Showing posts from 2019

One way to take notes during 1:1

Backstory One of my goals for Q3 2019 was to find a good way of collecting notes for 1:1s. Historically I just had a rolling document that had a spat of notes from various meetings. I wanted to get a little more organized. First I was listing off what I should cover and how often. Not as a hard rule but just as a guideline. Second I looked into a medium to share this information with the people I support. I read a blog post from Trello 1 that suggested having a board per connection with various boards. Check that out for more details. Implementation My Template (link in summary) I really liked the idea from Trello, so I did an experiment and created a template 2 . Then I took one of my teams and created a board for each individual. It was pretty well received from the teams. For the repeatable tasks I listed out the things that I thought about during my first part of this goal. 1) performance feedback, 2) company news I've heard, 3) ice breaker questions, and 4) quarterl

Elon Musk on Project Management, how he built a Starship mk1 in 4 months

Space exploration has been an amazing newish frontier that we are tackling in the past 100 years. Elon Musk's team at Space X has been hugely successful with Falcon 1, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and are approaching first launch of Starship mk1. They just had a party where they hosted a Q&A session for Elon. One of the reporters asked "How did they pull off a ship build in 4 months time? Typically that is over a year to build a ship". His answers below were a great reminder on agile methods. How skewing toward speed can have a positive impact on the end line. How feedback loops and adjustments help. How non-process can have a big impact. Elon's mantra: "If a Schedule is long, it's wrong, and if it's tight it's right". Apparently Elon is a bit of a poet. He elaborated; "Recurved improvement with feedback loops. Did it make it easier/faster and still safe? Great, if not, stop doing that." This is a great reminder to reflect on you

Car Camping with a 1 year old

Can it be done? Why yes, yes it can. Our little one just turned 14 months and we had a 4 day weekend coming up in late August. It is a perfect time of year for camping in Wisconsin.  The days are getting shorter, the nights are cool, and the days are tolerable. Here are some tips we learned along the way. The Food One thing I noticed that was different than just camping as a couple is all the prep work. Cassi planned, A LOT! She is simply amazing at this sort of activity. We, well really she, food prepped for every single meal, snack, etc... Everything was precooked so we only had to heat it up over the fire or with our little camping grill. S'mores were a must for a nightly snack. Day 1 we had hotdogs over the grill with watermelon (precut) for dessert. Day 2 we had eggs, sausage, and diced potatoes (precooked) for breakfast. All cooked on the travel grill. For lunch we had chicken salad sandwiches and for dinner we had burritos cooked in a grill pie press. Day 3 we ha

Training for a 10K Run, an OKR story

Celebrate Success. This week went really well, 6 out of 7 days accomplished. My other goals were a success as well. I got an average of 7.5 hours of sleep and new shoes! This week I noticed it was always a challenge to wake up. I had to find my inner Jacko to try to spring out of bed. I really have to stop hitting snooze... It all came to a head for sleep on Friday. I just couldn't get up. Ended up sleeping in to 5:30a. Felt amazing! Then I felt bad I didn't lift but really I needed the rest. It is my first miss. I think I just stayed up a bit too much celebrating freedom ('merica). The runs went really well but I could tell that I really needed new shoes. I went on 2 trail runs during the week (new construction in my area that isn't paved yet). The runs help me think about things. It really is my meditation time. I really feel so much better on days that I run. Lifting is very enjoyable as well. I found a great training program (thanks Cassi!) based on my 1 rep max

Radical Focus - A book review

Focus, just focus. That is the main message in the book Radical Focus  by Christina Wodtke. I've read a few OKR (objective w/ key results) books and this one is by far the best IMO. I appreciated the fable story in the beginning (the first 2/3 of the book). It provided a good example of how messy startups can be, how OKR can help them, and how you won't be getting it right the first time. It may take some big changes to your organization, but the benefits are really helpful.  The nuts and bolts of OKRs are this; people get distracted from why they are doing things and they can get off track... sometimes waaaay off track. That is okay, we are all humans. Let us be honest, the internet is the digital version of Vegas. Squirrel! The methods outlined in the last third of the book are pretty cut and dry which is exactly what I've been looking for.  Setting Up OKRs I like how they suggested working on configuring each level of the OKRs. All the pitfalls, and what

Start With Why - Book Review (part 3-6)

This is the second post of my review of Simon Sinek's famous book "Start With WHY". Part one can be found here . Part 3: Leaders Need a Following Why is great, but you need the how and what. That is what I took out of part 3 of the book. Best quote is; "A WHY is just a belief, HOWs are the actions we take to realize that belief, and WHATs are the results of those actions. When all three are in balance, trust is built and value is perceived." ( Start With Why , pg 85) Part 4: How to Rally those who Believe Great section about taking action on the why. Where to take it, learning about the HOW, and applying with the WHAT. It talks about communication and recruiting the right people. Favorite quote from this section; "Finding people that believe what you believe, not just on skillset." Part 5: The Biggest Challenge is Success So true. Scaling is the most challenging thing. I've been lucky to be part of many scaling organizations

On Vacation

It's important to recharge. I've seen it time and time again, burnout. The reason that companies give you vacation time is so we don't burn out. It is important to take this time. I'm taking my first week off, that didn't have a major event, in almost 3 years. Amazing. I'm so excited to relax with my family and enjoy the amazing spring weather of Madison. Let's get back to normal, so we can do great things.

Start With Why - A Book Review

Start With Why * is a book about inspiring people. It is written by inspirational speaker Simon Sinek. I first discovered Simon through his lectures that you can find on youtube. I have saved some and stored them on a playlist here . The book starts out very simply on how you present your company. This seems like a great topic for leadership to read about :). Instead of presenting your words in WHAT we do, start by saying WHY you do things. They give the example of Apple that really stuck for me; Wrong : We make great computers. They are beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. Wanna buy one? Right : Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one? ( Start With Why *; pg40-41, ch 3: The Golden Circle) I really like how the latter is phrase

2019 Shamrock Shuffle 10K - Race Recap

Well, I'm off to a great start for 2019. Although I debated if I could run due to some recent knee pains, I decided to run the Shamrock Shuffle 10K. This was the second time running this event for me and it was a great event again. The race started off on State Street in downtown Madison, WI. It did a small loop by the capital, then toward campus. Up the most challenging hills on Observatory Drive. It starts with a single switchback that isn't too horrible. However, after that is a pretty steep incline followed by a steep decline then another hill, then very flat for recovery. Unfortunately, they put a water station right at the end of the hill. The only water station, mind you, granted you hit it twice since it is a down and back race. After the 1/2 way point, we took the lakeside path back. I forget how amazing the campus area is, I need to find an excuse to run downtown more often. Anyway, once I hit Observatory again I walked the inclines and was slow on the declines

OpenFaas on Docker Swarm on Raspberry Pi

OpenFaas  is a server-less framework for running functions on docker containers. It's wicked easy to configure, and deploy functions. I was impressed to find out that you can deploy it to Docker Swarm on a Raspberry Pi! How neat. Step 1) Install Docker > curl -fsSL -o && sh Step 2) Configure OpenFaas by following there really well done tutorial on Step 3) Configure a registry. Since you already have docker swarm running, deploy a stack with a registry running. Note, make sure to create the directory /data/registry. version: "3.3" services: repo: image: registry:2 ports: - 5000:5000 volumes: - '/data/registry:/var/lib/registry' and deploy with > docker stack deploy -c docker-stack.yml infra Step 4) Setup on Work Station. You only have have Docker and OpenFaaS CLI installed. Once you do that you should be good to go. Note that if you w

2019 Goals - Yes, I know It is March

Holy crap, it's almost a quarter the way through the year. Last year  my goal was to become a dad. Check. I also said "run sometimes". I did that, but less than what I was thinking. Turns out becoming a dad is a lot of work. Very rewarding though, she is worth all of it and then some. So yeah, 2018 really just boiled down to 1 goal, become a dad. :) 2019 is a new year I have the goal of reading more, I have a goal of reading 12 books. My job is helping a lot in that category. It feels like every other conversation I am in has a suggested book to read, and I'm loving it! So far I've completed 3 books (2 for work, 1 for fun). I have 3 books going right now. I have a goal of recreating my fitness regiment. I slipped in 2018, for good cause, but now it's time to get back on the horse. At first this was the same thing I did last year, "run more". That doesn't work. I need goals. So here is my goal, workout 3x per week. This can be run, bike, weig

Leadership over Management

Also posted on medium . What makes a great leader? A leader, to me, is someone who looks out for the person next to them. That’s it. A manager can be a leader, but a leader does not need to be a manager. A leader is a role that someone chooses to take to make sure that everyone around them has a path for success. How people implement this varies in many ways. Here are some things I do. Being a manager you have a great opportunity to be a leader. You have this ability because you talk directly with everyone on your team on a pretty regular basis. There are a couple things that I do to help out to make sure everyone has a path for success. One on One meetups— These meetups are a great way to understanding individual needs/wants. How do you know what your teammate needs unless you talk about it? You can only get so much about an individual in a team meeting. The one on one is a moment where both parties can talk more deeply about the needs of both parties. This is a two way street.