Working in Tech

This page is a collection of my blog posts that originated from thoughts while working across different roles in tech companies …

Making technical demos more engaging

You’ve completed the sprint – the goal was hit and you’re ready to demo your new changes! But it’s only you and the product owner who have turned up to the session – the other stakeholders “couldn’t make it”. You…

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Heat maps are awesome

I love heat maps – they’re a great way to show certain types of data in a really visual way. While typically thought of as being used to show the density of something, we can be quite creative with what…

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Supercharging your surveys

It can be difficult to get people to answer surveys, so when they do take the time, you want to make sure that what you get back is going to be useful. In this post I’ll share a few things…

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When RAG statuses go bad

We can tell when the use of a RAG status is going to be ineffective – when the statuses haven’t been defined. If we don’t give definitions to what red, amber, and green mean then things can start to unravel…

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Keeping cool in a heatwave

It feels like we got our first proper taste of the impacts of global warming in the UK this week with the new highs of 40+ degrees. I’m fortunate enough to be able to work remotely so I avoided travelling…

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Four reasons why your process introduction may have failed

You’ve come up with the perfect process, written a summary document which explains what people must do at each stage and got the go-ahead from your boss! Fast forward to three months later and your colleagues haven’t read your document, some are still working through back doors to get things done and an annoying few are ignoring the new process completely.  Here are four reasons why it might not have gone to plan…

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Attractors in the dating industry

We could approach dating as the problem of whittling down seven billion people to one we want to partner with. The rise of technology has produced new ways of finding this person – from swiping and ‘liking’ to artificial intelligence…

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Mapping Culture with Archetypes

I feel as though culture is seen as the holy grail for creating a successful agile environment and I agree that having a vision of where you want your company’s culture to be is important. However, setting off in a…

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Chaos and Innovation

The word ‘chaos’ is used in the Cynefin framework to describe a domain where the agents of a system have no constraints. While the chaotic domain can be a bad place to be, in the right circumstances it can be…

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Stop trying to solve hard problems!

Earlier this week I had a discussion about the running time of an algorithm used to test a method. This got me thinking about one of my favourite areas of computer science – computational complexity. We can use complexity theory to…

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Velocity 2015, 1: Keeping Secrets Secret

I  was fortunate enough to attend Velocity in Amsterdam this year, which followed several major themes – one of which being security. This post was inspired by a presentation given by Alex Schoof entitled “Managing Secrets at Scale”.

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A perfect matching of complex roots

As part of a placement earlier this year, I was given two sets of functions to play with. The first set was implemented in both MATLAB and FORTRAN and formed a root-finding algorithm. The second was implemented in only MATLAB…

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