Ben Sinclair

Hey! I'm Ben. I’m a Christian, husband, father, son, friend, writing a book and also the CTO at Tithe.ly. I'm passionate about finance and technology. These writings are for me, however, maybe they’ll be interesting to others. Thanks for stopping by!
November 20, 2022

What you prioritize, you do

You always have time to do the things you want to do. It always comes down to what you prioritize. What you prioritize, you do. Quick example. If you prioritize an extra 30 minutes of sleep over exercise, then you will sleep. If you prioritize waking up 30 minutes earlier and doing exercise, then you will exercise. Take responsibility ...
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November 18, 2022

Use good judgement

At the company I founded, before selling it in 2018, we had your typical employee handbook. It had a section on policies and rules. Rather than a big list of dos and don'ts, it simply said that we don’t have any policies for social media or using your phone and so on. Instead, the one rule we had was to use good judgement. I wanted to ...
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November 15, 2022

Take responsibility for your life

Have you got a habit you want to get rid of? Do you want to exercise more? Eat healthier? Have more friends? Overcome low feelings or depression? Most of the time, a solution is not going to fall in your lap. Getting all the help and knowledge is almost useless if you do nothing with it. You have to do something. Take responsibility fo...
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November 14, 2022

Breath. Be Present.

It can be easy to be triggered by something that makes you go down a negative path either in your mind or verbally to a friend, loved one or maybe some stranger on the train. Breath. Rethink. Calm your mind. Be present. Is it worth getting worked up about? -Ben
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November 9, 2022

Two examples of making customers lives harder

It's interesting to see the security decisions decided by companies. Some value security over usability which can do more harm than good. Two examples... Example one: forcing users to manually type their password A bank I use does not allow me to autofill my password when I log in. I have to manually type it. That's right, I can't even...
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November 8, 2022

What's with the obsession with dark mode?

Why are software companies so obsessed with dark mode? I saw an app the other day proudly announce in their release notes, their top feature, was the fact they now had dark mode. I have nothing against dark mode but I struggle to see why there’s so much excitement around supporting it. Dark mode makes me think of the old school develop...
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November 7, 2022

The best way to become more uncertain about something is to ask one more person’s opinion

Jason Fried made a great statement in a podcast I was listening to. The best way to become more uncertain about something is to ask one more person’s opinion. It’s a challenging thought that encourages me to make decisions without the need of including too many others. -Ben
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November 6, 2022

Subtle things that have substantial impact

I learned the other day something about handling my 5 year old son when he is really upset about something. If I try to distract him or downplay his reason for being upset, it can subconsciously teach him that it’s not good to show emotion. Instead I should do the opposite and show him it’s ok to be upset and to show emotion. I can sco...
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November 5, 2022

Think about what you’re thinking about

One thing I’ve been trying to do this past year is to be more self aware. What I think about is a tell tail sign of what’s going on in my inner world. The Bible says to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Once a thought has been captured, I ponder whether the thought is truth. I also think about where the thought coming ...
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November 4, 2022

I’m glad we all agree

I love this comic. It’s so true! “I’m Glad We All Agree by Jeff Patton” This comic reminds me why it’s so important that we write ideas up first to get everyone on the same page. Discussing verbally can be thwart with problems around everyone leaving a meeting thinking the same thing. Writing ideas up goes along way in saving time and ...
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November 3, 2022

What you do comes from what you believe

The true test of what one truly believes about themselves, others, the world is put on show based on what they do - their actions. Does what you believe match your actions? If not, maybe you don’t truly believe what you think you do. -Ben
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November 2, 2022

What you measure, you improve

I got this quote from The Manager’s Path book that I listened to back in 2021. What you measure, you improve. How does one improve something if they aren’t sure on the performance of it? This book is highly recommended for juniors all the way up to the leadership of an engineering department. Great quote! -Ben
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November 1, 2022

Build less, don’t build worse

I was listening to the 37signals founders today talking about some decisions they made around the recent Card Tables feature release. There was a quote DHH mentioned that resonated with me. Build less, don’t build worse. Often we half-ass build a feature just to get it out the door but it’s not at the level it should be. This statement...
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October 31, 2022

Listening, understanding and then acceptance

Are you listening? I mean, really listening? Or are you thinking about what to say next, what’s for lunch or that thing you have to do later that day? If individuals really feel listened to, that can lead to them feeling understood. If they feel understood, they feel accepted. It’s a challenge to be a good listener in all conversations...
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October 31, 2022

Good enough is fine

I was listening to the Good enough is fine podcast by the 37signals guys today and it really resonated with how I see software development today. If we aren’t careful, when making a decision for building or upgrading a feature in our applications, we can totally over bake and spend far more time on it than required. In the podcast epis...
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October 30, 2022

Time preference

A concept that has really been solidified in my mind over the past couple of years is the idea of time preference. As a millennial, it's obvious that my generation has a low-time preference. Delayed gratification is normally weeks or months instead of years or decades. This idea is being fed even more as inflation runs rampant and the ...
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October 29, 2022

Rebellion versus submission

For those who call themselves a Christian, we are instructed to pray for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and submit to governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7). The only time God permits us to disobey earthly authorities is when they require us to do something morally wrong or attempt to rule outside the realm of their author...
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October 28, 2022

Always close the loop

“Closing the loop” means to follow up or finalize a discussion with a customer, employee, or colleague. Businesses really flounder when someone (especially a leader) doesn't close the loop. Important discussions and decisions get delayed or forgotten about. People end up focusing on the wrong things when the loop isn't closed. Closing ...
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October 28, 2022

Think like a human when you program your chat bot

We have an in-person all-in meeting here on the Gold Coast, Australia next month. We decided axe throwing could be fun (should I be nervous?) so I found a local place and wanted to contact them about a booking. I wanted to book in a group of 11 and see if I could split the group in two so we could go with a specific package. Since this...
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October 27, 2022

Coders are creative

Another comment in Ask Your Developer reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about for a while now as I’ve been CTO at Tithely. Coders are creative. I swear more than half the engineering department, including our Director of Engineering, Christian Helvin are musicians. Others love to draw or paint. Some are what you’d describe as...
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October 26, 2022

Business people should share problems, not solutions

I’m listening to the Ask Your Developer book and something the author Jeff Lawson said really resonated with me. “Business people should share problems, not solutions.” To me this includes Product Managers all the way up to C-level. I 100% agree to this point as it has been my experience. Developers are incredibly talented and when giv...
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October 26, 2022

I love HEY World

Yesterday I decided to switch my personal blog from a GitHub pages hosted Jekyll site to HEY World. Boy was that a good move. Being able to compose an “email” to write a blog post is amazing and I can do it directly from my phone which is what I’m doing right now. Writing has never been easier and I’m motivated to write more because th...
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October 25, 2022

Good salespeople are hard to find

I've talked to close to 30 salespeople over the last few months as I've searched for some tooling for 2023. • 10% were really good • 20% were really bad • everyone else were pretty (less than) average salespeople And I'm talking to some big billion-dollar tech companies. Why do I care? Because if I can't effectively communicate my need...
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October 25, 2022

What is money?

The last 2 years have been a whirlwind for me and my family with our baby girl being born 14 weeks early (she’s doing well 16 months on), the ongoing health crisis, and all the mental battles that come along with a crazy life. But I’m back baby and wanted to share something a little different. Today’s topic is money. In 2021 I went dow...
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October 25, 2022

Our new software development process

Building software is hard. It’s an uphill battle and you need endurance as the software matures. Building software is also super satisfying and such an amazing adventure, especially when you start seeing momentum as well as a multitude of happy customers. I think the best software companies aren’t the ones who write the best code but t...
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October 25, 2022

Why we use Domain-Driven Design and Hexagonal Architecture

We have been using Domain-Driven Design and Hexagonal Architecture for several years in both legacy and newer products we are building. This post is dedicated to why we use Domain-Driven Design and Hexagonal Architecture. One of our engineers, Josh McRae made the call all those years ago to utilize these approaches and I’m glad we did....
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October 25, 2022

Importance of engaging in distributed workplaces

Something on my mind at the moment is the importance of engagement, especially in a distributed workplace. The people who are going to do really well at distributed work are those who engage. What do I mean when I say “engage”? • Participate in your team and company wide meetings. • Communicate to your internal team effectively. • Comm...
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October 25, 2022

Security for start-up software companies

I’ll admit, when I started my first company 9 years ago, security wasn’t something that crossed my mind. I just wanted to build great software and fast. I think a lot of start-ups have this same mentality. Get the product out the door and worry about “all the things” later. This article talks about some of the things start-ups should b...
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October 25, 2022

We started using Basecamp. Should you?

I’ve read Jason Fried’sbooks and really like them. I’ve known about his software Basecamp for years but always thought of it as some project management tool I’d never need. Boy was I wrong. Basecamp to me isn’t a project management tool anymore. Basecamp is a communication platform. And it comes with a philosophy around how we should c...
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October 25, 2022

Encouragement goes a long way

No matter who you are, a leader, a peer, a follower, valuing someone by encouraging them is big. Whether you’re all in the same room, on the other side of the office or working remotely, it’s quite easy to fail to remember to encourage those around you. Some people are just natural encouragers. Others, like me, not so much. Some people...
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