Hey, Happy Tuesday!
Hope you enjoy this week’s letter. As always, if you have any feedback, thoughts, or comments I would love to hear them.
📜 Quote of the week
Deliberate practice is the only serious way of becoming better at what we are doing.
How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens
Approaching everything in life deliberately is key. Otherwise, it is a waste of time. As I have been building my Zettelkasten, one of the biggest themes so far is Intention. Living life with intentions is key to success, happiness, and all that good mumbo jumbo.
♟️ The World of Chess
Ever since I was a kid my dad told me that learning to play chess can give you a great advantage in life. In chess, you are forced to think a few moves ahead. In chess, you have to make a move based on what you think your opponent will do. It is easy to see how this applies to life.
Even though my dad told me about the importance of chess I didn’t aspire to be a grandmaster. I just got a good enough skill to play with average players (thinking one move ahead). I never went to classes, only played with my dad as a kid (wasn’t fun at all). When I turned 17 my dad had another son, and by the age of 5, he started to attend chess classes. Now that I am 24 and he is 7, he beats me easily. I couldn’t let that go and started to take my chess practice a little more seriously.
One of the advantages of being an adult is that I can be a little more intentional with my learning. I want to tell you how I approached my learning and share a few resources that you might find useful.
Here is a general strategy to improving your game at earlier stages (Beginner - Advanced Beginner) by nvisel:
- Play games, with real people, not with the computer.
- The rule of thumb for beginner improvement is to just try NOT to give away free pawns and pieces, but always take free pawns and pieces from your opponent.
- Tactics puzzles are the best thing you can do for your game starting off (lichess.org or chesstempo.com is free, while chess.com has a free daily limit).
- Don’t spend a lot of time on openings, but do spend time understanding opening “principles”:
- Control the center.
- Develop your pieces (Try to get all of your pieces developed).
- Try to not move your pieces more than once in the opening.
- Castle early.
Great advice. I decided to go a little further. After each game on chess.com, I analyze the game and go through the key moments. For this, I have purchased a gold membership that costs me around $2.5 per month. For each mistake that the computer found in my game I try to find the solution. Once I found the perfect move I make a screenshot and add it to my Anki Chess Deck. This allows me to memorize the best moves for the mistakes I’ve made in the past. The hope here is that if I remember the mistakes I made earlier I won’t repeat them again.
On the “castle early” advice. I will have to disagree with that. In the beginning when you are developing your pieces each move matters and can be a big differentiator of the game. Castling can be a waste of such a move. But, I can’t disagree that King’s Safety of the most importance, hence there must be a balance. Once you see your opponent starting the offensive game, think about castling.
In my research, I have found a cool about the weakest point for the Black pieces early on in the game. It is the pawn on f2. The reason for its weakness is that the only piece that defends this piece is the King.
Even though you should not learn openings early on, it can be useful to get familiar with them. You can do that on The Chess Website
Finally, if you have the free time and desire, you should read a book on Chess Fundamentals by one of the greatest players in history, José Raúl Capablanca. The book is available for free on Gutenberg.
🐍 The World of Django Tutorials
I’m still on a journey of improving my full-stack skills. On the frontend side, I’m still jumping around different Frameworks like React, Vue and StimulusJS. It’s pretty common for frontend developers to jump around like that. On the backend side, people are less jumpy. I for instance have chosen Django as my main framework for backend development. I’m happy with that choice.
Knowing that I found one framework to work with has helped my productivity, when it comes to personal projects. Since I am not looking to switch any time soon, it would be important to find good sources for Django related tutorials. This week, I’d like to share two awesome tutorials I have found. The coolest part is that the people who did those tutorials have a lot more on their sites. Can’t wait to dig in more.
If you are nota developer or not into Django and would love to ask a question about it. Ask away. I’m always glad to talk to you guys.
Maps with Django (part 1): GeoDjango, SpatiaLite, and Leaflet
Docker-Compose for Django and React with Nginx reverse-proxy and Let’s Encrypt certificate
😁️ Person of the Week
Johnny “Decimal” Noble
The person behind Johnny Decimal. I saw an entry for Johnny.Decimal on HackerNews. Surprisingly, Johhny received a lot of negative feedback, despite the system being simple, yet effective. Well, it is not that surprising, since a lot of such things receive negative feedback on HN.
I’ve read through the manual and have enjoyed the simplicity behind the approach. I won’t be applying it right now, as I don’t have enough material to correctly categorize. I am at a stage where I have to do the work and not worry about the system. The system comes later, when I’ve proven I can do work.
🐔 Tweet of the week
There is a stigma toward shorter books. For some people, the only books that have value are the long ones. This is bullshit. I believe that the opposite is true. A lot of the time, longer books are longer, just for the sake of size. The majority of words are water that dilutes the knowledge you are receiving. Shorter books are to the point.
This Twitter thread should give you some titles to look at for shorter reads.