May you live in interesting times.
- claimed to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse - Usually I refrain from writing one of those end-of-the-year reviews because they often amount to little more than self-involved navel-gazing (been there, done that ...). However, 2020 was a truly interesting, extraordinary and in many ways remarkable year. So, here goes, navel-gazing and all ... In December 2019 (or thereabouts) what we today know as COVID-19 or the Coronavirus pandemic started to spread causing a global crisis ...Read more
2019 seems to have been the year when remote work finally caught on. While not exactly the new default yet it's not as alien and outré anymore as it used to be just a few years ago. Today, instead of being ridiculed or looking into bewildered faces proponents of remote work are usually taken seriously. You're also far less likely to hear bromides such as "Yeah, we don't do that here because in-person communication is easier." (a claim often made but ...Read more
Napworking - Dorobot from beyond tellerrand on Vimeo.Read more
Digitalisation, or digital transformation, as it is sometimes also called is an important subject matter as well as challenge for businesses today. Therefore, I find it strangely confusing that sometimes aspects are lumped together under this umbrella that are not or only tangentially related to what digitalisation actually is about. So, here's my - perhaps opinionated - take on what digitalisation is actually about and what it entails. In a nutshell, digitalisation comprises these aspects: Rethinking and being willing to change existing processes.
Making ...Read more
An often-heard counter-argument against remote work is that those working remotely will miss out on so-called water cool talk, i.e. communication that happens casually and outside of scheduled meetings and discussions. In my opinion that kind of talk can be considered toxic. If it's merely about socialising and getting to know your co-workers better that's certainly fine and conducive to a positive work environment. However, often water cooler talk involves bandying about rumours as well as creating information silos between those who happen ...Read more
This article by Marcus Blankenship tries to answer the question why programmers become disaffected with a company and its goals and ultimately turn to just wanting to code. As I wrote in an earlier article about paying for developer tools with developers, particularly in larger organisations, I frequently encounter a feeling of powerlessness and not having significant say in that organisation’s direction. Marcus is spot on in that he attributes this far too common attitude to an often dysfunctional work culture that doesn't ...Read more
Recently, a user named amerkhalid wrote this on Hacker News (commenting on a question about the market for developer tools): Agreed. Developers are hard bunch to sell to. We go out of our way to find free tools and almost look down on people who use decent IDEs or other tools. One example, when I finally got legit license for Sublime Text, all of my friends made fun of me for paying for a free software. I replied by criticising this attitude (that ...Read more
Recently, during a conversation on software development "methodologies" (just the word "methodology" makes me cringe because it's a needlessly convoluted and complicated notion) one of the participants said something along the lines of "'Agile' isn't for everyone. Most people just aren't cut out for doing software development that way.". I strongly contest that notion. 'Agile' has become some bullshit bingo term that's slung around in order to perpetuate precisely those misconceptions the Agile Manifesto intended to upend. 'Agile' unfortunately is often seen ...Read more
About a year ago Scott Santens - self-declared writer and advocate of basic income for all - wrote a highly recommendable piece on why should support the idea of an unconditional basic income. In this article he debunks common myths about less desirable repercussions a basic income might have (such as suddenly nobody wanting to do any work anymore ...). He makes a few salient points as to why a basic income is the right thing to implement both from a capitalist's ...Read more
Two weeks ago I came across an interesting article on the Mr. Money Mustache blog: "What I’m Teaching my Son about Money" As is usual for Mr. Money Mustache it's a very insightful post about money, financial independence, how to achieve it and what to do with it. I love his blog because he not just tries to educate people about personal finance or money as an end to itself but about money with a purpose. The single most important lesson that can ...Read more