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Meditation and Software

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Meditation and Software

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A talk that I originally gave at MagicRuby in Feb, 2011.

This talk will give you the background on what meditation is, why it it important for a software developer and some basic tips on how to get started.

You can track what others are saying at #devmed on Twitter.

A talk that I originally gave at MagicRuby in Feb, 2011.

This talk will give you the background on what meditation is, why it it important for a software developer and some basic tips on how to get started.

You can track what others are saying at #devmed on Twitter.

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Meditation and Software

  1. 1. Meditation and Software Mike Gehard, Software Engineer mgehard@pivotallabs.com
  2. 2. Greetings
  3. 3. Thank You
  4. 4. Jon Dahl’s Twitter page
  5. 5. Everyone in this room
  6. 6. DISCLAIMER
  7. 7. YMMV simplerich
  8. 8. Who?
  9. 9. @mikegehard
  10. 10. @pivotalboulder pivotallabs.com
  11. 11. Rock Climber mariachily
  12. 12. Whitewater kayaker
  13. 13. jocelyn.aubert
  14. 14. Wedding Planner snoozeboy
  15. 15. Similarities?
  16. 16. FOCUS
  17. 17. Why focus?
  18. 18. brewbooks
  19. 19. Context Switching
  20. 20. Context Switching Unload current context
  21. 21. Context Switching Unload current context Load new context
  22. 22. Context Switching Unload current context Load new context Perform action on new context
  23. 23. Context Switching Unload current context Load new context Perform action on new context Unload current context
  24. 24. Context Switching Unload current context Load new context Perform action on new context Unload current context Load old context
  25. 25. Context Switching Unload current context Load new context Perform action on new context Unload current context Load old context Perform action on old context
  26. 26. Context Switching Unload current context Load new context Perform action on new context Unload current context Load old context Perform action on old context This context switching can cost you 20-40% of your productivity
  27. 27. Results of multitasking?
  28. 28. How do we counteract the effects of multitasking?
  29. 29. Practice focus
  30. 30. Practice focus =
  31. 31. Practice focus = Meditation
  32. 32. What is meditation?
  33. 33. Latin root meditatum
  34. 34. Translation for dhyana
  35. 35. Buddhism picture echiner1
  36. 36. Hinduism picture MisEntropy
  37. 37. Picture of muslims praying preston.rhea
  38. 38. Picture of St. Ignatius of Loyola
  39. 39. Picture of Saint Padre Pio
  40. 40. Picture of person sitting in a park flowbadger
  41. 41. Focus
  42. 42. Focus Awareness
  43. 43. Focus Awareness Intention
  44. 44. Where?/How?
  45. 45. Picture of Walt Disney quote from iPhone
  46. 46. Recap
  47. 47. Recap Find a place where you can be undisturbed
  48. 48. Recap Find a place where you can be undisturbed Sit up straight where ever comfortable
  49. 49. Recap Find a place where you can be undisturbed Sit up straight where ever comfortable Close your eyes
  50. 50. Recap Find a place where you can be undisturbed Sit up straight where ever comfortable Close your eyes Take a 3-4 deep breaths
  51. 51. Recap Find a place where you can be undisturbed Sit up straight where ever comfortable Close your eyes Take a 3-4 deep breaths Start a timer
  52. 52. Recap Find a place where you can be undisturbed Sit up straight where ever comfortable Close your eyes Take a 3-4 deep breaths Start a timer Count inhales/exhales, 1..2..3 up to 10
  53. 53. Recap Find a place where you can be undisturbed Sit up straight where ever comfortable Close your eyes Take a 3-4 deep breaths Start a timer Count inhales/exhales, 1..2..3 up to 10 When you get to 10 start over
  54. 54. Recap Find a place where you can be undisturbed Sit up straight where ever comfortable Close your eyes Take a 3-4 deep breaths Start a timer Count inhales/exhales, 1..2..3 up to 10 When you get to 10 start over If you get distracted, start over at 1
  55. 55. It is just like riding a bike... clarkmaxwell
  56. 56. Picture of bball player mvongrue
  57. 57. Picture of ruby koans
  58. 58. That’s great but how will it help me become a better developer?
  59. 59. brewbooks
  60. 60. R-Brain vs L-Brain
  61. 61. Rich Brain
  62. 62. Rich Brain creativity
  63. 63. Rich Brain creativity synthesis of ideas
  64. 64. Rich Brain creativity synthesis of ideas figuring things out
  65. 65. Linear Brain
  66. 66. Linear Brain analysis
  67. 67. Linear Brain analysis taking things apart
  68. 68. Linear Brain analysis taking things apart making things happen
  69. 69. Practice focus = Meditation
  70. 70. Meditation allows the rich brain to get some “playing time”
  71. 71. Insert picture of shower here stevendepolo
  72. 72. Where am I?
  73. 73. Where am I? Where do I want to go?
  74. 74. Where am I? Where do I want to go? How am I going to get there?
  75. 75. Focus
  76. 76. Focus Awareness
  77. 77. Focus Awareness Intention
  78. 78. OK what about software specifically?
  79. 79. Bueller? Bueller?
  80. 80. Challenge 10 minutes a day for 1 week
  81. 81. How has meditation helped your development?
  82. 82. Credits
  83. 83. Many teachers over the years.
  84. 84. All of you
  85. 85. Yes we are hiring in Boulder, CO, San Francisco, CA, New York, NY and Singapore.

Editor's Notes

  • \n
  • How is everyone feeling this morning?\n\nHave you digested yesterday’s festivities?\n\n
  • First Ruby conference talk\n\n
  • Thanks to the magic ruby folks for accepting my talk\n\nMaybe tell story about forgetting about presentation??\n\n
  • Thanks for Jon Dahl for suggesting this topic.\n\nBased on leading meditation classes at Mountain.rb this past year.\n
  • Honored to be sharing the stage with some “big hitters” in the Ruby world\n\nOther presenters\n\nThank you all for doing what you do\n
  • Meditation can sometimes be a controversial subject.\n\nNot going to try and brainwash you with any crazy ideas like Java is a great language or PHP actually allows you to write good software\n\nSimply going to give you some simply steps that can help you integrate meditation into your daily life or choose to completely ignore\n\nAnd maybe even improve the way you write software\n\n
  • Your mileage may vary\n\nThings I have noticed while practicing both meditation and software development\n\nOpen and inquisitive mind is the key, just like when you are developing software\n\nLook for one thing that you can apply to your daily life\n
  • \n
  • \n
  • Software engineer at Pivotal Labs, Boulder\n\nPracticing all kinds of agile development methodologies (which to some may seem like witchcraft to some) and writing some useful Ruby code.\n
  • No that is not me\n\nCurrently climbing indoors a couple of days a week in preparation for some real rock come springtime.\n
  • That is me...Upper Blue in Summit County Colorado\n
  • Yoga practitioner and teacher.\n
  • Working to plan a June 2011 wedding\n\nHeather is somewhere in the room...\n
  • \n
  • All of these things benefit from increased levels of focus\n\nEnvy Labs guys called in ‘in the zone’ #9 of their presentation\n\n
  • Why is focus on one thing important?\n\nHow does it relate to software? That’s a great question. Something I am working to define and hopefully you can help.\n
  • Our world has become increasingly about “multitasking” and increased sensory input.\n\n\n
  • iphone/smart phones...\n
  • Brain is like a computer, it can only perform one action at a time.\n\nIt creates the illusion of doing many things at once (aka multitasking) via context switching.\n\n
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  • Many studies showing that we are getting “dumber” because of the time/energy we are “wasting” on multitasking.\n\nTake a moment to reflect (without judgement) on how you feel when you multitask?\n
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  • Let’s take a little time to step back and understand where meditation comes from.\n\nTalk about the history in other groups\nWhat is the goal of meditation?\n
  • To ponder\n
  • Eastern spiritual practices\nFrom the sanskrit root dhyai, to contemplate or meditate\n
  • Buddhists\n
  • Hinuds\n
  • Muslum\nSalat - prayer 5 times a day\n
  • Get in touch with God\n\nSpiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola (Jesiuit) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/\n\nThey were composed with the intention of helping the retreatant to discern Jesus in his life, leading then to a personal commitment to follow it\n
  • Saint Padre Pio ("Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him")\n
  • Even if you don’t fall into one of those categories you’ve probably enjoyed a moment of silence sitting in a park.\n\nHow do you feel after this?\n
  • The goal of all of these is the focus the mind on one thing. \n\nFrom focus you can build awareness, what am I doing right now?\n\nFrom awareness you can set an intention, what do I want to accomplish?\n\nThink of the mind like a beam of light...focused light illuminates better.\n\n
  • The goal of all of these is the focus the mind on one thing. \n\nFrom focus you can build awareness, what am I doing right now?\n\nFrom awareness you can set an intention, what do I want to accomplish?\n\nThink of the mind like a beam of light...focused light illuminates better.\n\n
  • The goal of all of these is the focus the mind on one thing. \n\nFrom focus you can build awareness, what am I doing right now?\n\nFrom awareness you can set an intention, what do I want to accomplish?\n\nThink of the mind like a beam of light...focused light illuminates better.\n\n
  • You can practice meditation anywhere\nLike in a room full of Rubyists\nLet’s try it now... 5-10 minute meditation\nEdge of seat\nSit up straight, hands in lap\nEyes closed\nNotice that you are breathing in and out through the nose\nBegin to count to 10. If you ever lose count, just start back at one.\nWhen you get to 10, start over again.\nIf you get distracted, simply notice that you got distracted and start counting again at 1.\n\nCongrats you are all now experienced meditators...my job is done here. ;-)\n\n\n
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  • You get better at focus by practicing focus.\n\nStart small and build up your time.\n\nSometimes you fall but you need to get back up again.\n\n
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  • How do you get better...you do it...just do it.\n\nJust ease into it.\n\nTell story about reading cookbook and getting full from it...\n\n\n
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  • We use our brains to solve problems when developing.\n
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  • many of us are great at l-brain stuff but find the r-brain stuff a little more challenging\n
  • many of us are great at l-brain stuff but find the r-brain stuff a little more challenging\n
  • many of us are great at l-brain stuff but find the r-brain stuff a little more challenging\n
  • many of us are great at l-brain stuff but find the r-brain stuff a little more challenging\n
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  • Remember that the brain can only do one thing at a time and since we are good at l-brain stuff it tends to take over.\n\nMeditation gives the dominant l-brain something to do while the r-brain gets a chance to do it’s thing.\n\n
  • You get a glimpse of this when you get that ah ha moment in the shower.\n
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  • Spend less time context switching.\n\nWrite better code when writing code.\n\nDon’t write any code when you aren’t writing code.\n
  • No better way to learn about this tool than to practice it.\n\nIt’s has worked for thousands of years, why should we think that we are any different?\n\n\n
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  • Great resource about this kind of stuff.\n
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