I recently read “Maintaining Creativity / Psychology for Designers” by Frank Berzbach (currently not yet available in English but in German and some other languages) and it helped me think about and discover many insights about the topics creativity, productivity and different work environments. I want to share my main insights here.
As the title suggests, the book is mainly targeting designers who work in (or for) agencies and most of the examples align with that. However, in my opinion this knowledge can easily be applied to any job that revolves around working in an office environment and interacting with other people (i.e. software developers, project managers and many others). I recognized many of the situations described in the book during my time as a web developer at startups and also during my short periods as a freelancer and working remotely (the book also features a chapter about “properly working alone”).
Disclaimer: This post is not interesting to you if you’re not that much into computer-based music production and/or MIDI controllers.
I recently acquired a new audio interface. It’s beautiful and I love it. It’s as if someone went around and asked people what they are expecting from a good audio interface. Then that someone went home (i.e. to his/her company) and built it. The amount of available audio interfaces on the market is incredible and it shows how different people’s needs and manufacturers’ responses are. In my case, I was lucky enough to either have a very common setup that is being covered by this audio interface (and probably some others) or someone was eager enough to push for those exact requirements (could be a customer, product manager or someone else).
Regarding MIDI controllers I think we’re on a similar level. Especially when it comes to small portable devices there’s a big variety to choose from. Regarding Ableton Live controllers the selection is understandably smaller. Right now there’s Ableton’s own Push, Akai’s APC 40 and Novation’s Launchpad that kind of started it all back in 2009.* Then you have smaller versions of those that sometimes even work well with iPads and are arguably more targeted towards (casual?) musicians on the go. I tried out many of those Ableton Live controllers and since I always found some flaws that bugged me out I’m wondering whether someone will ever build the perfect Ableton controller for my needs (just like what happened in regards to the audio interface)?
Since I’ve been using a lot of VS Code recently (even though it’s a Microsoft product), I decided to port my existing Atom package Angular-Bootstrap to VS Code in order to access the snippets there as well. So that happened yesterday and now you can find the extension here: Angular UI Bootstrap Snippets. I hope it’s useful for one or another!
Supporting the bachelor’s thesis of my friend Vincent I made a little website that offers something like a “culture generator”. Using random (rarely seen) YouTube videos, photos and drawings, the website generates random art on every visit.
For the past year I’ve been using Atom on a nearly daily basis. Despite its sluggishness it quickly became my editor of choice thanks to many packages that are improving my workflow. I’m often using AngularJS and the UI Bootstrap components for my projects, so I decided to write my own Atom package full of snippets and auto-completions for that exact (and obviously popular) combination of frameworks. It’s appropriately called Angular-Bootstrap and received 171 downloads by now! It’s far from done (many components and documentation are still missing) but seeing it being downloaded and used by other people clearly increases my motivation to maintain it over a longer time.
So – if you’re one of its users – thanks for using my package and don’t hesitate to leave feedback in the GitHub repo!