bgdn.me

Personal blog about reading, learning, thinking, and a little bit of IT.

Articles


  • Tue 24 August 2021
  • Books

Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

A molecular biologist and Roman Catholic at the same time, Kenneth R. Miller, sets out to answer the question: Can evolution and God coexist? To begin with, he explains the basic principles of the evolution theory and provides some scientific evidence in support of its validity. Then, he goes on …

Why We Do What We Do by Edward Deci

In his excellent book Why We Do What We Do, based on empirical research, Edward Deci shows that intrinsic motivation is much more effective than extrinsic motivation. Contrary to the behaviorist dogma, self-motivation underlies successful learning, creativity, responsibility, healthy behavior, and long-lasting change. Where does intrinsic motivation come from? It …

  • Fri 11 June 2021
  • Blog

Education vs. Training

In book "Management of the Absurd", Richard Farson argues that leaders cannot be trained, they can only be educated. He points out to important distinsctions between training and education (in human relations, at least): "Training, as we know, leads to the development of skills and techniques [which] don't work well …

  • Fri 02 April 2021
  • Books

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

In this unusual non-fiction book, full of metaphors and insights, Steven Pressfield argues that each of us has a specific work to do. It might be writing, painting, starting a business venture, etc. The work can be recognized by the fear it causes in us. The greater the fear, the …

  • Mon 15 March 2021
  • Blog

Pull Smartsheet data into Google Sheets

This is a follow-up on this post. Since the time I published it, I've made a couple of improvements that I wanted to share. First, I've started using Smartsheet reports as the data source instead of sheets. It's because there might be occasional changes to the underlying sheet (like moving …

  • Sun 28 February 2021
  • Books

The Data Loom by Stephen Few

Stephen Few, who has written excellent books on visualizing numerical data, focuses on data sensemaking in this book. The author argues: mastering modern analysis tools is not enough to understand the data; we still need to train the thinking skills. Most important of these are critical and scientific thinking skills …

  • Tue 16 February 2021
  • Books

Deep Work by Cal Newport

In this book, Cal Newport shows that cognitively demanding intellectual work, that is deep work, is extremely valuable and rare at the same time. This includes rapid acquiring of new skills and gaining complex knowledge, as well as producing at a high quality level. If we prioritize this kind of …

  • Sat 02 January 2021
  • Blog

The top 10 books I read in 2020

Like many in the past 2020, I had more time to devote to reading books. Overall, I have read 20+ books, which is higher than usual. Below is the list of 10 books that I liked the most. The list goes in reverse chronological order. Red Famine: Stalin's War on …

  • Thu 06 August 2020
  • Blog

Synchronize Google Sheets with Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a powerful, spreadsheet-like tool. It helps to automate processes in your team. In my current company, we've been using it for years to support project management. Plans, issue logs, risk registers, project dashboards, task trackers - just to name a few examples of what we use Smartsheet for. However …

  • Tue 16 June 2020
  • Blog

Making Gantt charts work

Using Gantt charts as a form of project schedule for fixed-price IT projects, I’ve encountered the following problems: To build a schedule, you have to put all the tasks in a specific order. It’s typically a finish-to-start dependency. However, this is not what happens sometimes. More often than …