“Don’t Try” Expanded

The “p” in IDP is for portal, not platform.

Photo from Craig I, 2009.

I think about this headstone often. It’s a well known, eye-rolling cliché is that, of course, he meant to let art flow through you effortlessly. He was, after all, a poet.

For those of us who can’t just pour the muse out of a bottle, there’s something more to “Don’t Try.” And that is: stick to what you’re good at. If you’ve developed a skill (or, I guess, an outlook on life) make sure to do it a lot, by default even.1 You also don’t need to show off and get validation for it, just do the work. Don’t try to do more than you’re good at in day-to-day life.

Of course you should learn new things, improve, and push yourself. But not that much. If you’re always focused on how you could be better, you’ll get depressed. You know, gratitude journals about how well things are going, and how good a person you are just the way you are.

There is also the Don’t Try of getting too involved outside of your area of concerns at work.

And, there's the Don't Try that therapy is always telling me: all these things you're tormented about are actually not that bad, most are even "nothing." You are the one tormenting yourself because you're trying too hard to care, to think things matter when they don't. Instead, don't try to see what's not there, just accept what the flow of life. It's probably fine.

Anyhow. I could probably try to make this point better. But, you know…

Update your Java apps to do that FinOps magic

If you run Java apps, chances are high you run Spring. This year, you should make sure you've upgraded to the latest version: you'll get huge performance boosts like uses 70% less memory and faster boot-up times that I can't even calculate the improvement for. Check out my pal DaShaun demonstrating these improvements in this quick video.

That means saving money if you can FinOps your way into using less beefy, costly cloud doo-dads and shutting down long-running Java process because you can’t afford the VM startup-time delays. Also, many older versions will not longer have support available. Upgrading is easier than you'd think and it'll get you these free payoffs. Plus, you know, actually new functionality and happier developers.

And, if you want a free way to see if your app can get these benefits, check out our Spring Health Assessment report. It’ll look at your app and take a swing at how you can make it run rul-better-like.


  • Reading Rainbow: Business Book Edition - “Synergies in the sky! I can crow CAGR twice as I high! Take a look, it’s in a PowerPoint, Reading Rainbow!” Yes, and, who would be the host?


  • “It’s not something I keep a tab open for.” _Dear John Letters, Jan 18th, 2024

  • Well, you know what they say about “hope,” right? What? Yeah, neither do I. That’s probably why I ain’t got none.

  • One powerful benefit of getting older is the default stance of knowing less about pop culture and generally not caring. As an aging Gen-X’er, you can really amp this up by taping into your mutant super-power of not giving a shit about anything. If you’re getting older, and you find yourself getting upset more and more, then you’re doing it wrong, and just giving yourself the shits.


Awhile back I mentioned that I was asked to contribute to a 2024 predictions round-up. Here’s the final article, converted to an interview style with just me.


I’m a proponent of something I call the #DefaultsLifestyle which is literally and, more broadly, metaphorically the idea that you should just use the apps that come on your iPhone instead of spending time hunting down and learning to use “better” ones.,, @cote,,