June 2010

Tracking Conversations

June 30, 2010

Steve Rowe has a management tip: When doing 1:1’s with your team (you are doing these regularly, right?), take notes to keep track of the conversations from week to week. I currently use a 5‑tab notebook with one tab for each direct report. Each person has their own section. Each week when we meet, I […]

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37 Signals’ Rework: A Missed Opportunity

June 28, 2010

37Signals is one of my favorite companies; their flagship product, Basecamp, one of the best web applications I have used. Their blog, Signal vs. Noise (SVN), is a great resource for application designers and small business entrepreneurs. So I was excited about reading their new book “Rework”. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a major […]

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Decision-Making Protocol

June 24, 2010

One of my acquaintances is fond of saying, “Employees view managers as monsters, at the worst, and idiots, at the best.” The point being that, even good managers have to overcome mistrust about their intentions and judgment before employees accept their decisions. When a manager’s request comes into conflict with the opinions of employees, buy-in […]

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Are We Safer By Abolishing Rules?

June 14, 2010

Jurgen Appelo writes: In a Dutch article titled “Traffic is safer without rules” traffic expert Hans Monderman explained that the flow of traffic at an intersection can increase, while at the same time casualty rates decrease, when all traffic lights and road signs are removed. The reason is that, in a situation without rules or […]

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The Scourge of Silly Software Patents

June 13, 2010

I was about to link to a story about a major software company suing another for software patent violations which included such brilliant ideas as “System and method for providing and displaying a web page having an embedded menu”. Then I realized that this is not news at all. Collecting software patents for simple concepts […]

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The Reality of UI Test Automation

June 12, 2010

Michael Feathers explains how the reality of user interface test automation differs widely from the expectations: The Dream Janet comes into work in the morning and she sits down at her super-duper testing console. She presses a button and the testing system springs to life. The application comes up all at once across ten monitors. […]

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Dreams of the Future

June 11, 2010

Robert Fortner reminds us that speech recognition is going nowhere: The accuracy of computer speech recognition flat-lined in 2001, before reaching human levels. The funding plug was pulled, but no funeral, no text-to-speech eulogy followed. Words never meant very much to computers—which made them ten times more error-prone than humans. Humans expected that computer understanding […]

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Confusing Arrogance with Benevolence

June 8, 2010

In the way that only David Heinemeier Hansson can: Where to start? For people who complain about bad luck, it doesn’t really matter what a successful person is talking about. If the complainer has put in no or little effort, the complaints are just excuses. If they have put in a lot of effort, they […]

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What Good Bosses Should Believe

June 1, 2010

Bob Sutton is hard at work on a new book and has put together a set of key beliefs that good bosses have. My thoughts on some of them: 1) I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it feels like to work for me. 12) Because I wield power over others, I am […]

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