Saturday, October 21, 2017

Consider a simple thank you.

I recently witnessed a situation where someone put a huge amount of effort into a post to clarify a topic that many people are confused about. 

In the complex domain being discussed, they were not advocating their explanation as the complete (or best) solution... They were simply helping others to understand based on the specific context of the questions involved.

That person knows that that only one answer cannot solve a complex situation and believes that small steps matter. They are willing to respond in a way to help others instead of trying to correct an entire system in one post.

Many people understand that there will always be something to add or improve in a complex system or understanding.

When a poster creates an article to help others (or simply move the needle a bit), this does not mean they lack knowledge of other approaches or parts of the complex domain.

Please consider that sometimes simply thanking them will help keep everyone engaged and comfortable sharing and learning..... 

One-upping someone is not always necessary (or helpful)... 

How about just saying ... 

"Thanks for the insight"...  

Just a thought.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Blockchain and Privacy

First, let me say I am not an expert on Blockchain. That being said, I have been following the advancements in this domain for some time.

One feature of a Blockchain is that a previously written block cannot be amended or adjusted in any way (Feel free to correct me if I am wrong).

This all makes for a very secure, distributed history of all things in the chain... 

Blockchain is becoming increasingly talked about in markets involving financial transactions...Trades and currency transactions seem to be a current hot-spot for the concept. 

Recently, I read an article (sorry I do not have the reference, but it stuck with me which is why I created this post).  

The article talked about storing contractor data and recruitment data in a Blockchain and using "smart contracts" to link contractors with potential jobs.  Someone posted it in a feed and proclaimed... "The Blockchain is going Meta".  

I have been wondering about security of sensitive private information and the ability for incorrect or bogus information to be removed.

If you consider that information in a Chain can never be deleted, how does one comply with laws such as the EUs "Right to be Forgotten" legislation  by example? 

My mind races with potential abuses to the concept of information being freely available to anyone with access to the chain.

Consider the example of skills being auto-matched to a requirement.. and the history that would forever exist about this.  I can see several pros and cons to this depending on which side of the situation you are in. 

I sincerely put this question out to experts in Blockchain... 

How DOES information get deleted, or can it (or should it)?  

It seems to me that just because you can put something in a Blockchain, maybe you shouldn't always?

I really don't know the answers.. I just have questions... 

I made this post hoping to find someone wondering.. 

What should go into a Blockchain and how we do we protect our privacy?   I think the time to talk about this is now. If you are in this field, are you having these conversations?

Based on my current understanding of Blockchain, if a country legislated a "Right to be forgotten" for any information in a Blockchain, it would be impossible without starting a brand new chain.  Do I have that right?

* references

Blockchain -

Right to be forgotten Legislation   -

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Stop bashing corporate leaders

  • Pictures of Leaders with angry red faces
  • "Leadership doesn't get it" blog posts
  • "Greedy Board Member" blog posts
  • Posts about "foolish management"

... the list goes on ...

Do you publicly humiliate the management or leadership of an organization you work for (employee or contract) and then later complain you can't get time with leadership or wonder why you can't connect with them?

If so.... From a purely effectiveness level... If you publicly mock the leadership of an organization, you can't really expect to have a trusting, open relationship with the same people you just mocked. 

How would you feel if the leaders started publicly mocking you?

Something to think about next time you decide you want to post a "let's poke fun at the leaders" message.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A misunderstanding about contracts in an agile context

The Agile Manifesto contains the following words...

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

I recently experienced a person suggesting that as agilists, we can sign contracts and then just do what feel is right and that every decision after signing should still be a negotiation. 

There are ways to make flexible contracts. I have seen contracts designed to specifically require collaboration. I have seen contracts that get regularly re-negotiation based on changing needs. 

My preference is to work with a minimal contract (or with pure collaboration if that is possible).

There is always the option to not sign a contract you cannot live with.

Signing a contract with the intent of ignoring it is not collaboration. I would argue that it is very disrespectful to the other party involved. 

I have a different word for someone who signs a contract with the explicit intent of ignoring the terms... and it isn't Agilist. 

Reference: Agile Manifesto -

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A story about a Hammer

When I was young, my father bought me a hammer.

While learning how to use it, I recall directly hitting my thumb one day. In fact, the pain was so excruciating that I doubt I will ever forget. My thumb turned a variety of colours and eventually the nail fell off.

I thanked my father last weekend.... Instead of telling me to try to learn a screwdriver as it might be easier, he convinced me to keep learning and practising and that likely I would hurt myself again. That's how we learn.

My confidence with a hammer increased considerably over time. 

Eventually, I started experimenting with other tools and their uses.  I have had the pleasure of using a variety of tools such as Screwdrivers, Drills, Mitre Saws, Table Saws, Sanders, Routers, and my favourite finishing tool.... A Bisquit Joiner.

I have built a house, build docks and decks, learned plumbing, done insulation, built furniture, and the list goes on. 

There is no challenge that scares me. I believe this is because of the lesson from my father...

When a hammer is the right tool for the job, don't let someone convince you to use another tool just because the hammer is hard to use. Stick with it if it's the right tool. Then, the confidence to use other tools will come on it's own.

Friday, May 5, 2017

A leadership question

Are you in a leadership position?

In your context, when you listen to someone talk about their leadership ability or history....

Do they talk more about leading things (projects, products) or leading people?

Would a balance be appropriate in your view?

Consider asking yourself... 

"How am I doing in this regard?"

Just a thought. 


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A calm leader in extreme circumstances

One of the most amazing IT leaders I ever met simply sat back, relaxed, and asked simple, direct questions in a friendly way while 200+ people ran around in a panic during a system outage. 

It was fascinating to observe.

His thoughtful questions let others do their jobs to realize the problem on their own. 

He remained always calm and never laid blame. 

A great memory.


Have you considered your ability to remain calm and let others do their work?

Just a thought.