The First 90 Days

The First 90 Days is a book I was given by a close friend when they heard I was moving into a new job. It was written by Michael Watkins, and was first published in 2013.

I found this book really useful to get into the right state of mind for starting a new role, and what I should look to tackle in my first 90 days. I took note of a number of the useful passages, and I am sharing them here for others as they may also prove useful.

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Leadership and the One Minute Manager

Leadership and the One Minute Manager is another book I read after moving into my first management role. It was written by Ken Blanchard, Drea Zigarmi, Patricia Zigarmi, and was first published in 1999.

This book follows on from The One Minute Manager, and builds on number of concepts to explore the idea of what a good leader is. Below are some extracts and diagrams I found useful.

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The One Minute Manager

The One Minute Manager is a book I read after moving into my first management role. It was written by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, and was published in 1982.

It’s a short read that you can complete in one sitting. I found it really useful as a foundation for thinking through “people things”. At the time I took note of a number of the useful passages, and I have referred back to these many times since. I am sharing them here for others as they may also prove useful.

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Extracts from The Peter Principle

I recently finished reading The Peter Principle. It was written by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull and was published in 1969.

It’s central thesis is that given enough time, and assuming the existence of enough ranks in a hierarchy, each employee will rise to, and remain at, their level of incompetence.

Overall I found it an insightful read, with it’s cynical, tongue in cheek tone often being quite humorous. It does, however, show it’s age with some problematic heteronormative and sexist views in a handful of places. Remember it was written over 50 years ago.

Below are number of extracts from the book that I found compelling or noteworthy.

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My Manager README

A few years ago I started reading Software Lead Weekly. This is a weekly newsletter that roundups a bunch of really great articles and resources on engineering management and technical leadership. In one edition the concept of a Manager README was shared and I thought it sounded fantastic.

A Manager README is a document that you can share with your team to outline your own my leadership style. I recently finished writing my own here:

My README outlines my background, my role, my preferences for communication, my personality quirks, and in general is a place for you to understand the best way to work with me. It also outlines my promises to the people I work with so you can hold me accountable.

If we are working together right now, or if meet on a project sometime in the future, I hope this document is useful for you to get to know me.

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Notes on SOLID

In preparation for looking for a new job earlier this year I did some revision on the SOLID principles. These articles were helpful to refresh my understanding and ground it in Swift:

Below are the notes I took.

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Jekyll on the Apple M1

Late last year I bought the 2020 Mac Mini with Apple’s new M1 chip. Overall the machine is great, and for iOS development it worked “out of the box” with essentially no hitches. However when I came to update this website I had trouble getting the default Ruby install to work with Jekyll (static site generator) and Poole (layout and other helpers for Jekyll).

Specifically I was getting this sort of error message when running jekyll serve:

LoadError - dlopen(/Library/Ruby/Gems/2.6.0/gems/ffi-1.13.1/lib/ffi_c.bundle, 0x0009): missing compatible arch in /Library/Ruby/Gems/2.6.0/gems/ffi-1.13.1/lib/ffi_c.bundle

After some googling I found that I wasn’t the first person to come across similar problems. According to Martin Albrecht the default Ruby install on Big Sur for M1 macs is a bit broken. I don’t understand all the ins and outs of the problem but I think I’ve got a workable solution that you may also find useful.

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UIKonf 2020

UIKonf is one of the leading international conferences for Apple development, bringing together people to share their ideas and experiences of building apps for the Apple platforms - iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. UIKonf is hosted in Berlin, and when I attended the event back in 2018 it was an amazing experience. The organisers put together a two day conference, plus one day for social activities, that balanced a variety of presentations with opportunities to meet and chat with like minded people from all around the world. I came away with new ideas and inspiration for building apps, and also with desire to return in future years to see the people I had met and made friends with once more.

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