Reading List: 31st January 2016

Image credits: Moyan Brenn, licensed Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

This week I’m still catching up from the lack of posts over the past few weeks meaning this post is jam-packed full of items I’ve read. This week it’s been extremely varied with everything from models around employee engagement taken from the Harvard Business Review; agile in large enterprises, and why it may fail; a basic guide to securing your infrastructure; the history of autism; why asking yourself “What am I not willing to compromise on” may be better when it comes to understanding your future career; why you should stop listening to music while working; 2016 for Facebook messenger and finally another book list of 33 books to read before you reach 30.

As usual, any comments please leave me a note below.

The Two Sides of Employee Engagement

The Harvard Business Review takes a look at employee engagement and maps this to 9 archetypes that represent people within an organisation. Although simple, I like way of helping yourself and even employees to understand why their behaviour causes them to fit into a certain square. What’s really important for me from a coaching perspective is helping people understand where they currently are and work with them to move to where they want to be.

Why Agile Fails in Large Enterprises

The scaling of agile processes is something that has got a lot of people writing articles. What should be obvious to most is that the larger the enterprise, the more challenges they have adopting agile methodologies. This post spells out some of the common pitfalls that might occur and understanding where failure might occur is a good lesson in not letting it happen! I can personally attest to some of the challenges described.

Security Guide: How to Protect your Infrastructure Against the Basic Attacker

A really great guide, written by Mailgun, the email infrastructure provider owned by Rackspace. I’d suggest this should be a basic checklist for anyone starting out with an online infrastructure. It really covers all the basics and even promises to go further at some point. Better security across all sites is something we should all be encouraging!

The 30 Best Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs in 2015

I’m a little delayed in posting this as I read it towards new year. This covers many articles I’ve already read, including Radical Candor. Each point is backed up by further reading, and really covers some of the major ways to make any smaller company better. Larger companies can also learn something – although some of these items might be less relevant, especially around company funding.

Seeing the Spectrum – A new History of Autism

Working in technology teams often means working with many people who would appear on the autism spectrum. I’ve always taken a keen interest in understanding how autism affects people and ways to help. I also work with a colleague with an autistic child and from discussions I’ve had with him its clear that pretty much every person in a technology team shares many traits of autism, just much less serious (including myself!). Its interesting to look back and think of people I used to go to school with who (with today’s extra knowledge) would probably have been diagnosed with autism.

You probably know to ask yourself “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question

This article turns the traditional question, “What do I want?” and looks at the opposite, “How do you choose to suffer”. It points out its really easy for people to say what they want, but if you can work out what you’re willing to suffer and compromise on, then this will often give you a much better understanding of what you are not willing to give up. Once you know what you won’t compromise on, then you’ll be much better set to work out how to move forwards!

Here’s to 2016 with Messenger

You’ll possibly have seen my recent posts and talks on Intelligent Virtual Assistants. This article takes a look at 2016 with Facebook Messenger, including what is in store for M, their IVA. We’ll see in 2017 how much turns out to be true.

SDN Internet Router

Have you ever wondered how the internet works? Have you ever wondered how a large company such as Spotify deals with people accessing their services all over the world? This two part article looks at the basics of how the internet works and how Spotify has challenged the normal way of working to create a solution that is much more economical for them. I’d recommend Part 1 even for non-techies who would love to understand a bit more about how the internet works.

A neuroscientist explains why you should stop listening to music while you work

I know a number of my own team who listen to music while they work. This article describes some recent research as to why this might not be that good for you. I’m not sure if this is just another of those topics that will change over time and the advice will be updated – but worth considering if you listen while you work!

Lessons Learned from 10 Years of Application Lifecycle Management

This article takes a look at lessons learned over the past 10 years around how application lifecycle management has affected development teams.

33 business books every professional should read before turning 30

You can’t have enough lists of books to read – or so it seems by pretty much every site listing them. I always like to take a look at these for inspiration of what to read next!