Systems Philosophy

I was apparently feeling philosophical the other day and posted two tweets about dealing with systems architecture.  They generally apply to life as well, so I’m posting them here on my blog so I don’t forget them.

Just because something was done a certain way, doesn’t mean it was done right and even if it was done right at the time it may be wrong now.

https://twitter.com/astralbodies/status/488786577360171008

 

Never fear asking questions and challenging even yourself.

Wax on, wax off.

https://twitter.com/astralbodies/status/488786693999558656

The Non-Linear Nature of Progress

 

My friend Marty gave a nugget of wisdom today that I thought I’d share.  I mentioned how I’ve been doing good at losing weight but this past weekend I cut loose a little with family over.  I intended on relaxing the calorie count so I don’t feel guilty at all.  His quote though, brought things into perspective.

progress-01

Progress is never a straight line.  You just need to re-focus this week.

Progress really never is linear.  Looking at all of the metrics I’ve been capturing relating to my progress with improving my health that is certainly the case.

My suggestion is to make sure you’re normalizing all the data in your life.  Look for trends, not sharp points.  Learn to understand when a data point is an outlier and exclude it from your data set.

Change Your Organization

Martin Fowler coined one of my favorite phrases while on a panel at the XP 2000 Conference regarding change and if your employer isn’t willing to change:

If you can’t change your organization, change your organization!

I don’t think much of eXtreme Programming but I think the phrase itself applies itself to many things in life.  Whenever someone asks me for advice about their jobs or careers I usually bring this phrase up at some point.  The idea is, if you don’t like what you’re doing and your company isn’t willing to invest in you or your ideas, then go somewhere else.  I just like how elegantly short the quote is!

 

Source: Martin Fowler, The XP 2000 Conference