Five for Friday – May 3, 2019

It’s been another incredibly busy week – many many meetings to help me ramp up – but I managed to find a few things worth sharing attempting to use the internet as a learning vehicle.

  • It’s no coincidence that this article on Leaders and Time found its way into my queue
  • I’m surprised I didn’t share this article already. How great managers give and receive feedback
  • I’ve thought for a long time that there must be reasons why comedians make good leaders – now there’s an article about this exact thing. I don’t agree completely with the appoint about using comedy to soften criticism, as it may prevent the message from being “heard”, but there’s value in all eight of these reasons
  • I’ve been listening to the Tech Talk Y’all podcast for a few months now, and it will stay on my download list. The show is just a quick recap of tech stories from the last week along with a few recommendations from the hosts daily life. They try to have fun, and manage to do so without being annoying.
  • I read Strategize by Roman Pichler last week. It’s written for product managers, but I think it’s a great book for anyone who wants to create (or be part of a team creating) software for people.
    This line could be right out of The Lean Startup:

    A product roadmap is not a guarantee; it is a high-level plan that describes the likely growth of your product based on what you currently know.

    My new role involves some product and program planning tasks, and keeping this line in mind has been helpful.

Five for Friday – April 26, 2019

Five for Friday – April 19, 2019

It’s FfF time again

  • I think (hope) everyone knows that this blog series is based entirely on Tim Ferris’s Five Bullet Friday posts. I listen to some of Tim’s podcasts – and his recent interview with Eric Schmidt is fantastic. If you don’t like podcasts, there’s a transcript here.
  • I’ve been thinking about interviewing and hiring – so of course, I’ve found a few good articles. This one from hackernoon on How to Hire the Best Developers is interesting.
  • It’s Game of Thrones week, so the internet inevitably produced an article on Game of Thrones styles of leadership.
  • A disclaimer: I often find good blog articles on commercial sites. If I think they’re worth reading, I share them anyway – even if I don’t endorse the company. That said, The Ten Qualities of a True Leader.
  • I’m reading Brave New Work – which is one of those books I love because it agrees with my principles and philosophies so much. Consider this harsh – yet accurate quote about managers.

    After a broad workforce analysis, [Gary] Hamel and his coauthor, Michele Zanini, claim that roughly half of the 23.8 million management roles in the United States are unnecessary. They found that a new wave of companies (including many featured in this book) have managed to cut their manager-to-employee ratio in half while keeping performance up.

Five for Friday – April 12, 2019

Here’s some stuff I found to share this week.

Five for Friday – April 5, 2019

Before the bullet points, I want to remind everyone that the 100th episode of AB Testing will be done live (via Zoom) at 8am PDT next Friday (April 12). If you want to listen in or participate, drop me a note (on twitter – @alanpage, in the comments, or email alan at <the domain where this is hosted>.

OK – off to the five interesting things I have to share…

  • I’m still neck deep looking for good articles on feedback – this one isn’t bad. How to Deliver Constructive Feedback in Difficult Situations
  • I have not-yet-read The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo – but this article about the book made me buy it.
  • Shhh – I sort of don’t like Scrum. Not because it doesn’t work – for some reason it’s just too easy to do wrong. Nevertheless, I still read a lot about where it works and doesn’t work, and sometimes I find an article that hits a lot of the good points about Scrum on the head. Why most Scrum Masters are destined to fail
  • If you don’t know me, you may be asking, “if you’re not into Scrum, what’s your deal?” I prefer kanban – it’s simple and focuses on flow. And as usual, someone else described a lot about what I like better than I could have. Running a Kanban Standup Meeting
  • I often wonder how many people who freak out over the concept of “Test is Dead” ever watched Alberto Savoia’s original talk.

    Albert says: “Of the 50,000+ people who saw the video, 90%+ (based on thumbs up/down ratings) got the message. But a small minority focused too much on the title and too little on the message.”

    If you’ve understood the nuance behind the statement and the underlying message all along, congratulations. For the rest of you stuck on the three words in the title of his talk over substance and discussion, hopefully this video from Alberto himself will give you something to chew on.

Five for Friday – March 29, 2019

It’s Friday. Here are five things I found this week worth sharing.

  • First off, I am really enjoying playing Song Quiz on my Echo devices. It’s oddly addicting, and I have an embarrassing knowledge of 80s music.
  • This is from over three years ago, but someone linked to this article from Rob Lambert on 10 Ways To Initiate Change In An Organisation That Doesn’t Want To Change, and I think it’s worth a read
  • I also just discovered the Better Allies website – it’s full of great resources on creating inclusive communities
  • Also an old link, but also worth sharing if you haven’t seen it before. Read carefully, but this site is Totes not Amazon
  • Finally – two Friday’s from now, Brent Jensen and I will record the 100th episode of AB Testing – and we’re doing it live with a (virtual) audience. Ping me on twitter, slack, or email if you’d like to attend. The recording will be 8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time on April 12.

Five for Friday – March 22, 2019

Winter left. Spring is here. It’s Friday.

Five for Friday – March 15, 2019

I took a ski day today – snow was soft, but held up pretty well until the afternoon. Here are a few things I read this week worth sharing.

  • I’ve been reading a lot about feedback recently. Forbes had a good article this week on Flawless Feedback for Ferocious Teams
  • This article hit a little too close to home. The Planned Obsolescence of Old Coders
  • Most articles on productivity suck. This one does not.
  • I bought a refurbished Kindle Fire 10 this week for $119. It took me less than 15 minutes to get google play services running on it. It’s a ridiculously good deal (IMO)
  • …and now I have a great tool for reading comics on Marvel Unlimited. I’m re-reading some of my childhood favorites right now, and really enjoying revisiting this little bit of my past.

Five for Friday – March 8, 2019

  • I’m still reading Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts, but came across this paragraph that I’m sure seems relevant to my line of thinking.
    Similarly, I have met many who believe that you have to have a special mindset to be a good tester. Developers, they say, are a different breed. As such, they can’t be trusted to test. Again, this nonsensical point of view is almost certainly going to become self-fulfilling. The more that developers are not trusted to test, the more they will be unable to test and the more they will shirk the responsibility of writing good code.
  • I shared this article (along with some commentary) about feedback.
  • Once again, the Netflix Tech blog has a relevant and good article. How Data Inspires Building a Scalable, Resilient and Secure Cloud Infrastructure
  • Also from HBR (sorry for those without a subscription for burning your monthly reads), is this article: The Best Leaders Aren’t Afraid to Ask for Help
  • Windows calculator is open source. Not too many insights, I expect. It’s a calculator 🙂

Five for Friday, March 1, 2019

It’s March, and there’s still snow on the ground here in sunny (but cold) Seattle. Here are some things I found this week worth sharing.

“Transforming a team, let alone an entire organisation, from the principles of command and control to those based on servant-leadership, from plans based on prediction to plans based on empirical, evolutionary data requires both patience and tenacity.”