Weekly post 28th of September 2018

Welcome

Welcome to my weekly post. In this posts I share thought and ideas or fact that I have experienced during my last working week. If this is the first post of this kind, I suggest you to go and check out my latest posts too:

These small posts are aimed at new developers and people that want to learn what I believe to be important events that happened during my week.

I really hope you enjoy it, and as with every of my post, I look forward to see feedback and comments.

Farewell comrades

Unfortunately no matter how great a business actually is. There are times when colleagues decide to take a different career path that will inevitably will see them leaving the company.

In this instance, unfortunately my colleague was looking for a technical stack that we were not able to offer, and I was more than certain that this moment would have happen soon.

I did not have the greatest relationship with this colleagues, as in many times during the first few months of employment, I had to have many discussion about work ethic and other more delicate subject.

Unfortunately this is part of my job, and even if I am not proud of it, it is normal for some people to feel some resentment, but this case was different.

I was initially surprised that my colleague decided to tell me first about his departure, even before his team mates and functional lead. Then he unexpectedly gave me a most welcoming hand shake and thanked me by saying:

Thank you for everything you have done. You have managed to change me, and change me for good! I will never forget itColleague

This experience though me a great lesson. Sometimes we may think that our actions may have no consequence or have a negative effect, but in reality they could actually change someone else to shape their future.

Fresher week

This week, all over the UK, first year students are celebrating their arrival to their chosen university. This week, apart from the great vibe and freebies I could fetch all over town, I was actually involved in a presentation to Computer Science students at the University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids (UWTSD).

I presented with one of my colleagues, and it was great to be able to share ideas and tips to people, and hopefully, give them the opportunity to come and join our company.

While walking around the theatre, I could feel the eye focusing on us, I could feel the thoughts running in peoples minds. I hope to have succeeded to spark some interest, and hopefully give them good tips that will help them in their career path.

At the end of the day, no one can really know what lies ahead, but I know deep inside that I have done my part and I wish all those students the best possible outcome!

Keep organised

While I was preparing the above presentation for the University students, I realised being organised, is probably my strongest skill. If you have ever worked with me, you may know that I am old school and always walk around with my little agenda.

Today I am going to share the methodology used to organise my busy work schedule and small tips that could help you becoming more organised.

This is just a quick guide, for a complete guide I need a standalone post, please add a comment or ask on twitter if you are interested.

My organisation is an adaptation of the Bullet Journal. I should probably thank them for my success, and without their ideas I would probably still be using the agenda normally, loosing out it all the great feature that I now use on a day to day.

During the next few sentences, you may start to think that I am crazy, but I really urge you to keep reading and try it, because it is not actually hard to implement and the results are amazing.

Index

All my agenda’s start with a few pages that are initially empty. This pages will store my index with all relevant titles and page number. This is essential when the agenda start to get full. Differently from a normal usage of an agenda, pages will live for a long time, and you need to know where they are ( it also remind you of what information you have stored).

Usually a couple of page are enough to cover all my agenda (4 pages for just in case).

Week by week

The index pages are usually followed by the first “Week page”. Each of this page begins with a title that indicate the date of Monday for each week. For example this week would be titled “WC 24th Sep 2018”. I usually write the title on the top right so that they are away from the rest of the page ( that gets messy).

This page include all the “action” that I need to take throughout to week and all the one that were not completed on the previous one. This is my first tip “If you are not immediately starting an action, WRITE IT DOWN!”

I write tasks like:

  • Answer john question
  • Send email about X
  • Complete epic X

All tasks here need to be concise and tangible. I would never write anything that could have no end! This page is essential, because it will show you everything that you have done during your week.

More importantly, it will highlight if you have not been able to complete the action that you were planning to do at the start of the week! (there is more to this, and I suggest you to check out the website).

Backlog

This is an agile term that can be described as:

An accumulation of works waiting to be done or orders to be fulfilled.wikipedia

This will be the first page that we add in our index. The backlog will include tasks that you have NOT been able to complete in the “Week page” and that may have low priority at the moment.

If i personally move something in the backlog, I feel really bad, because it means that I am falling behind, or that I did not focus and managed my action properly.

When you have quite times, or when you have the ability to do some extra work, you can easily go back to the backlog and move the tasks into the Week page. (When this happen, this is a good moment).

Special event / meeting

This is probably the most important point of my agenda. I fill it up with meetings and “recurring” action that need a specific point. This is easier to explain by actually sharing a few pages that I have an its needs. Each of this entry need to be added in the index page.

  • Chapter meeting – This page is used to add information that you would like to share during the chapter meeting. It is very useful for information that you want to share and it will help you in be consistent in delivering information to your team.
  • Functional Members – I am a functional lead, and as such I need to take care of my members. I like to write down Good and Bad events. This information NEED to be written down, otherwise you will surely forget about them! And for my past experience, they are extremely appreciated!
  • Specific meetings – I have on average 4-5 meeting a day, and I do not actually use a page for each them, otherwise the agenda will last me a week. I just record meeting in which decision where taken and or assumption where made. It is important to remember what was agreed when the time comes for the work to actually take place.
  • 121 – This is another important page for me. Keeping track of even that I want to share with my functional lead. There is nothing worst that meet your functional lead and say “I have nothing to say”. We all have something to say, we just do not remember!

Summary

This week post has 3 different posts and it is not easy to find a specific topic. I really hope you have found any of the above interesting and I look forward to receive comments and suggestion.

With this I salute you and I wish you a fantastic weekend.

 

 

 

 

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