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Being Productive in IT


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This paper was presented by Tim Daniell, Systems Architect, Fresh Computer Systems at the Brisbane conference. We liked it so much we have obtained Tim's permission to present it at AUSOUG Perth 2013.

Does anyone have too much time and not enough to do in it? I thought not. We all try to cram as much as possible into each day and then struggle to achieve it. In this session, we will look at ways to achieve more but also manage our own expectations of what is achievable. To do this, we want to understand how our brain works to make better use of it. We need to understand our tools and how they can help us. We'll look at ways to better manage what time we have and focus on the things that actually matter. We'll also explore many other ways to be more productive and achieve more inside the 8-hour-burn we call "work".

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Being Productive in IT

  1. 1. Being Productive in I.T. By Tim Daniell Presented by Penny Cookson & Scott Wesley
  2. 2. Being Productive in I.T. 1. Understand your brain 2. Understand your tools 3. Controlling your day
  3. 3. Being Productive in I.T. 1. Understand your brain 2. Understand your tools 3. Controlling your day
  4. 4. Your (Dual Core) Brain LEFT Right verbal linear logical analytical mathematical geometric statistical symbolic problem solving rational detail Holistic makes connections emotional intuition images non-verbal creative ponders... Core 1 Core 2
  5. 5. Your Memory Short Term Memory Long Term Memory
  6. 6. Your Memory • Maintains a LRU list every read is a write • Things get purged and can get modified, even corrupted. write stuff down
  7. 7. Core 1 (Left/Linear) • OLTP Application • Heavily Indexed • Highly Responsive Use this side when tackling detail
  8. 8. Core 2 (Right) • NOSQL database of images • “Big Data” analysis • Result is an image/connection • Searches take a long time • Works Asynchronously Use this side when you need the big picture
  9. 9. The Shared Bus Core 1 (Left Brain) Core 2 (Right Brain) Memory Shared Bus for i in 1..1,000,000 loop for j in 1..1,000,000 loop x := mod(i + j,2); end loop; end loop;
  10. 10. Using your Right Brain • Listen • Keep a Notepad/Smartphone handy • Morning thoughts • Think and Forget • Pair Programming • Mind Maps
  11. 11. Storytelling
  12. 12. Using your Right Brain • Intelligence increases when we think less • Wisdom increases with less information • Allow yourself to be bored
  13. 13. Use Both Cores Effectively • Stop and Think step away from the keyboard to solve complex problems • Rubber Ducking explain the problem out loud
  14. 14. Use Both Cores Effectively • Unleash your creative side and review with your logical side. write drunk, revise sober • Do first, theory later build to learn, not learn to build
  15. 15. The Dreyfus Model of Knowledge Acquisition • Novice • Advanced Beginner • Competent • Proficient • Expert Learning with Both Cores
  16. 16. Learn Deliberately SQ3R • Survey • Question • Read • Review • Recite
  17. 17. Learn Deliberately We all learn differently Visual Need to see the material (and the instructor). Pictures and graphs work well. Auditory Need to hear the material. Tone of voice etc matter. Kinaesthetic Need to do and touch. Especially appropriate for sports, arts and crafts. Find what works for you. Experiment with other learning techniques. Use more of your sensors, expand on your current method.
  18. 18. Debugging your brain • Cognitive Biases • Hardware Bugs • Personalities • Generational Archetypes
  19. 19. Anything that was in the world when you were born and up until you were 15 is just a natural part of the world. Anything that was invented between when you were 15 and 35 is new and exciting and you can probably get a career in it. Anything that was invented after you after 35 is against the natural order of things. - Douglas Adams
  20. 20. Being Productive in I.T. 1. Understand your brain 2. Understand your tools 3. Controlling your day
  21. 21. Understand Your Tools
  22. 22. Understand Your Tools
  23. 23. Work Smarter, not Harder • Think – Be Innovative – Question Habits • Automate – Repetitive tasks • Review – Throughout lifecycle
  24. 24. Productive Team • Companies are Team Sports • Be Helpful • Share Knowledge
  25. 25. Learning options • RSS • Books • Magazines • Podcasts • Webinars • Reviews • Blogging • Course notes • Tool play By three methods we may learn wisdom • Training • OBE • User groups second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter (Confucius, circa 500BCE) first, by reflection, which is noblest;
  26. 26. Don’t take shortcuts • Quick fix – Assertion to ensure never again • Code for the future – What if you end up maintaining it?
  27. 27. Being Productive in I.T. 1. Understand your brain 2. Understand your tools 3. Controlling your day
  28. 28. Make your day productive • Work from a Long Term plan “The plan is worthless, the planning is invaluable”
  29. 29. Make your day productive • Prepare for Tomorrow’s Automated Testing Meeting • Finish Enhancement to Orders Screen and assign to QA team • Investigate bug in Stock receipt - need time from Jadon • Prep for planning session • Create Change Request for Jack To-Do List Scheduled day This space is intentionally left blank
  30. 30. Make your day productive • Other Techniques – Just do Emails/Tasks that take 5 minutes or less – Scheduled it / Delete it / Delegate it – Add it to a Monthly Review List – Learn to say “No” – Slow down email fetches – Avoid Interruptions
  31. 31. Best time of the day for... Before work – right brain thinking / exercise First thing at work – start complex task quickly Late morning – continue complex tasks Early afternoon – meetings / less complex tasks Late afternoon – plan for tomorrow Evenings – avoid grey times
  32. 32. Stay Focused in the Now Make your day productive
  33. 33. Rocking chair test Make your life productive Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life Dream like you’ll live forever, live like you’ll die today
  34. 34. Make your life productive Life is wonderful – don’t just use your brain/tools/ time for work use them for life
  35. 35. In Summary • Understand how to use your brain • Learn deliberately • Learn your tools • Productive teams • Schedule your day • Listen to your body clock • Focus in the now
  36. 36. Coupon Code INSYNC13_TimD 25% discount Expires 26-November