Forcing Factor

A forcing factor is any factor that forces you to make a choice. They are often thought of as bad because when you are forced to make a choice that choice is not likely going to be a good one.

“Check” in the game of chess is one such negative forcing factor. Global climate change is another. However, they can be used for good if you take control of them.

Code does rust

Fourteen years ago Joel Spolsky wrote an article entitled “Netscape Goes Bonkers”. In that article he states that “old software doesn’t rust”. The rest of the article is good, but that statement is “off”.

Dealing with Email overload

This isn’t strictly software related, but a lot of us have to deal with the horror that is email. Email is not a good solution to any problem, but it is ubiquitous so it is used for all things: personal correspondence, commit tracking, defect notification, task notification, etc… Email is all to often used as a mechanism to pass-the-buck.

The only way to deal with this email overload is to set boundaries on email usage. A lot of people will find these boundaries annoying, if not unworkable. Just stick with it and lead by example. Eventually, in a time of high stress, you will be able to get to important messages fast and they will be left floundering.

How to be a bad boss

Being a boss is a complicated thing. It is your job to get people to do things, sometimes things they do not want to do. And it is especially complicated in the software industry, where it is like herding cats.

I see a lot of posts on how to be a good boss, but the problem there is that they often forget to mention the things that can and will immediately erode any success you might have had. I am going to assume that as a reader you strive to be a person who others are willing to follow.

Nobody is perfect, so you will probably have done at least one of these things in the past. Or you do then without even knowing. Now is your chance to stop, and be a constructive boss who people want to work for.