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"The Best Programming Advice I Ever Got" with Kirby Turner

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Kirby Turner, founder of White Peak Software and developer extraordinaire, takes on stress with a zen-like approach. The words of one of Kirby's friends still rings true to him—"Relax and do only what is important. Speed comes through focus, not stress.”
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Kirby Turner

Job Experience:

I’ve been programming since the early 1980s and professionally since 1985. I’ve worked on a variety of systems including Unix, Linux, Windows, Mac using a range of programming languages including C, Objective-C, C++, Delphi, C#, and Python. I speak at various developer conferences including 360|iDev and Voices That Matter, and I am also the author of the book Learning iPad Programming, A Hands-on Guide to Building iPad Apps.

Most Frequently Used Programming Language:

In recent years, my focus has been on software development for Mac and iOS, using Objective-C to build apps for clients as well as for my own indie software company, White Peak Software. (I can add a link to this if you want.)


The demands of writing software can be stressful even for the most experienced programmer. We programmers have to deal with the likes of crunch times and death marches, which in itself sounds stressful.

I was working on one such project where stress levels were high. I felt overwhelmed, even a bit hopeless. Then my good friend Eric Lynn said to me, "Relax and do only what is important. Speed comes through focus, not stress.”

Wow! Eric was right. The stress I was feeling on the project wasn’t helping me complete my deliverables. I needed to relax, determine what was important, and focus. And that’s exactly what I did. The end results? The project was delivered and was a hit with the client.

Eric’s words meant so much to me that I now have them hanging on my office wall. They remind me to take a step back and re-evaluate my situation, especially during stressful times. Now whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I look at the quote and repeat it to myself. This puts me into the right mindset, claims me down, and reminds me to focus on those things most important.

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