Change Pro-Tip: Reset

Change Pro-Tip: I sometimes will take an individual or group relationship of mine and ask for an explicit "reset". It’s not a frequent solution, but when the circumstances are right, the rewards for doing it can be huge. Early last year, I was in a wrangle with a person I’ve known for a few years. It wasn’t a crisis, exactly,…
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RAMPS – Rhythm is Tension and Release

Rhythm is about sequences of alternating tension and release. Noticing, orchestrating, and managing the levels and timing of those sequences is one way I can affect the motivation of myself and others. Take a second right now give yourself a nice full-bodied stretch, complete with a yawn. Feels good, yeah? Some of you are at the end of your day,…
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RAMPS – A Way I Approach Motivational Puzzles

Motivational Puzzles Rhythm, Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose, and Safety are important bands in my own motivational spectrum, so I often use them when I’m thinking about other people’s motivational spectroscopy. I’ll give you snapshots of the meaning behind those bands in a minute, but I want to start with that base metaphor, of spectrums, spectroscopy, and signature. When you bombard an…
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Stories About Stories

Some stories about stories, continuing from How Stories Change Things. First, a story-story from history or two. In 1900 the story of Thomas Jefferson was that he was a founder of our nation, a naturalist, and inventor, a President, and the author of some of the most stirring language about human equality ever penned in English. In 2000 the story…
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How Stories Change Things

What is this thing about telling & re-telling the story until it’s the story we want? There’s back-muses, check my timeline, but I’ll offer the relevant text: "I believe we have to re-tell the story. We have to tell the story again, and again, changing it each time, until it becomes the story of bringing a large and diverse group…
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What I’m Up To

Yesterday, I spoke about thin culture, insecurity, and a possible way forward: telling and re-telling the story of us. I don’t know what will thicken the software making trade’s culture. But I know (part of) what I’m trying to do: tell the story of us, re-tell it, and re-tell it again, as many times as it takes, until that story…
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Thin Culture and Stories

I believe the thinness of geek culture is a major player in many of the ills of the trade. It is sociotechnical in impact, simultaneously affecting areas as seemingly distant & distinct as the "social" gender diversity and the "technical" iterative design. Last night, I enjoyed Virginia doing a hilarious profane rant about an incoherent technical manual she’d used that…
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Easiest Nearest Owwie First (ENOF)

When facing especially weak code, it’s easy to feel daunted; there just seems so much wrong with it. To get my mojo on, I find the simplest infelicity to fix, I fix it. Then I do it again. Everyone encounters code from time to time that she does not understand. This is true for the noob and equally so for…
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When to Start TDD

First Episode of the GeePaw Podcast is now live! These episodes will be posted every Monday morning and will go hand-in-hand with either an old or new blog post on the website GeePawHill.Org. If you love it, sign up to the GeePaw Weekly newsletter to receive updates on all blogs and podcasts straight to your inbox.
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MCE #3: Mindful, Collaborative, Experimental

What matters most when I’m collaborating on activity X isn’t activity X, it’s collaborating. I’ve given this MCE series a lot of thought, which is why the items appear so slowly. My take seems fundamentally different from what others seem to be saying. And it doesn’t feel like a tweak. It’s not one premise of the zeitgeist I would change,…
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