Entries from October 2009 ↓

Working in the moment

I’ve been thinking a bit more about the topic of my previous post (deadlines forcing decisions and focus), and comparing it to some other moments of high-energy, high-engagement, high-satisfaction productivity over the years.  I realized there was a factor I hadn’t really considered before, and that was the capacity of the task to force all participants to remain in the moment.

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In praise of deadlines

A pressing deadline is a powerful thing.  Without a deadline, ideas can drown each other competing for supremacy in a sea of data.  People use and abuse their own value functions to find fault with any possible approach.  But faced with a deadline, thinkers break out of analysis paralysis and become doers.  Of course, an unrealistic deadline just causes panic and sloppy work as people scramble to meet impossible goals and push themselves deep into technical debt.
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Hanging out with the braintrust

Today was EMC’s third annual innovation conference, and as one of over 700 employees who submitted an idea I was invited to attend the proceedings at our local regional leg of the global event.

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Peer to peer development

Sorry Napster fans, I’m talking about a different kind of P2P here … career development in a peer-driven context.

In nearly every group I’ve joined, some bright developers eventually banded together and decided they were frustrated at feeling out of touch with the industry.  The answer has always been some sort of peer-driven career development effort.  For example, back in the late 90s, I remember we set up a regular meeting which the entire Navisphere development organization was invited to.  Each week (or was it month?) a speaker would present on something new they had learned.  Occasionally, a guest speaker from another organization would present on something they were doing.  The speaking responsibility rotated among volunteers until we realized it was basically the same 3 people over and over again, and it fizzled out.

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