Office Worker Essentials
A century ago the majority of people were employed in manual labor: either on a farm or in industry. A small minority worked as professionals. They were the early knowledge workers. Their primary tools were the pen and paper. How times have changed. Today every knowledge worker has a myriad of tools at their disposal and they are expected to master them.
Starting in a Software Development Career
In our competitive world people are expected to produce results beginning with the first day on the job. The guidance you get about what constitutes results is usually not as clear as we all wish it would be. As a software professional you can improve the odds of being successful right from the start if you are prepared for your first day.
The Essence of Knowledge Work, Part 3
Knowledge workers take in information, process it by applying their knowledge to it, and output information (possibly) in a different format than they received it. You, like many other knowledge workers, produce your output artifacts by applying knowledge to the input you receive. Your knowledge includes everything you know and the input you receive from all possible sources, too.
The Essence of Knowledge Work, Part 2
Your information supply chain consists of all artifacts that you consume (produced by your colleagues) and the artifacts that you produce (consumed by your colleagues). You produce your output artifacts by applying knowledge to the input you receive. Your knowledge includes everything you know and the input you receive from all possible sources.
The Essence of Knowledge Work, Part 1
Knowledge workers take in information, process it by applying their knowledge to it, and output information (possibly) in a different format than they received it. This looks like the information processing business.
Brief Introduction to Personal Planning
As a knowledge worker, you live in a world where a continuous stream of commitments are made and accepted 'round the clock. To succeed in this world, you must learn to make commitments and keep commitments. Since commitments that rest on a plan are more likely to be kept, you must learn to make plans quickly for your work and then carry out those plans effectively.
What Makes a Good Wiki Page?
Groups large and small use Wikis to capture and share knowledge. As you read page after page of a Wiki, you notice that some pages are good, but others not so much. What traits distinguish a good Wiki page from its mediocre cousins? Here are the four key factors that make a Wiki page good.
Effective On-Task Time
Software development is knowledge work. We use knowledge, take input as knowledge, and the output we produce is knowledge. Our output is executable knowledge. According to Peter Drucker, the 21st century's defining characteristic is knowledge work. We, software engineers, are in the thick of things.
What Makes a Good Wiki?
You heard of Wikis. You might be using them daily. They are everywhere you look. Unfortunately, quite a few of them are not as useful as they could be. Over the years many of them became dumping grounds for page after page. How can you make your Wiki work better for your group of collaborators? Make the Wiki tell a story!
What’s So Hard About Planning?
In the software business where most people don't seem to agree on anything it seems that everybody agrees that planning is hard. (The only thing that seems to be even harder is tracking to the plan and regularly replanning, but that's another story.)
Most programmers know about "context switch" if their education or experience included at least some amount of assembly level work. In the "context" of assembly programming context refers to the contents of all CPU registers.
What do you know?
Why is it that most software developers have such a miserable track record when it comes to finishing projects on time and on budget? During my software career I met some of the smartest people around and still most of them were not able to finish projects by the date that they set.
You say you don't have time to slack off? You are too busy? You have too many things to do? Think again. One of my favorite gurus decided to not slack off entirely, and he wrote a pretty good book on the subject. Read it the first chance you get: Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency, by Tom DeMarco.
Our profession is still relatively young. The field of software development seems like a mine field--without a comprehensive map--to many practicing software engineers. The information that you find here will provide insight to make your day-to-day work more effective and more enjoyable.