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Thoughts on many things Posts

From support analyst to DevOps thinker

The title of this post might seem a bit on the conceited side. After all, who am I to claim to be a DevOps practitioner, much less thinker? I will simply say that I am working to implement DevOps principles in my day to day life, am spending more than a little time reading, thinking, and writing about DevOps, and though I may not be considered a DevOps thinker today, I certainly aspire to join their ranks. The title, then, is a statement of aspiration, more than a statement of achievement.

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Let’s make work outside business hours the exception

When I wrote my blog post about important features of a service management tool, I wrote “I am increasingly coming to believe that the change management process is perhaps the most important one for success in ITIL – not to mention DevOps – adoption” – and I stand by that assessment. Not because change management is such a revolutionary idea in and of itself, but because of what true management of change means for a business.

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Unroll a twitter thread

Last week, I showed you how you can quickly and easily create a coherent Twitter thread. Reading Twitter threads can be a bit of a hassle, though, so of course someone made a web app to hep with that. The site is called Thread Reader App. Useful though it is, it could have been a bit more intuitive to use, so here’s how you unroll a thread:

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Creating a coherent Twitter thread

I have recently gotten back into using Twitter, after having left it as little more than a channel through which I promote the posts on this blog for a fairly long time. In the past, when I have had something on my mind taking more than 140 (well, 280 now) characters to say, I’ve simply written a tweet, then replying to it and replying, in turn, to the reply until I’m done.

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A long career ahead

I celebrated my 35th birthday this past week. As I was getting ready for work one morning, I looked into the mirror and realised that – barring some drastic, and highly unrealistic, changes in approaches to retirement – I will likely be part of the work force for (at least) as long as I have presently been alive. Counting my service as a conscript in the Royal Norwegian Navy, I have been part of the workforce for fifteen years, which means that I will have been part of the workforce for a total of (at least) fifty years when I eventually retire.

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Thoughts on single piece flow in IT support

My first IT job was a one day per week internship with a pharmaceutical company while I attended my last year of high school. It was the first time I was exposed to the constant stream of support and service calls that makes up a large part of the day to day life of a support technician. I remember having a distinct impression that the IT department was constantly over-worked, always having too many things to deal with.

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The value of Kanban

Kanban (capital-K, as in the method) uses a kanban (lowercase-k, as in the board) to visualise and reduce work in progress (WIP for short). This is the most well-known, and visible, part of Kanban. It is achieved by limiting how many pieces of WIP any one work centre can have assigned. At first glance, this may seem to be incompatible with IT support work. This is as erroneous as assuming Kanban is incompatible with knowledge work in general, whereas it has been proven to be an excellent match for software development (for details, I recommend David Anderson’s book “Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business”).

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The problem with inept recruiters

I am, with surprising regularity, contacted by recruiters seeking to fill a position. While many of them call out specific aspects of my LinkedIn profile, indicating that they’ve at least taken a cursory glance at it, I am finding an increasing number of recruiters who, quite clearly, has not even bothered to do that. Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about (details redacted to protect the guilty):

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Change Management: It’s not about gatekeeping

This was originally written before I read chapter 18 of the DevOps handbook. I feel strongly that peer review has greater legitimacy and chances of success than a system where a change manager is solely responsible for changes that may or may not fall within their area of expertise. It further grants employees more agency and autonomy in performing their jobs. While not directly addressed below, peer review is compatible with my views on change management.

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Turning on notifications for Facebook posts

I use Facebook for many things. One of those things is to take advantage of the internet hivemind, and get opinions and recommendations for any number of things, from what tech to get, to where to eat. One thing that annoys me a lot, is when someone posts something irrelevant, just so that they can follow the conversation. If memory serves, it used to be that you had to post something – anything – in order to get notifications of what happened in a thread, and it is from this that the practice stems.

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Primary Occupational Interests debunked?

Like me, I’m sure you’ve been subjected to tests designed to find out what profession you should pursue. Whether termed professional aptitude tests or primary occupational interests tests, I have long been skeptical of the value of the results these tests offer up. A study in the Journal of Vocational Behavior seems to indicate that I have been right to be skeptical. The study found that a sizeable minority are in jobs that don’t fit our primary occupational interests.

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