31 January 20 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from January.

Well, we’re officially into a new year and a brand-new decade. Naturally, everyone’s looking for a great start to the roaring ‘20s, so many of us will have busily mapped out resolutions, goals, and benchmarks for the coming months.

But if you haven’t—or you’ve already reneged on a lofty resolution—then never fear: I’ve got the perfect fix. Set your sights on self-improvement with January’s Super8, a compass in the form of eight articles designed to guide you towards greatness in the years ahead.

1. The philosophy of a good developer.

image that reads philosophy of a good developer

I’m no developer, but I can appreciate a philosophy that’s applicable to everything in life.

Here, while Sarthak Sharma explores the behaviours that make for quality development practice, he also outlines some fundamental strategies for well-rounded work in general: from collaboration to dedication, and from empathy to ensuring you have a wide perspective on the task at hand.

Whether you’re a fully-fledged developer, developing your burgeoning skills, a creative, or simply interested in self-improvement, try applying some of Sarthak’s ideas throughout the new year.

2. 15 web design books from 2019 that you should read.

image of a bookshelf

The new decade may have already dawned, but it’s not too late to catch up on some of last year’s literary highlights.

As a designer, you might find that one—or likely more—of these books pique your interest. As a non-designer, you might find that these books unlock a talent or perspective you didn’t know you have, or they might even help you understand the designer in your life or workplace.

These books cover all sorts of topics: learn how to generate ideas, understand the product development process, or get an insight into how the digital world has evolved over the years.

3. The master list of 2020 design conferences.

image of people watching a man give a presentation

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Nathania Gilson. 
  • Contributor: Bridget Noonan.

After reading any one of the fifteen design books suggested in the list above, you might be inspired to attend some of the best design conferences happening in 2020.

Sometimes, you can’t fully appreciate an approach or concept just by reading about it—you’ve got to put it into practice. Especially when ‘practice’ involves attending events in San Francisco, Tokyo, London, and Milan.

When it comes to bettering ourselves, we must do more than just talk the talk; we must walk the walk. Or attend the conference.

These events consider how to better explore and harness your own creativity, as well as the contributions of those around you. There’s something for every designer, technologist and strategist, at every level, worldwide.

4. Nine delightful tips for living a smarter life in 2020.

cartoon of a calendar with a hand taking a smile face

For those that don’t have any plans in place for the new decade, fear not. The New York Times has a list of little things that can have a big impact on your life, and they’re all techniques you can easily insert into your wider routine.

Life can be overwhelming and sometimes we misplace our priorities. Between cooking up some leafy greens and digitally detoxing for a few hours, this piece highlights that bettering ourselves can be as easy as getting back to basics.

So, take that walk on a Sunday afternoon and celebrate your friends’ success—it’ll make for a more fulfilling start to the decade.

5. Growing the business of tomorrow: the leadership agenda for the 2020s.

Image of people looking at a screen recording of a man

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Richard Roberts. 
  • Contributed by: Rowan Barnes.

With a country on fire, floods in ancient cities, and world leaders provoking one another on the global stage, it’s been a somewhat worrisome start to the decade.

The fight for sustainability is at the forefront and every company with ambition to lead the charge in the new decade is reminded to embrace resilience, responsibility and regeneration.

We—as collective members of the professional world—need to drive change and ask questions; questions like the ones Richard Roberts poses in this piece.

By asking the right questions, we’ll find ways to fight for sustainability and the answers to help in transitioning towards a better future.

6. Seven benefits of waking up early (that have nothing to do with being a CEO).

coffee cup that reads 'begin'

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Ayodeji Awosika.
  • Contributed by: Claire Grainger.

You don’t have to get up early to get things accomplished. But if you find you’re always waking up on the wrong side of the bed because you ran out of time the day before, this article may just be for you.

‘If you can change your concept of time and what can be done in little chunks, you’ll start to get a lot more done.’

Wise words.

That’s not to say everyone needs to wake up with the sun in order to tick off your entire to-do-list—but this article, like many in this Super8, is another friendly reminder that little steps can make a significant difference. Finding those extra daylight hours in the morning, while the world is quiet, can be hugely beneficial in the long run.

7. The link between self compassion and peak performance.

dark clouds with people standing under an umbrella

After all the talk of New Year’s resolutions and bettering ourselves, it’s important to take a moment to understand and acknowledge that sometimes it’s okay to fail.

While it’s ok to fail, beating yourself up and falling into a negative mindset after a failure certainly isn’t.

In fact, this behaviour can be seriously damaging in the long run. Instead, practice self-compassion, don’t resist unwanted feelings, and remember that we aren’t robots—we are human.

Brad Stulberg’s helpful analogies make sense of the self-hatred that can sometimes be seductive when we mess-up. Give them a read when you feel like you’ve fallen off the new year’s band wagon.

8. It’s 2020 and you’re in the future.

playing card illustration of a king with stick figures climbing on him

Fun fact: I love fun facts, and this piece from ‘Wait But Why’ author Tim Urban is packed full of them.

Tim’s curated a fun and factual list that highlights just how far ahead of the curve we are in the year 2020.

This short read helps place a perspective on time, especially for those of us who still feel like the ‘90s wasn’t that long ago.

Ring in 2020 with this comical and slightly daunting take on the reality of where we are and what we’ve achieved.