Structure, Meetings and Other People

circles of colors

When I started on this self-employed adventure, I had no structure. This was the first adjustment. I allowed myself to be distracted by potential projects, pitching things, doing unpaid work in the hope that it would pay off (it didn’t). Over time I created habits for myself, drew boundaries, evolved to this 5 days on / […]

Read More

Book: The Charisma Myth

charisma myth

I quite enjoyed The Charisma Myth (Amazon), although I’m not sure how much more Charismatic I managed to become from reading it! Charisma is behaviour (not personality!) that can be learned. Marilyn Monroe could turn charisma on and off. A young woman went to dinner with William Gladstone and separately also with Benjamin Disraeli. She said she left […]

Read More

The Second Hardest Thing About Moving

The hardest thing about moving is obviously leaving people you love behind. There are two parts of this – first, there are always the people who don’t seem to be bothered that you left. Which even though I know, and expect now, I still find crushing. The ones who stop hanging out even before you […]

Read More

Some Thoughts on Gift Giving

Expensive gift

I like to think – and I have some validation for this – that I am an excellent gift giver. It’s getting to be the time of year where we worry about gifts, so I thought I’d write up some of my thoughts. The Five Love Languages (Amazon) is a somewhat soppily named book but it’s actually […]

Read More

The List

My friend and teammate says to me, “do you make a habit of spending your birthdays on planes… after breakups? It’s only the second time. It’s really how the dates worked out. With the timezone change, it means my birthday is going to last for 40 hours… I can celebrate on two continents! In two […]

Read More

Engineering an Interesting Life

Frosti's Backflip in Lamma

Abstract: In a world where computing power doubles roughly every two years, the goal is no longer efficiency, but effectiveness. The education system prepares students for efficiency, but to be successful when we go out into the world (or before!) we need rather to learn to be effective. In this workshop, we’ll discuss more useful things […]

Read More

Misconceptions of What Software Engineers Do

connecting the dots

My first proper day on my new project, and our PM says to me – “Cate, you seem to like to travel. How about you spend time in New York?” – I’m tasked with helping another team out, and being the bridge between that team and my team here. Initially I was a bit… thrown. […]

Read More

Leadership =/= Control

Trapped

Currently, I’m reading Tim Harford’s Adapt (Amazon). It’s a fascinating book, quite different from the Undercover Economist (Amazon) – which is also excellent. He writes about the importance of experimentation and feedback, and the insanity of centralized military planning – where an individual soldier can shoot to kill, but the General running the base can’t approve […]

Read More

Decisions

"Goody Glam"

Last week, in California, I met the amazing Meggin who leaves such astute and beautiful comments here. It was great – or terrible timing – depending on how you look at it. Terrible timing, because, one of the first things I said to her was: In a while I’ll spin this into a really positive […]

Read More

Reminding Myself As To Why We Continue, Despite Everything

If you can turn yourself into smoke whenever you want, why do you bother walking?

It’s been a mixed week. Some successes – Awesome Foundation! Girl Geek Dinner! Getting my visa sorted! And then a number of things that made me wonder why I was bothering. Mostly stupid things, and you could say that I shouldn’t worry about them – but that is easy to say, and hard to do. […]

Read More