Maybe it’s best not to meet or read about your idols

Idol is a strong word, and I’ve never actually met them, but you get my point. However, over the past few months I’ve read biographies from Richard Garriott, Ken Williams, Steve Wozniak and a few others. While there is no denying their contributions to the computer industry, they share a common trait. They come across as arrogant jerks. We owe much to the Apple I and II, but reading iWoz was hundreds of pages of Woz patting himself on the back and expecting praise for every single thing he did. Every other page is reaffirmation that he’s an engineering genius. If he did something good, he wanted everyone to stop what they’re doing and recognize the effort. Every page reiterates how shy he is and how, “he could never do that.” Garriott spent the entirety of his book lavishing himself with praise and showboating about his accomplishments. Every chapter should have been titled, “Look what I can do.” No disputing […]

Learning Windows All Over Again

Well, this is a strange place I find myself. Six years ago I ventured into unknown territory with OS X. After using Windows for decades, I found the landscape foreign, although a little bit familiar. Getting past several rookie mistakes, I got the hang of things and found myself quite smitten with macOS. As I’ve said, I really enjoy macOS and the way it works. Now the other shoe has dropped. With the change in job, there needs to be a slight change in OS. It’s back to using Windows during the work day. I find myself completely confused by Windows 10. History repeats itself. I’m still going to use Mac at home. And quite frankly, I plan to use Windows in a VM on my Mac if I can get away with it. It will save space and monitors. But seriously, Windows 10 has me absolutely confused. The only thing that’s slightly familiar is the Start button. How times […]

Open Source Software I support

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m a big fan and supporter of Open Source software. I like the idea of many hands working to complete a project. That leads to lots of useful features rather than marketing bloat. We also get frequent releases, and lots of code reviews to keep things working smoothly. Since Spring is here, it’s a good time to show projects some support. Other financial commitments have tapered off and if you get a tax refund, you have a few extra coins to spread around. If everyone put $1 in the hat, it would be overflowing. While it’s not an open source project, I’m a huge fan of Wikipedia. I use it daily. I know lots of other people pick a subject and just follow the links to see where it leads. It’s always fun to look up companies to see who actually owns them or what has become of them. LibreOffice is another project I really like. […]

What prompted the great escape?

The deed is done. I’ve made my decision. But, what made me look elsewhere? When I break it down, there are three main issues that led me to look for a new job: No psychological safety No growth mindset Too many narcissists The first two are at the heart of successful teams and the crux of Culture Code and Creativity Inc. You don’t need to know the terms to feel their effects, and notice when they’re missing. Psychological safety refers to how comfortable you are with the people you work with. Do you feel comfortable speaking up without fear of ridicule? If you make a mistake will the blame thrower be set to annihilate on you? Do you feel your opinion matters and your voice is heard? If you ask for help, will it be giving without judging? Growth mindset is learning from your mistakes. It’s about trying new things, failing fast, and not repeating a broken process. Are you […]

Achievement Unlocked: New Job Acquired

The deal is done. The papers are signed. I’m very excited to report that I’ve unlocked a new achievement and moved to another company. Oddly, the job is almost the same. On the surface at least. It wasn’t a bad experience by any means. A bit odd doing interviews through Zoom and Teams, but not bad. I felt the interviews were far more casual and conversational, perhaps because people were actually at home. I got to know people a little better since it felt more relaxed. That was a big part of my search criteria, what kind of company was I going to join? What were the people like? The work is similar, but the people at their attitude make all the difference. We’re going to start off with manual testing then move forward with automation testing. It’s a hardware and software solution, which isn’t something I’ve worked with before. The fact I had so many questions about how things […]