Interestimg piece by Jamal Mashal on how to use themes and timeboxes to create structure and focus in his work: Themed days, Timeboxing and why you should use them.
One cardinal misunderstanding burning teams, tanking projects and killing products since the dawn of software is the assumption that software development can be reduced to the aspect of producing code.
Software development is talking: Speaking and listening to peers, colleagues and stakeholders. Software development is thinking: Thinking alone by modeling data, testing abstractions, thinking through cases, thinking together by reading other people’s thoughts. Software development is typing: Writing code, but also: Comments, readmes, specifications, code reviews, tickets, mails, …
Overemphasizing one of these aspects or neglecting others is a sure fire way for personal all professional frustration.
Work (and life) is as boring as you make it.
1. Always take the initiative.
2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
5. Learn to live with your mistakes.
9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
10. Thwart institutional cowardice.
14. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
15. Walk straight ahead, never detour.
16. Manoeuvre and mislead, but always deliver.
17. Don’t be fearful of rejection.
22. Guerrilla tactics are best.
23. Take revenge if need be.
24. Get used to the bear behind you.
Full list @ kottke.org.
It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.
This truly struck a cord with me. You can try being brilliant, being excellent, being the best, and I guess this is not the worst aspiration for a team. But, in the end, success in completing projects and shipping products is less about being exceptional but being non-exceptional. Not about getting one thing perfectly right, but about getting many things not wrong. Success sometimes is less about winning and more about not loosing.
One project, three phases, three vastly different stand-up experiences: The Ugly, the Bad and the Good Standup.
Total efficiency constrains us. We become super invested in maintaining the status quo because that is where we excel. Innovation is a threat. Change is terrifying. Being perfect at something is dangerous if it’s the only thing you can do.
How an over emphasis on efficiency leads to fragility: Getting ahead while being inefficient.