#11 - Link Roundup, 10 Apr 2020
When managers are unmotivated; Quality 1:1s
What to do when you’re feeling a lack of motivation at work, as a manager? - Claire Lew, Know Your Team
I hope that you and your team, like ours, has been fortunate enough to find a smooth transition to this new normal and that you’ve found your footing. But even if so, this is a trying time and it’s easy as a manager to start getting burned out — maybe even easier now once the adrenaline has slowed down and some sense of routine is re-established.
Lew goes into more details in each of these, but the suggestions in the article are:
Create a wedge - carve out a small chunk of the day to relax and take a break.
The weight is heavy – and you’re allowed to admit it.
Reconnect to the aspects of the job that energize you.
Seek out the people who benefit most from your work.
The times aren’t normal, and it’s ok for things to feel overwhelming. Putting extra effort into helping our team members get through this while still having to get our own work done, handle extra family responsibilities, and deal with what’s going on in the world, is exhausting. Taking some time for ourselves, appreciating the research successes we’ve helped with, and just realizing that we’re stressed and tired can all help a little bit.
A system for quality one on ones - Fabian Camargo
In my recent blog post I outlined a guide to getting started with one-on-ones; but once you’re started (with one-on-ones or really any managerial practice) you need a system which (a) works for you, (b) allows you to get the most out the practice, and (c) allows you to look back and improve the process. This is a brief discussion of his system.
Spare a thought for the folks working at Slack or Zoom, or at Microsoft where they are supporting Teams usage up by 775% in some regions, 3x usage of Virtual Desktop usage worldwide, and 70%+ increase in BI dashboard usage in the space of weeks.
When all this is said and done, a lot of people are going to try using the sudden increase in remote work and virtual teaching as a kind of “natural experiment” to study the effectiveness of each; just a reminder that this “emergency remote work” and “emergency virtual education” as opposed to well planned and designed rollouts, and any such comparisons should be studied with that in mind.
A tool to do for tables what “grammar of graphics” has done for 2-d plots.
Concurrency, I/O, and systems is still hard - Trying to be too (io)nice created a ‘killer directory’.
A quick primer on introductory network debugging with mtr, iperf, and ping for those of us who suddenly find ourselves network admins for our new workplaces.
An article about differential analyzers: mechanical, continuous analog computers for solving differential equations. A quote from the article: ‘[they were] supposed to address what Bush described, in a 1931 paper about the machine, as the contemporary problem of mathematicians who are “continually being hampered by the complexity rather than the profundity of the equations they employ.”’ Replace “mathematicians” and equations they employ” with the more general “researchers”and “systems they study” and that sounds like a good rallying cry for research computing in general.