mlsamuelson.com

August, 2008

One Fantastic Bind

I've joked before, not really thinking about myself, that Java developers are engineers, while PHP developers are indie rockers who had to get jobs.

In my case that's actually a somewhat apt characterization. All through high school I'd striven to organize a band, and had participated in various projects, some that even performed*, but none that satisfied.

Workgroups and Communication Streams

As we move from sequentially processing email queues to periodically bathing in the stream of messages coming at us and past us via Twitter, Facebook, and still email, successful and high performing workgroups are adjusting towards a more collectivist* sense of shared responsibility. No single team member is responsible for the project, nor are they responsible for every message sent on that project.

The Wire

Finished watching the last episode of HBO's "The Wire" series earlier this week. The series was quality, start to finish. Smarter than any other television I've seen, and smarter than most films, art house or not. And besides that, dramatic and compelling - in the sort of way that you're rooting for everyone, despite them often times going against each other. That is to say, the characters are human, and continually remind you of that, and so they pull you into their lives, their worlds.

the gift of vocab

One of the most magnificent gifts a parent can give their child is a rich and deep vocabulary. It is with words that each of us begins to grasp and manipulate the world in ways more meaningful than simply meeting the biological necessities of life.

The right word allows us to put our hand behind the interminable backdrop of reality and bring forth an object or idea or system and inquire of it. Vocabulary broadens the breadth of inquiry and deepens the depth of investigation. It is a fitness of the mind.

timeboxing

Today I tried something different: timeboxing.

The idea, which is a common approach taken in managing time in software development (though with longer timelines), is that you take a collection of tasks you want to accomplish, assign a deadline on each, and if you don't accomplish the task by that deadline, you reschedule.

The idea is that you accomplish two things with this:

  1. you create focus and drive on a task because you don't want to miss the deadline, and

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