Archives

Pods – a Step Towards Self Management

Managers are the people everybody loves to hate, but there are things a good manager will do which will hugely benefit those who report to them. About a year ago, the technology department at TIM Group started an experiment to flatten its organisational structure by making everyone self managed – […]

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Cron instigated contention

Compute resources are 21st-century utility, much like water, electricity and gas there is a limited supply. When you run out there are implications, even when the period was brief. This can cause to unexpected failure scenarios in systems thought to be resilient to failure. tldr: If you have cron jobs […]

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Fieldwork: Values

A laminated card. The card lists out various things that individuals use to guide their decisions and interactions on a day to day basis. These cards are found throughout the office: on desks and in meeting rooms. I often find myself, and see others, picking up the card during discussions […]

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Doing Fieldwork in TIM Group

How do you get a sense of the culture of a place? This is the question that Joe Schmetzer and I were contemplating at our fortnightly morning ‘get together’ where we mentor and coach each other. We’d been discussing the idea for several meetings by this point, but this time […]

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What I learned about self-organisation

I learned a number of things at Olaf Lewitz and Adam Pearson’s course ‘Enabling Self-Organisation: Getting Macro Results without Micromanaging‘. I think my biggest a-ha moment was that self-organisation is not something that you do to others, it is something that you do to yourself. The course focussed on a […]

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Gaining Feedback, Building Trust

A powerful means of building trust and collaboration within a team is to gather around a table and tell each other face to face ‘this is how your actions made me feel’, both the good and the bad. The importance of feedback Effective software development requires a robust feedback loop. […]

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Choosing what work to do at TIM Group

TL;DR: Working at TIM Group means having the responsibility to decide what work to do. The most obvious criteria is business value but I don’t think that is enough. At TIM Group we have been experimenting with self-organisation for a while. It’s been a gradual process that started with the […]

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Kik, left-pad… Should I stop using npm?

TL;DR: No, unless you make npm packages. If you do publish npm packages think about how the disputes are resolved and decide if you are OK with it. I started using npm a few years ago in our build system. My CTO and his deputy today told me that means […]

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Using your values to choose

At the London Action Science Meetup in January we discussed the article Emotional Agility (HBR, Nov 2013), and in particular how to apply the four steps described in the article: recognize your patterns; label your thoughts and emotions; accept them; and act on your values The importance of using your values […]

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Rollbackability in upgrading a MySQL cluster

Here I give a lightning talk on how we mitigated the risk of upgrading the version of MySQL used in one of TIM Group’s most important databases. Our approach to risk mitigation was Rollbackability. Rather than spend all our time ensuring that nothing would go wrong, we decided to plan […]

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