### Ali Spittel twitter logo github logo Jul 30 '19Updated on Oct 28, 2019・1 min read

My favorite icebreaker question is "What's your favorite question to be asked?" because it really sparks relationships and further questions! So, what's yours?

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Discussion

"What's causing this segfault in my code?"

"Why" questions.
Typically "why did do you do it this way?".

because they usually help me back-track & explain what happened.
(translated, they make me "think" 🧠)

I'm high functioning autistic and the number 1 question i get asked when people find that out (usually a couple months after they meet me) is some variant of: "oh, is that why youre good at...?"

It used to really aggravate and insult me. But now, I use it as an excuse to be funny like "no, I was bitten by a computer that was mutated in a government lab" or "actually, I was exposed to a radioactive guitar and piano. Don't make me angry or I'll play freeform jazz..." 😁😁😁😝😝

Fell into the toxic waste outside a banjo factory.

I like to be asked what music and math have in common

Definitely feel like this deserves a post. I'd check it out for sure.

So I am curious now: What do music and math have in common? :)

hahahaha ok

So music is made mainly out of rythm, which is a cyclic process. And the scales are like the sets theory...

If the person seems really interested I usually mention that once I met a college professor that mapped drum rythms in group theory equations.

Okay that was unexpected, but very interesting! Thanks for revealing :)

The most interesting part for me is that good music has a lot to with "natural numbers" (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ...) and not continuous values.
A chord that sounds right have a simple relation between the notes: 1/12 3/12 6/12
Also if you do the differential physic equation behind the sound of a Piano or a Harpsichord, you can see the natural numbers behind them that makes us feel that the piano has a richer sound

maybe I'll come back to writing in my vacation in november. Also I have a little anxiety in writing something like that in english

I will read it if you write it in Brazilian Portuguese too :)

How can I make my website faster?

As long as they’re not looking for details on specific frameworks and more general principles, I know I have a lot to say!

I honestly really enjoy the "interesting fact" question because it gives me an excuse to talk about my three-legged pitbull. 🐕

Sounds like a real trooper 😉

😂 I see what you did there.

I've done a lot of mentoring and teaching in the past and what most people ask me is the stereotypical:

"How do I become a senior developer like you?"

My responses may vary based on my mood for cracking a joke, but they always boil down to something like this...

"Forget about taglines, senior, junior, 10x freaking unicorn, or rockstar. It means absolutely nothing in the real world. What you should give a crap about is how to bring engineering back into the art of being a software engineer. Learn core concepts of algorithms and problem solving. Learn how to take responsibility for the code you write. Learn how to own it! Own your code and everything you do. Your job is not done until the code is running in production, and your customers have a fast, responsive and, most importantly, working app. Then you are an engineer, not just a coder."

☝️ That's the short version. 😄

Are you doing a lot of algorithms in your job?
I feel that the real problems I am solving involves "soft" skills much more than maths skills.

Definitely! I like to train people's mindset. It doesn't get softer than that. Building their understanding of responsibility and understanding of how to be an engineer is more important than learning algorithms by heart. Learn how to solve problems. Learn how to communicate without exhibiting senseless ego and pride. That's what it's all about. ✌️

I love when I'm writing code, and people ask what I'm working on.

If I'm working on client projects, I get to then talk to them about the life of a software consultant, and how much more there is to development than just writing code.

If I'm working on anything else, I get to talk about the amazing OSS communities I'm involved in.

And in both cases, I get to try and teach the asker about the specific code I'm working on, and get to hopefully teach them something new (even if they're not programmers!)

Client: "How much and how do you charge your code?"
Me: "60\$ per meter" :)

Mine is "what if...", I actually love asking that question to myself as well. Those two words spark something in me, and my imagination goes wild.

"How do computers actually work?"
"How does the internet work?"
"How do (internal combustion) engines work?"
Any of those will get me talking and grabbing for something to draw diagrams on.

For the infernal combustion engine:

``````It's all based on harnessing the power of micro-explosions. This is why
Hollywood *loves* the "car rolls over and catches on fire" trope - the
writers can claim "hey, it was already exploding, we just made it watchable!"
``````

Would you like to do a PR?

Even tho there isn't a day where someone ask/talk about it, my favorite question to be asked is "How tall are you?". My unusual height is a very good ice breaker. It's a great way to stand out (no pun intended) from the rest and a very effective to be remembered.

Ooh I like this one! One of my favorite ice-breaker questions is really related - "What is one thing you wish people would ask you about more?"

My answer to yours is probably "What do you like to do in your free time?"

I'm a huge fan of picking up new hobbies and I love talking about learning new things, especially unrelated to tech.

I love getting asked "Is that a WRX?" so I can ramble on about my favorite moneypit for a while!

Not really an icebreaker, but a low gear shift on stock questions when I'm not up for "networking" networking...

Person: "What do you do?"
Me: "I'm a rodeo clown. You?"

Joke aside, I don't really know...

Somehow I'm most happy when I'm asking the questions.

How do you feel?

What do you do for fun?

What do you do for a living?

What are your salary expectations? =D

That's the worst!

This is why it's my favourite ^

Tabs or space?

I am Danish, we just start randomly talking about the weather, it works.

"How did you do that?"

"Would you like a pay rise?"

FAVORITE_MUSIC (
null;
["What's your favorite kind of music?","Favorite music?"];
)

What is something you are interested in learning next?

I have such a long list and am so excited about so many things. It's a vague question, but one that I could discuss for hours.

If the universe is so big, and there are so many planets, then where are all the aliens?

"So you're the one who broke the code in X product right? 🙈"

"Can you explain this to me?" tied with "I'm stuck on this problem, can you help me?"

How do you always look so handsome, on a Monday morning? 😋

"What makes you say that?"

I enjoy explaining my reasoning about things, but am not a fan of foisting it on people, unprompted.

how be professional in architect design of application faster?

"How is your day?" (but only if the person asking it really means it)

What problem is this solution trying to solve?

Which of your projects are you most proud of?

But I also like to talk about music. :-)

Are you happy yourself?
Is simple question but very deeply for mindfulness

Do you have a second name?

Yaz, I love my second name xD

I connected to the production database and now it looks like all the data has disappeared.... How do I get it back?

(Mainly because we have lots of backups)!

How my code suddenly started working without touching it?

How do I start creative coding and further deep understanding??

What do you want to eat? 🐷🐷🐷

"Why don't you just copy and paste the code from the other page so the issue would get fixed and you won't spend too much time on it?"

Funny thing is that this is the first thing that came to mind for me too. lol

"Got any cool projects on the go?"

Leaves people to answer work related, not work related, anything.

Much better than "what do you do?" etc...

What is missing?

What is the earliest time you can start working?

"Are you are PEY or a Co-op?"

(Toronto joke ... PEY is a 16-month internship program in UofT, Co-op is a 4-month internship program from U of Waterloo, and I am 30yo)

"Do you know cobol?"

Can we take it a step further?

Yes we can! I had to painfully smother myself because going further ahead was out of scope this sprint.

Ah ah ah, this is so great.
I discovered recently the power of asking simple questions, but this one beat them all.

Why my query is slow?

"How old are you ?"
I love it when people go crazy when they hear my answer.

I usually reply "49 going on 90".

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Passionate about education, Python, JavaScript, and code art.