It’s been more than 10 years since I last worked with him. He’s a lovely guy, full of humility and kindness. It was a pleasant surprise to work with him again. Thankfully, in that 10 years, the way I work bares no resemblance to the way we used to, but to my horror, for him, […]

Like many developers, I’ve been protected from apparently difficult customers by my managers and left to get on with the important job of “writing code”. But this week I left our office and headed out to a technology park to work directly with one of our customers, and after a couple of days of understanding […]

Finally, I’ve started reading Deming It took me too long to discover that I deliver more value, not by coding faster, but by focusing on quality. As a young programmer being assigned tasks as an individual I felt pressure to code fast. Just getting something working was an achievement. Untested the work would keep coming […]

After five years of Scrum, we decided to break free of it’s shackles. Abandoning fixed length sprints, work-life became one long un-estimated party. Diverse collaborations throughout the organisation enabled us to take on new challenges. The backlog was full of surprises: I had little idea where half the stories came from. For a while I […]

What did I do with myself? I wrote a book, the Programmers Guide To People, self-published and retired it because it’s soon to be republished by Dymaxicon. I published 36 blog posts exploring the fear and courage of programmers. I setup and ran 11 Cheltenham Geek Nights, we now have 200 members, had some amazing […]

The Vulnerable considered options The Invulnerable made a plan The Vulnerable experimented The Invulnerable stuck to the plan The Vulnerable were open The Invulnerable were defensive The Vulnerable collaborated The Invulnerable segmented The Vulnerable listened The Invulnerable assumed The Vulnerable learnt The Invulnerable blamed The Vulnerable grew The Invulnerable feared

Become a manager Keep your resources productive Inspire them to be as good as you were, by doing what you did Lose touch, feel vulnerable as the team learns faster than you Become resented, grow defensive   Become a manager Build trust Share a purpose Attend to folks’ needs Learn with the team, grow

Although I despised it at the time, I’m glad I was managed at school. You dangled carrots to keep me working and waved sticks when I strayed too far. You kept me on a safe track. I’m grateful that you stopped. The purpose we share provides the drive now. The safe track is too worn. […]

When I was younger I thought becoming a Manager would be great because I would have all these “resources” to guide, direct, even bend to my will. With this incredible power I could do things right and the world would be a better place. Luckily I was never made a manager. And in the mean […]

Joan sits on the bus, her scarf wrapped tightly around her hair. She jumps when a young man next to her fumbles to withdraw his vibrating phone. She yearns for a time when her fear would be tinged with excitement at the possibilities of connection. John sits at his desk, his headphones blocking out the […]


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