Code Reviews in a SCRUM

This is a little different than many of the items I have posted. But I do have four basic passions: Family, Computers, Health, and Personal Growth/Education. Today, I was thinking about SCRUM and how it relates to past software development methodologies. Since I do usually limit these posts to a single major topic, today is SCRUM and Code Reviews.

Too often people think about a Code Review as a tedious, draw-out event that really has no place in a SCRUM. As I study the Agile process, I am realizing that code reviews are agile also and are an important part of a SCRUM. As Jason Cohen points out in Scrum and Code Review — they go together like beans and cornbread, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland (the co-founders of SCRUM) say that code is not “done” until it is code reviewed. As a side note, I would highly recommend Jalapeno Corn Bread. Making your code reviews a little more enlivened would not be a bad idea also.

In the 1970s and 1980s, structured development was desired. Structured Analysis and Design was developed to overcome the haphazard development methods used before then. Using SA/SD, every stage was very formal and required so many steps that the overhead prevented meaningful work to get done in a short amount of time. Because of this overhead, Agile programming came into favor. How can work be done in a reasonable amount of time? Unfortunately, some people thought that code reviews are part of the overhead. It is interesting that Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the developers of the SCRUM methodology, believe that code reviews are a vital part of the process. Code reviews often help find overlooked problems that could cause havoc later. They can also be used for educating new members of a team. Since the same person does not always work on the same piece of code, it is good to have several people aware of many sections of code. Code Reviews also help improve the consistency of code, improving “best practices” in coding and documentation, and increasing good communication within the team.

I like limiting the reviewers to one or two people. In reviewing critical code that affects many members of the team, larger reviews are required. In this case, I would suggest making this review a separate task or story to make sure it is done correctly. The purpose of the code review can vary. If the developers are new to the development environment, the language, or the application, it is good for a more experienced member of the team to review the code to identify common mistakes of newbies, to share algorithms that work well in the desired environment, or help improve the readability and compactness of the code (no, those are not mutually exclusive). If the developer is experienced, the newer member of the team can learn from the experienced developer and ask questions/make suggestions based on knowledge gained outside of the organization. Even more experienced engineers need to continue to learn.

The most common benefit of having a second person look at code is to spot problems that the developer may not see because errors not seen immediately become part of the “background” and are often overlooked until something in that section of the code changes. It is also much less expensive to find problems in the early stages of development instead of when the code is actually released. Remember that the same person does not always work on the same section of code. Having familiarity with different sections of the project helps each member be able to work on more sections and have a better knowledge of the entire product.

Where mutual code reviews are essential are dealing with code interfaces. If one developer has a function that is called by a second developer, they need to verify the calls match, that any “corner case” will not cause a problem, and that all the caller’s needs are handled properly by the called function.

Code reviews are to verify the functionality and help with the maintainability of the code. If coding tasks are kept to an average of one day to complete, code reviews are  a small part of that time and help improve the quality of the final product. To be “Done” a code review must take place.

Posted in Agile Methodology, Code Reviews, Computers, SCRUM, SCRUM Methodology, Software | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Twenty Are Needed, Four Are Essential

I enjoy writing articles in areas that interest me. These fall into four categories, Health, Computers, Education, and Travel. I am currently looking for a day-job in Software Engineering as well as creating other streams of income. Since many of the opportunities for maintaining our best health are with the products of network marketing companies, this article covers that topic. If in network marketing interests you, keep reading. If you are a techie and more interested in Computers, I promise that the next article will be more technical. For now, techies please go to the Computers tab.

Binary Compensation System

Binary enables you to work more closely with those whom you have brought in.

In network marketing, most “experts” say that you need at least twenty people in your organization to start making money and creating a revenue stream. Due to the various structures that different direct sales marketing organizations use, you  either work with those you bring into your organization or compete against them for new prospects.

The traditional method was the “wide” approach,where you have to get the twenty people yourself and put them directly under you. In the nineties, the binary system was developed. Depending on the set-up, you needed to get two to four people directly reporting to you and then you would help them build their businesses to bring in the 20+ people you need to succeed. I believe that the binary method promotes better cooperation between team members. In order to succeed, you must help those you bring into the organisation to succeed also. In a good plan, you receive not only the commission for sales under you, but also a bonus for the sales of those you bring into the organization. A compensation method that encourages people to help each other is the best compensation mechanism possible.

The best compensation plan is no good unless there is also a good product to go along with the plan. Looking back over the history of direct sales organizations, each year produces at most one to two new companies who are still in existence at least 10 years later. Many die out the first year, and unless there is a good line of products, most do not survive for the ten years. Check out the product lines. What is the research showing the quality of the products? If they are associated with health, are scientists standing behind the products or are they sponsored by marketing experts? Are the products so good that customers are willing to buy them without involvement in the networking portion of the business? Too often, at least the ones I have seen, if the founders are marketers they are interested in making the big bucks and promoting just the opportunities to “make a fortune.” Be aware of the opportunities and see if your gut tells you it really is a good opportunity. One gauge is how long the company has been in business and if it has grown each year since its founding? Another is based on the company’s products, do the products actually deliver what they promise. Again, check your research. There are various places you can check for quality and customer satisfaction. Ask the person who is telling you about the opportunity about both the products and the compensation plan.

The company with whom I work is in the health industry. It uses direct marketing because of the cost of bringing products to market in the more traditional manner. I also teach Business Marketing. In the traditional marketing methods, bringing a product to market usually includes prices that include 70-95% of the cost of the goods going to middle-men or final resellers. A good example are soft drinks. A manufacturer will receive about $0.02 for the syrup to create one soda fountain drink. How much do you pay for one at a restaurant. The rest of the cost goes to that middle-man or restaurant where you purchased the drink. This is an incentive to developers of new products to use direct sales to allow them to sell their products to the consumer for far less than the product would cost going through traditional channels.

Once you look at the binary system, then ask how fair it is to people who come in later. Some of the original binary systems did not put a limit on each of the binary cells. This would cause the original distributors to receive most of the compensation no matter how well a new distributor does. To me, it is far fairer to have a maximum earning on each binary cell. People would then be provided methods to acquire more binary cells, to allow them to continue to grow their business. In this method, the people who do the work, earn the money. Just being in a good place will allow you to earn a comfortable living. To grow more, you will have to continue to do the work.

In conclusion, the best network marketing opportunities are with a company that has a fair compensation plan and a fantastic product line. There are such companies out there. Write me, and I would be happy to share any information I may have.

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Posted in Binary Compensation, Direct Sales, Financial Health, Fulfilling Life, Goals, Health and Wellness, Network Marketing, Northern Colorado, Planning, Self-Worth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In decisions, use your GUT

I went to a workshop yesterday presented by Roben Graziadei of Net Result$, LLC. Her presentation was on using intuition, gut, that still small voice, the light of Christ, or whatever that guiding voice is called. Everyone has it, it just depends on what we do with that “still small voice.”  There are a few possible translation of GUT:

  • God’s Utmost Truth (Roben’s)
  • God’s Ultimate Truth (mine)
  • God’s Universal Truth (mine)
  • God’s Unvarnished Truth (mine)

It all comes down to the fact that we each have a “still small voice” (as Thomas Magnum used to always call it on Magnum P.I. ) that will be totally honest with us if we but listen. This is a concept that flows through the writings of many authors and is being crystalized by Roben in her work on “Instinctology.” She is bringing out a book and a course on the concepts of “Instinctology” which she presented a version of the course to us at IBMC College.   We all have had gut feelings at important moments of our lives. We either have followed those GUT instincts or we have not. There is often a difference in outcome based on which way we follow.

Example

The best way to illustrate this is with one company. Roben has been a consultant with several different companies over her career. After many years of consulting high level managers, she asked them in a survey: “What is the biggest regret you have about your management decisions?” The overwhelming answer was “not following my gut.” At a later consultation, a CEO told her about what the board wanted him to do. The CEO was told that the profits and growth of the company were OK, but they wanted more dramatic growth for the fourth quarter. The board told the CEO to let go of one-third of the sales force at the start of the quarter and then perhaps rehire them in Q1. He was told he could not tell the employees of the possible hire-back. This would stop the flow of residual income from going to the sales representatives who were fired, saving the company enough money to satisfy the board. The CEO pondered this and just happened to be meeting with Roben. He told her about the decision and she simply asked him: “What decisions have you regretted the most?” At that point, he made up his mind to go to the board and refuse to fire the sales reps. He knew he could lose his job, but firing that many people would go totally against the philosophy of the company.  Only the board and upper-level managers knew about his decision. Somehow what he did was leaked to the sales-force and other employees.  The first quarter of the next year smashed all sales records. People respond well when you treat them well. Most companies do well when run by their founders, because the founders had to use their own gut instincts to get the company moving. This GUT instinct is often lost on the second and third generation CEOs.

Needed Input

Instincts are essential, backed-up by data and experience.

Instincts are essential, backed-up by data and experience.

GUT Instincts are essential, but they are not the only basis of decisions, you must also include data and experience. The reason why data and experience are essential is that we want to make sure that the decision is a sound decision and not just wishful thinking based on the way we want things to be.

We are all hit with promptings, it depends on what we do with those promptings. If we have children, then most likely we have been struck by a feeling to drop everything and go out and check on them if they are playing outside. I am grateful I did when I received such a prompting. These promptings can happen in the business world as well as our personal world. Both are important.

STOP->Breathe->ACT

When an insight appears, at least write it down and then evaluate and ACT

Insights do come. What are you going to do with one? According to Roben, the best thing is to STOP and evaluate the prompting. During the evaluation, be sure to breathe. Come up with a solution and ACT as quickly as possible. Sometimes promptings come that are urgent but they are not that important. Be sure to apply Dr. Stephen Covey’s quadrants to make sure it is both Urgent and Important.

If the decision that your instincts tell you needs to be made, then use your time wisely and just get it done. Remember that in your decision process to consider what would be best for the people involved. As we serve others, we best serve ourselves. Please remember the story above as an example of a Good GUT instinct.

Education

The importance of education

Knowing how to best use your GUT instincts requires a good, well-rounded education. Keep learning and keep honing your use of your good instincts. As you use them more and see positive results, you will become more confident in the process. As John Wooden says, be your best and you need to worry about no one else.

To better understand the concepts Roben has developed, please visit her website at http://instinctology.com/.

Posted in Attitude, Divergent Thinking, Fulfilling Life, Goals, Health and Wellness, Mentor, Planning, Self-Worth, Serving, Thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Crisis becomes a “dangerous” Opportunity if you give of yourself

portrait WW CookI am listening to a series of commentaries on the teachings of Jim Rohn through Success Magazine. The one to which I listened today was by Denis Waitley.1 He covered a discussion that Jim Rohn had about the Chinese characters for the word “Crisis” In Mandarin, they are 危機. Separating them to 危 機, it becomes Dangerous Machine. When you add your own will (會) to the “machine” part, it becomes opportunity (機會). Putting them together, adding your will to a crisis will give you a dangerous opportunity (危 and 機會). Ackownledged that Chinese is not read left to right, so I cannot write this as a proper sentence. However, if I separate the two concepts they become clear as to each of their meanings. To create a true opportunity, or chance, the danger has to be managed. That can be done. From any crisis, adding your own will and controlling the danger will create an opportunity.

Everyone goes through some setbacks in life. What we do with those dangerous opportunities makes us who we are. It can be a bit scary going through the crisis, but we will each be better at the end if we use our God-given will to manage the danger and create the opportunity. For example, with the recent downsizing of IBMC College, where I teach, it has given me the opportunity to re-ignite my interest in Computers. I am learning and relearning so much. It will help me in that area. It has also given me the opportunity to start writing what I have always wanted to write. When my sons were younger, I told them Matthew and Aron Railway System stories every night when they went to bed. We all looked forward to those stories. I have finally written the first book in the series. If nothing else, it will be a great gift for our granddaughters. Aaron is earning a Masters in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on the various aspects of engineering with regard to constructing and maintaining railroads. I have asked my sister to illustrate it, if she has the time. She is a great artist, so I do look forward to her illustrations.

When a crisis happens, we can feel sorry for ourselves or we can have the attitude of abundance and see the opportunities that are opening up to ourselves. Have the will to open the opportunities will help us achieve what we want out of life. And it will, most likely, benefit others. What do each of us want out of life? I know that I want to make a difference and I can only do that by planning what I want to do and doing it. May you turn every crisis in your life into an opportunity to serve others and grow in all ways that are important to you.

Footnotes

1. If you are interested in Chinese-American relations, I would highly recommend Denis Waitley’s book The Dragon and The Eagle; Hansen House Publishing, Newport Beach, CA; 2008; ISBN: 978-0-9815058-0-0 or ISBN: 978-0-9815058-1-7

Posted in Attitude, Computers, Financial Health, Fulfilling Life, Goals, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“Make Each Day Your Masterpiece” – John Wooden

As I grow older, I look for people I really admire and from whom I may learn. Sitting still, no matter what my age, is not an option. John Wooden Masterpiece I am going through a course on Jim Rohn through Success magazine with my son, Matthew, and a video about the life of John Wooden was a bonus. What a bonus. John Wooden was an amazing teacher. He considered himself a teacher and not a coach. His philosophy was to give 100% to every day. Coach Wooden also lived by the standards he expected from his players. Each year he had an individual plan for each player. Having coached basketball, I really admire his work ethic. If someone was not putting out 100% and working as a member of the team, that person would not play. Coach Wooden never looked at game tapes of other teams, he only wanted his team to be their very best, both as a team and as individuals. His philosophy is to play/do the best a player can. I know that if I do my best, I can accept the outcome no matter what it may be.

Through what he was taught by his father and his coaches in high school and college, he developed a very successful philosophy of life. He developed his pyramid of success John Wooden Pyramid of Success which he shared with each person he coached/taught. If you are interested in learning more, there is a free online course titled The Wooden Effect. The first video is excellent. Being a fourth generation Hoosier, I have been interested in basketball all of my life and find this a useful

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Live a Fulfilling Life

cropped-portrait-copy.jpgLife is too short. I am not sure where the time has gone, but it flies by so quickly. There is an old saying that one should live with no regrets. Unfortunately, you think about what you say even to yourself. My new motto is to “Live a Fulfilled Life.” Each day we are faced with decisions. Each of us have only 24 hours in a day, unless we are travelling east (with the exception of crossing the international date line). What do we do with those hours? Do we do what is urgent and unimportant or do we try to take care of the tasks that are important first. I strive to take the long-term approach, but sometimes that is hard. Today, I am writing this post, working with my son on reviewing some of the lessons that Jim Rohn gave, cleaning up the rotten apples under our tree and figuring out what to do with those that are still good, reading with my family, and teaching a math class tonight in Greeley. There is quite a bit to do, but it will get done if I use my time wisely.

Yesterday, I met with a friend and the CSU Computer Science department. It made me realize how much I enjoy Working with computers, as long as I can work with people also. He told me that another good friend who started the PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania with me is now retiring from his Professorship. There are two major times in my life that I just let life happen and I did not make the right decision for me. Since I did allow those times to happen, I cannot regret what happened. I can only learn from them and not make the same mistake again. Those who are still young, I would highly recommend looking at where you are right now, looking at your options, weigh the good and bad of each path, and choose very wisely, Life will happen and time will pass, decisions will be made for you if you do not make them for yourself.

The question is, who is in charge of your own life. Are you in charge and make the best decisions for yourself or do you let circumstances and others make those decisions for you. There are some circumstances that require specific decisions, but even then you always have some leeway in which to make life better for yourself and all around you. It has been an interesting few months. On 1 April, I was downsized where I teach. This has given me the opportunity to refresh my computer skills. I have received a C# certification and am now a Certified SCRUM Master. I am currently reviewing LINUX, Python, and JAVA. I have reviewed JavaScript and C++ and have been creating a Computers  tab on those subjects on this website. It has been fun. Then in August, Matthew came down with vertigo. This means that he cannot continue his job for now. In order to make sure we have money coming into the house to continue living here, we have started a SUCCESS magazine course on the teachings of Jim Rohn. It is a group of videos that feature his teachings, along with commentaries by the motivational speakers of today that were mentored by him. It is well worth the time.

Also, in “The Leadership Experience” [1] book I am using to teach Leadership in our college, there is a Consider This list that has some interesting thoughts on how to treat life:

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or not, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”
  4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it; then you can go on to the next lesson[2]
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will, again, look better than “here.”
  7. Others are merely mirror of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or have about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need; what you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. The answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.[3]
  10. Whether you think you can or can’t, in either case you’ll be right. Think about it.

One of the main lessons we have learned from this is to give freely. What we give to the world will come back to us. In conjunction with this, Matthew and I have set up a free e-mail list where interesting articles on health and life are sent on a regular basis.  I really enjoy reading the articles that it posts and have learned quite a bit.

Please lead a fulfilling life and do good to/for yourself and all those around you.

[1] “The Leadership Experience, Richard L. Daft, Cengage Learning, 2015, ISBN-13: 978-1-4354-6285-4

[2] My NOTE: this has been the toughest one for me.

[3] My NOTE: we are all born with a special light that will guide us if we but listen.

Posted in Attitude, Computers, Financial Health, Fulfilling Life, Goals, Health and Wellness, Mentor, Northern Colorado, Planning, Self-Worth, Serving, Thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

FEAR – False Evidence – Action Required

I have an old enough vehicle that all it has is a cassette tape player, so I took out a groupportrait WW Cook of motivation tapes and started listening to them on a long drive. One side was by Jeremy Stansfield talking about the effects of fear. His definition of fear was the basis of the title of this article. His definition was “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Things in our lives may appear to be more difficult than they really are or we are frozen in our own steps so that we cannot achieve what we truly desire. How many times in our lives have we really wanted something, but were afraid to do what was needed to achieve that goal? If we want to overcome our own fear, we need to plan and do what it takes to overcome that fear. It could be talking in front of large groups of people, it could be being alone with someone we like a lot (before we were married). There are all sorts of triggers to our fears. It could be as simple as forgetting what we wanted to say at a 2nd grade show-and-tell, or it could be a big presentation we tried to give at a major event. Either way can build in a fear that we might fail again. Unfortunately, too often, the fear comes from trying to do something we have never done before. The way I overcome this is thinking back on a time when I tried something new and succeeded. Jeremy talks about learning how to waterski. For me, it was just deciding to go out and learn how to ride a bicycle in one day. When I think about doing something new that is hard in my field, I think about the first three days of my Masters program in Computer Science. I had only written assembler and FORTRAN code on paper tape and punch cards. On Monday we were give an assignment to write five LISP programs and use a terminal to store them and turn them into the professor via a drop-box by Wednesday. That was a fun three (actually two) days. It is amazing how even related experiences might leave us a bit afraid. For example, I have talked at technical conferences in front of 1,000 engineers. I really did enjoy that experience. But presenting my business to a friend and new acquaintances can give me quite a few butterflies.

The only way I have learned to get over my fears is to take action. Practice is one of the keys. Another is listening to people we admire in order to improve ourselves. There are a few people that everyone knows that are excellent motivators. The more I read, the more I realize that Jim Rohn is one person whom most of the motivational speakers I know truly admire. I am listening to his tapes as much as possible. He would be the first person to point out that action is the only way to overcome fear. Jim is a big advocate of keeping a journal and setting goals with measuring techniques to track how you are achieving those goals. I am working with my son to build our business. We will have daily meetings where we can discuss daily goals and hold each other accountable. Good luck (and skill) with all that you do.

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What Are You Worth?

Too often we consider our own worth based on our income, health/looks, companions, occupation, ethnic heritage, age, gender, or any other number of items and thoughts. These might have some influence on us, but none of them are who we truly are. As a Child of God, we each have infinite worth. Deep inside, it is our own thoughts that give or take away our value. Each of us only has 24 hours per day. What are our thoughts when we are awake? What are our dreams when we are asleep? Our we living in the past, are we living in the future, or are we planning for the future and living in the present? For me, only one of these three options makes any sense. We have all made mistakes, otherwise we have never tried. Some mistakes may be more haunting than others, but this should be used for learning since it is impossible to go back and change what we have done or not done in the past. I personally feel that too many of my mistakes have been mistakes of omission and not commission. Not making a decision or doing something I knew was the right thing to do is more devastating that trying something and failing. Through  failure, we do learn, without trying, there can be no success or failure and thus no learning. The lack of a decision is often tied to the self-worth we have for ourselves. “The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized – never knowing.” ― Jim Rohn[1]

There are some key words that have been floating around about how to improve our own self-worth. What is my passion (what do I truly love to do), what is my purpose (we all have a higher purpose for our lives, how do we find and implement that), intent (we must decide on what we need to do and know why this action is important to us), and having long term and shorter term SMART goals. Daily goals that fit into our weekly, monthly, yearly, and long term goals are important. Our self-worth increases when we set and measure those goals. If we share those goals and have ourselves and others hold ourselves accountable, there is no real limit on what we can achieve. Just as a reminder SMART Goals are:

SMART Goals

Initial
Meaning
S Specific – state exactly what you want to accomplish.
M Measurable – state exactly how you will be able to measure when the task is accomplished.
A Attainable – set a target that is a stretch goal but is physically attainable.
R Realistic – is the goal something you want to and can achieve?
T Timely- set an exact date for when this goal will be met.

We are paid what we are worth to others, we earn what we are worth to ourselves. What is your self-worth? If any of us believe we can do better, then we need to follow Jim Rohn’s advice: “You cannot change your destination overnight. You can change your direction.” A railcar being switched in Chicago only changes direction slightly, but can end up in New York City or in New Orleans. We each need to know where we want to be and change our direction enough each day to reach that destination. Best wishes on achieving your dreams.


Footnotes

[1] – All Jim Rohn quotes are from Good Reads’ Jim Rohn Quotes page.

Posted in Computers, Financial Health, Goals, Health and Wellness, http://www.cookhealthalliance.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1263&action=edit#category-add, Mentor, older Americans, Planning, Self-Wirth, Serving, Thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

We are each a Human Becoming

John Addison, of Success Magazine, used this phrase in a video he created that portrait WW Cookadvertises one of his courses. The phrase really stuck with me. How many times do we say to ourselves “I would like to become…” and then acted on that thought? John’s thoughts revolve around becoming a good (great) leader. When we are young, we often have thoughts about becoming a good reader, a bicycle rider, a good driver, a graduate. Why do we sometimes let that thought go when we grow older. Are we too busy? Are we too involved with the day to day events of our lives? What is sad is when we just seem to be biding our time before something else happens. We each have 24 hours per day. There are several books I want to read. If I have some “down time” between obligations, it would be good to have one of those books with me to read, or have it on CD to be able to listen while waiting in a vehicle. Some goals take longer than others. I have a goal to be the best father I can be, the boys are already fully grown, one has a family of his own, does that mean I can stop or am I still becoming a good father. When I was seven, I wanted to become a bicycle rider. My parents were planning all sorts of strategies, that would take some time. But I wanted to become a bicycle rider, so I just borrowed a friends bicycle and went down to the end of the street and started practicing. It took me several hours, but by that afternoon I was able to ride a bike. The same goes for learning how to program, I had designed and written several FORTRAN programs when I went back for my Masters in Computer Science. On the first day of class I was assigned five LISP programs to complete by Wednesday. LISP, unlike FORTRAN, is a recursive language (a routine can call itself without any ill side-effects). This was all on a terminal instead of Hollerith cards. It was fun two days, but since I had a specific goal, I did manage to complete the assignment.

Becoming takes a life-time. There are intermediate becoming(s), but they all add up to a lifetime of progress. One area that sidetracks us is our own thoughts. Sometimes we have a fear of failure, other times we have a fear of success, at other times we want to be perfect the first time we do something. Like when I learned how to ride a bicycle, being perfect the first time you try something is just about impossible. As a quote from the Get the Healthy Edge Program, for whom my wife is a coach, “progress not perfection” says that we need to make progress in order to eventually become the person we want to be. As we progress, there are tasks at which we can be perfect, but once we have mastered one goal, we need to move on to the next to keep learning and progressing.

As I talked about in my last post, in is always good to learn in as many ways as possible, including having a mentor. It is never too late to find a mentor who has become what you would like to become. Read, learn, listen. There are many ways to become the person you want to be. Keep learning and loving it. I know that when I have become the person I want to be, then I will truly become an human being. Best wishes for all the success you deserve.

Posted in Computers, Health and Wellness, Mentor, Northern Colorado, Planning, Thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Some Days You Feel Lucky, But….

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CATERS_Great_White_Shark_Seal_Sequence_11-1024x682Are there some days where you just say: “Boy, do I feel lucky to only be in a precarious position but what is the best way to move forward.”  This could be for all sorts of reasons, from loss of a job through loss of health.  Most cases do have a way out, but we need to use our heads (and hearts) to determine the best way forward.  Asking a good friend for help or advice is a good way to help us determine a good path. They may have been through a similar situation before.  They may be aware of options that of which we may not be aware. Use all the resources available to make the best possible decision in the time you have allotted. Most the time, there is enough time to do things right.  But in certain circumstances a quick decision is required.  What got me thinking about this was a picture I saw on Bing that was credited back to CNN.

Being a mentor is a good way of helping others, but at various points in each of our careers we each will need a good mentor who has done what we are just starting. Choose wisely.  If I am starting a completely new path, then I will gather around some people I trust and bounce ideas off of them.  Most likely, a good mentor has already traveled a similar path.  However, what their skill is, is to know how to find a good path forward.  In the picture, there are probably three directions the seal could jump that are a lot safer than the fourth.  Using a mentor before any of us gets in a position like this, will help each of us determine the best path forward to power us toward success. There are times when each of us get in a situation that requires good decision making skills.  Hopefully, though we lay out a way that removes such dire situations.  However, health problems and job layoffs do occur and we need to have plans to deal with such situations.  Having a mentor, or at lease someone with whom we can exchange ideas, is critical to our future success.

I personally have a few people at Northern Colorado Networking that I trust. I also have several students who have graduated who trust me. When we learn new material, the best way to retain what we have learned is to teach others. Be generous. Knowledge is to be shared. The world is much richer when we both accept and provide thoughtful mentoring.

Posted in Computers, Health and Wellness, Mentor, Northern Colorado, older Americans, Planning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments