vague, but exciting

the porous city - other - life hacks

/

/

email me

/

about

barcampLA 4: personal unit tests
Taking a concept from software development and applying it to your life: test small parts of the system constantly. These tests should:

  • Be fixable within 1-2 hours after figuring out you failed the test
  • Test steps, not ends ("did I study Spanish for 20 minutes today?" not "am I fluent in seven languages?")
  • Test what, not how (don't really get this one)
  • Be as easy as possible, or you won't do it. Pencil and paper? Spreadsheet? whatever
  • Be answered every day. But you can create tests that have a time period longer than one day, e.g. "have I talked to my mother in the last seven days?" - you do it once, and then it's a freebie for the next six days

Goal is mindfulness - being aware of different areas of your life. Good areas to include are things like: health, community, relationships, work, finances ... but avoid introspection. "It's so much easier to lie to yourself about things that are just in your head ... I decided to only test things that someone else could verify if they happened to be there."

Guy (I think his name is Ted) tracks what % of tests he tracks every day, and has a goal of hitting at least 50% every day. Has gradually trended upwards over time, best day was 73%. He makes his test results public, with a changelog.

"Personal unit tests are a way to discover if you're kicking ass."

Q: "How do you know if you've covering enough areas of your life?" A: "The simple answer is you don't."

My favorite BCLA4 talk so far.

Tech
Security, Wearables, Hardware, Javascript, Shopping, OS, WRX, Collaboration, Web analytics, PIM, Web, Product Management, barcamp, Data, Android, Medical, Business, Social, Development, a11y, s60, Storage, RSS, MacOS, Automobile, Energy, Open, Crowdsourcing, Mobile, Net, Audio, Visual

Other
Travel, Minnesota, Friday, Statistics, L.A., Law, CrowdFlower, Quizzes, Agriculture, Surfing, Transportation, History, Podcasts, Food & Drink, Berlin, Sports, Toys, Bicycling, Clothes, Politik, San Francisco, Geography, Feminism, Personal care, NYC, Games, Life hacks, Housing, Activism, Video, Boston

Music
Labels, Mixes, Boston, Videos, House, History, Mailing lists, Making, L.A., Good tracks, Streams, Hip-hop, Reviews, Business, Booking, Lyrics, Mp3s, Musicians, Shopping, Events

People
Enemies, Family, Weblogs, Health, Friends, Subcultures, Heroes, Exercise, Languages, Life hacks, Meditation, Stories, Working with, MOTAS, Me, ADD, Vocations, Gossip

Arts
Visual, Humor, Literature, Events, Rhetoric, Movies, Poetry, Comix, Desktop wallpaper bait, Spoken Word, Animation, iPad bait, Sculpture, Outlets, Burning Man

Commerce
Non-profit, Web, IP Law, Taxes, Management consulting, Real Estate, Marketing and CRM, Personal services, Personal finance, Insurance, Macroeconomics, Shopping, Investing, International Development, Microfinance

Design
Architecture, Furniture, User experience, Data visualization, Tools, Type, Algorithmic, Process, IA, Presentations, Cool, Web

Science
Physics, Zoology, Networks, Statistics and Data, Psychology, Environment

Travel
Uganda, Kenya, Vagabond '08, Kingdom of Siam

Photos
Photos I Wish I'd Taken, Friends, Moblog

Philosophy
Mind

Internet classic

Mathematics

One Acre Fund

Subscribe to this site's rss feed