All posts filed under: work

Unseen Work

management / work

We often mistake the job we see managers doing with the job they are really doing. We’ve all asked, at one time or another, “What does my boss actually do?”. We see them go to countless meetings, ask questions, or send around documents. We then equate those activities with the actual job of being a manager. Until I was promoted into the role of my departing boss, the perception I had of what they did […]

Not so remote

computing / work

Fostering a team feeling when everyone is remote can be extremely difficult. It’s easy to feel like you are working in a total silo, and can be made worse if everyone is spread across distant timezones. Being able to function as a team is a key component to project success. Feeling isolated and alone when problems come up can make work frustrating and stressful at times. Here are a few ways to try and overcome […]

Battling Procrastination

life / work

It makes no sense to leave the Dark Woods in favor of the Dark Playground—they’re both dark. They both suck to be in, but the big difference is the Dark Woods leads to happiness and the Dark Playground leads only to more misery. But the Instant Gratification Monkey isn’t logical and to him, the Dark Playground seems like much more fun. An absolutely brilliant two part series on procrastination. My most hated enemy. Part 1: […]

Small teams and interruptions

computing / work

It’s hard for non-programmers to understand just how bad interruptions are when it comes to being a productive coder. While most jobs suffer from the same problems of “getting back into the flow” after being interrupted, programming is especially difficult as normally programmers are trying to hold a number of structures in their head at any one time so as to solve whatever problem it is that they are working on. In most small companies, […]

Stupid and gets stuff done

work

Getting stuff done isn’t all about writing code or producing. It’s about delivering value and something worthwhile. I could write code all day, but if it’s of no use to anyone, then my code has been for nothing. The famous Patton quote says “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week” and I believe something along the same lines holds true for programming: “Good code deployed today, is […]

So you want to be a developer?

computing / work

I’m so glad that I’m not just getting started as a web developer these days. Facebook is the main example I give to people when talking to about this. It has set the standard for what and how people think a web app should behave. Move forward or backwards through photos and they are dynamically loaded without refreshing the page. Send someone a message and a modal box appears with autocomplete on the textboxes. You […]

From 0 to 100mph

rants / work

Drivers to your cars Get a car, fill it with gas, put some sparkly rims on it, dress it up in a body-kit, stick some brand name decals on it and step back. What happens? nothing. Nothing happens without the driver. Nothing happens without someone getting in the drivers seat, turning the key and stepping on the gas. When it comes to performance and chatting about car lap times, a lot of people will say, […]

Don’t be a DSL (a.k.a When Developers Go Stale)

computing / programming / work

I’m not talking about being a Domain Specific Language, I’m talking about being a Domain Specific Loser. These are they people who don’t go to the trouble, and it is trouble, of broadening their skills and learning new things. They are the people who don’t care about anything that doesn’t have anything to do with what they are working on. Hey, I didn’t sign up for this! Technology is such a fast changing industry, that […]

Investing in Your Own IT – The Ultimate No Brainer Pt. 2

annoyances / computing / work

This is a follow up to my previous post about investing in your own IT. The more I think about the more I keep coming back to the thought that it’s not about investing in IT, it’s really about investing in your people. After all, without your people you’re nothing. Yes, without your people you are nothing. Zilch, nada, zero, nil, null. You’re not spending money on new computers so that tasks are done faster […]

“It works 60% of the time, all the time!”

annoyances / computing / work

You can’t get a little bit pregnant. – Lou Mannheim There’s a story about a manager that said his team was doing scrum/xp. When pressed as to the details of what that meant, the manager replied that they were doing ‘no documentation’. Scrum is the in project management methodology of the moment. Quality? Scrum! Clear deliverables? Scrum! Happy developers? Scrum! Pole dancing midgets covered in maple syrup? Scru… Hey wait a minute! So yes, Scrum […]

Investing in Your Own IT – The Ultimate No Brainer

annoyances / computing / work

I’ve been cursing my work computer all morning and am once again considering either bringing in my computer from home or just buying one outright (It wouldn’t be a first. I paid for my own monitor here at work. Go figure). Kris Kemper wrote a good post on the subject a few days ago. I’ve seen this on every project I’ve been on. We are given slow machines, and time is lost. It may be […]

CSS Mastery

computing / programming / work

I have always hated CSS simply because anything I ever did would break in either Firefox or IE. I would spend countless hours tweaking and experimenting to get things consistent, and even then it felt like things where hanging together by a thread. Once things worked, I prayed I never need to “change” it. I have to confess that up until recently I still believed that tables were the solution to most web UI problems. […]

Career Advice

books / work

Don’t know know what the hell you’re doing with your career? Read The Adventures of Johnny Bunko. Career advice in the form of a manga. Should only take you about 20 minutes to read (More if you’re slow like me).

Taking care of business

business / work

When you run a company that develops software, it makes little to no sense to lump your developers with sub-standard machines and tiny monitors. Managers who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at buying a new Visual Studio (Thank God I’m a Java/Groovy developer) license, gasp in horror and say there’s no budget when you ask for a faster machine or a bigger/dual monitor setup. Those minutes you save every day doing tasks add up to hours […]