Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A story about a Hammer


When I was young, my father bought me a hammer.

While learning how to use it, I recall directly hitting my thumb one day. In fact, the pain was so excruciating that I doubt I will ever forget. My thumb turned a variety of colours and eventually the nail fell off.

I thanked my father last weekend.... Instead of telling me to try to learn a screwdriver as it might be easier, he convinced me to keep learning and practising and that likely I would hurt myself again. That's how we learn.

My confidence with a hammer increased considerably over time. 

Eventually, I started experimenting with other tools and their uses.  I have had the pleasure of using a variety of tools such as Screwdrivers, Drills, Mitre Saws, Table Saws, Sanders, Routers, and my favourite finishing tool.... A Bisquit Joiner.

I have built a house, build docks and decks, learned plumbing, done insulation, built furniture, and the list goes on. 

There is no challenge that scares me. I believe this is because of the lesson from my father...


When a hammer is the right tool for the job, don't let someone convince you to use another tool just because the hammer is hard to use. Stick with it if it's the right tool. Then, the confidence to use other tools will come on it's own.





Friday, May 5, 2017

A leadership question


Are you in a leadership position?

In your context, when you listen to someone talk about their leadership ability or history....

Do they talk more about leading things (projects, products) or leading people?

Would a balance be appropriate in your view?


Consider asking yourself... 

"How am I doing in this regard?"


Just a thought. 

Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A calm leader in extreme circumstances


One of the most amazing IT leaders I ever met simply sat back, relaxed, and asked simple, direct questions in a friendly way while 200+ people ran around in a panic during a system outage. 

It was fascinating to observe.

His thoughtful questions let others do their jobs to realize the problem on their own. 

He remained always calm and never laid blame. 

A great memory.

--------------------------


Have you considered your ability to remain calm and let others do their work?

Just a thought.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Human Senses - A Conversation Aid


Have you ever talked to a room full of blank faces?

These 4 base sets of human emotions are strong in other's communication patterns. 

Listen for them as a possible way to more effectively communicate with others.

The last slide has examples of the same question asked with emphasis on different human senses.  Enjoy.

Link: Human Senses Presentation on Slideshare






Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A scary looking door



See a door you are afraid to pass through?

Consider taking a glimpse rather than passing by.









Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sprint Reviews and Stakeholders. Something worth discussing by Paul Heidema


I came across this post today from Paul J. Heidema.

It opens up an important discussion related to Stakeholders at Sprint Reviews.


Stakeholder have feelings and want to contribute as much as anyone else. We're all in it together.


Paul brings up some concepts related to getting stakeholders up-to-speed so they can best contribute at Sprint Reviews.


Give it read... 


It may get you thinking...  



What have we done to help our stakeholders feel like valuable contributors to our work?

Thank you Paul for the valuable post.



Here it is...



https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-effective-stakeholders-sprint-review-scrum-paul-j-heidema





Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tech Post: Unit Testing for Distributed Systems


I recently came across this very interesting presentation and article related to Unit Tests for distributed systems and felt it was worth sharing.

Presentation:
https://www.usenix.org/conference/osdi14/technical-sessions/presentation/yuan

Article: 
https://www.usenix.org/system/files/conference/osdi14/osdi14-paper-yuan.pdf


From the technical article...
almost all (92%) of the catastrophic system failures are the result of incorrect handling of non-fatal errors explicitly signaled in software.

and this one...

in 58% of the catastrophic failures, the underlying faults could easily have been detected through simple testing of error handling code.

This sentence really caught my attention...
In fact, in 35% of the catastrophic failures, the faults in the error handling code fall into three trivial patterns: (i) the error handler is simply empty or only contains a log printing statement, (ii) the error handler aborts the cluster on an overly-general exception, and (iii) the error handler contains expressions like “FIXME” or “TODO” in the comments.

If you are working on distributed systems and are wondering where to put effort in automated testing, it might be worth grabbing a coffee and spending some time on this.

At a minimum, it might have you think about just scanning your code for the word FIXME or TODO in catch blocks and put an end to that !

There's more that I could add, but it's probably best if you just read this article for yourself.

https://www.usenix.org/conference/osdi14/technical-sessions/presentation/yuan

Enjoy