Sunday, February 12, 2012

Some Programming Notes

I've officially been working for the man for a month now, and the whole corporate environment has provided some fantastic opportunities to observe people and how they work. (How fitting, considering the company I work for is in the business of improving the ways people work.) I'm trying to make a habit of jotting down things I'd like to think about some more, and I planned to sit down tonight and pound out a thoughtful post about one of the topics, but realized I don't have anything meaningful to say on them yet.

So, in lieu of actual content, I'm listing some of the things I've noted in hopes that getting them in public will force me to come back in a timely manner and expand on them. Note that these thoughts don't necessarily reflect things I've seen going on at work, just things I've thought about in general.

1. Manipulation of employees through corporate culture. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, but it's interesting that gaining buy-in from employees is so difficult, and it seems that just recently management is realizing that being honest to their employees is almost always a better way to go than tricking or forcing them into their ideal process.

2. Piggy-backing on that idea, I'm fascinated by the number of buzzwords that are thrown around these days. Phrases like "leveraging social media" and "employee wellness program" are everywhere, and often they serve to put a mismatched faceplate on what's actually happening or mask the fact that those implementing a system or program don't really understand it.

3. In an unrelated topic, I'm interested to see where voice control of gadgets is going to go in the workplace. I'm not a huge fan, at least not yet, but folks seem to love their Siri, and while I haven't seen it going on at work yet I wouldn't be surprised to see it seeping in a bit here or there.

4. And finally, I want to take a while to try to understand how successful companies go about making the distinction between designing products, systems, and processes to try to meet their vision of some utopia out in the future and innovating to meet a future that isn't perfect but can actually happen. There's no better way to kill a project than to assume nothing will go wrong, and the same is true with a vision for the future.

Anyway, just some things to ponder. If anyone has thoughts or comments, please share, I'd love to hear some ideas other than my own.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let's Do This.

One thing I've noticed about myself is that I'm not very good at sticking to things if I don't have documentation, but if I do, things get much easier. My best example of this is my blood glucose tracking web-app, which currently contains every single measurement I've ever taken (at least four per day for the past five months...) and helps me keep track of where I've been, where I'm at, and where I want to go.

A second thing I've noticed about myself is that I'm incredibly good at making excuses. It's time for that to change at least a little bit.

So, when I heard myself making every excuse in the book for why I couldn't actually get in shape or exercise regularly, I figured a good solution would be to apply thing one. Should be interesting to see what happens. Anyway, getting to the point...

I'm setting a goal. Right now. It's lofty, it will be tough to attain, and quite frankly, I might not. So what. Let's do this.

By my birthday, August 3, I will run 10 miles. That's 10 miles at once, not cumulatively over the next 177 days. I clarify that because I know I'll find a way to cop out if I don't. I'll be tracking my progress in a spreadsheet, which should be equal parts fun and depressing.

For some perspective, the furthest I've ever run at one time is somewhere around 3 miles. From the research I've done, diabetes will be a significant obstacle. I went for a run tonight and successfully made it an impressive .9 miles before I gave up.

Hopefully more goals to come; make up some of your own and we can work toward them together.