Preslav Mihaylov

Speaker, Software Engineer, Technical Trainer. Passionate about computer science, presentations and reading books

Should you listen to what other people say?

Taking decisions in life is hard. Especially if they concern our future. One of the classical examples we have all gone through is deciding what career path to follow after we graduate.

And there are many people – parents, relatives, friends, unknowns, who try to give us their valuable advice about our own future. Some will tell you to go study medicine or law since it is so well paid. Others will tell you to study economics, because everyone in your family was an economist and you should continue the chain. And some will tell you to follow your passion and do what makes you happy.

And all of this friendly help makes things even more complicated. Some people blindly agree on what their parents say, since they are their superiors. Others act more rebelliously and do the exact opposite of what others told them and write stuff like “I don’t care about what other people think or say” on their Facebook walls.

I have gone through both periods myself. I know the struggle and I have also received advice about my future when I was graduating and I continue receiving it even these days any endeavor I take.

What has changed, however, is my approach and way of thinking about the issue.

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The process of achieving a meaningful goal

Some time ago, I told you my story of becoming a better player in League of Legends. There was some kind of flaw in my skills and I decided to change that. So I started watching some YouTube videos about becoming a better LoL player.

But the key to mastering that game was not in studying all sorts of fancy game mechanics or memorizing the items to buy for each hero. It was in adopting a mindset of always blaming yourself instead of your team for the mistakes you all make. That helped me skyrocket my overall gameplay and after a while, I was able to climb the ranked ladder of the game and I moved from the weakest division to being among the top 5% of the players in my server.

This achievement was quite improbable at first. So since then I had been wondering – how could adopting such a philosophy make me a better player in the game? Why didn’t all the mechanics I had watched help me, but instead it was this simple thought of always blaming yourself that released the handle of my potential?

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Understanding Standard Input and Output

This article is part of the series What you won’t learn in the basics courses and is aimed at people who have an understanding of programming, but want to gain a more deeper insight on how things work and why do they work that way.

Somewhere in the first lectures of a programming basics course, we are shown how to take input and show output on the terminal. That’s called standard input/output or just Standard IO for short.

So, in C# we have Console.WriteLine and Console.ReadLine.
In C++, we have cin and cout.

All these things are associated with the topic of Standard IO. And what they tell us is that the standard input is the keyboard and the standard output is the screen. And for the most part, that is the case.

But what we don’t get told is that the Standard IO can be changed. There is a way to accept input from a file and redirect output to another file. No, I’m not talking about writing code to read/write files. I am talking about using the Standard IO for the job, via the terminal.

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Keeping yourself organized in today’s world

Somewhere around the start of the school year, we had to prepare our student books. We had to get some signatures, some photos and getting all the needed data on it. I was always the last one to do that. One particular year, my class teacher gave me my students book, after the head teacher had signed it, and said: “Don’t lose it this time”.

“Of course I won’t” I said confidently and went back to my desk. One week later, a man came to school and said he had found a lost students book. The teacher wasn’t surprised when he found out it was mine. The funny thing is that only when I received it did I realize I had lost it in the first place.

As time passed, I finished school, learned new things and advanced myself greatly. But one thing did not change – my carelessness.

But now, I ought to be more responsible if I am to be taken seriously as a professional. That is why,  I have discovered a framework which has helped me transition from a careless boy to a responsible person.

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The productive developer

When I started my first job, I was really excited as I realized that this is the point at which I start programming professionally. But once I got to actual work, there was some kind of flaw in my performance. I was trying to do my tasks from the moment I came until I finished. But while doing so, I constantly distracted myself with social media. And when I got assigned a huge task, I felt overwhelmed and it was extremely hard to even start doing it, just because I realize how much work I have to do in order to finish it. I just couldn’t keep myself productive.

But at one point, I realized that my approach was totally wrong.  Today, I will show you a system, which has become an extremely useful tool for me, that aids me at feeling satisfied with my work and delivering maximum output.

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