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Software is easy, humans are hard

Ben Stewart

Instructions are for furniture

Ideas are a thing of beauty. They can take many forms, shapes and sizes until someone has the chance to write something down either on paper or an electronic resting spot. Have you ever had a brilliant product idea that’s actually been taken forward and delivered into a product? It’s wonderful feeling. Knowing that your brain spat out an idea that is being used, joyfully, by tons of users is something that should spark pride in any human who just so happens to be part of a product building group.

Practical Postmortems

The Incident You’ve been checking your messages, emails and notifications for around an hour and everything has been eerily quiet. Too quiet? The team are exhausted. Their brains are mush with a battle that has been going on since 12:34pm this afternoon. It’s dark outside now, and folks want to go home to spend some time with their loved ones. The team go over the wild scribbles on the whiteboard one last time, just to see if anything has been missed.

You can't hum while holding your nose

It’s a pleasant Tuesday morning as you sit in a meeting room with your team going over the latest round of hires. You’re digging into how Jill is doing in the mobile team, making sure she is settling in as you would expect. Suddenly, in a beautiful symphonic arrangement, the noise level in the room spikes and then drops to an intense silence. Phones and laptops have burped whatever digital tone means ‘Hey… LOOK AT ME NOW’ and everyone now ponders whether they should look at the shiny notification or keep the discussion going.

Am I technically Dangerous?

The average career path of a technical person while varied for everyone, of course, can more than likely be summed up by the following; Be perceived good at current role-> Be offered a perceived more advanced role -> Be perceived good at current role… etc Now while that is far too general for many in the trials and tribulations of modern-day companies, that is generally how I have seen progression happen in the gigs I have had and also from my own personal experience of progression.

Leaders Don't Lie

It’s 9:58am and you’ve been preparing for your 10:00am meeting for the past two days in a haze of caffeine and increasingly dangerous levels of stress. You’ve checked the figures again and again and again. The burn-down is burning… but not quite as sharply as you hoped two weeks ago. That feature you thought was a week, turned into two, even though the team said it smelled like two to begin with.

The Org Chart Reverse Manuoeuvre

You’re a brand new leader within your current gig and you have tons of things to do before you leave today. You need to approve that estimate from your team lead, check eight job applications for a vacancy, attend a sprint demo, have three 1–1s with your directs and that is even before lunch (if you even have time for one). You look around; all the other leaders seem to be copying the same set of frantic movements as you.

Leadership as a service

As a human in any sort of management or leadership role, there will be times when trying to cascade just what you have done on a daily basis can be a real hardship. Back in the days of old, you could go home to your other half and describe something you had built with your bare hands (kind of) or how your idea has sparked a new feature which has been rolled out to the customer.

W.A.I.S.T.

The art of opening your ears and listening has never been so powerful rands ✔ @rands Regardless of seniority, every good manager will: ___________________________ 49 12:28 AM - Jan 6, 2017 Twitter Ads info and privacy 80 people are talking about this The above tweet spun off a really interesting list that I will link at the bottom of the post but a number of them surrounded the same point over and over again which made me remember one of the few acronyms that I can use without being sick in my mouth.

Step Shoes

A few situations I’ve come across in recent months have left me curious about a particular skill that becoming regarded as a fundamental item in any toolbox of a leader. However, the reason it doesn’t get as much attention is because in the tech industry alone, humans need to cope and grow in so many areas that it’s becoming quite a chore to choose what to concentrate on; New trends? What is a microservice?

Am I jealous of my team?

For the past two months or so I have been searching for something new to learn, but haven’t been able to make my mind up as to what area it should be in. Should I look at the new .NET Core? Swift? Should I maybe look at some design tools to make our products look better but quicker? Lots of things to learn, so little time I’m sure you will agree.