Saturday, October 29, 2016
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Your company cares about work-life balance? Maybe it is you who make sure that your life and work are balanced? Does work-life balance means "no emails on weekends", or maybe "no meetings after 17:00?" Is this: "leave your work problems at work be at home 100%?"
It sounds good. It is also a scam. There is no such thing as work-life balance. Work is a huge part of your adult life. Your working days mostly look like this (with varying hours and time slices):
Granted you do get a work-free chunk of life before joining a work force and following retirement. However, most of your premium quality life, where you have money, health and independence, looks like the above picture. This is basically the reason the companies are saying: “We care about you very much and want you to have a fulfilling life. Do not spend all your time at work, so: No emails on weekends, no work on vacation, leave office at 18:00, etc.”
Some of them are sincerely worry about you. They want to create a place where you are happy and will say to your friends: “This is a great place to work with a very good work-life balance!”
What is the problem then?
The problem is that it is the same as saying to somebody: “This crossfit thing is hard. You get tired and sweat a lot. We don’t want you to be hard on yourself. We suggest a laid-back crossfit! It is the same as regular crossfit, but really easy and you do not sweat.” Well, this does not work! The whole point of crossfit it to be hard, so you can create a better version of yourself.
The same thing is with work-life balance. You do not get a refund on the time you spend at work! There is no scientific evidence or any major religion that once you die, you get to meet a clerk with a spreadsheet, who says: “You have worked really hard and had a very good work-life balance. We return you back for another 10 years! As a bonus, you will be 20 years old!” Not going to happen. Work is part of your life. How does “Life-Life Balance” sound?
I do not suggest to work all around the clock. There are things in life apart from work. Personally, I (very) rarely miss a dinner with my family. I get to games, events and holidays of my kids. Family is clearly a first priority in my life. However, I am blessed with a flexibility to work at almost any location and I use it. I work at any moment that I have time. If I can and it does not conflicts with anything else, I work at nights, weekends, vacations and sick days. Why should I spend my time watching endless TV series one after another, read rumors, watch “funny” videos, update Facebook or read talkbacks? I prefer to use my time for something worthwhile.
You do not consider your job being worthwhile for spending your free time on it? Well, you probably have another problem then…
As for me, it is my life and I am not going to spend it.
I am thinking about starting a new branch of religion where disciples do get a refund on a work time. Join now! Get a refund!
Friday, January 22, 2016
The answer is not: “Wait with the celebration until she leaves the building.” I assume here that you have actually wanted her to stay.
The answer is also not: “NEVER! I am always unhappy and always let them know that!” Employees leaving is part of the regular state of business. Lets be frank: do you plan to retire from your current company? All the 60+ guys please put your hand down. If you don’t plan to retire, do you only expect your employees not to quit the job before you leave?
Your employee is resigning. Should you ever be happy about it? Sure! Here are real examples from my experience:
- She is coming and explaining that her husband/son/mother is getting a job abroad/moving to/terminally ill abroad. In other words, she has to move to another country overseas. She is really bummed about it and she wants you to find a way for her to continue working remotely. Both of you consider it for a while, but then decide that it will not work out. You have to say good buy.
As sad as it sounds you should be happy in this situation. True, you have just lost a great employee, BUT she wanted to make it work, she wanted to continue working for the company. She has left as your friend.
- There is this guy, who has come to your office saying that there is a startup company that offered him a dream job. He wants to stay here, but this is a one in a lifetime offer. He might even has come to you before asking for promotion, but there are no opportunities in the company yet. You talk about it and it does sound like a dream job, so you end up convincing him to take the offer.
- There is this developer that wants to do something else. Not something that the company is doing. He wants to be a Web developer, but you run an embedded project. You have tried a couple of different projects, areas, modules, but nothing is working out. There is just no such thing as a web development in your company. You talk with the developer for months about it and in the end both of you decide that take different paths. Bummer? Sure! Did you depart like friends? Absolutely!
All those cases mean that you will have to hire another developer/QA/etc. You will train her, guide her and help her a lot. Until she will be an equal member of the team. Bummer? Yes. Should you be happy about the old employee leaving? YES! You should be happy!
Your job as a manager is to develop your people (well, this is one of your many jobs). Sometimes, you have to let them go to develop them further. In all those cases there is a common theme. You have been a part of the process. Moreover, you have build relationships with her. Good relationships that she would come and open up with her problem. She felt close enough to discuss a very sensitive issue with you. You had a decency to look for the best solution for her. Not for you. People notice that and appreciate that. You just earned a friend.
So, when you should not be happy when your employee is leaving?
When it surprises you!
This is the worst thing that can happen to you as a manager: your employee surprises you with resignation!!! Oh, they will have a good reason, they always do. Don’t believe them! Happy people don’t leave jobs they love! Especially, when the group/product is new. People don’t cheat on their honey moon. You did not see it coming? You should have! It is your fault as a manager!
It means that the employee was unhappy for a while, but you did not notice. She felt insecure or far enough not to mention it to you. Did you have a one-on-one meetings? Do you talk about personal stuff on those meetings? How do you make sure that nobody else is slipping between the cracks? Are others happy? You acn take it as granted: people don’t leave just because. They leave because they don’t like it here. If they like it here, they will go a long way to stay. Not the short walk to leave.
Surprised? You should not be happy…
Monday, January 04, 2016
Why return to it? Few reasons:
- Goals are important. Writing them down is even more important.
- I want to write more. Writing my resolutions will provide me at least 2 posts a year: resolutions and then excuses why I did not make them :)
- I want to focus. Writing a few big goals will do just that.
- Visualize progress. Years fly by. I am already almost 41. Writing goals and achieving them, exposes a progress in life.
- Do 2 fun days with each kid in separate. Those could be half days, if it will be enough.
- Publish 2 research paper
- Finish all the courses
- Pass to stage 2
- Continue with leaning down and get to 80kg (or six-pack with a little more).
- Write 15 blog posts and 12 posts in LinkedIn. Blog posts should be different from the LinkedIn posts.
- Learn something new. Professionally.
- Sketch or draw - 8 pictures.
Well, good luck to me.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
- Ship a product.
- Build a group that can deliver.
- Grow up my team members.
- I say aloud that I am going to take a risk in a specific issue. I outline a strategy for risk taking, i.e. what are the risks, when and what are the checkpoints, if and when do we bail to a safe road. It is important to announce the risk taking ahead of the decision for two reasons. First, so everybody knows that risk taking was deliberate and not ad hoc. Second, it teaches planning in risk taking process.
- Execute on a risky path. This includes checking the progress, passing or failing the checkpoints, deciding on the future course of actions, etc.
- Retrospect and summarize. Face the decision and the outcome. See if you were right or wrong. Learn from it and continue. This is a very important step in saying "Its ok to take risks." Retrospect is critical especially when the risk didn't pay off.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Friday, September 11, 2015
The first time went like this.
- Implement a simulation. There is a main class that drives the simulation and then there are specific algorithms. So, the main class calls each algorithm and the algorithm prints out the results.
- Redirect the results into a file.
- Open the file in your editor of choice, which is clearly VIM. Manually combine columns into a single file that gnuplot can understand.
- Open gnuplot and draw a graph. Save the graph in PNG and embed in a paper.
The process should be automatic. This is how I did it this time.
Gnuplot should get data files that have columns.
To eliminate step #3, this file should be output by simulation directly. The problem is that each column is generated by a different algorithm, which are called sequentially by the code. The way to do that is counter intuitive in a way, the results have to be gathered by the main class, which will then output them all together.
This is a code snippet. Gathering of results are highlighted in yellow. Notice that not only results are gathered but also the titles of the columns are fed from the specific algorithms to the main. This is absolutely required, as each line in gnuplot should be labeled and I don't want to add those labels afterwards.
The next step is to automate graph generation. This is done by outputting a gnuplot script (outlined in blue). So, now simulation runs, outputs data into file of all algorithms, outputs gnuplot script. Gnuplot then generates graph automatically.
The best part is that the code generates two graphs in a single run (two calls to "OutputGnuplot"). I can easily generate another one, as all the data is in one place.
As I said. Almost enjoyed it.