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kme : workplace   45

How Slack Harms Projects – Silas Reinagel
Because of the ability to quickly follow up messages with other messages, and the natural disposition towards short messages, the natural tendency of most information works is to message first, think later.

Got a half-formulated question? Send a group message.
Don’t want to Google something? Send a group message.
Unsure if the software is working correctly? Send a group message with a bunch of @ tags.
Want to ask someone specific about something? Say “Hello” and wait for a bit before stating the real purpose of a message.

Real-time messaging encourages little thinking, and brings many people to waste time while staring at the “XYZ is typing a message…” indicator in the bottom-corner.

Both Emails and Tickets are a much more professional business communication medium, since they encourage providing all the information BEFORE clicking send rather than after.

From the comments:
Are you familiar with Marshal McLuhan's idea that "The Medium is the Message"?

If you are, then you will understand that real-time chat systems are, by their very nature, communicating that what is recent is the most important thing, and what isn't recent is unimportant and hardly worth seeing.

While people can build effective strategies to minimize the impact of a given medium (like my father, a very successful electrical engineer, did with television, by having only a 5-inch black and white television, and keeping it under the sink, when I was growing up), that doesn't change the way a given medium generally impacts people.

The problem is the tool itself. The urgency is a partial by-product of the tool.

See also:
slack  chat  consideredharmful  workplace  productivity  collaboration  culture  immediacy  instantgratification  forthecomments 
october 2019 by kme
Building a psychologically safe workplace | Amy Edmondson | TEDxHGSE - YouTube |
Psychological safety is a belief (in fact it's expected) that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, conerns, or mistakes.
workplace  leadership  management  teambuilding  teamwork  teams  video 
july 2019 by kme
Being Transgender at Goldman Sachs - The New York Times
A 2017 study published in the American Journal of Public Health estimated that 0.39 percent of adults in the United States are transgender. If that proportion were applied to Goldman’s ranks, there would be as many as 140 transgender employees among the bank’s 36,000.
transpeople  transitioning  workplace 
june 2019 by kme
Should Failing Phish Tests Be a Fireable Offense? — Krebs on Security
LaCour said one of the most common mistakes he sees is companies that purchase a tool to launch simulated phishing campaigns just to play “gotcha” with employees.

“It really demotivates people, and it doesn’t really teach them anything about how to be more diligent about phishing attacks,” he said. “Each phishing simulation program needs to be accompanied by a robust training program, where you teach employees what to do when they see something phishy. Otherwise, it just creates resentment among employees.”

Cofense provides a phish reporting system and encourages customers to have their employees flag suspected phishing attacks (and tests), and Belani said those employee reports can often stymie real phishing attacks.
phishing  security  education  workplace 
june 2019 by kme
Another Side of #MeToo: Male Managers Fearful of Mentoring Women - The New York Times |
“A number of men have told me that they will avoid going to dinner with a female mentee, or that they’re concerned about deploying a woman solo on-site with a male,” Ms. Milligan said. “People are concerned and have questions.”

“If we allow this to happen, it will set us back decades,” Ms. Milligan said. “Women have to be sponsored by leaders, and leaders are still mostly men.”

The main focus now, she said, is education. When male executives tell her that they are considering deliberately avoiding women, she tells them bluntly that would be illegal. “Just replace the word ‘woman’ with any minority,” she said. “Yes, you have to talk about the right kind of behavior, but you can’t stop interacting with women.”
leadership  gender  workplace  management  mentoring 
february 2019 by kme
The War on Developer Productivity (And How I Intend to Win It) -
Chat is a greedy mode of communication.

* It doesn’t care if you are deep in flow.
* It begs you to incessantly clear its notification badges.
* It buries important conversations among idle chatter when you snooze it.
* It must be used with restraint or it becomes toxic.
workplace  productivity  chatapps  slack  distraction  chat  collaboration  communication 
june 2018 by kme
software industry - Constantly pulled onto different tasks/projects, becoming exhausted - The Workplace Stack Exchange
Everything you've described is completely normal. But there's an even more important way to look at it: Your actual jobs is in fact to be able to balance all the shouting and deadlines, and get stuff done. If you look up "programmer" in the dictionary, it says "Person who balances ridiculous amount of erratic shouting and deadlines, and gets stuff done." As a small footnote it says "understands some Pascal syntax". That is your job. By all means get a new job, as aaron says doing so is trivial, but it will be exactly the same!

The "problematic team" clearly has an indomitable Will to Failure. No help you provide will change anything for them, therefore providing them with 1/4 as much help, after a 24 hour delay, will have no actual cost at all. In an ideal world, you would set up an autoresponder in Outlook to reply to all their emails with obscene ASCII art and then bin the emails unread. For reasons I can't comprehend, that's considered unacceptable in corporate life, but don't drop everything. Politely tell them you'll get to it tomorrow and put it out of your mind. Everybody has priorities. Enforce yours.
management  workplace  programming  jugglingchainsaws 
june 2017 by kme
How I learned to program
This also seems to be true for most people I know. For example, something I’ve seen a lot is that a friend of mine will end up with a manager whose view is that managers are people who dole out rewards and punishments (as opposed to someone who believes that managers should make the team as effective as possible, or someone who believes that managers should help people grow). When you have a manager like that, a common failure mode is that you’re given work that’s a bad fit, and then maybe you don’t do a great job because the work is a bad fit. If you ask for something that’s a better fit, that’s refused (why should you be rewarded with doing something you want when you’re not doing good work, instead you should be punished by having to do more of this thing you don’t like), which causes a spiral that ends in the person leaving or getting fired. In the most recent case I saw, the firing was a surprise to both the person getting fired and their closest co-workers: my friend had managed to find a role that was a good fit despite the best efforts of management; when management decided to fire my friend, they didn’t bother to consult the co-workers on the new project, who thought that my friend was doing great and had been doing great for months!
education  programming  careerpath  learning  workplace  management 
april 2017 by kme
In The Age Of The Smart Machine: The Future Of Work And Power by Shoshana Zuboff (1989-10-02): Shoshana Zuboff: Books []
I first read this book back in 1989 when I was working for NeXT computer, and it has remained in my mind as a landmark book. I heard a presentation from a person from Allegeny college that referenced this book. He was discussing the fact that when people are given different tools they solve problems in different ways. If all you have is DOS you abiltiy to solve information problems will be based on what you can do with DOS. But if you had a NeXT... Since reading this book I have tried to apply these concepts to my teaching object-oriented programming and high reuse problem solving techniques. This book really helped me understand that using advanced computers is a lot more then just teaching people a different windowing system. It is about getting them to rethink they WAY they solve thier problems using the cognative styles enabled by advanced software systems. Tim Berners-Lee could never have drempt of the web from a DOS system. But from a NeXT...
technology  automation  workplace 
april 2017 by kme
A Totally Rational, Research-Backed Argument in Favor of Shopping - Racked
While I feel like something of a propagandist for capitalism, it feels pretty great to share on a site devoted to shopping that the activity isn’t as mindless, self-destructive, and frivolous as some would have you believe. If you’re feeling worried about the economy or just sad, Treat. Yo. Self.
shopping  success  workplace  makeup  retailtherapy 
october 2016 by kme
Programmers really hate open floor plans — Quartz
Based on an analysis of 10,000 programming sessions recorded from 86 programmers using Eclipse and Visual Studio, and a survey of 414 programmers, we found:

* A programmer takes 10-15 minutes to start editing code after resuming work from an interruption.
* When interrupted during an edit of a method, a programmer resumed work in less than a minute only 10 percent of the time.
* A programmer is likely to get just one uninterrupted two-hour session in a day.
flow  coding  programming  engineering  workplace 
october 2016 by kme
No Time to Be Nice at Work - The New York Times -
Technology distracts us. We’re wired to our smartphones. It’s increasingly challenging to be present and to listen. It’s tempting to fire off texts and emails during meetings; to surf the Internet while on conference calls or in classes; and, for some, to play games rather than tune in. While offering us enormous conveniences, electronic communication also leads to misunderstandings. It’s easy to misread intentions. We can take out our frustrations, hurl insults and take people down a notch from a safe distance.

To be fully attentive and improve your listening skills, remove obstacles. John Gilboy told me about a radical approach he took as an executive of a multibillion-dollar consumer products company. Desperate to stop excessive multitasking in his weekly meetings, he decided to experiment: he placed a box at the door and required all attendees to drop their smartphones in it so that everyone would be fully engaged and attentive to one another. He didn’t allow people to use their laptops either. The change was a challenge; initially employees were “like crack addicts as the box was buzzing,” he said. But the meetings became vastly more productive. Within weeks, they slashed the length of the meetings by half. He reported more presence, participation and, as the tenor of the meetings changed, fun.
workplace  management  distraction  workculture  culture  america 
november 2015 by kme
Michael Kimmel: Why gender equality is good for everyone — men included | TED Talk |
There's another group, though, that actively resists gender equality, that sees gender equality as something that is detrimental to men. I was on a TV talk show opposite four white men. This is the beginning of the book I wrote, 'Angry White Men.' These were four angry white men who believed that they, white men in America, were the victims of reverse discrimination in the workplace. And they all told stories about how they were qualified for jobs, qualified for promotions, they didn't get them, they were really angry. And the reason I'm telling you this is I want you to hear the title of this particular show. It was a quote from one of the men, and the quote was, "A Black Woman Stole My Job." And they all told their stories, qualified for jobs, qualified for promotions, didn't get it, really angry. And then it was my turn to speak, and I said, "I have just one question for you guys, and it's about the title of the show, 'A Black Woman Stole My Job.' Actually, it's about one word in the title. I want to know about the word 'my.' Where did you get the idea it was your job? Why isn't the title of the show, 'A Black Woman Got the Job?' or 'A Black Woman Got A Job?'" Because without confronting men's sense of entitlement, I don't think we'll ever understand why so many men resist gender equality.
Look, we think this is a level playing field, so any policy that tilts it even a little bit, we think, "Oh my God, water's rushing uphill. It's reverse discrimination against us."
So let me be very clear: white men in Europe and the United States are the beneficiaries of the single greatest affirmative action program in the history of the world. It is called "the history of the world."
gender  workplace  video 
september 2015 by kme
Diversity Training Doesn’t Work - HBR []
Which, if you think about it, is the essential problem of prejudice in the first place. People aren’t prejudiced against real people; they’re prejudiced against categories. “Sure, John is gay,” they’ll say, “but he’s not like other gays.” Their problem isn’t with John, but with gay people in general.

Categories are dehumanizing. They simplify the complexity of a human being. So focusing people on the categories increases their prejudice.

The solution? Instead of seeing people as categories, we need to see people as people. Stop training people to be more accepting of diversity. It’s too conceptual, and it doesn’t work.

From the comments:
That being said, the language of D&I is divisive, the advocacy approach is met with both overt and covert hostility because of the inherent accusatory and incursive characteristics of D&I interventions, and most of these efforts are doomed to fail strictly because top leadership cannot usually last long enough to kill off the deep state original culture within an organization while at the same time stemming the flow of new prejudices into the organization.
diversity  workplace  collaboration  teamwork  womenintech 
april 2015 by kme
Argument Cultures and Unregulated Aggression - Kate Heddleston
The most popular theory as to why humans argue is that it is a tool for asserting dominance [3]. Evolutionarily speaking, the ability to climb the social hierarchy would be advantageous for the procreation and survival of an individual. Dominance, however, is more concerned with winning than truth. We find that to be true when humans argue; the truth often takes a back seat to beating one's opponent, and people will argue a point even after being presented with irrefutable evidence that they are wrong.

There are a few things you can do in your company to promote the kind of communication that’s healthy and productive for different situations. Understand when your goal is to expand ideas and when your goal is to narrow ideas down. During idea expansion, every idea and thought should be welcome. There should be a “yes and” attitude so that arguments (which are worthless at this point anyways) don’t get in the way of creativity. Work to create environments where it is safe for any and all voices to speak out.
engineering  culture  arguments  workplace  equality  teamwork 
march 2015 by kme
management - Project Manager asks for complete 100% confidence everytime committing code - The Workplace Stack Exchange
He talks about a backdoor placed into a highly secure program whereby the ordinary password protection could be bypassed by typing W followed by three spaces, then M followed by three spaces, then J followed by exactly 168 more keystrokes without once using the letter L.

Then he writes: "Do you get the point by now? If you didn't guess that the number of tests required to exhaustively test software is infinite, or at least "a number greater than I could run in my lifetime", you didn't understand the point of this chapter. Now you do."
testing  programming  software  qa  advice  workplace  correctness 
march 2014 by kme

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