Reading From Home
Nobody talks about RFH
The Best Email?
While I was working at Palm in Building 3 (on the Pre and later the Pixie), we were all working many days in a row, we were all tired, we were all running out of time as the big ship date with Sprint loomed. I myself could walk to work in about 40 minutes give or take, which meant I was close enough to return to work at the end of some urgent phone call, and I was always there.
Now and then, for some, it was possible to work from home. Since we were able to “live on” our devices (carry them in our pockets, use them here and there, hopefully without exposing them to press photographers… some were less successful at that than others, but our daily “Ruby Bugs” reports from CEO Jon Rubinstein were a result of his using the thing on the CalTrain every morning, for example).
All this said, one morning we received an email (sent to all in the dev teams) from one of our colleagues, advising us that he would not be at his desk in Building 3, but would instead, well…
I will be reading from home today.
It is easy to laugh at that, and at the time we all did. Given that we were all super busy and there was only more to do (this was prior to the flash part panic, which I’ve talked about previously), so this seemed not only decadent, but almost tone deaf. Surely everybody could read at home all they wanted, but we didn’t call it work!
Today it is easy to consider reading a serious part of the work day, as there is only more of it to do and there are only more topics as sources of material (that is, the pile of things needing to be read is growing, but so are the number of piles). I have found that my embrace of audio books has been “reading” an even more common passtime in which I engage, though not from home so much (more while walking to and from the gym, and while at the gym, but also other times). I tend to listen to non-fiction, about history or economics or other non-technical topics, while my bookmarked article set for all things technical and nerdy has essentially escaped earth’s orbit.
Reading From Home via Anchor.fm
Host: Dan Hugo
Recorded 9 August 2021, Published 9 August 2021
Quoggling Sand podcast via Anchor.fm
Sprints Need Contiguity
My desire to execute a weekly sprint remains, my ability to allocate contiguous, focused time is still TBD.
The plan has been to sprint for predictable progress on small, factored project components, especially where the components can be used across projects. Sprints do work (hackathons are similiar to sprints, for example, and they can be quite effective for focused ideation and innovation). Unfortunately, the one thing I am trying to overcome (time-sliced diversions between now and progress) is the one thing that undoes the very nature of sprints.
This is where collaboration comes in to play (hackathons with more than one person become a feedback loop of forward motion, arguably progress now and then), and so I’ve been seeking to have guests join in the discussion as part of the Quoggling Sand podcast… that is another milestone yet to be achieved. I actually think an actual hackathon, virtual or otherwise, is the way to go, even if it is as informal-yet-focused as collecting the laptop and face mask and sitting in a coffee shop for a few hours each day. Is this still a thing? It is the way I used to work in Silicon Valley…
As I mentioned in today’s episode of the podcast, I have made some progress along the re-usable components pathways (the aws chalice project is interesting in that it addresses one of the pieces… it’s not the end all and be all, but it does bridge a gap and that’s what the sprint needs to accomplish). I still need to dial in the focus, and I suppose the possibility of collaboration (even if only on the sprint notion, not on actual hands-on project work) will remain an item on the to-do list for a while longer.
By the way, there’s a reasonable book on Sprints, rather conveniently-titled, which I would recommend (affiliate-link-free, even):
I haven’t read it in a while (I have it on my Kindle, if memory serves… that’s a great sign) but I have to think that “think about sprints” is not a multi-day item on the agenda.
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