Brian Parks

Blog Posts

Why don't people read/write documentation?

21 Apr 2022

The biggest reasons I see documents people write that don’t get read are (in order):

  1. there is a culture of “ask first, document never” (i.e. tribal knowledge)
  2. the document is not discoverable
  3. the document is too long
  4. people don’t know why they should read the document
  5. the document has too many “branches” (if x, then y)
  6. the document is out of date (sigh)

My Experience with Hammock-Driven Development

18 Apr 2022

At work, we’ve been talking about Hammock Driven Development and just how important it is to take time to think about what you’re about to do and plan how you’ll do it. is now a static site!

14 Apr 2022

For many many reasons, I’ve decided to move my personal web site off of being a pails app with PHP and into a static site constructed with Jekyll and hosted with Github Pages.

My New Schedule

28 Oct 2019

During the week, I wake up at 5AM, hop in the shower, and then start working. I start off the day by checking and responding to any emails and Slack messages from the previous workday. I don't worry about whether someone is online to receive any Slack messages I send (I wasn't online when they sent them, and I treat Slack as an asynchronous form of communication like a short-form less-formal version of email); I assume they will respond when they get back online.

Screen Time Update

27 Oct 2019

As a result of the apps I purged in the previous blog post, my screen time is down 34% from the previous week, for an average of 56 minutes per day. I consider this a win!

Purging my phone of useless apps

21 Oct 2019

I'm currently reading Deep Work, a book about how we are constantly surrounded by distractions in a world that still (or perhaps more so) values the productivity that results from focused work and provides some tips on how to deal with it. I've long been interested in overhauling my schedule and how I work, part of which involves purging my phone of useless apps. Here's how I decided what to remove.

Some thoughts for today

17 Oct 2019

One thing I'm trying to do more of is rather than responding to opinion or teachable-moment type things with a statement, formulating a question which will open the possibility to (what I think is) the right answer, or will at least lead to good discussion.

Day 1 of the Apple Watch

08 Nov 2018

After the first full day of wearing the Apple Watch, some observations from my experience:

How useful is an Apple Watch when you use an Android phone?

07 Nov 2018

I just won an Apple Watch (Series 4) from a contest at Cherwell Software, but I don't use an iPhone as my primary phone. This blog post is the first in what will be a series of blog posts about how effectively I can use an Apple Watch with or in spite of my Android Phone.

How to read a Manual

03 May 2017

Far more often than I care to recall, I feel as though people don't read manuals. I think this is due either to the feeling that the author of a manual is somehow talking down to us or the feeling that needing to read the manual somehow makes us less of a person. Basically, it's due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of a manual.