case -- don't sleep during the day; ever. If you worked late last night, and feeling tired, wait at least for 10 p.m. to go to sleep.
After few days of such treatment you'll be more morning person than you've ever been.
Don't try to stop taking melatonine unless you are very strong willed (which you are probably not).
You may want to reduce the dose to 1 mg and 3 mg if you notice it's enough.
What finally saved me was a combination of herbal sleep aids and caffeine pills. Every evening I put a caffeine pill on my nightstand and popped it the second the alarm clock went off. Mid-way through my shower, I would actually start to wake up. (For some reason, just drinking coffee in the morning never helped much). I can't tell you how good it felt actually to be awake in the morning, I can't imagine heroin feels any better.
My body still wanted to stay up past midnight many nights... I found that taking kava or valerian before bed would allow me to get enough restful sleep before the alarm went off.
This regimen changed my life and made it possible to be a much more productive and creative person. After about five years, my internal clock finally adjusted somewhat, and I was able to do away with the pills and function normally in the mornings without them. I still keep some around for backup, but I find I can now make reasonable choices of sleep and wake time without recourse to drugs.
I don't know if it's wise to recommend such a plan to another, but if I could go back 20 years and tell myself one sentence, "valerian" and "caffeine pills" would be in it.
If you get a 9-5 job after a while your body learns. I used to wake up at 3pm regularly (and hate myself) but after a couple of years doing the 9-5 I can't sleep in past 9:30 anymore.
I'm only mid twenties now but I swear getting out of bed is easier now than as a teenager.
Unfortunately I am slipping back, I am doing a masters but have no more classes, every night I work a bit later because I know I don't have to be up early, so I wake up a little later, repeat. Its a spiral which I need to break.
I will cheat if I went to bed > 12:00.
Why rise at insane times? Because there are far too many awesome things I want to do that day, and as soon as I wake up they pop into my head. Between 6 and 9 I do whatever I want, so I use it to read about interesting tech stuff, perhaps do a little planning, check Facebook without being stalked, etc.
- Figuring out the most efficient way to make an omelet and coffee, in the least amount of time. Since you only get one shot at breakfast, you will have to try again the next day, and eventually build up your craft.
- Outdoor bike rides for both exercise and exploration. I luckily live in Berkeley, so there are plenty of bike-friendly paths and streets, but having the wind in your face, getting exercise, and exploring new areas of your city helps wake my mind up.
- However, the best for me when I was in a corporate job was to set my alarm for 5, have my gym bag and work clothes packed the night before, take the subway to the gym and shower there. I'd eat breakfast when I get to work. Breakfast for a while was granola (carbs), Siggi's yogurt (nice protein boost) and Yerba mate.
It's a shameless plug, but since I'm proud to be a morning person, I'm writing a series of posts called "Morning People Unite" that might help you and others get motivated:
2. Have child
One thing that is going to work very often is the need for the toilet. Drink a lot before bed, you will wake up well and roughly at the right time. I've only ever once woken up too early for the toilet, and without turning the bathroom light on, went back to sleep easily.
Since that revelation I have stopped fighting it and just accepted that I am not. I don't sleep more than about 7 hours a day so there is no major problem with this approach.
Try just accepting that you don't really want to be a morning person and see if that works for you.
Hope that helps.
I heard about this one guy who mastered never sleeping by taking a number of power naps per day - and that it makes for more productivity working around the clock...
I'm 8 weeks in to the 12 week programme. It's just 45 minutes three times a week and I'm stronger and healthier than I've ever been.
The best exercise I'd recommend to anyone starting: the kettle bell. Do 50 reps (you'll need to break them up at the beginning) with 40-50lbs. If you don't see a change with those you never will.
easy to remember, easy to do, quick burst of energy; but don't get sweaty
Also - do wall pushups (25 at a shot) for 300 a day. As well as squat: hold for 1 min, every hour. Can do in bathroom or stairwell for privacy.
Also, I don't slog 12-15 hours per day with all night coding.
I hated lifting weights and running for my whole life, so it's quite enjoyable to spend four or five hours a week getting a great workout where my mind is constantly being challenged also.
The founder of the art called it "the triumph of intellect over brawn". But you will get fit practicing it...
1) get a good night's sleep [I actually lost about 20 lbs just by getting more than 1.5 hours a night of sleep]
2) eat a large breakfast [the best pattern is large breakfast, large lunch, light dinner]
3) take breaks whenever there's a respite in the work [just stand up and walk around a little bit before getting back to keyboard]
I avoid coffee and drink Lipton herbal tea.
â€˘ Operations wanted order status
â€˘ Affiliate marketing wanted a promo
â€˘ Corporate affiliate marketing wanted a promo
â€˘ The merchandizing people wantedâ€¦merch promos
â€˘ The bizdev people wanted ads and partner logos.
â€˘ Ad nauseam.
Balancing the interests of all these groups, who seemed not even dimly aware that they existed only to the extent that the whole thrived, was difficult. (CDnow was eventually bought by Bertelsmann and turned into a redirect to Amazon, by the wayâ€¦)
I can imagine similar conversations regarding the content of the Microsoft front page title. And there's probably extensive internal front page title page kremlinology, where employees track the waxing and waning of various business groups by watching what the keeper of the page title deems worth highlighting, and in what order.
If you buy into the Apple v Microsoft meme then maybe that comparison is somewhat meaningful. Personally, I don't buy in given their primary organization around B2C and B2B respectively.
It's hardly as if any of this has an effect on sales - and to the degree it does, one would suspect that Microsoft's title would drive more traffic to their site than Apple's or Oracle's - again, Google and Yahoo don't really have a comparable business model.
If you want ugly corporate title tags, look at the pages for HP/Palm's products. They always seemed amateurish.
TouchPad | Laptop TouchPad | TouchPad Computer
HP Pre3 | Business Smartphone, Business Mobile Phones
Palm USA | Palm Pixi Plus Phone | Features, Details
Palm USA | Palm Pre Phone | Features, Details
(The last one is for their "applications" page.)
so they are using SEO for getting on first page on search engines :)
I find their websites so detached from each other, the deeper you get into the microsoft site, the more the theme changes.
It seems they are trying to draw attention to their homepage for searches for Software, Smartphones, etc. when in reality they should be choosing one focus for the homepage, and optimizing category or subpages for various specialities (Cloud Computing, IT Business Technology, etc).
But I strongly recommend you check out Programming iOS 4:http://oreilly.com/catalog/0636920010258
It's still in development and has just been updated to cover Xcode 4. I've been reading the previous edition and it's brilliant: great writing and the first half of the book is applicable to both iOS and desktop Cocoa development. As a relatively new Mac developer (1-2 years) this really consolidated my knowledge of Apple's frameworks and Objective-C.
Since then i never send important messages any more over facebook. There is no way you can be sure they got the messages or can find out why they don't got them. E-Mail feels less like a black box.
As an author I'm wondering how useful it would really be. After all, if you already have a large following, getting a publishing deal would be pretty easy. And if you don't have a large following, then you're getting little to no money through the site. Is the site designed to actually help you gather an audience, or is it expected that people will divert their existing audience from other means (social media, etc)
I'm assuming if I give money I'd get the book for free (at least digital version). And how much would I have to give to get this. Would I get anything else? Like maybe a "funders-only epilogue" or something?
My wife is always saying that there are many authors on there that ought to focus on getting non-derivative work published (if they aren't already).
I imagine authors could use pseudonyms for their fundraising?
That said, maybe I'll send you a chapter. :)
I lean towards Hacker News' style: boring/minimalist/functional.
My logic: almost everyone who succeeds did so with a trail of 'no' behind them and the only way to get those is to put yourself out there. YC's application was something I labored over for a couple weeks and feel I got a great deal of value from that process alone... this is no different and I would have hoped that everyone applied.
We've been too busy to actually promote it since launching, but also not really sure how best to go about it. We get a bit of organic search traffic, but it's not enough to make the effort worth it so far.
I actually searched for components like ours before embarking on the projects that needed them, and would have happily paid for them, assuming source code was provided. The iOS platform isn't that stable and I'd be very worried about relying on the developer to update the component(s) fast enough in case of breaking changes. I don't know whether that means there's a sustainable market out there, but I do know some people do make a decent amount of cash with it.
One thing I haven't seen elsewhere are trial versions. We provide an x86-only binary + headers for free, which means it only runs in the Simulator.