2019-02-10 20:09 -0800
Weeknotes - February 11, 2018
I'm trying out week notes in the spirit of Phil Gyford :
a nice way to group lots of small things together that I wouldn’t bother writing individual posts about.
I binge read Fred Brooks The Mythical Man Month after seeing someone tweet a Brooks' quote of "everybody quotes it, some people read it, and a few people go by it." Two surprises:
- an emphasis on a titular technical decider:
Conceptual integrity is central to product quality. Having a system architect is the most important single step toward conceptual integrity. These principles are by no means limited to software systems, but to the design of any complex construct, whether a computer, an airplane, a Strategic Defense Initiative, a Global Positioning System. After teaching a software engineering laboratory more than 20 times, I came to insist that student teams as small as four people choose a manager and a separate architect. Defining distinct roles in such small teams may be a little extreme, but I have observed it to work well and to contribute to design success even for small teams.
- definitely not in the "never plan" camp:
Sharp milestones are in fact a service to the team, and one they can properly expect from a manager. The fuzzy milestone is the harder burden to live with. It is in fact a millstone that grinds down morale, for it deceives one about lost time until it is irremediable. And chronic schedule slippage is a morale-killer.
We had a work trip visiting Montgomery, Alabama to attend the National Memorial of Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum, in addition to the Civil Rights Museum and the Rosa Parks Museum. At the legacy museum there was a neat display weighing regressive court opinions (2x) vs progressive ones. I liked a quote from Justice Brennan, in dissent of one of the regressive ones, criticizing the majority of having a “fear of too much justice”.
Two weeks ago I attended a manager training. One suggestion was to dedicate the 1st one-on-one of the month to career development, to ensure it happens. I followed that advice with my reports and had some incredible conversations. I asked them to pick from the Career Planning cards from the Plucky 1:1 Deck.
Technically I focused on linting this week. While onboarding a new rotation to our team they asked, like everyone asks, about a code styleguide. By agreement the team has suggestions but not requirements, but personally being tired of getting the same new-person sourface that proceeds (including my own when I joined), I said that if that’s something they care about, let’s pair on it right now. So we did.
- Lack of control
- Insufficient reward
- Lack of community
- Absence of fairness
- Conflict in values
- Work overload
Last, I got an email that the Foundation Center and Guidestar are rebranding as Candid. I think it’s ridiculous.