Sunday September 9, 2018

Students Are Not Adults

I've been substitute teaching for a little over two years now. I've been thinking, lately, about why 4th and 5th graders seem so much more mature in class than 7th graders. (6th graders are in-between.) Shouldn't students become more mature as they get older?

[Continued in commentary...]

Students Are Not Adults - posted at Sun, 09 Sep, 19:16 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday July 30, 2016

The MBTI Is a Test (and the Unreliable Part is the Test Taker)

I've been participating (once again) in a Facebook discussion among people who claim that the MBTI is not a "valid" assessment because some people get a different four-letter code the second time they take the inventory. Many people can't bear the idea that the reason for a different result is as simple as the fact that they answered the questions differently. They don't want to investigate why that happened, so they blame "the test".

(Continued in commentary...)

Saturday July 9, 2016

Temperament is Clear Early in Life

I met a young NT today.

[Continued in commentary...]

Temperament is Clear Early in Life - posted at Sat, 09 Jul, 19:30 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday April 21, 2016

MBTI: Debunking the Debunkers (again)

I have been having a "discussion" in The Science Enthusiasts group in Facebook. Someone posted another "debunking the MBTI" article (from 2014). Surprisingly, this one doesn't cite "Wharton Scholar, Adam Grant".

The article includes this statement: "Several analyses have shown the test is totally ineffective at predicting people's success in various jobs, and that about half of the people who take it twice get different results each time."

Well, yes. Both of those things are, at least partially, true. Neither, however, is an argument that "debunks" the MBTI.

Read more in commentary...

MBTI: Debunking the Debunkers (again) - posted at Thu, 21 Apr, 13:24 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday July 4, 2015

My Labels, My Choice

Hello I'm

I just ran across this question in a LinkedIn group:

Do Typology Instruments Box People Into a Category Using Labeling?

My understanding is that Jung did not mean for his theories to be used as "labels." He meant them to help people grow and develop beyond a way of being. I have often heard people say things like, "I'm an INFP" or something similar. It makes me think people take these letters as a personality label and I am uncomfortable with that rigid interpretation.

Read more in commentary...

My Labels, My Choice - posted at Sat, 04 Jul, 20:07 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday May 27, 2015

Sour Grapes and the MBTI

The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) is a self-assessment and self-discovery instrument for Psychological Type. It was developed in the late 1940s and has been in use since the 1960s. To date, millions of people have taken the MBTI.

Notwithstanding its popularity (or perhaps because of it), there are detractors. How much of this is due to the fact that the MBTI was not (gasp!) created by formally-educated psychologists?

Read more in commentary...

Sour Grapes and the MBTI - posted at Wed, 27 May, 12:56 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday May 5, 2015

Watching Temperament Play Out Over Coffee Cups

One of my interests is Personality Type and Temperament. I also like Starbucks Frappucinos.

You wouldn't think these two things would intersect, but, recently, I realized that they do. They come together in the form of the precious and controversial Trenta cup.

Read my commentary...

Watching Temperament Play Out Over Coffee Cups - posted at Tue, 05 May, 19:08 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday April 19, 2015

There's No Such Thing as an Ambivert

The term "ambivert" was popularized by Dan Pink in 2013, in an article on leaders and sales. The word operates in the same colloquial universe of definitions in which introverts are shy and retiring and extroverts (usually spelled with an o) are loud and outgoing.

[Read my commentary...]

There's No Such Thing as an Ambivert - posted at Sun, 19 Apr, 01:30 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday August 29, 2013

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain, is certainly not the only book about introversion, nor was it the first. Nevertheless, Quiet sparked a discussion that was bigger than anything we'd seen before.

Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

The book that started the Quiet Revolution.

Continue reading in commentary...

Saturday February 23, 2013

Working From Home

I read this today in the Huffington Post:

Marissa Mayer's Work-From-Home Ban Is The Exact Opposite Of What CEOs Should Be Doing

Lisa Belkin
Senior Columnist on Life/Work/Family, The Huffington Post

What others see as the future of the workplace, and what parents see as a most important tool for juggling home and work, Marissa Mayer apparently sees as disposable.

Lisa Belkin disagrees with Marissa and so do I.

Read my commentary...

Working From Home - posted at Sat, 23 Feb, 18:33 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday February 13, 2013

Social Styles vs MBTI: A Type Epiphany

Many years ago, at least 5 years before I discovered the MBTI, I took a one-day workshop called "Managing Interpersonal Relationships", offered through my day job.

The workshop used one of the "4-Quadrant Personality Models" as a way to explain and improve team communications (aka "interpersonal relationships") in the workplace. In particular, it focused on the Social Styles model developed by David Merrill & Roger Reid. The Social Styles model theorizes that people operate with four distinct ways of interaction, or social styles: Analytical, Amiable, Driving and Expressive.

Continue reading in commentary...

Social Styles vs MBTI: A Type Epiphany - posted at Wed, 13 Feb, 21:30 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday December 26, 2012

The MBTI is Nothing Like Astrology

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but I haven't had the right nudge until now. But today, someone gave me that nudge.

Every now and then, someone blathers about the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) being no better or worse than Astrology. The articles make for amusing punditry, but they miss an important point.

Continue reading in commentary.

The MBTI is Nothing Like Astrology - posted at Wed, 26 Dec, 16:43 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday August 15, 2012

The War Against Outliers

An article in Forbes suggests that people without Facebook accounts may be viewed with suspicion. This is based, largely, on: a Slashdot story (flagging a German news story), a woman who wrote to an advice column, and anecdotal evidence of job seekers and employers wondering aloud "about what it means if a job candidate doesn't have a Facebook account".

Read more in commentary...

The War Against Outliers - posted at Wed, 15 Aug, 11:33 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday June 10, 2012

Team Introvert


I recently shared this image with friends on Facebook. The image comes via Beth Beulow's Team Introvert Pinterest board.

One friend commented, "Wouldn't 'Team Introvert' be an oxymoron?"

Would it? Read more in commentary...

Team Introvert - posted at Sun, 10 Jun, 09:51 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday June 3, 2012

Never Assume (Trust But Verify)

The job description read, in part:
  • 5+ years experience working with Windows, Mac and Linux systems, including systems administration for all three
I do know how to use Windows but I am much happier, and far more productive, when most of my general work can be done on Mac OS X. I can do "system administration" on Windows (or Linux) machines but prefer to make notes, handle email & calendar, and use web applications on a Mac desktop system.

Read more in commentary

Never Assume (Trust But Verify) - posted at Sun, 03 Jun, 12:12 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday November 13, 2010

Highly Sensitive People and the Interruptive Workplace

Good News: I have a new manager and increased scope at Dayjob. My job title and description will be adjusted to formally recognize what I've actually been doing for the past three years.

Bad news: New manager wants me in the office "more often". It's the only point on which we disagree. But it's a big point. For some time now, I've been telecommuting three days a week.

Within a month of my starting work at this company (on a temporary "contract"), I asked to telecommute one day a week. When they offered to make the position permanent, I requested permission to telecommute two days a week. That (and a Mac on my desk :-) were my most important negotiating points before saying Yes.

About a year and a half ago, I increased my telecommuting to three days a week. As my commute time and exposure to noise and disruption have gone down, my stress levels have also gone down. The ability to telecommute is one of my top reasons for staying with this company.

Asking me to "be the office more" feels like a punishment for a job well done.

Read more in commentary.

Highly Sensitive People and the Interruptive Workplace - posted at Sat, 13 Nov, 17:36 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday August 4, 2010

Is Customer Satisfaction Worth $9.95?

Back in early June, I noticed that the front grill emblem on our Scion xB was missing. I decided I wanted to replace it and our local dealership's price seemed high so I checked online. I found a decent price but their web ordering system was out of whack and proposed $35 for shipping (um, no). There was, however, a box I could check to "get a quote" for shipping.

So, I placed the order (using PayPal) and checked the box. The next day, they sent me a quote for shipping. The quote was a bit higher than I would have liked (the item is small enough to fit in a USPS flat-rate envelope) but it was only a $5 difference from what I would have liked, so I sent the shipping by PayPal. Then I waited.


Is Customer Satisfaction Worth $9.95? - posted at Wed, 04 Aug, 17:20 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday April 4, 2010

Evolution of a TWikiist

I've had a rather eclectic career. Most of the time, I've been a programmer, starting with Unix (shell, awk, and some C), then moving into Perl. At other times, when the mood suits, I've been employed as a technical writer.

I've also been a Quality lead and a Linux sysadmin. I've created web pages, managed mailing lists, provided Macintosh support, and written code in JavaScript and Visual Basic. Regardless of my job title, I've always been happiest when I'm helping other people to be more productive in their work, either by writing code or writing and editing documentation.

At present, I'm a TWiki adept. Read more in commentary.

Evolution of a TWikiist - posted at Sun, 04 Apr, 14:09 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday January 10, 2010

Privacy in the Internet Age

I read an article today, in Read Write Web, on Facebook's "privacy changes". The headline screamed "Facebook's Zuckerberg Says The Age of Privacy is Over" .

Well, apparently that's not actually what Zuckerberg said. That was an interpretation for a sensationalist headline.

Read my commentary.

Privacy in the Internet Age - posted at Sun, 10 Jan, 21:50 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday October 28, 2009

Step Away from the Problem

A few days ago, I was working on a small application for some people at Work. Part way into the project, I went out briefly on an errand.

Driving down the street, I suddenly realized that I could (and should) make a simple change to the user interface that would result in less risky code as well as a better experience for the users.

Continue reading "Step Away from the Problem"

Step Away from the Problem - posted at Wed, 28 Oct, 22:24 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday December 6, 2008

What Advice Would You Give

I recently commented on two articles by Tim Walker (Hoover's Business Insight Zone). On Dec. 5, Tim asked What "Real Advice" Would You Give Your Company? and in October he asked What Advice Would You Give to a College Student planning for a career.

Read my commentary... here and here.

What Advice Would You Give - posted at Sat, 06 Dec, 19:11 Pacific

Monday September 1, 2008


In today's commentary, I discuss unsolicited feedback: Criticism, praise, and critique. How do you give feedback?

Read my commentary...

Feedback - posted at Mon, 01 Sep, 08:56 Pacific

Friday June 20, 2008

Readin', Ritin', and Rithmetic, by Rote

Yesterday in Twitter, @jemmons wrote
If answers to your test questions can be looked up by "cheaters" on their phones, maybe they don't need to learn them? BETTER QUESTIONS PLZ?

Read my commentary...

Readin', Ritin', and Rithmetic, by Rote - posted at Fri, 20 Jun, 07:47 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday May 17, 2008


In today's commentary, I consider the meaning of "surprise"

Read my commentary...

Surprise - posted at Sat, 17 May, 08:22 Pacific

Tuesday April 29, 2008

Job vs Company; I'll Take the Job

When I began working for Cotheme (the Company that employs me), it was with decidedly mixed feelings. I hadn't gone looking for a job there; they found me. I wasn't in their customer demographic. I didn't use any of their products or services. The location was at the far edge of the distance I was wiling to commute.

Read my commentary...

Job vs Company; I'll Take the Job - posted at Tue, 29 Apr, 16:29 Pacific

Saturday January 26, 2008

Leaving a Mark

Today's commentary discusses my reaction to an article, and particularly the followup comments, that I read in April of 2006. One of the comments referenced a quote attributed to Jean Baudrillard:
The compact disc. It does not wear out, even when one uses it. That is terrible. As if one had never used it, as if one had never existed at all.

Read my commentary...

Leaving a Mark - posted at Sat, 26 Jan, 19:22 Pacific

Friday January 4, 2008

Who Owns the Data?

There's been a lot of discussion in the Cyberverse recently regarding Robert Scoble and Facebook. Robert lost his Facebook account (he got it back after appealing) when he violated Facebook's Terms of Use by using a program to "scrape" (download) Facebook data -- specifically, his "friends" list.

What's interesting to me is that most of the discussion doesn't surround Facebook's policy or whether they were within their rights to turn off Robert's account, even temporarily. Much of the discussion concerns whether Robert Scoble had any right to the data he was "collecting".

In today's commentary, I discuss Robert Scoble, Facebook, and my opinion on data portability rights.

Read my commentary...

Who Owns the Data? - posted at Fri, 04 Jan, 20:36 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday December 28, 2007

Tact Filters

In today's commentary, I discuss Jeff Bigler's "Tact Filter" theory. I agree with most of it. But, there's one piece I don't agree with...

Read my commentary...

Tact Filters - posted at Fri, 28 Dec, 08:53 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday December 6, 2007

Re-orgs Hazardous to Teams

Today in commentary, I discuss the deleterious effect of Company reorganizations on teams.

On Monday, my manager said "We're having a re-org. But don't worry. it doesn't affect anyone in my group."

She was partially correct. There is no immediate, direct, acute effect. However, the longterm indirect effects are demoralizing. We're losing three people from the Team.

Read my commentary.

Re-orgs Hazardous to Teams - posted at Thu, 06 Dec, 09:53 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday November 2, 2007

Changing the Culture? Start with the Meeting!

The Company That Employs Me has decided it needs to Change. To get the employees to understand and "internalize" the new Purpose, they're holding "Corporate Purpose, Strategy and Culture" meetings. Specifically, mandatory, 3-hour, in-person attendance meetings.

This is not a Company with a history of holding effective meetings. You could say that effective meetings are not part of the Company Culture. It seems to me, then, that a good way to start changing the Company Culture would be to start with that first meeting.

Read my commentary...

Changing the Culture? Start with the Meeting! - posted at Fri, 02 Nov, 23:01 Pacific

Friday October 12, 2007

Personality Types

I'm interested in the study of Personality Types. In today's commentary, I discuss some of my thoughts about Jung Typology, the Meyers Briggs Type Index (MBTI), and the Keirsey Temperament sorter.

Read my commentary...

Personality Types - posted at Fri, 12 Oct, 20:30 Pacific

Wednesday September 19, 2007

Hiding Behind the DMCA

In today's commentary, I discuss my recent encounter with the dreaded DMCA. Whatever happened to old-fashioned courtesy?

Read my commentary...

Hiding Behind the DMCA - posted at Wed, 19 Sep, 19:51 Pacific

Friday September 14, 2007

Four Walls and a Door

In today's commentary, I discuss the productivity losses caused by cubicles vs. the benefits of having "Four Walls and a Door".

Read my commentary...

Four Walls and a Door - posted at Fri, 14 Sep, 18:31 Pacific

Saturday August 11, 2007

Whisper Campaign

Sometimes, when you switch to a new manager, you take along baggage you didn't know existed... In today's commentary, I discuss an upsetting workplace situation and why I actually feel better about my job now.

Read my commentary...

Whisper Campaign - posted at Sat, 11 Aug, 11:05 Pacific

Monday July 9, 2007

Who Are You?

In today's commentary, I discuss names: nicknames, handles, aliases, and, in particular, Chat IDs.

Read my commentary...

Who Are You? - posted at Mon, 09 Jul, 19:23 Pacific

Wednesday June 27, 2007

Who Moved My Cheese?

In today's commentary, I discuss Who Moved My Cheese, the popular motivational tale by Spencer Johnson.

Read my commentary...

Who Moved My Cheese? - posted at Wed, 27 Jun, 19:45 Pacific

Wednesday May 16, 2007

Empowered Teams

In today's commentary, I discuss Empowered Teams. Companies fear empowered teams. Employee empowerment represents the end of management as we have known it. That cannot happen too soon for me.

Read my commentary...

Empowered Teams - posted at Wed, 16 May, 20:02 Pacific

Friday May 11, 2007

Do You Pass the Joel Test?

In today's commentary, I discuss "The Joel Test", Joel Spolsky's 12 step test to rate the quality of a software team.

Read my commentary...

Do You Pass the Joel Test? - posted at Fri, 11 May, 22:38 Pacific

Wednesday April 11, 2007

Commute Time Management

In today's commentary, I discuss my view of time management in the context of the daily commute.

Read my commentary...

Commute Time Management - posted at Wed, 11 Apr, 20:40 Pacific

Thursday March 29, 2007

Business Communication

In today's commentary, I discuss why I believe that formal communication and discussion between people in the workplace should always be handled by email

Read my commentary...

Business Communication - posted at Thu, 29 Mar, 20:06 Pacific

Thursday March 22, 2007

Choosing Email

In today's commentary, I discuss why we need to stop thinking of email as some strange beast. Email is written communication - nothing more, nothing less.

Read my commentary...

Choosing Email - posted at Thu, 22 Mar, 19:40 Pacific

Thursday March 1, 2007

Vital Integrities

In today's commentary, I discuss the book, Vital Integrities, by George Brymer, drawing comparisons to my job history.

Read my commentary...

Vital Integrities - posted at Thu, 01 Mar, 00:11 Pacific

Wednesday February 14, 2007

State of Mind

In today's commentary, I discuss the consequences of feeling good about my work and my job — and what can happen if that changes.

Read my commentary...

State of Mind - posted at Wed, 14 Feb, 21:12 Pacific

Wednesday February 7, 2007

Don't ask employees to be passionate about the company!

One of my favorite weblogs is called Creating Passionate Users. In today's commentary, I discuss Kathy Sierra's recent article, on a subject that I can really get behind.

Read my commentary...

Don't ask employees to be passionate about the company! - posted at Wed, 07 Feb, 21:29 Pacific

Tuesday September 26, 2006

Balancing Time

In today's commentary, I discuss a secret that good managers know (and mediocre managers may never understand):

Increased productivity does not mean increased time. In fact, the reverse is true. Productivity is defined by work over time. To be more productive, you do more work in the same amount (or a smaller amount!) of time.

Read my commentary...

Balancing Time - posted at Tue, 26 Sep, 22:25 Pacific

Thursday August 17, 2006

Cutting Back on Telecommuting

In today's commentary, I discuss HP's decision to cut back telecommuting in its IT division. Boo! Hissssss.

Read my commentary...

Cutting Back on Telecommuting - posted at Thu, 17 Aug, 23:52 Pacific

Monday August 14, 2006

Where Do You Prefer to Work?

In today's commentary, I discuss telecommuting and the results of the recent National Technology Readiness Survey.

Read my commentary...

Where Do You Prefer to Work? - posted at Mon, 14 Aug, 00:01 Pacific

Thursday August 10, 2006

Frame of Reference

In today's commentary, I discuss the importance of the proper frame of reference in understanding what you're seeing, or reading, or hearing.

Read my commentary...

Frame of Reference - posted at Thu, 10 Aug, 22:09 Pacific

Sunday August 6, 2006

Are you a blogger?

Before you answer no, consider this:... In today's commentary, I discuss what defines a blogger. If you share writing, stories, and observations with your friends, even by email, you may be a blogger and not realize it!

Read my commentary...

Are you a blogger? - posted at Sun, 06 Aug, 21:50 Pacific

Friday June 9, 2006

Touchy Feely Paperwork

In today's commentary, I discuss the not-so-hidden costs of feeling a need to meet "face to face".

Read my commentary...

Touchy Feely Paperwork - posted at Fri, 09 Jun, 12:09 Pacific

Thursday June 8, 2006

After The Interview

In today's commentary: Interviews can cause enough stress while they are in progress. But when I get the polite "no thank you", my stress meter can go off the scale. My first thought is: Did I do something wrong? My second thought is usually "What did I do wrong?!"

Read my commentary...

After The Interview - posted at Thu, 08 Jun, 08:09 Pacific

Tuesday May 30, 2006

Never Settle

In today's commentary: Don't let the difficulty in finding a job drive you to accept a job that's wrong for you.

Read my commentary...

Never Settle - posted at Tue, 30 May, 00:16 Pacific

Tuesday May 16, 2006

Every Jot and Tittle

In today's commentary, I discuss one of my "pet peeves" — people who seem to feel that writing for the web doesn't need to be edited, spell-checked or proofread.

Read my commentary...

Every Jot and Tittle - posted at Tue, 16 May, 10:23 Pacific

Tuesday May 9, 2006

Strengths Finder

In today's commentary, I bring you part two in a two-part discussion of the Clifton StrengthsFinder and the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths.

Read my commentary...

Strengths Finder - posted at Tue, 09 May, 22:24 Pacific

Friday May 5, 2006

Discover Your Strengths

"Most Americans do not know what their strengths are. When you ask them, they look at you with a blank stare, or they respond in terms of subject knowledge, which is the wrong answer."

--Peter Drucker

In today's commentary, I discuss the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton of the Gallup organization.

Read my commentary...

Discover Your Strengths - posted at Fri, 05 May, 23:20 Pacific

Thursday April 27, 2006

By Chance or By Choice?

In today's commentary, I discuss a question from career hub: "Do you think one's career is by chance, or by choice?"

Read my commentary...

By Chance or By Choice? - posted at Thu, 27 Apr, 09:09 Pacific

Tuesday April 25, 2006

Just in Time for Earth Day

In today's commentary, I discuss a relatively new California regulation that prohibits the disposal of household hazardous waste in the trash. That's the good news.

Read my commentary...

Just in Time for Earth Day - posted at Tue, 25 Apr, 10:44 Pacific

Friday April 21, 2006

Net Community

In today's commentary, I discuss the latest "net scandal" (at digg) and why it puts the social software and the Net Community in a favorable light.

Read my commentary...

Net Community - posted at Fri, 21 Apr, 18:18 Pacific

Wednesday April 19, 2006

Addicted to the Computer?

In today's commentary, I discuss a topic for a possible article in the the SF Chronicle and my reaction to the topic. I had a nice chat with the reporter.

Read my commentary...

Addicted to the Computer? - posted at Wed, 19 Apr, 00:08 Pacific

Sunday April 16, 2006

Needs Direction?

In today's commentary, I discuss my reaction to the unexpected results of my request for "After the Interview" feedback.

Read my commentary...

Needs Direction? - posted at Sun, 16 Apr, 01:00 Pacific

Saturday April 15, 2006

Following Up After the Interview

In today's commentary, I discuss asking for feedback. following an (unsuccessful) job interview.

Read my commentary...

Following Up After the Interview - posted at Sat, 15 Apr, 14:26 Pacific

Wednesday April 12, 2006

The Indie "Virus"

In today's commentary, I discuss the "Indie Virus", a good idea with a terrible name. It's not what you're thinking...

Read my commentary...

The Indie "Virus" - posted at Wed, 12 Apr, 17:35 Pacific

Sunday April 2, 2006

Can You Pass the "Human" Test?

In today's commentary, I discuss CAPTCHAs, those weird twisted letters that some sites use to try to prove you're a human.

Read my commentary...

Can You Pass the "Human" Test? - posted at Sun, 02 Apr, 13:38 Pacific

Friday March 24, 2006

Continuous Partial Atttention

In today's commentary, I discuss the problems of the "always on, always accessible" society.

Read my commentary...

Continuous Partial Atttention - posted at Fri, 24 Mar, 13:16 Pacific

Tuesday March 21, 2006

The Math You Learned

In today's commentary, I discuss Steve Yegge's recent essay, Math For Programmers, and my thoughts on high school mathematics and its effect on what I do in my job.

Read my commentary...

The Math You Learned - posted at Tue, 21 Mar, 00:40 Pacific

Friday March 17, 2006

Knowledge Sharing

In today's commentary I discuss the ways in which the World Wide Web provides us with a vast and ever-growing library where each of us can check things in as well as check things out!

Read my commentary...

Knowledge Sharing - posted at Fri, 17 Mar, 15:08 Pacific

Wednesday March 15, 2006

Sustained Individual Success

In today's commentary I discuss some of my thoughts after reading part III of Marcus Buckingham's book, The One Thing You Need to Know.

Read my commentary...

Sustained Individual Success - posted at Wed, 15 Mar, 10:51 Pacific

Friday March 10, 2006

Realtime Productivity Reduction

Welcome to Cubeville

In today's commentary I discuss two articles on office cubicles as well as my own feelings on the subject after working in Cubeville for two decades.

Read my commentary...

Realtime Productivity Reduction - posted at Fri, 10 Mar, 13:09 Pacific

Tuesday March 7, 2006

Great Managing

Has Your Manager Read This Book?

In today's commentary I discuss part I of The One Thing You Need to Know, by Marcus Buckingham. I've begun to understand why so many tech-industry managers are... mediocre at best.

Read my commentary...

Great Managing - posted at Tue, 07 Mar, 00:10 Pacific

Wednesday March 1, 2006

Billable Hours

Unclear on the Concept

In today's commentary, I discuss the weird and often unfair world of "billable hours" as exemplified by a recent posting to ComputerWorld's Shark Tank.

Read my commentary...

Billable Hours - posted at Wed, 01 Mar, 00:15 Pacific

Tuesday February 21, 2006

The Weblog Handbook

Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog

In today's commentary, I muse about The Weblog Handbook, an excellent book by Rebecca Blood

Read my commentary...

The Weblog Handbook - posted at Tue, 21 Feb, 00:40 Pacific

Saturday February 18, 2006

Serendipity, Pet Rocks, and The Long Tail

A lot of people want to Get Rich Quick. I don't blame them. In today's commentary, I discuss how a lot of "get rich quick" success stories seem to involve a large element of serendipity.

Read my commentary...

Serendipity, Pet Rocks, and The Long Tail - posted at Sat, 18 Feb, 08:00 Pacific

Wednesday February 15, 2006


Software Development is Not Like Auto Mechanics

In today's commentary, I discuss a recent article in The Register that compares professionalism in programmers to profesionalism in auto mechanics.

Read my commentary...

Professionalism - posted at Wed, 15 Feb, 00:05 Pacific

Sunday February 12, 2006

Note to FedEx

While we were out of the house today, a FedEx driver delivered a package. In today's commentary, I discuss my reaction to the way he did it.

Read my commentary...

Note to FedEx - posted at Sun, 12 Feb, 00:05 Pacific

Friday February 10, 2006

Customer Disservice

In today's commentary, I discuss why it can be so difficult to file problem reports when Customer Service organizations claim to want to help me.

Read my commentary

Customer Disservice - posted at Fri, 10 Feb, 12:54 Pacific

Thursday February 9, 2006

Commuting To and Fro

In today's commentary I discuss the problems inherent in a regular, lengthy, commute.

Read my commentary.

Commuting To and Fro - posted at Thu, 09 Feb, 00:20 Pacific

Tuesday February 7, 2006

Stepford Employees

In today's commentary I discuss a article posted today at, "Federal regulations kick in today that will make Internet job hunting more complicated."

More complicated? It's a lot worse than "more complicated".

Read my commentary.

Stepford Employees - posted at Tue, 07 Feb, 19:14 Pacific

Thursday February 2, 2006

Internet Ties

In today's commentary, I discuss my interest in social networking applications and social software.

Read my commentary.

Internet Ties - posted at Thu, 02 Feb, 08:15 Pacific

Wednesday February 1, 2006

Make Me An Offer

In today's commentary I discuss the fact that, whenever I'm forced, unwillingly, into putting a price on my work, I wonder how best to respond.

Read my commentary.

Make Me An Offer - posted at Wed, 01 Feb, 01:10 Pacific

Thursday January 26, 2006

The Citizen Journalism Debate

In today's commentary, I discuss the recent announcement, by the National Union of Journalists in Britain and Ireland, of a "code of practice to address important issues raised by the 'phenomenon of citizen journalism'.

Read my commentary.

The Citizen Journalism Debate - posted at Thu, 26 Jan, 12:09 Pacific

Thursday January 19, 2006

The Interactive Web

In today's commentary, I duscuss my interest in interactive web appliations, so-called "Web 2.0".

Read my commentary.

The Interactive Web - posted at Thu, 19 Jan, 11:55 Pacific

Tuesday January 3, 2006

The Color of My Parachute

In today's comentary, I discuss my current job hunt as well as what I like to do, the sorts of jobs I like, the kind of career I want to have, and the sort of company where I would like to work if I had my druthers.

Read my commentary.

The Color of My Parachute - posted at Tue, 03 Jan, 00:05 Pacific

Wednesday December 21, 2005

Seasons' Greetings

Today marks the winter solstice — the longest night (and the shortest day) of the year. For thousands of years, humans have observed this season with festival, celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of the next. At the winter solstice, humans celebrate the return of the sun.

Today in commentary.

Seasons' Greetings - posted at Wed, 21 Dec, 10:49 Pacific

Thursday November 17, 2005

How to Lose Friends and Influence People

Today in commentary: I learned a few days ago that the Company That Formerly Employed Me has now laid off some 10 - 20% of its workforce. I guess I was the "canary in the mine". I still feel bad... but less paranoid.

Read my commentary.

How to Lose Friends and Influence People - posted at Thu, 17 Nov, 15:27 Pacific

Monday November 7, 2005

What Part of "I prefer..." Don't You Understand?

In today's commentary, I discuss a comment, made recently by a friend, that my skills and work preferences "limit the options" in my current job hunt...

Read my commentary.

What Part of "I prefer..." Don't You Understand? - posted at Mon, 07 Nov, 13:25 Pacific

Friday October 21, 2005

Passion For Work (redux)

In today's commentary I discuss how passion for work can backfire...

Read my commentary.

Passion For Work (redux) - posted at Fri, 21 Oct, 21:02 Pacific

Wednesday October 19, 2005

So Good At What I Do

Many years ago, in my first "real" (i.e. fulltime, salaried) job, my then-manager said to me:

Vicki, you're so good at what you do. Why can't you be good at this?
Today in commentary.
So Good At What I Do - posted at Wed, 19 Oct, 22:10 Pacific

Thursday September 29, 2005

Teaching Tomorrow's Employees Today

In today's commentary, I discuss IBM's plan to "financially back employees who want to leave the company to become math and science teachers."

Read my commentary

Teaching Tomorrow's Employees Today - posted at Thu, 29 Sep, 20:12 Pacific

Monday September 26, 2005

Tech Support Motivations

In today's commentary, I discuss how Rich and I frequently get into "discussions" with people who provide technical support for the various applications we run... The cause of the "discussions" is a fundamental difference in motivation.

Read my commentary

Tech Support Motivations - posted at Mon, 26 Sep, 00:32 Pacific

Saturday September 10, 2005

We Are The Web

Ten years ago, Netscape went public, bringing the WWW to the attention of Wall Street and the masses. The masses took the Web as their own.

Kevin Kelly published an excellent article on the Web phenomenon of the decade in the August issue of Wired magazine.

My own comments, on both the Wired article and my own experience, are posted today in commentary.

We Are The Web - posted at Sat, 10 Sep, 00:11 Pacific

Saturday May 1, 2004

Getting Out of the Box

Career Epiphany

[ This is an abstract of a longer commentary which I posted to my other weblog. ]

Before you can do any thinking "outside the box" you need to realize that there is a box and that you've placed yourself within it. For years, I have been struggling with the question of "what do I want to do with my job". At least a decade ago, I made a set of Pro and Con lists, variously entitlted, Programmer, System Administrator, Tech Support, Quality Lead.

In the years that followed, I added Technical Writer and Webmaster to the lists. I added a list of generic Preferences and another for Interest Areas. But I was still thinking inside my box. ...
       Continue reading "Getting Out of the Box"

Getting Out of the Box - posted at Sat, 01 May, 21:50 Pacific