Cool things I read this week (14-Dec-2014)

I read. A lot. And I share the five best things I read every week. This week’s topics includes the biography of a doctor, a DHH career AMA, a Bruce Eckel commencement address, Amazon’s editorial policies and a cool snake video.

1. Ignaz Semmelweis: A doctor that went mad trying to change the medical establishment
2. DHH career AMA
3. A Bruce Eckel commencement address
4. Amazon, editors and hyphens
5. You can complete Snake!


My notes:

1. Ignaz Semmelweis: A doctor that went mad trying to change the medical establishment
My current client is a healthcare start up. Over the last couple of years, I have become interested in the patient safety aspect of the US healthcare system. I am able to appreciate the difficulty involved in changing the habits of physicians and other healthcare providers. This biography of Ignaz Semmelweis was another reminder that it is tough, but possible, to change the medical establishment. The story of Ignaz Semmelweis is the story of a doctor who wanted surgeons to wash their hands before surgery. The medical establishment fought him tooth and nail because, back in the day, it was considered impolite to suggest that a gentleman’s hands were not clean. Ignaz Semmelweis seemed to lack the finesse to change the medical establishment and waged a vitriolic war against them. The story has a bitter sweet ending. Ignaz went mad and died in an asylum. But shortly after his death, Louis Pasteur’s germ theory was introduced and proven. The evidence based medical school changed its habits and Ignaz’s recommendations were accepted.

2. DHH career AMA
I am a fan of Basecamp, the company formerly known as 37Signals. I like how they think about business. I also like that they eschew VC money. I also like that they take their time to grow. I also like that they are focused. I also like that they emphasize written skill. Given all that, I liked reading this AMA. The thing that stood out to me was how clearly DHH was able to articulate his views on a range of subjects.

3. A Bruce Eckel commencement address
While writing up a blog post, I re-read this old piece again. I seemed to understand so much more of it now that I am more experienced. Worth a read.

4. Amazon, editors and hyphens
An author rips apart Amazon’s editorial high handedness. I liked the article primarily because it is well written. I actually *felt* the author’s angst.

5. You can complete Snake!
My first cell phone, courtesy my sister, was a Nokia 3650. It had this game called snake. I spent many hours playing snake. I liked this video showing you can complete snake just because it bought back memories of me playing snake.


This will be the last ‘things I read’ post of 2014. I will resume writing this series from the 25th of January, 2015. Happy new year!

Arunkumar Muralidharan
I want to find out what conditions produce remarkable software. A few years ago, I chose to work as the first professional tester at a startup. I successfully won credibility for testers and established a world class team. I have lead the testing for early versions of multiple products. Today, I run Qxf2 Services. Qxf2 provides software testing services for startups. If you are interested in what Qxf2 offers or simply want to talk about testing, you can contact me at: mak@qxf2.com. I like testing, math, chess and dogs.

© 2013-2017, Arunkumar Muralidharan. All rights reserved.

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