What Is a Leader?
Leadership is a poorly understood concept that is often confused with position or title. The confusion is due to the expectation that someone with an influential role must be a leader. However, that expectation represents an ideal, not always a reality.
Some people who climbed the ladder end up being weak leaders at their new level. They get there because were competent in a different role and one of two things occurred: either they reached a point where the power they acquired corrupted them, or they were promoted into a level of incompetency, fulfilling the premise of the . ...continue reading
Doodles are a natural product of a stream of consciousness created during periods that require concentration and abstract thinking. I never know when a Doodle is going to go, but I know immediately what patterns it will be following. Starting a meeting Doodle is like taking a path, and walking it until you are tired, without questioning it or really knowing where you are.
This week’s Doodle is a bit of an exception. It started with a line of star-people, and it ended up being about banners. I did this on a Rocketbook Everlast, letter size, using a purple Pilot Frixon. ...continue reading
When I was programming 100% of my time, it was my job to write robust and maintainable code. My work needed to be well documented, designed with the proper level of abstraction and as bug-free and efficient as possible. I also had to come up with good ideas for how to resolve problems and create viable products.
As a developer, I had to be right a lot of the time. Being wrong when writing code resulted in bugs and other issues. Regardless of code reviews and testing, dumb ideas in software code have a way of costing an ever-increasing tax. ...continue reading
There are very few things that can ruin your day as much as Git being down. That’s exactly what happened to BitBucket (and the whole Atlassian suite) last week on 3/2/2018. This doodle commemorates that rare and unpleasant occurrence. Hopefully, this is not going to be a recurring theme.continue reading
Engineering Productivity Is Critical
Software engineering leaders need to hire, organize, manage and lead talented and productive engineering teams. A productive team is capable of ideating, innovating and ultimately delivering what the business needs at the time it needs it.
Software Engineers are well-paid professionals and often represent the life and blood of the organization, but also one of the largest cost centers in the budget. For that reason, there is unavoidable scrutiny on the productivity of every engineering team and the allocation of its resources. ...continue reading
I have been using a RocketBook Everlast reusable notebook for all of my notes and doodles for a week now, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to normal paper anytime soon. I am officially a believer.
What I noticed:
- I take many more notes than usual. I had to think a bit about why that is, and I figured it out. It is precisely for the same reason why I shoot more pictures with a digital camera compared to a film camera. It is cheap and as temporary as I want it to be. I am not afraid to ruin a page or to write or draw something dumb that I’ll have to look at for a long time. If I start a page of notes, and if the page ends up being useless, I just erase it. If I like it, I capture it and it goes in Evernote.
- The “paper” is very smooth. The pen glides on it without feeling resistance or texture. It is a very comfortable sensation that I enjoy more and more as I use it. It makes me want to write on it.
- If I just want to erase an illegible word or a line that bothers me, I can use the eraser on the cap of the FriXon pen. Each of them comes with a hard eraser that works perfectly on the Rocketbook notebook. I don’t know if it will shorten the life of the notebook, but I don’t really care that much. It is convenient, and it makes things much easier.
I am very interested in psychology, but I am not a psychologist. I do not have any specific or tangential formal education on the phenomenon of burnout. My experience with it is from the trenches. I have been in some nasty ones, knee deep in the mud, grasping for something solid to avoid going down and drowning. I have observed software developers burnout, and I know how bad it can get.
I got close to get burnout myself a couple of times but managed to avoid it by doing research on the topic and taking decisive actions. I have seen friends and co-workers fall deep into it, and struggle to get out of its hideous embrace. I have also helped some of them to get out of it. ...continue reading
I am going to discuss how to deal with praise, but first, let me talk about blog post length.
First Mini-Post In A While
When I started this blog, I used to write only short posts of 300 words or so. That was not enough, so I switched to longer ones, about 2,000 words. Now, I decided that not all posts must be long to be worthy; variety could be fun. I often have ideas for shorter off-schedule issues on rather specific topics, and I will not shy away from publishing them. This is the first one (in a while).
A Thick Skin
I have a pretty thick skin. I am not a particularly emotional person, and I do not get hurt easily. I take very few things personally, and I tend to assume the best intentions whenever there is no apparent ill-disposed purpose. When someone criticizes me, my blood pressure goes up a couple of millibars, then it stops and waits. The discomfort I feel in the process is proportional to how much I believe in the criticism, multiplied by my perception of any malicious intent. ...continue reading
Growing Up With Quality Assurance
I grew up in Italy in a household where “Engineering” and “Quality Assurance” (QA) were terms commonly used at the dinner table. My dad, now 92 years old, is an Electronic Engineer who specialized in quality assurance of space technology. He worked for over 30 years in a large company called Officine Galileo as Director of Quality Assurance. Officine Galileo was founded in 1864 to produce military aiming, tracking and firing equipment, before extending its production to include space equipment. ...continue reading
I have been using Moleskines for many years, and I only recently came across a new reusable notebook that might change my note-taking habits. The jury is still out, but so far I am really liking what I see.
If are not familiar with reusable notebooks, they work like magic! The 30 seconds summary is:
- Write on the notebook with an erasable pen. Pilot makes a large array of models under the name “Pilot FriXon.”
- Take a picture of your notes with your phone and a special app. The page is cleaned, straightened and sent to your favorite cloud note archiving system (Evernote, OneNote, Dropbox, e-mail, etc…)
- Take a damp cloth and wipe the page clean.
- Repeat, forever.
Of course, my doodles are starting to appear in the new notebook.
So, here it is! This Tuesday’s doodle is the first one that I created using a , a , and my iPhone X that I used to take a picture of the image. ...continue reading