By Andy Ruth

Time Management – A Collaborative Piece

Time Management – A Collaborative Piece

Last week, Andrew Wilt and I were working side-by-side. During a break in the daily grind, we decided to discuss time management. Time management seems to be one of those things we all have to deal with, and I had recently swapped tips and tricks with my peers. Since both of us have previously written blog posts about time management, we felt like the ideas were a step in the right direct, but they could benefit from some revision. So, Andrew and I had that discussion.

Scrum – The Pilot

Scrum – The Pilot

I just finished rereading Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Jeff Sutherland. When I finished, I suggested the book to both my son James and my apprentice at Sustainable Evolution, Andrew Wilt. They both LOVED it. Andrew was enthused enough to suggest we start running weekly sprints and daily standups. In the coming weeks, I will write a book review and he will add his thought in a Scrum blog piece. I’m sure we will have follow-up posts as we move forward with this pilot and adopt this approach to working together. Since Andrew lives in one state and me in another, we will have to use technology to close the gaps.

Did You Just Drop the F-Bomb?!?!

Did You Just Drop the F-Bomb?!?!

No, not THAT f-bomb, the other one. Fear. Twice in two days I have heard or read something that refers to fear and the description has varied from fear being an effective tool for achieving an outcome, to fear being an oppressive feeling that fuels self-doubt. Indeed, fear is a key driver in many of our actions. I have a fear of heights (or at least of falling from heights), have been fearful of losing my job, and have been afraid to ask someone out on a date. I have used fear (not proud, more an admission) to try and get my way or drive things the way I wanted them to go. The list is pretty endless on both sides and some fears will always be there. However, the fears around my abilities, my value, my competence, and especially about a job are gone. That loss of fear is enabling me to achieve what I didn’t think was possible. Here’s what has changed for me.  

Extra Day Update

Extra Day Update

Near the beginning of 2016, I blogged about this year being a Leap Year. I suggested that with planning, I would be able to leverage that extra day to review the trajectory of my year and do any course correction needed to meet my yearly goals. To do this, I need to know what my goals for the year are and what my plan to get there looks like. The key areas I mentioned in the blog post were day-to-day time management, work back schedule, goal construction, and milestones. I’m reporting back on how I did with those areas and how I did with my extra day.  

SOA in the Teen Years

SOA in the Teen Years

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is now a teen. In the early 2000s, SOA was just becoming the leading-edge discussion point for architects. Now that SOA has passed its awkward, gangly stage and is fully into its informative teen years, maturing nicely. And, just like any teen, SOA is developing its own language and approach. As I speak to people, some get confused with the use of the new terms. 

The IASA Architecture Competition – Final Entry… For Now

The IASA Architecture Competition – Final Entry… For Now

As you may (or may not) have read, I am (still) involved in the local (Seattle) chapter of Iasa first ever IT architecture competition. Team Skyscraper presented their architectural description this past Saturday, along with the four other teams and came in 2nd place. 

Is That a Cliff?

Is That a Cliff?

Be daring and just do it! Leap off of that cliff or jump that chasm.

Most of us see change as a scary cliff. It uncomfortable and we shy away from it--especially big change. The most traumatic things you can do in your life are change relationships, move households, and change jobs.  But at times, you really do need to make adjustments. How do you know? 

The IASA Architecture Competition – Entry #4

The IASA Architecture Competition – Entry #4

As you may (or may not) have read, I am (still) involved in the local (Seattle) chapter of Iasa first ever IT architecture competition. Team Skyscraper has delivered their second set of deliverables and are now in the home stretch. With the business requirements and conceptual architecture being the first set of deliverables, this past weekend they had to submit software, infrastructure and security architectures, and the technology stack they chose. 

What Will You Do With Your Extra Day?

What Will You Do With Your Extra Day?

Time is funny. We all have 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. Yet most of us complain about how little time we have and how there are too few hours in a day. This year is a Leap Year so we all have an extra day. This is also the start of a new year and many make resolutions, so this year I will make a resolution about time, and my extra day. I resolve to remember I have an extra day and use it to reflect on (and correct) the trajectory of my year. In fact, I will officially declare it as Extra Day - a day to limit work, take a breath and reflect on the direction the year is taking. I’ll do it on February 29th since that is where the calendar places our extra day. But, to do that, I’ll need a plan.

Finding a Role Model

Finding a Role Model

I’ve suggested before that you need to identify a role model to help you further your skills and career. You identify an area inside of yourself you want to change and find someone that you think represents the embodiment of that change. You consider why you think they are ideal, what they do differently, and how they do it. Then, you start practicing doing things the way they do. As you practice, you learn and grow your abilities in that area and before you know it, you have adapted their approach and tweaked it to make it your own. Find another area to grow and repeat. There are quite a few good things about this approach, however, there is a risk. You may get into the routine of only doing what others do and let your ability to experiment, innovate, and have original thoughts atrophy. Here’s how I have tried to balance the two approaches.

The Iasa Architecture Competition – Entry #3

The Iasa Architecture Competition – Entry #3

As you may (or may not) have read, I am involved in the local (Seattle) chapter of Iasa first ever IT architecture competition. We are at the point where the rubber meets the road. Team Skyscraper needs to submit their first set of deliverables this weekend on the 22nd. The deliverables are a business requirements document and initial draft of an architectural design document with conceptual and information architecture complete.   

The Iasa Architecture Competition – Entry #2

The Iasa Architecture Competition – Entry #2

As you may (or may not) have read, I am involved in the local (Seattle) chapter of Iasa first ever IT architecture competition. In my last entry, I was guessing about how prepared the team would be and how the meeting would progress. I met the team last Friday and better understand the landscape now. There is so much I can show them that will accelerate their growth and career, and because there is so much, I may overload them.

The Iasa Architecture Competition

The Iasa Architecture Competition

Our organization supports and works closely with the local (Seattle) chapter of Iasa, and when we get the chance, with the chapter in Ireland. This week the Seattle local chapter is kicking off an architectural competition and I am honored to be a mentor for one of the teams. The competition will end in January with scheduled milestones in November and December. The website for the competition is http://www.iitarch.org. I plan to blog about the competition throughout, so stay tuned if you are interested.  

Do We Need Two Bucket Lists?

 Do We Need Two Bucket Lists?

A dear friend of mine, Leslie Goh, sent me a link to a piece in the New York Times. She suggested it reminded her of me. The piece, written by David Brooks, suggests the need for two bucket lists. Brooks, who is successful from a business sense, talks about meeting others who seemed to be successful in a way he was not. This led him to think about a different bucket list not tied to business goals or personal goals, but rather moral or virtuous goals. The way he organized these different groupings is into resume virtues and eulogy virtues.

Information Technology: A Look Back And Forward

Information Technology: A Look Back And Forward

Are you still waiting for your personal jetpack or flying car? In 2011, I read a fun ZDNet blog piece about the future of information technology. Well, at the time it really wasn’t much predicting as it was documenting trends. But let’s take a look at then and now, and look at 5 to 10 years in the future, what that might look like and how it might impact your career.

To High Tech or Not to High Tech

To High Tech or Not to High Tech

There was a recent article in the New York Times that painted a pretty bleak picture of working at Amazon, followed by a ton of responses for and against what the article stated. Over the years, I have read quite a few of those articles and now that I am Seattle-based, I work in a high-tech company area. For what the article said, you could change the name of the high-tech company and reprint. So the question isn’t this high-tech company or that one, rather, it is high-tech company or not high-tech company.

Survivor - Workplace

Survivor - Workplace

There are a ton of survivor-style television shows out. You know, where one or several people get dropped in a location they do not know without anything (or next to nothing). They have to “make it” for some amount of time or form a tribe and work through the tribe interactions. When you get a new job, the experience can be very similar. You take the job, get a set of stuff and are expected to survive and thrive. Both follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs. Maslow stayed really busy creating a lot of theories about humans, and most are patterns that I use to understand what I need to give and get from a job.