Friday, April 12, 2013

Weekend Reading: The Work-Related Things Edition

It is the weekend... but my links are all work-related this week. They're good, though- so save them and read them on Monday if you can't stand to think about work on the weekend! And I have one fun link at the end...

First up, in the continuing discussion about working from home: Scott Berkun (another one of those locally famous people- he's a reasonably well known name in software project management circles) has an article at the Harvard Business Review about how Automattic, the company responsible for WordPress, thrives with a 100% remote workforce. He references a short research piece on his own blog about distributed companies, which was also interesting for having a list of such companies.

I'm reading Escape from Cubicle Nation, by Pamela Slim. Like most books of its type, there are some good ideas and some things I find less useful. I'm less than half way through, so I'll reserve judgement on the book. I may write a full review when I'm done with it. Regardless, it includes a reprint of an early blog post called An Open Letter to the CXOs of the Corporate World, which is awesome.

But ditching the relative security of the corporate world for entrepreneurship is not right for everyone (and Slim acknowledges that). I really enjoyed this rant in praise of the unremarkable, too.

Big data has been hyped all over the place lately. Kate Crawford has a good HBR piece on its limitations.

I've written a bit here about project management, but the big challenges in the project management side of my work lately have come more from portfolio or program management- which is making all the projects a group of people have to do fit together. Frankly, most of my current project management challenges are related to resource contention. So I have been intrigued by the idea of using Kanban methods for portfolio management, and am trying them out.

Joel Spolsky posts rarely these days, but when he does post, it is usually good- and his latest post on patent trolls does not disappoint.

That's all the work-related links. Here is the promised fun one: regular reader and occasional commenter The Bean Mom has recently had a short story published! It is in Issue 22 of New Myths and is called "Snow's Daughter." I really enjoyed it- I recommend you take a look, particularly if you like fantasy. And if you like it, you can donate to the eZine (which pays authors, so it is an indirect way of paying for the story).

And finally... a totally unrelated observation: it looks like the crawlers are slowly rendering my "Most Popular Posts" widget completely useless. Already the top two posts are due to crawlers, and now it looks like another post is working its way into the list due to the crawlers. I wish the widget let me exclude crawlers, but it doesn't. So I may end up either removing that widget or replacing it with a manually maintained list. What do you think? Is it a useful/interesting feature? Tell me what you think in the comments. And of course, I welcome comments on any of the other things in this post, too.


  1. Anonymous5:04 AM

    Added that big data article to my class webpage. It doesn't use the same terminology we do (selection bias, for example) but it covers a lot of the material we've been doing the past 2 weeks.

  2. Wow, what a polite crowd over there at Mark Schaefer's...

  3. But don't you pay for your own domain? Why not post a robots.txt file that excludes crawlers from certain parts of your website?

    You can learn more here:

    1. I don't want to exclude crawlers- just have them not count in the stats that drive the "most popular posts" widget. I may hack the widget, but I'm not sure it is worth the effort. I don't think blogger let's me tweak how it does stats.

  4. love to read the post which really gets me motivated about my future prospects. i remind that post of your's as it produces me lots of help to me about my projects prospects.


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