Posts Tagged: work culture

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Water Cooler Talk Is Toxic

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

Work Culture and Enabling Software Developers to Contribute

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

Paying for Developer Tools

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

‘Agile’ isn’t a new way of doing software development, it’s the normal way

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

Supporting the Idea of an Unconditional Basic Income

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

Money is not a scorecard

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

Antiwork – Rethinking Work Ethic Or: Hard Work is Not Working

In a highly interesting recent article Brian Dean calls for a a radical shift in how we view “jobs”. He poses a seemingly radical question: "Over a decade into the 21st century, we seem as work-obsessed as ever. Is it time for a progressive reframing of work and leisure?" Drawing upon other recent articles such as the already famous one by anthropologist David Graeber on the phenomenon of bullshit jobs Dean argues that in the 21s century our work culture and work ethic is ... Read more

Unicorns And Revolutions

History is filled with two types of people: the ones that want to maintain a comfortable status quo and the ones that want to move humanity forward. In a recent article Jan Lehnardt calls for rethinking and in fact revolutionizing business culture. He makes a few good points. You really should read the whole article. However, in a nutshell its message is this: Throughout history there are those who try to maintain the current status quo for their own good. On the other hand, ... Read more

Why Hyperloop’s awesome and still the wrong idea

On 12 August 2013 Elon Musk published his much anticipated Hyperloop idea. Given his track record, Musk's 'Tony Stark'-like image and claims that Hyperloop would be a 'fifth mode of transportation' that 'could revolutionize travel' people got excited about what his exact vision might be. So, now we know: Hyperloop basically is an elevated tube through which transport capsules move. The tube's partially evacuated to reduce friction, hence allowing for much greater speed (almost approaching the speed of sound) at much lower ... Read more

Butts In Seats Management

When answering a question on Quora yesterday I stated that although Google's self-driving cars are a pretty neat idea they are by no means a solution to the commuting problem: People waste countless hours every year while commuting to their workplace. Though self-driving cars might alleviate this they won't solve the root problem: Transporting people to their workplaces when there's technology available that would allow them to work remotely or in fact from any place they'd like to is just wrong. Remote working technology ... Read more
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