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thoughts

My thoughts about life, which sometimes involves software.

Ground Truth

I wanted to discuss a term that I found memorable recently: ground truth. It resonated with me when I first heard it, as I’m routinely in discussions where we are articulating technical problems and how we plan to solve them. This act of describing the problem to an audience with varying levels of understanding can be challenging. We often have limited time in how we bring people to shared understanding. This restricts our ability to sufficiently describe all the history and contributing factors of that problem.

Habits through Preventional Goals

Over the last year, I have found myself trying to establish new routines. With working more from home, I wanted to make subtle changes in different aspects in my life. For example, I previously used to enjoy podcasts on my drive to work. Now, I focus on listening to these while I do chores around the house. In this blog post, I will share how I found an effective way of establishing a new habit through something simple which happens to have science behind it.

KCDC 2021 Recap

These last two days were KCDC in Kansas City for me. This was my first in-person developer conference since late 2019. While there were still restrictions (wearing masks), it was a fantastic time to see people again. I was able to meet up with past colleagues and discover new people at lunch and through talks, an experience that immediately filled a void in my life. While I have participated in other virtual conferences since the pandemic started, the in-person session was a great experience.

Universal Diagrams

Diagraming is a powerful way of communicating ideas to others. In this past year, I have found how much I have missed the time of just working with a group and using a whiteboard to convey our ideas. In the past few months, I have referenced past diagrams or shared recent examples which included a few properties in the diagram that I believe are useful. In this short blog post, I will share some thoughts on the power of diagrams which use simple universal symbols.

CHANGELOG: What I've Learned

Earlier this year, I shared a communication approach I was trying with my team, called a CHANGELOG. I have been applying this approach for the past six months and have learned a few lessons along the way. This post will recap some of these lessons learned, so it may better inform you the benefits and the costs of applying it. Improved 1:1 Conversations A primary reason why I started applying the CHANGELOG, was to simplify the routine need of communicating current topics with team members.

Hitchhiker's Guide to Meetings: Virtual Edition

Two years ago, I worked on a guide that I called the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Meetings. This guide highlighted many of the lessons I had learned over the years involving meetings at work. I have found having this guide to be a helpful reminder on things to continue to practice with the goal of optimizing time in meetings. With this year’s change of virtual meetings being the primary means of engagement, I wanted to make an update to this guide to highlight some of these newer lessons with the virtual format.