Appreciation for Craft

Every musician should do at least 1 month as a piano bar player or as a husker in a subway, it would go a long way of removing that Sense of being a Genius and help them to understand that Music is as much a craft as it is an art.

I find it odd how few people know that Hitler was in the Art Scene before he was in the Evil Monster Scene.

All architects should spend a summer as a brick layer or an electrician or roofer or some such so they cam gain an appreciation for the army of sweat working craftsman who will bring their genius creative master pieces to life. Concrete, they should spend a month pouring concrete.

Most Chefs appreciate this principle most of them have worked as Dishwashers. Most will still pull such a shift if the need arises.

All dad’s should pull at least 1 2 week solo shift in the first 3 years of their kids lives, and another during the ages 9-12.

Every VC should spend a summer trying to raise Money from people who have never heard of them.

Every programmer or web designer should spend a few weeks work as a car salesman, or benefits manager or better yet in a technical support call centre.

Know the shoes your colleagues work in. Appreciate their craft, and be grateful.

Try this trick

Take every memory of anyone you’ve ever loved (including your first crush, your momma, your worst girlfriend, that girl from the summer on the beach, the one that got away, the one you left behind). The good and the bad, but importantly only the ones that evoke a strong passionate emotion.

Insert your wife’s face into these memories, try to imagine all the sides of her personality, all the shades of her colour in all the different glimpses of light.

Visualize the memory: the hike she didn’t take with you that August, 2 years before you met her, up to the top of Mt Baker, the romantic picnic she wasn’t there for, the lake skinny dipping in the moonlight that wasn’t with her. The nerdy girl in 6th grade who held your hand in the dark at the planetarium.
If these all feel right, if she fits, if she could have actually been every woman you’ve ever loved, then you’ve found your soulmate.

Warhol on Boring

“Of course, what I think is boring,” Warhol wrote in his memoir “Popism,” “must not be the same as what other people think is, since I could never stand to watch all the most popular action shows on TV, because they’re essentially the same plots and the same shots and the same cuts over and over again. Apparently, most people love watching the same basic thing, as long as the details are different.”

Via my brother Val

Chick Geeks rule, so why are Managers afraid to hire them?

As a candidate: what should I think about a SW firm (25 people) that has zero female employees?

As a Manager I can tell you there are some things are generally different about leading female engineers or developers.
Though I’ll be careful. Stacy Johnson, one of the best engineers I’ve ever worked with typified what I call The skeptical girl model.

Whenever I came back from a Sales Engagement with a list of new features and gave a pep talk about how it’s going to be hard but that we can do it, her response was always: You’ve oversold this. We can try, but we won’t complete in time – you should go back to the customer and reset expectations. She wasn’t afraid to buck the enthusiasm, and she was right.

I’ve also had female programmers end up crying and needing a hug after being given an open ended assignment with no clear guidance for how she would be measured or what the consequences for failure were. That was my failure. Most of the young male hackers would’ve just started hacking, but this woman was right to be anxious. I hadn’t done my job. It took me off guard when she cried over what I thought was an opportunity to “own” the project, but We talked it through and she did a better job than the previous project owner.

Years ago, when I was young and single, I also once had an elderly female co-worker throw a cup of water on me when she overheard me and a mate joking in the cafeteria about a party we’d been too (he was sarcastically telling me that “chicks dig you man” while I was laughing that the girl in question was actually just chatting me up in order to get to him). I’ll never know what set the older co-worker off about our conversation. But that wouldn’t have happened with a male co-worker.

It’s a silly discussion though when all is said and done. In my opinion if you haven’t found quality women to round out your tech organisation you are probably not really looking.

UPDATE:I do realize there is a supply and demand problem.… clearly indicates some problems on the supply side. For instance, it’s weird that only 1.5% of the open source community contributors are women. To be clear, I’m not advocating preferential treatment, my only point is that hiring can tend to be a “Are they like us?” process and if you start with 5 guys, the danger is that you’ll end up with no women, and personally I think you’d be missing out on some ways of thinking that women have more access to.