Category Archives: personal

personal Product Management

When The Project Manager Realizes A Feature Can’t Be Built

personal

Spotify Halloween Playlist

personal Product Management public speaking

I Don’t Resolve A Lot Of Defects…

d3u8k

cloud personal Product Management

When Product Management Meets Social Justice

In technology, we often find a lot of cool stuff that, as developers, engineers and yes, even product managers, we think is just plain cool. In agile development, we create epics, where we lay out customer stories and tie them into a set of features; however, while we’re working towards our goals we often find those technical places where we discover we can do something super cool. And we sometimes want to weave those into our stories as features in products simply because we want to make stuff that we’re technically proud of. But should we?

Too often we don’t consider what the social ramifications are to features. Time and time again we hear stories of what seemed like a cool feature that got abused. When we’re creating software, we think of the art. We want to change the world after reading too much Guy Kawasaki. We want to build sometimes just for the sake of building. And sometimes we come to a place where we think we just have to add something into a product. Then we stop and think about it, and we come to a place where we’re just torn about whether that feature is something that should go back to the obscure place we found it. And in times like that, when we’re torn about what to do, we have to remember that “we are the goodpeople” and do what’s right.

That is all.

personal

Music I Write Code To

personal

Work harder, faster and more… Or not…

The difference between being judgmental and caring can be the benefit of the doubt. Living in Los Angeles I got to learn a lot about people not giving two craps whether you were alive or dead. Unless of course you started to smell the place up. Living in Minneapolis I got to learn a lot about people being a little too much in my business. But then I realized that it’s OK to be in my business, as it keeps apathy at bay and helps make me a better person, provided it doesn’t come with a bit too much judgement. When no one cares, what drives you to be better other than your own desire to be, well, better. Which can be fleeting.

But that’s at home. At work, I’ve started to realize the various stages of my own judgement and don’t always look back on my actions (or judgment of others more to the point) too kindly. There was a time when I worked more 100 hour weeks than 50 hour weeks. I’ve never actually worked less than 50. There was a time when I expected everyone to work the same as me. I expected them to be in the office for a dozen hours a day and to stay focused the whole time. I can’t even do that any more. Having said that, I’ll put my 9-10 hours a day (often including weekends) against anyone else’s 16 hour days. Focus with age, or so I keep telling myself. It’s not about working more, it’s about working smarter. And you don’t want to work faster, because the quality of your work starts to decrease.

I also stopped judging how much others work because I started to realize I don’t see all of their work. On the Tuesday after Labor Day, I left the office at 4. But in order to meet some crazy deadlines I worked 30-40 hours that weekend. If anyone noticed me leaving at 4, they likely didn’t know that. But no one cares because they’re all too busy worrying about their side of the street. In short, who cares about working faster and more hours. More hours are just for show. For being a martyr. For burning out.

When I was younger, I didn’t realize that it was more important to work smarter. I thought if others saw me burning the midnight oil that they would be inspired. I also didn’t realize what things were like when you had kids or in general, when you have a life outside of work. Now, I reserve my judgement for the output over a longer duration of time over when I can see your mug in the office. And when the Apple Emoji for Poo hits the fan, I’m still there, and less distracted when needed – as the people around me are more understanding when I’m home more.

You see, with our personal lives bleeding into our professional time and our professional lives bleeding into our personal time, we start to realize that the barriers between home and work are more and more grey. We learn (hopefully you’re here) that we must disengage from the computer when our family and friends try to talk to us (I have to close my laptops). We learn that if you try to find a home-life balance that we end up setting the two to be in diametric opposition. Instead, maybe just maybe we learn how to let them coexist.

personal

Crazy Russian Zombie Apocalypse Survival Training

personal

Enchantment

Some time ago, I had the good fortune of reading Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment (thanks to MacTech for hooking me up with it!). It was a book filled with many of the things that are good in the business world today and how to make them better by adopting them in your own organization. Since reading that book, I’ve looked for enchantment. I’ve searched in the technology coming out of new products, in social causes that I’ve become involved with, in trips out of town and within myself.

Today (now yesterday), I was truly enchanted. At my new employer, there is a charitable foundation publicly released at the JNUC last year. I thought it was cool when it was introduced. But seeing the eyes of the person that administers the program light up as she went through all the nooks and crannies and seeing the importance placed upon it at the organization really made me take an even greater notice.

I like to give my time and whatever resources possible back to my community. I’ve never considered this charity, nor my duty, nor commendable, nor enough. Instead it’s just part of being a person. To see someone who is so enchanted with what the company is doing in that regard, that they can bring that enchantment to others and engage a room of new hires fresh off a heavy lunch (let alone keep them awake) was just… enchanting.

enchantment

Thanks to all involved for the experience and I look forward to many more like it!

personal

“No, I haven’t looked at my logs”

personal

Regression/Unit Testing In Production