The 5 Minute Tech Break : Jan 11


Welcome all and belated happy new year.

We've returned back to our desks following a truly tech free Christmas, with a spring in our step, hope in our hearts.

Everything is possible when January rolls into view and proud to inform our dear reader, that most new year resolutions remain in place, aside from Jason promising an expletive free January ... 

Apart from that ... it's been a wonderful start to the year and we wish you the very best of luck, success and good health in 2019.

Enjoy the read.

Jason & Andrew

Book : 'Carpe Diem Regained'

Nik Silver writes an excellent blog about 'People and Software Development' and we spotted some interesting observations  made when reviewing a book called 'Carpe Diem Regained' ....

" ... interpretation of carpe diem is about choosing how to live by first thinking about death. It seems frivolous to compare something so serious as death to project prioritisation, but the parallel is quite apparent. If we are to consider walkability as a success measure of our project prioritisation and our inclination towards being agile, then perhaps we can also say carpe sprintum—seize the sprint, and prioritise as if we may have to finish our project at short notice, while still having something we can point to as worthwhile and of lasting value"  ... 

Programmers ... Don't Like People

April Wensel is the founder of Collaborative Coding and mentors developers and CTOs around the world.  She has some  interesting things to say on what she views as the darker side of Tech Culture, believing the very foundation of tech culture is toxic.

She advocates a need to inject more compassion into tech and a culture shift to move away from a fixed developer mindset that "I'm just an engineer ...." and softer skills are not required.  

Well that is something we subscribe too!!

Whilst not necessarily agreeing with all the points she makes within her recent keynote speech, it's an interesting talk : "Programmers ... Don't Like People".

Barcelona : It's a techtastic location

Being married to a Spaniard has many advantages (Ed: I think he's under pressure to say that), in particular our regular visits to that wonderful country.

Barcelona this Christmas and alongside walks on the beach and through the windy, medieval streets of El Born I was struck, not for the first time, what a fantastic place to be involved in tech.

They have their own political upheavals that no-one knows quite how will play out (welcome to our world in the UK) but one thing is for sure, the tech scene is booming and it's an awesome place to be located.

One cute way to combine work with Rioja, is to visit one of the many tech events held each year in the city.  From the huge Mobile World Congress to smaller events like this months IQS Tech Fest (Europe's First Festival for Industrial Start Ups), there are bags of reasons for organising a jolly to Barca and maybe even a relocation .... [he hints at co-founder]

For detailed information and insight about the scene, we recommend signing up to Barcinno, full of events, jobs, news and evidence of a vibrant scene and super cool city.

Ada Lovelace : And Some Say Girls Don't Get Tech

Christmas pause enabled catch up time with podcasts left untouched during a busy 2018.

I spent leisurely time with the awesome Masters of Scale, Michael Barbaro and The Daily from the New York Times but, my particular fave is a BBC show called In Our Time and this Christmas I caught up on a programme they did about Ada Lovelace.

Now I'm just a humble CEO and many of you might be aware of the Lovelace/Babbage story but to me, it was revelatory because the story and achievements of Ada were astonishing.  To those unfamiliar with her story, a brief snapshot .... 

Born 1815, alive less than 37 years, daughter of Lord Byron and credited with being the first computer programmer having recognised that a proposed mechanical general-purpose computer had applications beyond pure calculation.  

She described herself as an 'Analyst (& Metaphysician) and unsurprisingly came into contact with many of the eminent thinkers of her day, including Faraday and Dickens.  

One could argue that nothing then happened until Turing, but as the tech world battles to be more diverse and move away from what April Wensel might describe, as a traditionally bro and toxic culture, it's remarkable what this woman, from a stiflingly patriarchal era, achieved.

If you don't know the story, grab some time this weekend and find out more.

Only 13% of employees are emotionally engaged in their work

Our good friend and fellow lecturer @guspower, is an interesting chap to follow on twitter.  

He provides 'Twitter Insight As A Service'.

Amongst the many interesting articles we picked up via his thread, a blog posted by 'Corporate Rebels',  reviewing a speech given an American management expert by Dr. Gary P. Hamel.

How about this from some of his opening statements;

  • “How is it OK that a scant 13% of employees around the world are emotionally engaged in their work?”
  • “How is it OK that only 12% of employees in Europe say they’re always consulted before objectives are set for their work?”
  • “How it OK that 50% of employees say they’ve had to change jobs to escape an incompetent or autocratic boss?”
  • “How is it OK that in a global survey, 79% of respondents from large companies said new ideas get greeted with skepticism or hostility?”
  • “How is it OK that in the same survey, 76% of respondents said political behaviors highly influence who gets ahead?”
If you're managing and/or working in any size of organisation, you should find the wider article an interesting read.

Quora question of the week ... "What makes a bad CTO?"

My witty co-founder will say .... "a multi tasking CEO" but, what do you think?

This is what Quora participants thought

And finally .... What's going down at CES?

It's CES (the global stage for innovation) week in Las Vegas and amongst the many wild and wonderful things we've seen so far ... there is the 4 legged deliver robot and a machine for folding t-shirts (like, the world has been crying out for that innovation!).

We'll do a more detailed review in next weeks newsletter ... 

That's it for this week folks.

For you insatiable types who can't get enough of the '5 minute tech breaks', go visit our archives.

For those with a life to lead, until next time have a great weekend and a seriously productive week.

Ciao for now.

Don't forget .... anyone who purchases a course during 2018, receives lifetime membership to all future CTO Academy courses and significant discounts against other products.  

We have great plans for 2019 and beyond so get on board now and enjoy the ride!!