Life at Cloudibility (IV): Best. Team. In. The. World.

Cloudibility-Logo-SquareWe have the best team in the world. Period.

I’ve never seen a team being that committed. That focused. That inquisitive. That eager to learn. That funny. That great.

Team, I am so proud of working with you! 

Next week, we will start our expansion. I mean: We will really start it. Three new Team-Members at the beginning of the month. Two more in the middle. One more beginning of August. One more at mid of August. One, two, three perhaps beginning of September.

But: I am not afraid. I know, that we already have a great team and we will continue to be one. We looked carefully at the new colleagues‘ character and found them to match the team in culture and commitment.

Sandra, Ronny, Emily: Welcome!

You will be part of Cloudibility, you will shape us and you will grow with us. And I am very confident to count you in next time when I write about the:

Best. Team. In. The.World.

I’m once again impressed!

As you might know, we are actively building a team of highly skilled professionals and bright minds.

Just today, we had another interview with a candidate, which will (hopefully!) join our Indian team. She will be the fourth woman in a four-head team so far. Each of these women (I am not allowed to reveal their names since they will be starting Mid-July and Mid-August respectively) has deeply impressed me – so active, so open-minded, so skilled, so … bright!

We are so happy working with and learning from you!

Welcome to the team!

I have an open slot at 6.30am…

This has been said just seconds ago in a meeting I am currently attending. We’re not talking about freelancers here, but a pseudo-agile project with an enterprise customer.

See the problem?

Agility is not about having meetings cluttered all over the day, but efficiency. If your calendar is blocked so extensively by meetings, then perhaps, perhaps something is wrong.

Pro-Tipp: Change it. Cancel the unnecessary or unproductive meetings. Only attend meetings making any sense. Do not attend meetings for the sake of attending them.

Pro-Tipp 2: Participating in Scrum? Only do the scrum-stuff: Daily, Retrospective, Review, Plannings and perhaps Estimation meetings. All the other meetings should be obsolete if you communicate transparently. They should be attended by some POs or Architects, but not by every other person participating in the team.

Pro-Tipp 3: Participating in Kanban? Only do the minimally required stuff: Daily, Jour-Fixes or Reviews, Plannings. Work with your kanban board. All the other meetings should be obsolete if you communicate transparently. They should be attended by some POs or Architects, but not by every other person participating in the team.

(Hmmm, that’s pretty much the same content in Tipps 2 and 3. Coincidence? I don’t think so…)

Pro-Tipp 4: Get your stuff done!

Pro-Tipp 5: Get. Your. Stuff. Done!

Kauflust (I): Lenovo Thinkpad X260

I don’t see why I should spend thousands of Euros for a new computer, when a used one would do almost the same job for a fraction of the price.

Well, ok, there are some moments where I decide differently, for example at the end of last year when I ordered a brand new MacBook Pro 15.4 inch. But this again has proven my opinion about new hardware usually not being worth the money you spend for it – I am actually quite unhappy with this device, as battery life is very subpar (around 4hrs, regardless of the work I throw on it) and the keyboard is so loud to touch upon. Not to speak of the adapter hell, since literally no accessory fits on the MacBook.

So, I decided, I needed something more long-lasting in regards to battery life. Something, making typing a pleasure again. And something smaller, since 15.4 inch are not really portable. And, finally, something cheaper – not only when buying it, but also while owning it. Something, where a power adapter and a cable won’t cost more than 100,– EUR. Something, where I could swap the internal SSD and upgrade the memory, if needed. Something, where perhaps LTE would be integrated.

Impossible? No way!

I looked at eBay and Amazon and checked some dozens of dealer-websites for offers, until I found it: A used Lenovo Thinkpad X260 in good condition, having a LTE-card, being equipped properly with a 256GB SSD and 16GB RAM, displaying the content in Full-HD and allowing to change the battery.

Small, portable. Perfect for working in the customer’s office or while sitting in the train. Nice companion to my iPad Pro 10.5 inch, way more versatile but not so light and easy to carry around.

I got it for only 650,– EUR including two batteries.

Looking forward to using this one with Ubuntu, BTW.

Nice!

Agility to death

Agility is gorgeous. Unless you’re in a project, where agility is mistaken by spontaneity or talkativeness. Or worst case: All together.

Just today, I was sitting for three hours in several daily calls for different aspects of a project. So much redundancy there, and Scrum Masters which try to insist on rules instead of pragmatic approaches.

Agility to death. Without any sense. And without any productivity.

Thank god, I’m paid by hours.

Life at Cloudibility (II): We need an organizational diagram

Cloudibility-Logo-SquareCloudibility is not even a year of age, but we already need an organizational diagram, since we are already close to 20 persons (17 beginning of September) working with and for us – and this is only the number of employees which have already signed their contracts, not to be spoken of the ones we are currently having conversations with!

We take this very seriously since Michael and I have experiences in enterprise environments as well as a startup history. For us, one very deciding aspect for the success of a company is the organizational structure – if you don’t have it, you are very likely to fail. And having a structure and an internal organization frees the „creatives“ from having to care about everything, ultimately allowing them to focus on their work and the excellence in their doing.

One final note: The importance of a working organization and a working back-office cannot be overemphasized. That’s why I am so happy with our COO Claudia, Linda, the whole team and their invaluable work.

Thank you, team!

Why I usually leave group conversations in messengers

messengersUsing WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook Messenger? Thinking of including me in your group conversation?

Well, don’t.

I am a very busy person, and as such, I need to be able to focus on my work or on my recreation (no joking, I need to focus on recreation). Including me – without having asked for my explicit permission to do so – in your group conversation would distract me from that, I would receive a lot of conversational spam, which I’m not interested in.

That’s why I usually leave all group conversations.

It is simply not of interest to me, reading the same complaints, jokes, hoorays or stories which I try to avoid in real-life in my messenger, where it is more personal to me. Sometimes, this even feels offensive to me. Additionally, it is usually the very same group of people leading the conversation there – and while I am very strong in communications, I don’t want to be forced to read the same – sorry – trash and the same mimimimi-stuff all over again, especially, since I don’t have the time to answer, because I tend to think and formulate my answers carefully. Plus it often shows me, how limited these persons are and how egocentric their view of the world actually is. Finally: Answering that crap usually means wasting my personal time and distracting me from the important things in my life – my family, my friends, and my work.

So, kindly do me a favor: Unless I explicitly expressed my permission and wish to be included in your group conversation, don’t include me. Let’s stay friends without that conversational noise.

Thank you.

My. Content. Again.

I had a blog for several years, but for some reason I actually don’t remember anymore, I dumped it at the end of 2015 – I guess, because it was way more convenient to simply spit out something on the social network of your choice. And because it was way cheaper.

But, it turned out: This was not a good idea.

Why? Because you get literally lost in the curated news feeds. You only get fast reactions instead of conversations. There is no sustainability in publishing everything at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. You won’t be found, you won’t be recognized. It simply is not worth it, at least not when you are not publishing the content on your own platform and only use these networks as multiplier.

So, I restarted my blog last year (at least sort of) and hosted it over at SquareSpace.com – which again turned out to be one of my lesser favorable ideas, since that service is reliable, but basically offers no integration and no real comfort to the average blogger. Therefore I did not really blog, I built blog pages – it took hours to finish something.

So, back to basics.

I’m back with a WordPress blog, actually hosted at WordPress.com. They charge me 300,– bucks a year, so I better try something to make use of this amount of money I just spent.

Therefore, I decided to take back my data and my content into my own hands. I will (again) post everything here first, and then (perhaps) in some social network. This applies to everything, including texts, as well as links, images and opinions.

Why? Because now it is my content again. Not the content of some network which uses it to make some money. Not the content of some aggregators and some marketing agencies. I can start conversations, share it to my liking and do not need to care about their rules and regulations.

My. Content. Again. 

Finally.

And it feels good!