Category Archives: Life hack

Boek – Getting Teams Done – Spark

Getting Teams Done - SparkHet boek Getting Teams Done is een leuk introductie in Holacracy. Dit boek introduceert de methode waarmee leidinggevenden, teamleiders managers en zelfsturende professionals de teamproductiviteit naar een hoger niveau kunnen tillen. Holacracy wordt bijvoorbeeld ook gebruikt als organisatievorm bij Zappos (lees ook Delivering Happiness).

Getting Teams Done is geschreven in de stijl van Het Doel / The Goal en The Phoenix Project. De romanvorm wordt daarbij in dit geval afgewisseld met een non-fictie deel waarin wordt uitgelegd hoe Holacracy werkt en waar het een oplossing biedt. Daarnaast wordt in dat deel steeds het proces en de ondersteunende technieken uitgelegd.

Het boek Getting Teams Done is een aanrader voor iedereen die geinteresseerd is in Holacracy en zeker voor diegene die werkt voor een organisatie waar Holacracy of een variant als Spark ingevoerd wordt. Het invoeren van Holacracy of Spark vraag een zeer sterke discipline. Daarbij is het handig om hulp van buiten te hebben die buiten de inhoudelijke en andere discussies staat. Op die manier kan er sneller mee aan de slag gegaan worden en kunnen de resultaten eerder worden bereikt.

Amazon’s best sold laptop runs Linux

Amazon’s best sold laptop runs Linux! And I must admit that I was surprised to discover this today. It has been the for almost three months today.
Amazon best sold laptop runs LinuxAmazon best sold laptop runs Linux

It’s Samsung’s ARM-powered, Linux-based Chromebook. This laptop has at least three great advantages:

  • It is cheap. There is no laptop in Amazon’s top-20 that can compete based on price. It’s even hard for tablet to be cheaper.
  • It is easy. Anyone that can use a web browser should be able to use the Chromebook. There is learning curve.
  • Although it runs Linux, you have to try hard to find that. Unlike with Windows 8 you don’t have to relearn how to use your laptop. Same goes for those moving from Windows to OSX. Even there is more learning involved.

Think about how you are using your laptop most of the time: If you spend 90% of your time using the web the Chromebook might be something for you. Especially if you are using software-as-a-service or Web apps most of the time. On the other hand if you need special programs that require Windows or OSX this probably won’t work for you. Right now you might want to check ZDnet’s review of the Samsung Chromebook.

Research shows you probably don’t quite understand this blog

According to research by the The Global Language Monitor:

SOA continues its reign as most confusing acronym

The Global Language Monitor is a company that collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language. GLM is known for among others its list of High Tech buzzwords. Here is their top 5 of Tech Buzzwords of the Second Decade of the 21st century, thus far (2010, 2011 & 2012) everybody uses but don’t quite understand (with commentary):

  1. Big Data — Big Data is the biggest buzzword. It has been called the key to new waves of productivity growth, essential to the US place in global economics, and more. Now if only we could agree on exactly what this means and how we get there. (By the way, consider yottabytes: a quadrillion gigabytes. Hint: Just think a lotta bytes.)
  2. The Cloud — The Cloud, in various manifestations has been ranked No. 1 for 2008, No, 4 overall for the decade, and now as No. 2 for 2012. Still all very nebulous.
  3. The Next Big Thing — A cliche rendered nearly meaningless by the innumerable daily claims made by VCs, entrepreneurs, college drop-outs, etc. Actually, you can count the history of next big things on your fingers, and possibly toes.
  4. Social Discovery — Webster’s 1910 definition. “Consisting in union of mutual converse,” might be an excellent corporate strategy.
  5. Web 2.0 (3.0, and so on) — Ranked as the 1,000,000th English-language word in 2009, it just keeps morphing along.

The Most Confusing Tech Acronym of 2012: SOA (Solutions Oriented Architecture), continuing its Most Confusing Tech Acronym of the Decade reign.

Watch the Mashable video on this list:

Read the full version on The Global Language Monitor.

And a little on SOA

Despite all the effort by numerous people this also shows that it is hard to get a solid grasp of what SOA is. We showed that before by comparing some of the definitions on (web) services and processes. We might learn from this that it is even harder to have as we call it “the business” initiate SOA projects and programs. Even if together with the business we get a clear picture of the benefits of Service Oriented Architecture is, it remains a challenge to lead them through this stuff they don’t really understand. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments…

8 step course for architects in human relations

One of the most important tips in succesfully implementing an enterprise or application architecture has always been to communicate it really well. Since human relations are at the heart of communication these should be studied and refelected on from time to time. In this post I wanted to share an opportunity on that for you; a very small course on human relations.

The first time I read about this course was in Terry Starbuckers blog post on One Of The Best Leadership Lessons Ever…..In Just 29 Words. It doesn’t take long to find out that this short course in human relations has spread over the internet. However it’s contents aren’t new or unique doesn’t make it less valuable or profound.

Short course in human relations

The 7 most important words:

“I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”

The 6 most important words:

“I admit I made a mistake.”

The 5 most important words:

“You did a great job!”

The 4 most important words:

“What do you think?”

The 3 most important words:

“If you please …”

The 2 most important words:

“Thank you.”

The 1 most important word:

“We.”

The 1 least important word:

“I.”

I like it because it is simple, human and humble. Maybe you’d like to print the slide from Terry Starbucker.

Another list: 8 qualities of remarkable people

Some employees are remarkable, possessing qualities that may not appear on performance appraisals but nonetheless make a major impact on performance. This won’t just shine through in their own performance, but also in that of their peers, department and organizations. Read about these 8 qualities in a post by Jeff Haden.

Lessons Learned from (Scrum) Coaching sessions

Working at a customer in recent months I was on the receiving end of a Scrum coaching project. Unfortunately this ended early. And I started thinking about what I could learn from my angle as a team member. I came up with the following cases and hope they can be helpful for you as well.

Stick to your role and deliver value

If you take the role of coach in a certain expertise field, stick to the that role. This will give you focus and a higher probability of success in the field in which you perform really well. In addition to that, this is the thing/trick you are hired for. It is great if you can deliver additional value, and get the team of organization you are coaching to a higher level, only after you are delivering what you should deliver.

For example you’re coaching in SCRUM, and there is loads of work to do to get the Product Backlog in good shape, getting the documentation up to par, and help the people with the SCRUM way of working; it might not be the time to debate all kind of possible coding issues, try to remove commit hooks from SVN (requiring an JIRA issue number) and other stuff like that.

Should you as a coach decide to be a part of the team, you also have to commit to results delivered by the team (that now includes you). After you check out the code it doesn’t shown you value individuals if the only thing you do is place remarks and object without not delivering anything yourself (let alone things perceived as value by the product owner).

Stick to your role.

Focus

Focus on your assignment and the results you have to deliver. In the case you are coaching a team in the world of SCRUM it is not necessary to start a debate on all design, technical, technology and frameworks choices that are made in the first week. When valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools, also keep in mind that it is the team of those individuals that made a range of choices. Some of them could very well be the result of much (heated) debate.

Focus on your assignment and the results you have to deliver. Don’t (re)fight every battle.

Installing Windows8 in VirtualBox

Wanted to do a quick blog on installing Windows8 in VirtualBox. However work and stuff came in the way and of course now there are multiple sites describing it now like this quite short on Oracle blogs, Life Hacker Guide and How-To Geek. Since especially the first ones lack some screenshots, I’ll share mine:

More info on installing an OS like Ubuntu 11.04 on VirtualBox can give you some background on the general process of creating a new VirtualBox image.

It is about how you use technology

You might have read here or on other blogs that SOA isn’t a purpose. It is a means to an end. The same goes for all the technologies that we use when implementing a SOA, or an architecture, or an application in general. So I wanted to share the next video with you since I think that it – in an even broader perspective – shows this point. Technology itself is not good or bad. It all boils down to how we as people use it.


Source: RSA.org 21th century alignment.

Stop websites from tracking you

An earlier post on how cookies are used to track you, explained how tracking cookies work. This post will show you how to stop websites from tracking you using Firefox 4. This latest release has a Do-not-track feature that lets you tell websites you don’t want your browsing behavior tracked.

By turning on the Do-not-track feature, Firefox tells websites you visit that you don’t want your browsing behavior tracked. Please note that honoring this setting is voluntary. To put it differently websites are not required to respect it.

Turning on the Do-not-track feature in Firefox 4

  • Click the Firefox button at the top of your browser window and click options.
  • Make sure you’re on the Advanced panel.
  • Select the General tab.
  • In the browsing section check the Tell websites I do not want to be tracked.
  • Click OK to leave
Do-not-track feature

Check the Tell websites I do not want to be tracked option