I learnt about …

  • Meeting Free Days

    It is very easy for your work week to become a random collection of meetings - all with different attendees and different agendas. For developers in particular this can cause a huge hit on productivity as their day becomes disjointed and they are unable to stay focussed for the longer periods they need for their work. We started seeing this with the team I am working with. Someone would see a big chunk of free time and schedule a meeting right in the middle of it.

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  • Paper Airplane Database

    This site contains a collection of easy to follow designs for paper airplanes. Something for the “kids” to try. Links Fold ‘n’ Fly

  • Shared Meeting Document

    We have a lot of remote meetings as most of our team work a significant amount of time from home. Face to face meetings are much better for some types of meetings - especially workshops and retrospectives. As the level of expected collaboration increases the more it favours face to face interactions. We have also been far from optimal in capturing information from meetings and discussions. We have tended to capture the actions fairly well but have failed to adequately capture the “why” - i.

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  • Spreading The Knowledge

    On most projects there is a tendency for someone involved to become the “expert” in one or more areas. As they become comfortable and more knowledgeable in an area they will naturally gravitate to picking up tasks related to it. The need to deliver as quickly as possible can also drive this as the person who knows most is likely to be the person who can do the work quickest.

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  • Octopus Dreaming

    Obviously we have no idea whether the interpretation in the video is correct however I love they way the octopus changes colour and shape as it “dreams”. Link Octopus Dreaming

  • Family Breakfast

    Someone I work with mentioned that each week he takes time to have coffee with his mum. This might sound quite normal but there are two parts that stand out for me. Firstly it is the actual act of scheduling time to do this. It is very easy in today’s world to get so busy that we forget about the important stuff. Secondly, he lives in London and his mum lives in South Africa.

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  • Goggles give back sight

    This short clip is pretty remarkable. A young woman lost most of her sight due to a brain tumour. All she has left is a small blurry circle in her right eye. With the use of some AR goggles and some very clever tech she was able to read for the first time in years - very moving. Links Goggles ‘give back’ sight to Maisy so she can read again

  • Sleep is your superpower

    This is one of the scariest videos I think I have ever seen. It is not a horror movie or a thriller - it is a talk about the impact sleep has on the body and in particular the impact a lack of sleep has. This includes increasing the risk of cancer, decreased brain function and reduced immune system. I am seriously reconsidering how I “do” sleep after watching this!

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  • Book Summaries

    I read a lot of books - a bit less at the moment as I commute less - but still probably more than most people. However there are so many books I would like to read I can’t read them all. I still prefer to read the full book but sometimes book summaries are useful - either to get the key concepts or as a reminder of what I have previously read.

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  • #MonkeyFirst

    I was listening to the audiobook for “Questions Are the Answer” by Hal Gregerson and it mentioned an approach used by the X lab at Alphabet nicknamed “MonkeyFirst”. It talks about the hypothetical problem of getting a monkey to recite passages of Shakespeare while sitting at the top of a 10 foot pedestal. There is a natural tendency to start working on the pedestal. It is something we know how to do and would show progress.

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