Engineer. Manager. Husband. Father. Wanna-be Writer. Editor-In-Chief & Grand Poobah of
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Do Doctors practice surgery on the weekends?

This is an interesting though after reading a tweet about Engineers and Doctors. Unfortunately, this was a tweet read in passing and one which I did not have the forethought to save somewhere because it keeps rattling around my brain.

As a follower of the beg, borrow, or steal philosophy, I have co-opted this idea into my own, but it is always best to give credit to the originator. In this case, I did not save it so in not having that information, I apologize in advance, random internet person.

The message went something like this (recalling in my own…

Frustrated, unclear messages? ANGRY, ALL CAPS RESPONSES? Do you write novels in email form? Keep reading for ways to improve your communications at work

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Photo by naomi tamar on Unsplash

One of the biggest mantras that my team hears over and over and over again:

Communicate, communicate, and then go back and communicate some more.

This concept is absolutely critical to everything in the business world. People crave information. People need direction. People desire knowledge.

All of these things come from communication.

Yet, most of us don’t know how to make this transfer of information work effectively.

There is no place that the delivery of news (or lack thereof) drives conflict more so than in movies. In fact, most movies could be much, much shorter if the characters practiced good communication skills. …

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Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash

The world has changed.

Upon first glance, that statement seems obvious and almost a little silly. Of course the world has changed. The world changes every day. People grow and learn. New products come out.

The concept that is really on my mind here is the massive changes in the workplace due to the coronavirus. Maybe a better phrase to use here would be something like this:

The workplace has changed. And it will probably never go back to the way that it was before.

Yet, even thinking through this idea, this is nothing new. Go watch an episode of Mad Men. The workplace that we know in 2019 looked nothing like that office ideal. While it can be said that any dramatization of workplace culture and etiquette can only present one ruby-lensed viewpoint of any workplace, some big differences can be seen when comparing and contrasting the workplace of the second decade of the 21st century. …

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Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

After recently stumbling upon a commencement speech by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, I started thinking about mentors and the people that have helped me in my professional journey.

The speech that I am referring to is one where the man, the myth, the legend himself, Arnold “The Terminator” Schwarzenegger calls out that there is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. The relevant parts of the speech are captured in this edited video:

This got me to thinking. The statement does apply to all of us, no matter what profession we are in. …

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Image by athree23 from Pixabay

We have all come to know and love Emotional Intelligence. Just in case you have been living under a rock for the past few years, Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to manage your own emotions as well as recognize and understand emotions in others.

I am not knocking Emotional Intelligence. It seems to be an incredibly popular buzzword and there are plenty of articles out there discussing this topic. Practicing these skills as a manager is important, and I do believe in it. …

Hint: It is no different than the secret to success in life

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Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

It is almost painful to see the sheer amount of stories that pop up in my feed on a daily basis about achieving success in writing for online platforms.

I am just like anyone else, after starting my side-hustle putting words on a screen it was easy to be convinced that untold riches are just one viral post away.

At the time of writing this, I don’t have stacks of cash lying around from my burgeoning writing career.

Yet after a little more than six months into putting myself and my writing out there, I feel successful as a writer.

The problem is, the classic American Dream has shifted from a mentality of working hard and achieving the benefits and rewards of that hard work over time to a viral mentality that has zero collective memory and requires immediate influxes of cash to define success. …

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Photo by William Warby on Unsplash

Kids do not understand the true value of money. To be honest, most adults don’t understand it well either. Society has dictated that we use a form of currency (dollar bills y’all) to exchange effort for value that we in turn give to someone else for something that we deem as an equivalent value.

Here is a quick exercise to try sometime. Try and explain to a child what the real value of money actually is.

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Who wouldn’t want to be a couch potato for a living? Imaging, the overstuffed cushions, and piles of blankets and pillows. The softness of the sweatpants. The collection of remote controls arrayed around the empty bottles and bags of chips on the coffee table right in front of you.

As fun as it may sound on the surface, some people would have a hard time enjoying this lifestyle for long periods of time. Yet the description above certainly checks all the boxes for the Hollywood definition of the word “lazy”.

This image is highly contradictory against the backdrop of a busy office and the flurry of activity around a hardworking and focused Engineer. These two images could not be further apart in terms of activity levels, but the people at the center of these two scenes have a lot of things in common. …

In light of the #BlackLivesMatter movement: A call to rework the Pledge of Allegiance

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Photo by Samuel Schneider on Unsplash

As a child growing up in America, we had a moment every school day where we stopped and all exclaimed a series of words in unison: the Pledge of Allegiance.

In the current form, this goes something like this (as recited from memory alone):

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all.

Any errors in punctuation or capitalization are mine, and mine alone.

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Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Agile is great. Agile is wonderful. Agile is the savior of all things related to Software Engineering.

On paper.

In practice, classic Agile is difficult, confusing, frustrating, and just downright hard to implement. Because of knowing that many people would argue the preceding statement, we need some contextualization here. Therefore, a clarified statement reads:

At a small company with less than 10 software developers and a handful of hardware engineers, where the projects change constantly and the number of people working on any single project can change from week to week, classic Agile is difficult, confusing, frustrating, and just downright hard to implement. …

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