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8 years and counting…

I just noticed today is the 8 year anniversary of working for my current company.

I wrote a blog post about the interview before I got the job (here).

About 3 months after I started the job I wrote an update post, and clearly wasn’t too happy with the way things were going (here).

There was a rather unenthusiastic post about my four year anniversary (here).

Structuring Content : Think Pyramid! 300w" sizes="(max-width: 308px) 85vw, 308px" />

This post is about making sure you get your message across by structuring your content correctly, and giving people convenient jump-off points when they’ve hit the level that is appropriate for them.

Increasing headcount is probably not the answer! 300w" sizes="(max-width: 263px) 85vw, 263px" />

I’m incredibly irritated by tech people using headcount as a reason for their problems. From my experience, throwing bodies at problems is rarely the correct answer.

Increasing headcount only makes sense if:

Plain Language : My review of the course

Last week I went on a Plain Language course. If you were following me on Twitter, you’ll know I was feeling a bit nervous about it. I find any type of “course” difficult. I don’t like being “trapped” and I prefer to learn things at my own pace. Having said that, it went really well.

What’s the point?

How you speak and write can have a big impact on how your message is received. I work for a university, which has a large number of overseas students and staff, where English is not their first language.

A significant proportion of our user base need accessibility tools, and a similar proportion use them by choice.

2019 : A Year in Review 300w" sizes="(max-width: 324px) 85vw, 324px" />

Well, it seems 2019 was another slightly bizarre year for me.

I just looked back on last year’s review (here) and I’m guessing I had “resting bitch face” while I was reading it…

In Defence of Best Practices 204w" sizes="(max-width: 174px) 85vw, 174px" />

The subject of “Best Practices” came up again yesterday in a thread on Twitter. This is a subject that rears its head every so often.

Please be patient!

angry-1300616_640It’s extremely nice to have a big audience. It’s very flattering that people care enough about what I say to be bothered to read it. The problem with having a large audience is people can get a very demanding at times. </p />

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Nothing you learn is ever wasted!

glasses-272399_1280-smallAbout 18 months ago I went on a couple of load balancer training courses at F5. It was over a year later that we actually got the things wired in and ready to go. I played with them for a couple of days, then nothing for another six months. I’ve only put one service live on them so far, but we are about to start the full rollout now. :)

Always write everything down!

notes-514998_640In my second job we worked on projects in small teams, maybe 2-3 people. My boss at the time, the team leader, was a lady called Andrea. She wrote everything down. I mean everything! I was still pretty new to the business world and rather naive, so I tended to rely on my memory a lot. Needless to say, she saved our bacon on numerous occasions. That was a very good lesson!

Problem Solving (Breaking Things Down)

direction-1033278_640Some people are great at problem solving, others not so much. The people I meet that are good at problem solving always have one very important skill, the ability to break stuff down into its constituent parts. With practice, it can seem like they are making massive leaps of faith, but that is based on their experience. That experience came from breaking problems down and dealing with the little stuff. Here are some examples, including some you may not consider as classic problem solving, but illustrate the point.