Friday Linkage

This weeks interesting links:

On taking initiative

As an engineer it is easy to complain about things that don’t work as well as they could, especially when you first encounter the issue.

However the difference between an average engineer and a truly effective engineer is that effective engineers don’t just stop and complain about a problem, they will actively suggest and implement solutions to allow them to continue working.  This is especially apparent when it comes to repetitive manual tasks, I have witnessed so many people complain about tedious manual processes but then fail to automate the process!  So do not view a problem as a road block preventing further progress, instead view it as an unexpected opportunity to solve a problem and improve something.

A pleasant side effect of this proactive approach is that those that habitually remove problems when they encounter them are also building a reputation as a problem solver and someone who gets things done.  This reputation will dramatically increases the chances that they will be listened to when it comes to getting management buy in to solve a significant problem.

Friday linkage

Some pages I’ve found interesting recently:

  • Online Python Exercises
    A good summary of some of the Python exercises available online.  If this interests you also check out my ‘Getting started with Python’ post.
  • The New Apple Advantage
    An insightful piece on Apples successful strategy of offering minimal configuration options for its phones, tablets and computers as a way to simplify the buying process and improve revenue.
  • Developing Razor Sharp Focus
    Worth it alone for the very useful mind map.  I like his focus on creating rituals, managing email distractions and taking time to reflect and review.
  • Why I Go Home: A Developer Dad’s Manifesto
    A very good post on work-life balance for software developers.  I especially liked the following observation: ‘If you screw up at your job you can always get another one, but if you screw up your family, especially your relationship with your children, it will stay with you and stay screwed up forever‘ so many people seem to fail to realise that jobs are temporary but family is forever..
  • XKCD: File Transfer (Comic)
    Just why is transferring files still so awkward in this day and age?