The Promise Chips are smaller and cheaper than they’ve ever been. That means that we can measure and control things, affordably, more than we ever could. However, in a race to see what we can possibly create, there are many companies that haven’t thought if they really should be creating what they are. Steve Jobs noted that when the efficiency of man’s locomotion is measured against all other animals, we barely break the top third.
It can feel hopeless watching hurricanes, floods, and droughts take down economies. Glaciers are melting, and temperatures are reaching levels that are inhabitable. If we were to solve climate change, does that mean we would have to give up all comforts, and jobs, and society, in order to live an uncomfortable life? Just to survive? Sometimes it feels that way. “This is by far — by thousands of times — the cheapest climate change solution”
There are many things wrong with social networks and I won’t cover all of them here. But I’d like to address two. Productivity Tech really shines when it comes to making tasks more efficient. But I don’t want my relationships to be more efficient! There was a time before social networks where I had lists in my head of people I would call daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. I didn’t realize this happening, but the more I got entrenched in social networks, the less I made these calls.
Some teams have “rockstar” developers who only work on “spikes.” A spike is a story where a developer is assigned the task of figuring out how to accomplish something. The outcome of a spike is a prototype, or roadmap for reaching a prototype. Included in the task might be to evaluate different methods of accomplishing something, do you use one database or another? Or a spike might simply be to try out something that was discussed with the greater group, seeing that a simple end-to-end implementation can be accomplished.
I started with my career as a professional developer through WordPress. Over a decade ago my better half and a friend got together and founded an environmental news blog. I’ve been obsessed with the environment since I was a kid. When I was six I wrote a letter to my city council representative asking him to clean up Boston Harbor. (My parents were a little surprised when he came to visit.
This is the piece of the puzzle I couldn’t figure out by myself. I needed to see it in action, implemented well, to understand what I was missing. I’ve seen a lot of stories sliced wrong, and some sliced well. Slicing stories properly can be the difference between a high performance team, and one floundering. A story – a task or ticket – is a slice of work that is defined by a product owner.
The first big “Agile” change I implemented was standup. Without it you can’t even begin to know what’s going on in your team, let alone help accomplish all it needs. But all standup is, is a daily window into what everyone is doing. That helps you know what’s going on, on a day-to-day bases. But that doesn’t help you take control over what’s getting done. The second most impacting element of Agile I implemented was limiting Work In Progress (WIP).
Early on as a manager, I came across Agile methodologies, but wasn’t able to get training in it, so I had to figure out how to implement it myself. After reading countless books and immersing myself in whatever I could find online, I was able to implement several key elements. But I still was missing a few crucial pieces. It was only after working in a self-described “academic” Agile – with a capital ‘A’ – environment that I know now what I was missing.
Originally published on forbes.com. “If you want to keep your job, you have to make yourself indispensable.” I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Here’s the truth – you will never get great work done if you are indispensable. If your tech company relies upon you so much that if you were hit by a bus the company would grind to a halt, you are doing something wrong. Your value to your company should not be in the fact that you are the crucial piece that keeps everything running; rather, your value to your company should be that without you the company might run fine, but it wouldn’t excel.
Originally published on forbes.com. I’m lazy, and most great developers I know are lazy too. I would much rather spend a day developing an import script to import 2,000-3,000 pieces of content than spend that day manually importing that content. Sure, I could put on a podcast or book in the background while I manually copy each piece of content from one place to the other. But that would be a colossal waste of money.