"Vest over t-shirt pwns half-shirt, Bill!"
That is the word that I would use to describe the work done by my fellow engineers at Canonical over the past 2.5 years. However, it is time to move on.
"I think I'm gonna hurl, Bill"
Its not an easy thing to move on from what is truly the best job I’ve ever had. However, it is time. I’ll discuss more here after my last day at Canonical, which will be very soon, December 5th. Suffice to say, I won’t disappear from Ubuntu, so stay tuned!
The worst way to go. http://www.flickr.com/photos/almaz73/3564244382/
I started my breathing, er, reading time today by digesting this post by Matt Zimmerman which analogizes (quite effectively) reading and writing to breathing air. His comment on deep understanding through sharing struck a cord with me.
I believe this is a key component of human interaction and the way our brains work.
When inside our heads, we condense information into shorthand. An Ubuntu developer has a deep understanding of what “maintainer scripts” means, and so we just use that term in our head as an assumption. When we make these assumptions, we must consciously decide to challenge them, and often then we challenge them with other assumptions.
This past weekend, I attended the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. I’m not a huge car buff. I do think that BMW’s are the bomb, and I like Honda’s common sense vehicles, but really, I am NOT a car guy. However, I thought this was an interesting chance to take a look at an industry that, in my opinion, isn’t all that different than the one I’m in.
Now, that may surprise some. Its pretty easy to think that I work for a super advanced company that has started a revolution and sits on the bleeding edge of innovation. I mean, at Canonical, we’re doing all kinds of amazing stuff with “the cloud” and building software that makes peoples’ jaw drop when they see it in action sometimes. Continue reading
Seth’s Blog: Validation is overrated.
“If you’re waiting for a boss or an editor or a college to tell you that you do good work, you’re handing over too much power to someone who doesn’t care nearly as much as you do.”
Just a bit of reminder that while feedback is great, getting it done is way better.
As of next Monday, I will officially be in the employ of Canonical as a member of the Ubuntu Server Team. Please come say hi if you’re going to the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Belgium, as I’ll be there all week (try the fish!).
I just happened upon a site that mentioned bubbl.us as a way to brainstorm. Cool tool. I played with it and decided I wanted to keep the data I had put in it to play with later, but was annoyed that I had to create yet another user id+email+password combination on yet another site that I probably won’t visit again for a long while. Plus, say I want to add it onto my facebook wall. Facebook might be able to extract the images, but they might now. How lame is that?
My current solution for the login problem is less than ideal. I use the java program Password Safe to save my accounts+passwords, which it generates randomly. The pass phrase for my password safe is pretty complex, and I change it on about an annual basis. The program re-locks the safe after 5 minutes of inactivity, so this is reasonably safe against casual compromise. Of course, keyboard shoulder surfing and a subsequent theft of my machine (or temporary control) could render it useless, but I’m willing to accept those risks and do what I can to maintain control of the laptop. If somebody steals my laptop, unless they can crack the encryption quickly, I feel pretty good that I’ll have enough time to restore from backup, change all the passwords, and set a new combination.
However, this is basically as good as our current “status quo” of online fractured identity can get. And I still don’t have anything to bring all of my online presence together.
Seth Godin’s recent post about responding to discussions about things you don’t understand has got me thinking about hiring people.
When involved with a staffing decision, I look for one trait in particular above all others. If you don’t know how to say “I don’t know”, and ask for an explanation or help, then you’re not really smart. You don’t have a good process for learning. You may have a mountain of knowledge in your head, but it is surrounded by a huge, impenetrable ego shield, and so, cannot ever be added to. Its like you took the sum of what you knew, and stuffed it into a snow globe. When people shake you up.. sure.. its pretty, but thats all there is to it.
I’d rather work with people who are open to having their entire belief system about certain subjects shattered by a better idea. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stick to your guns and assert your own ideas and beliefs. It just means, when challenged, be like the Zen Buddhist Aikido master and flow with the force of the attack, and when possible, use it to your advantage.
I love Seth Godin’s blog. Its technology aware but focuses people, which is why we have this technology, right?
Anyway, he makes the point in his latest post titeld “I need more time” that more time doesn’t necessarily lead to better decisions.
Holy cow, did you read about this company “The Linkup” losing 45% of its customers’ data?! How about they change their name to “The @$%! Up”.
First off, let me say that these guys didn’t have to be retarded to lose this much data. In fact, there are (were?) probably a lot of really talented people who designed and built this system to avoid such things.
I’m an optimist, so I have to believe somebody raised their voice at a meeting when data was shipped off to some loosely linked company from some past relationship. The finger pointing going on now is exactly what nobody ever wants to see happen to something they built.
Nirvanix says it has not deleted any customer data, and promises that its Storage Delivery Network is immune to the problem that plagued The Linkup. Continue reading