Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Review: Drive (Daniel H. Pink)


The Surpising truth about what motivate us

I think that this book is fundamental to understanding how “work” is changing and what motivates us in a knowledge-work environment.

The jobs from the industrial age are disappearing and each day the number of jobs that require a lot of knowledge and creativity are increasing. So the tools and structures created for the previous era have no sense anymore. In fact I think that some of these tools and ideas are counterproductive.

This book explains human motivation very well and how science is discovering and validating these ideas. It also explains the differences between these ideas and the ideas that are the basis for the actual management techniques used by the vast majority of the companies. It also describes some examples of successful companies that use a more modern approach based on these verified ideas.

An indispensable book to understand the human motivations discovered through science: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

It also describes some companies that have been successfully adapted and that use this knowledge about motivation to be more successful.

Indispensable for anyone interested in human relations, world environment and in how to improve our organizations.

I am very pleased to see that a lot of companies in my environment (software development, IT, etc) understand these principles and use this knowledge to generate a more “rich” environment.

Book highly recommended

In case anyone prefers a very quick summary you may also find interesting the following TED talk of its author:

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Interesting talks I saw these days (work organization, complexity, leadership, product, trust, collaboration)

These are the most interesting talks I saw these last days: 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

brief summary / retrospective of this past year 2016

From a professional point of view, this is the summary of this past year 2016...

At the end of 2015 I decide to learn about scalability, distributed systems and cloud native systems to expand my professional comfort zone.

Following this decision, I decided to change from the great XP team at Alea Soluciones to TheMotion. I explain why in this blogpost

I walked 2752KM (5.50Km/hour) More or less, 225KM/month, 7.5KM/DAY usualy 10KM/day, but some days I skipped the walk due to bad weather.
I assisted to the following conferences:

I started to write blog posts in English and it seems to have a clear impact in the number of visits. It's true that my English is very bad, but "If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late." :-)   And the only way to improve, is to try, fail and learn (by doing).

I wrote my personal mission This personal mission come from several years of thinking about myself and my acts, but this was the first time that I decided to wrote and publish it. For me, this is an inflection point in my professional and personal career.

One year at TheMotion
  • To maintain
    • Lean development, Focus on flow, Continuous delivery
    • Cloud related learning (I should be very conscious of the Dunning Kruger effect)
    • Simplicity / systematic work against complexity.
    • Validation of high scalability designs (horizontal scalability, event sourcing, queues, simple design, evolutionary design...)
    • Great team (very capable and collaborating and improving all the time). Already with great habits (focus on flow, simplicity, good testing level...)
  • To improve
    • More code/design time.
    • More technical mentoring (using pairing and internal talks).
    • Help to simplify organization structure, improving collaboration, removing complexity, management, and command and control tendency.

New year's resolution list

This is my new years resolution list:
  • Create a new years resolution list with only one item and make it public.
Done!!! Yuhuu!!!! Great!!!
Less is more... less things to do, less anxiety, more enjoy, more time...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book Review: Designing data intensive applications

Designing data intensive applications 

The big ideas behind reliable scalable and maintable systems 
by Martin kleppmann

Important update: I am reading a more updated version, because this review is for a initial version with only 200 pages and the actual version that I am reading right now contains more than 500 pages, so take with a grain of salt.

Even if the title include the word applications, the book is focused in the different implementations of databases and other services/tools to maintain the state (cache, brokers, etc).
The book is very interesting to know the different implementations and the challenges faced by the developers implementing these kind of software (info distribution strategies, transactions, replication, and so on).
Personally, although the book helped me to remember certain concepts and learn new ones, it was not exactly the kind of content that I was expecting.

The book in general is interesting, but perhaps is more useful if you are working creating a database or something similar. For the enterprise application developer or for a system developer, although the book is interesting, it won’t add too much value.

In summary, good book if you are designing / developing infrastructure code to deal with state (distributed log, database, broker, etc).

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Book Review: Antifragile


Things that gain from disorder

This is the best book I read this year… It was eye-opening for me, it make me change my point of view regarding working or dealing with complex domains and connect the dots between some ideas coming from different sources that I have pending to connect.
This book sometimes is not very easy to read and sometime it have some repetitive examples, but in general make easy to understand concepts that initially are not so easy so is a great work. And as I commented I think that the content is great, full of insights, takeaways and new point of views to deal with complex adaptive systems.

I think is a fundamental book to understand evolutive systems, their emergent behaviors and their characteristics. It also allow to identify very easy systems that in the beginning seems efficient but in fact are fragile, without any margin or slack and are doomed to be failure.

As a computer science and professional developer in this book I have identified lot of ideas from this field… For example, Alan Kay talking about objects as a biological systems, the Cynefin framework, abstraction, federation and microservices as presented by Tom & Mary Poppendieck, or the failure injection to improve a system (as in chaos engineering, netflix simian army).

A great book and lot of wisdom for anyone interested in complex adaptive systems, system thinking, etc...