Read my latest article: 8 things I look for in a Ruby on Rails app (posted Thu, 06 Jul 2017 17:59:00 GMT)

Stikkit wins award at SXSW

Posted by Mon, 12 Mar 2007 13:13:00 GMT

After kicking myself all weekend for not heading to SXSW... was getting ready to head to sleep last night and saw a post by Michael Buffington announcing that Stikkit won an award for Best Technical Achievement.

Congrats to Rael, Michael, and the rest of the Stikkit team!

Invited to the Microsoft Technology Summit 2007

Posted by Mon, 12 Mar 2007 13:01:00 GMT

As mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ll be up in the Seattle area in a few weeks. I took the invitation to head to the 2007 Microsoft Technology Summit in Redmond, WA. When I received the invitation… my immediate response was, “Why me?”

Their response?

“The event is specifically for people other than Microsoft fanboys… they want to have a dialogue with influential members of the developer community outside of their comfort zone to see what we can learn from each other..”

Fair enough. Perhaps they’ll convince me to switch our entire team to Microsoft products… but I highly doubt my team would be cool with that. ;-)

It looks like Michael Koziarski (of Rails Core fame) will also be at the event. Supposedly, there will only be 50-60 people… so if you’re also going to be there, let me know.

I’m not sure what to expect yet from the event and they don’t have a web page dedicated to it. The most that I could find was a few blog posts from attendees of previous years. I plan to do some blogging during the event to share my experiences (good and bad).

p.s. thanks to those who invited me to have drinks/dinner while I’m staying in Bellevue. I’ll be responding to your emails in the next week. if you’re interested in meeting up, drop me a line.

Seth Godin on Dialogue

Posted by Fri, 09 Mar 2007 17:37:00 GMT

It appears that Seth Godin is catching on to the concept of Dialogue.

Seth writes, “Some organizations are good at listening. Some are good at talking. A few are even good at both.”

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how I listen to clients, employees, friends, and family. All of our relationships are a series of conversations. Sometimes we can have healthy dialogue, sometimes we just fall victim to debate. (see Dialogue vs Debate)

If you’re really interested in Dialogue, I’d encourage you to review the technology of Dialogue... and check out the Dialogue-Driven Development project and introduce yourself.

Please Make Fun of the Boss

Posted by Fri, 02 Mar 2007 06:26:00 GMT

While reviewing some articles related to small business management, I came across the following post… titled, Note From Boss to Employees, by Michael Wade. As a young business owner, who only 16 months ago was working in his attic… to now trying to figure out how to run a company with over ten employees (and growing), posts like this remind me that we all have so much to learn. :-)

Here are a few that I appreciated…

“I may not have been given a huge amount of training before being named to a supervisory position. As a result, I’ve had to learn through trial and error. That’s not always bad. Many of my responsibilities can only be learned through practice.”

Yep… that’s me! The only difference is that I promoted myself instead of being promoted by someone else. I’m still not sure what I got myself into sometimes. ;-)

“I will make mistakes. Please give me the same understanding that you’d like me to give you when you blunder.”

This reminded me of a blog post from last year, titled, Avoiding the most common software development goofs, which points out that things like ignorance and stress are often to blame for mistakes in development. I feel like these are reasons for goofs in just about any environment, especially business. Let’s face it. We’re not perfect and we’re going to make a lot of mistakes. Once we’ve agreed on this, let’s take the next step and see what happens.

“If I do something dumb or am on the verge of doing so, please tell me. Don’t hint. Tell me.”

Perhaps this is a common problem for most small business owners. Are employees afraid to tell me that I’m doing something dumb?

“If either of us has a problem with the other’s performance, let’s talk about it.”

As they say, real friends will be honest with you about your faults. Not because they want to make you look bad, but because they care.

Each of the points that I have listed here are pointing to is… healthier Dialogue, which is always a challenge to accomplish… in any relationship… whether with clients, coworkers, bosses, or employees.

I’d like to add a few to this list.

  • It’s easier to ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission.
  • I’m still trying to get the hang of this GTD stuff, so.. you might remind me if I forgot something.
  • Ask yourself on a regular basis, “Am I having fun?” If not, make time for some.
  • Please make fun of the boss! :-)

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