Wednesday, February 29, 2012

57.) Resign yourself to the fact that, if you work in the technology sector, you will always be a beginner.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I don't write on your Facebook wall so you can comment on what I've said. I write on your wall so you'll reciprocate and make me seem more popular, damn it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

56.) Technologies improves so fast that, that before you can master any new hardware, software, or system, it will be supplanted by the next generation of technology. 

Rather than becoming an expert on any one technology, focus your efforts on training yourself to unlearn and re-learn new technologies.

Friday, February 24, 2012

55.) Technical people are motivated by interesting work.

Geeks drawn to the tech sector are inherently passionate people. They will work obsessively on a project that interests them. They will work longer and harder than any other group of people you've ever worked alongside.  They will be the only employees that you'll ever have to send home at night. What's more, to pursue those projects, they will settle for lower wages than they could command in other positions, work under harsher conditions than they could expect elsewhere, and abandon any semblance of a social life in pursuit of their goal. 

However, the other side of that coin is that geeks in technical positions will quickly grow restless and unmanageable.  The only recourse is to keep technical people intrigued. Present them with new challenges. Allow them room for creative expression. Don't allow their daily duties become routine.

This presents a particular challenge to managers accustomed to dealing with business people. Where business people are focused on overall performance, technical people tend to focus on the task at hand. Where business people strive for personal recognition, technical people seek to expand their skill set. Where business people are interested in the external trappings of a position, technical people are interested in personal exploration.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


The day I saw the inventor of the "Snuggie" on a talk show explaining that he had become an overnight millionaire by slapping a pair of sleeves onto a blanket, I very seriously contemplated suicide.  Sometimes the "American dream" just seems like a cruel joke.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

54.) Technical people respect technical people.

... but that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to know everything they do just to get along with them.  That would defy the purpose of having a technical professional.

 If you expect to work smoothly with a technical profession you do need to learn their jargon.  If you expect to manage technical professionals, you need to learn their jargon, then you need learn how to allow them to educate them. The geeks drawn to technical fields are passionate about their jobs, and part of that passion is a love of teaching others what they know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Do employers really need to ask if I know how to use Microsoft Word? Is there a high school graduate outside Amish country who doesn't know how to use Word or - more to the point - stupid enough to admit such a ridiculous shortcoming during an interview?   Every time I'm asked about my Word skills in interview, it's all I can do to not just stare silently at the typed resume in the interviewer's hand to see how long it takes him to catch on.

Monday, February 20, 2012

53.)  Information workers aren't productive for 8 hours straight

The truth is that, for creative types, there is no work day, only a series of moment of productivity. Labor-intensive task, such as factory lines, depend on physical stamina.  Creative jobs, however, rely on mental stamina, which doesn't last for eight hour shifts.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Smartphones are the new cigarettes. They're addictive.  They're expensive.  They annoy the hell out of other people when you use them in public.  Plus, I'm pretty sure that, one day, we're going to discover that they cause cancer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

52.) Your Boss Is Your Customer

No matter how you make a living or who you think you work for, you only work for one person, yourself.  The big question is:  What are you selling, and to whom?  Even when you have a full-time, salaried, ‘Corporate America’ position, you are still running your own business.  You are selling one unit of your existence - an hour of your life - at a set price - your hourly wage - to your employer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Social media is a lot like teen sex.  Everyone is in a rush to try it. No one is sure what they're doing going in. Once they've tried it, people are always surprised it wasn't better. Worse, it frequently leads to embarrassment when your friends or family unintentionally discover what you've been up to with an ill-composed Google search. 

Still, it makes for some funny stories later in life.

Monday, February 13, 2012

51.) Ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it.
"Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession -- a free-agent penis -- and for us, it's the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland. The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway -- because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self -- you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along: Love."
Source: "Why You're Not Married" by Tracy McMillan First published on The Huffington Post, February 13, 2011.

Friday, February 10, 2012

50.)  It’s easier to sell something when you list the faults.

It's would seems to be a contradiction, but your sales will increase when you tell people what’s wrong with what you’ve got. Including if what you’re selling is you and your services. If you don't, your customers' attention will be divided between your sales pitch and their own on-going effort to sniff out the hidden catch in your sales pitch.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Arguments between die-hard “conservatives” and die-hard “liberals” remind me of arguments between Star Wars geeks and Star Trek geeks, in that both involve people whole-heartedly invested in the merits of a universe not based in reality that bores the hell out of the mainstream.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some Rules Kids won't Learn in School

Some rules kids won't learn in school
By Charles J. Sykes

Printed in San Diego Union Tribune
September 19, 1996
Unfortunately, there are some things that children should be learning in school, but don't. Not all of them have to do with academics. As a modest back-to-school offering, here are some basic rules that may not have found their way into the standard curriculum.
Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the phrase, "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule No. 1.

Rule No. 2: The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1)