The Chronicle

of a ColdFusion Expatriate

Managers, Stop Attending Sprint Meetings

December 23, 2021

What does a successful sprint look like? I hope that everyone on your team can answer that question; if they can’t, that is something to talk about right now. Assuming that the team understands what success looks like, why are you, a manager, attending their sprint meetings?

Don't Run Out of Spoons

December 21, 2021

Spoon theory describes a visual metaphor for your daily energy capacity. It was coined by Christine Miserandino in 2003 to help others understand what it is like for her to have lupus. In this representation, you start your day with some number of spoons of energy, and you plan your activities so that by the end of the day you haven’t run out of spoons.

The important part of the message is that folks who are suffering from chronic illnesses have fewer spoons each day, or the consequences of running out of spoons are more dire for them, so they must be cautious and deliberate about their daily commitments.

But we all have spoons, and we can all manage them better.

"Leadership BS" Is BS

September 7, 2021

I don’t really do “book reviews” on here, and I don’t intend to start now, but this is a reaction to the book “Leadership BS” by Jeffrey Pfeffer.

What seems to be the core premise of this book is that there are these “leadership myths” propagating that are doing harm to workplaces and people’s (mostly leaders’ or aspiring leaders’) job prospects.

The framing example is Jack Welch, onetime CEO of GE, who is painted as this great business leader and everyone wants to emulate him, but the story leaves out things like GE’s “rank and yank” performance management policy, stories about “GE jerks” and other examples of fraud, price-fixing, and so forth.

The premise that inspirational figures have flaws that are glossed over or omitted from the stories is a good one, and one which I agree with.

Then it all goes sideways.

How the 1990s Made Me an Introvert

August 30, 2021

It may be impossible to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m an introvert because of how I spent the 1990s, but I’m damn sure going to try!

Let me be clear: I love how I am, mostly. I just turned 40 this year, so I’ve had plenty of time to think about it, and when it comes to my introversion and my communication preferences, I don’t want to change. But what do the 1990s have to do with it?

In short, I spent a lot of time on IRC.

Do You Need a CS Degree?

August 26, 2021

First, I’m writing this for hiring managers; if you are seeking a job or starting a career in software development, this may not be helpful to you, depending on your own situation. Also, I started my software career in 1999, and basically by accident. A lot has changed since then so your mileage may vary. OK, on with it.

It was around 2015 and I found myself in a small conference room in a downtown Boston high-rise office building with one of my company’s co-founders, its chief architect, and a woman interviewing for a software job.