Reads from this morning

Trigon, this app I occasionally play, can be such a time sink. I’d say “just one more game,” then after a while, I’d realize that an hour had just gone buy and I spent it just arranging shapes to align and disappear (pretty much like my time). So I caught myself this morning just about to tell myself “just one more game,” and decided to get back into my reading in Medium. Ended up bookmarking several stuff and reacting to a few.

“Active reading — taking notes, sketching, and talking with a friend about the text — can also help forge mental connections between the information you’re taking in and what you already know, increasing your retention. This doesn’t mean passively highlighting, re-reading, or retyping what you’re reading but effortfully engaging with the text: jotting down your own thoughts, questions, and connections that occur to you, whether you do it in the margins or take notes elsewhere.”
How to Remember More of What You Read

Sometimes I have instances of “I’ve read somewhere that so and so…” and vaguely recall an idea from a book or text I’ve read. Or I’m able to connect something I’ve read about to something at work. To have been able to pull something out of the well of insights I gained from reading tells me that I do remember enough to make some use of it. With the little I remember (I admit to not having the best memory which is why I like that quote saying the mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled), the information and even knowledge I’m able to connect to real life has been helpful. I can only imagine how much more so if I can remember more. I’ve started doing that to some of the books I’ve been reading since September i.e., more actively highlighting, taking down notes, and occasionally putting in some lols and side comments. Whether my memory improves, I’ve yet to find out, but at least I know where to find my notes if I need them.

“A great culture can ensure you are able to do something repetitively if you have done it before. It brings sustainability. It brings certainty in outcomes.”
Well, culture DOESN’T eat strategy for breakfast!

I’m not exactly in charge of culture building at work (but I do know my behaviors, my mindset, how well I execute has the potential to contribute to the culture). Nevertheless, I found this post and the book it shared (“What You Do Is Who You Are” by Ben Horowitz) interesting — especially the little anecdotes. No PowerPoint presentations in meetings. Just kill the snake, don’t play with dead snakes, opportunities start out looking like snakes. Shocking rules. Don’t !@#% the customer as a value. Interesting.

“In late 2019, the US Court of Appeals denied LinkedIn’s request to prevent HiQ, an analytics company, from scraping its data. The decision was a historic moment in the data privacy and data regulation era. It showed that any data that is publicly available and not copyrighted is fair game for web crawlers.”
Web scraping is now legal

This just throws me back to when our team was looking into LinkedIn integration to strengthen the expert profiles in the in-house app we built. Crawling was an idea we were cautious about since we feared the legal implications (so we obviously did not go there).

Other reads from this morning before my Trigon time was up 🙂

One link leads to another

Sometimes I come across posts or material in the internet on topics that piques my interest. It could be something I want to know more or understand more about. Or it could be related to a conversation or two I’ve had within the day that makes me question certain things. So sometimes I google, and sometimes I just stumble upon them through various feeds — could be Twitter, email, Medium, IG, and Facebook even. And then one link leads to another and before I know it, it’s 2AM and I should be getting some sleep. So anyways, here’s a dump of some recent links, in no particular order. I hope someone finds them helpful or interesting as I have.

Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell (15 minute video) – I like how the content was easy to follow. There were a lot of points worth highlighting, but I guess what hits home the most is the mention of three things that need to be balanced:

  • Build the right thing (PO tends to focus here)
  • Build the thing right (dev team)
  • Build it fast (SM or Agile coach)

So you want to be a Scrum Master (book) – This is a Leanpub book which you can get for free, or not if you can afford to make a payment / contribution. It’s written by an Agile community of interest with the intent of sharing what they’ve learned and what they’ve seen to have worked.

The 3 most effective ways to build trust as a leader (post/article) – Got this from Rob Lambert but I can’t remember where exactly — “Three typical management activities that get poor results and three that get good results”. I’m not really a leader by title but the three ways of building trust that the post enumerates are still relevant to me and they emphasize points that I value: Empathy, clarity of intent, and follow through.

DISC Profile Types (personality test) – This is something I picked up from Rob Lambert’s webinar. For each profile type, there are recommended ways on how to better communicate with them, and inversely there are recommended ways on how to encourage others to better communicate with you. Took the test myself and got 48% Compliance, then Dominance, Steadiness, and lastly Influence.

12 common mistakes made when using Story Points (post/article) – This reminded me of something a colleague had shared wherein their Scrum Master wants them to estimate in hours rather than in story points, and also her thinking that story points can be easily translated to hours.

Agile Makes No Sense (post/article) – Let me just quote some lines (actually last 2 paragraphs) that I liked…

What is the smallest thing that could add value (and make sense)? A better standup? A better retrospective? Inviting a customer to a demo? Pairing for a day? Agreeing to get something into product in a couple days? Try that. Make one thing make sense as in “wow, I can see how that created value”.

When you take this humble approach — instead of “installing” a bunch of artifacts, tools, roles, and rituals AKA doing Agile — I think you’re embracing the true spirit of Agile.