It is interesting to see what happens at some point in almost every workshop I run. Just after talking about some topic, often a topic where I get up on a soapbox and go off on a rant that takes us well beyond the standard training fare, I’ll have a few people come up to me at the next break. Almost in unison, they suggest that their managers need to hear what I had to say about this topic. For me, it’s an indication of the difference between training and education. Read more
Way back in 1939, the great and powerful Oz had this to say to the Scarecrow, who was in search of a brain:
“Why, anybody can have a brain, that’s a very mediocre commodity. Every pucilanimous creature that crawls on the earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain.
Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts, and with no more brains than you have.
But they have one thing you haven’t got – a diploma.
Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitatis Committeatum, E. pluribus unum, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of Th.D. (Doctor of Thinkology).”
Receiving that piece of paper didn’t make the scarecrow any smarter, as evidenced by his screwing up pythagorean and isosceles triangle theorems. He clearly received an empty credential.
More than seventy years later, we still struggle to recognize the distinction between certification and education. Read more
One of the requests that I don’t think will ever go away in training and mentoring is the request for a recipe. Many people in this YouTube world of short attention spans aren’t interested in taking the time to understand topics in depth, they just want to know what will work, and simply apply it. Sorry, but I don’t think that makes for things more complex than chocolate brownies or IKEA furniture. Read more
Throughout my career, I have found that effective team dynamics trump individual performance when it comes to delivering great products. While heroic efforts may get the job done and can be the stuff of lore, the damage to relationships and corporate risk with such an approach are not sustainable. That stated, there is one area where personal focus is imperative: learning. Read more
We can learn a lot about software development by observing how people manage their e-mail inboxes. For years, even though I would diligently move important information into specific folders for later retrieval, control of my inbox had escaped me. Despite all my best efforts, it was almost impossible to cull it down below a threshold of hundreds of messages. The effort required to regain control was beyond me. I’ve seen others that don’t manage their mail at all, and the number of messages in their inboxes number into the thousands – retrieval of any relevant information is a daunting task. Read more