Andrew Weaver
February 15, 2021

Newsletter #27 : Ongoing learning, reading, skills, agile

Happy Friday!

In our fast moving world, the moment you become an expert is just about the time you become obsolete.

The google algorithm changes overnight and disrupts existing SEO strategies.

Your favourite mobile phone brand has yet another model release, and you’re off to upgrade.

The ever revolving door of WordPress plugins.

Tech managers and leaders need to create sufficient space in our schedule to read, learn and stay ahead of the parade.

This week we take a look at learning and skills.

CTO Academy Team

How much time do you allocate each week to read?

Warren Buffet claims to spend 80% of his week reading, as detailed in this article “Going to bed smarter than when you woke up”

Bill Gates is allegedly not far behind.

So how much time do you allocate for yourself to find some peace and read?  On a scale of 0% to 80% of your working week – I bet it’s much closer to the former, if you’re anything like me.

With so much going on, I often feel I’m leaving the shop unattended if I’m skulking away with the kindle and yet, and yet, slowing down, grabbing a book or magazine and absorbing external ideas and thoughts is always a nourishing experience and one I need to keep focused on achieving more regularly.

How about you?

Are skills starting to trump diplomas?

My mother wanted me to become a lawyer.  I did manage to complete a pre-law course but, my heart was set on tech and that’s where I landed my first job.

Attending agile management software training, I met a trainee who like me, didn’t have any tech qualification but was following a similar passion and working for a software company.
Another pal, a collegiate debater, went to law school then dropped out later because he wanted to design games. Now, he’s a successful product owner.

For all of us, despite family expectations about studying our way into a traditional industry, we just wanted to get involved in tech and were relentless in pursuing that passion, despite facing barriers because of a lack of qualifications..

So it’s great to see the big tech companies eschewing that traditional requirement for college degrees and focusing instead on skills, and character.  

Article : It’s All About Skills Now – Google, IBM, Apple No Longer Require College Degree


Using agile to overcome cerebral palsyJust loved this inspiring article by David Dame.

David is taking Agile to a whole new level as he overcomes his cerebral palsy.

His article, What Living with Cerebral Palsy has Reminded Me Recently About Agile, explains how he struggled with his condition but was able to pull through with an Agile lifestyle.–  Overcoming something has an expiry date. You do not overcome something forever, you solve it for now.

–  It’s not how many times you fall. It’s how many times you will get back up to face either the same challenge or a new challenge.

– Agile does not fix problems. It exposes and even amplifies them. As you approach new problems as an organization — experiment to solve them.He concludes with “Lead how you would like to be led” … 

Tech for all and all for tech

I attended Web Summit in November 2016, on the day that Donald Trump won the US election.

There was a real gasp from the tech glitterati attending that event,  and a dawning realisation that our utopian view of globalisation wasn’t shared or appreciated by everyone.

Conversations emerged from those sessions about who is benefiting from all this innovation.

So I was interested to read this opinion piece ….Tech for all and all for tech — how to ensure innovation serves everyone …

Why are we doing this?
Who will benefit from this?
What problems in the world will our technology solve?

Regardless, of how our ideas emerge we’re all hopefully striving for a greater purpose — to improve lives and make the world a better place and for more people to share in the benefits.

Feels like a pretty good place to round off this weeks ‘5 Minute Tech Break!’

Quote of the Day

“Yesterday I was clever, so I changed the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi

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