James Adam by James Adam

Monday Links - Week 227

Meetings at Medium

“Holacracy” describes, among other things, a technique for running meetings and managing “tensions” within teams. There’s a lot more at holacracy.org, if you can penetrate the slick presentation. Perhaps this interview with Ev Williams (who runs Medium) is a simpler introduction. This quote also jumped out at me:

People think “freedom, no job description, everybody does everything, it’s totally flat, and that’s cool because we’re all down with those rules”. But actually that creates tons of anxiety and inefficiency, and various modes of dysfunction, whether we have to build consensus around every decision, or I’m gonna do a land grab for power… People romanticize startup cultures, but I know it’s fairly rare that people in startups say “this is it, it is amazing and everybody is super-productive and going along”

One aspect that seems to be emphasised is the idea of an organisation’s purpose, which is something I think that we struggle with – “what is the purpose of GFR?”. As I said, there’s a lot of slick presentation to penetrate here, but I’m hoping to find a kernel of insight that might help our company. JA

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

See also this summary of his talk about the purpose-driven organisation; again, there’s a level of… presentation that you might need to look beyond here, but fundamental message is that it’s the organisation’s purpose, and communicating what we believe, that drives not only the way people work within it, but also why people buy it’s products or services. I’m reminded of my time at Reevoo, where I bored my colleagues and superiors by decrying that “we needed a Manifesto!” to explain what we did and why anyone should care. It’s only now that I fully realise that the “anyone” included we developers as much as the public. Anyway, this and the link above are undigested raw material for some further thinking about how we run GFR. I hope I get the chance to digest them. JA

Introducing CoVim – Collaborative Editing for Vim

In my continuing quest for a code editor that works well in a remote pair-programming context, this vim plugin which makes use of Python & Twisted looks as if it might offer a useful low-bandwidth collaborative development environment. JM

Docker – an open-source engine which automates the deployment of applications as highly portable, self-sufficient containers

I hadn’t heard of Linux Containers before, but they sound pretty useful. This could be interesting for creating project-specific developer sandboxes and for packaging up an application’s dependencies so it can be easily deployed to a production server. JM

INVESTing In User Stories Is Hard

I think this is a great description of what makes a good user story and how some of the “properties” of a good user story are in tension with each other. Via Neil Williams. JM

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