Privilege NoticeI have a background of privilege that has created the lens through which I see and write about my life experiences. This background provides importnat context for interpreting my writing. Some items in my portfolio of privilege include:
- I was born in the United States of America.
- I have no physcial or mental disabilities.
- I was raised in a two parent home by two people who, as of July 2022, have been married for over 50 years.
- I was raised in a middle class house.
- I am a straight cis-gendered man.
- I have a marital partner who provides tremendous domestic, emotional, and financial support.
- I have great credit and no criminal record.
I blog semi-regularly about a variety of topics. Most of my blog posts are about my career in tech, my thoughts on engineering culture, my travels, and other topics that interest me.
Below is a list of my blog posts in chronological order and grouped by year. Click here to see them grouped by category.
You can also search my blog using the box below. You’ll get a list of links to any posts that contain the text you enter.
- Year in Review 2023
The year 2023 had a lot of firsts for me. It was full of firsts for my family, my first full year at GitHub, and it felt like the first year that was fully free of COVID's long shadow. Here are my favorite photos, social media posts, and thoughts about each month in 2023. I end with a summary of 2023.
Category: Year in Review 27 Dec 2023
- Open Source Your Interview Questions Test
Companies often manage their interview questions as closely guarded secrets, but open sourcing them can make hiring processes more accessible, inclusive, and fair.
Category: Work 12 Sep 2022
- My Favorite 1:1 Questions
Effective 1:1 meetings have been a vitally important of my management style for years. Here are my favorite 1:1 questions, and I also include some of the techniques I use to make 1:1s effective relationship and career building experiences.
Category: Work 02 Sep 2022
- Using Google Wifi with Xfinity Internet
I recently had to switch my ISP to Xfinity Internet. Here's how I got it to work with my Google Wifi mesh network.
Category: Tech 26 Feb 2021
- Forecast Failure: Why Project Estimates and Political Polls Get It Wrong
The presidential contest in the United States is still unclear three days after Election Day. However, one area of clarity is the failure of polls to forecast this outcome. Polls and project estimates suffer from the same fatal flaw: the impossibility of certainty.
Category: Work 06 Nov 2020
- The Three Ps of VR: Presence, Price, and Personal
This is another essay I submitted to the David Carr writing contest, but this was for SXSW 2016. It contains my thoughts about the future of virtual reality (VR).
Category: Tech 30 Oct 2020
- What The Matrix, Inception, and the Food Industry Can Teach Social Media Sites about Truth
I submitted this essay to the SXSW 2018 David Carr writing contest. It didn't win, but I think it's more timely than ever as social media sites continue to expand their influence across the globe.
Category: Tech 23 Oct 2020
- Stage Routines for Public Speakers
When you boil it down, speakers have to get on stage, perform on stage, and then get off the stage. Here are my routines for handling all of these stages.
Category: Speaking 16 Oct 2020
- Speaker Benefits
I've been lucky to develop a successful side-career as a speaker at tech events. Here are the benefits I've experienced being a speaker.
Category: Speaking 09 Oct 2020
- The Interview Never Ends
A colleague who had recently accepted a job offer stated that they were glad the interview process was over. I reminded them that the interview never ends for the company or for the employee.
Category: Career 02 Oct 2020
- Myths about Public Speakers
One of the things I love to do as a public speaker is help people start their own journey to becoming a public speaker. This often results in resistance because of the myths that people have about public speakers, and I want to dispel some of those myths.
Category: Speaking 25 Sep 2020
- Why I Blog
I blog for a variety of reasons, but, ultimately, I blog to create the things that I want to read.
Category: Writing 11 Sep 2020
- How to Digitize Your Old Video Tapes
The last time I changed companies, I scheduled a few weeks of downtime before I started my new role. I took the opportunity to digitize my decades old collection of VHS, Video8, Hi8, and MiniDV tapes. Here's how I preserved these irreplaceable memories.
Category: Tech 04 Sep 2020
- Support the Inclusive Cloud
Cloud engineers need to support a variety of cloud providers and tools, but now, more than ever, they also need to support the inclusive cloud.
Category: Inclusion and Diversity 28 Aug 2020
- My Manager README
Manager READMEs made the rounds a few years ago, and I know that some find them controversial. This is my version, and it's not a substitute for me doing the hard work of gaining my team's trust. It's just a snapshot of my management style at this point in time.
Category: Leadership 21 Aug 2020
- Everything I Need to Know about Leadership I Learned Playing Dominoes
I love a good game of dominoes, and here are the leadership lessons I've learned from crushing my opponents over the years.
Category: Leadership 14 Aug 2020
- Sleep Hacks
My wife and I put a lot of value on high quality sleep, and these are a few hacks we've put into place to wake up refreshed and energized in the morning.
Category: Health 07 Aug 2020
- Prepare Your Teens to Learn Online
In a few weeks, my three teen-aged children will start a school year with online learning for the first time. Here's what my wife and I are doing to get them ready to learn from home.
Category: Tech 31 Jul 2020
- Choosing Electives in the Liberal Arts as an Engineering Student
My undergraduate degree in electrical engineering provided a few electives that I could use for any field of study. I chose liberal arts classes that have contributed more to my management style than any of my technical courses.
Category: Leadership 23 Jul 2020
- Managing for Neurodiversity
Being an inclusive leader means that we welcome talent no matter how it's packaged. That includes team members whose brains work in different ways.
Category: Inclusion and Diversity 17 Jul 2020
- The Althea Test for Measuring Inclusion Maturity
I've been asked by several organizations to help them understand the maturity of their inclusion efforts. I've found that the Althea Test is a good place to start. The reason is tied to the RMS Titanic.
Category: Inclusion 10 Jul 2020
- 5 Tips for Negotiating Your Salary
Negotiating your salary is just a conversation. By being prepared, you can have the conversation calmly and with confidence.
Category: Work 03 Jul 2020
- 5 Things Speakers Should Confirm with Event Organizers
As a speaker, it's critical to get on the same page with event organizers when planning how you'll participate in their program.
Category: Speaking 26 Jun 2020
- Anti-Racist Does Not Mean Anti-White
As the Anti-Racist movement grows, it's important to clarify that it's not an Anti-White movement.
Category: Inclusion and Diversity 19 Jun 2020
- Working in Tech as a Black Leader
Earlier this week, I posted a series of tweets explaining my experience as a Black leader in tech. It resonated with a lot of the people who saw it resulting in thousands of likes. I'm republishing the tweet thread here on my blog.
Category: Inclusion and Diversity 18 Jun 2020
- Making the Leap to Management through Fading Feedback Loops
A colleague who had moved from an individual contributor to management recently asked how to feel accomplished when so much of what a manager does is so intangible. The feedback loops are so long compared to writing code. This was my response.
Category: Leadership 05 Jun 2020
- Unboxing the Default Setting of Racism
The murder of George Floyd (while unarmed and in custody) by a white police officer has sparked protests and another round of national conversations on race. An often forgotten part of these conversations is the reality that racism, specifically against Blacks, is the default setting in the operating system of America.
Category: Inclusion and Diversity 05 Jun 2020
- The Benefit of the Doubt
This is my reflection of the term 'benefit of the doubt' and how I use the concept to lead my teams.
Category: Leadership 28 May 2020
- Lightweight Meetings
My team asked me to give a presentation on effective meetings, and this is the article version of my slides.
Category: Work 22 May 2020
- My Remote Work Office Setup
Here's the lowdown on my remote office setup..
Category: Remote Work 04 May 2020
- Journaling with Notability and the Apple Pencil
I started the practice of journaling last year, and I've found that the Notability app and the Apple Pencil are the perfect set of tools for recording my thoughts.
Category: Tech 01 May 2020
- Lessons Event Organizers Can Learn from LeadDev Live
If you're struggling to convert your in-person event to an online experience, then you'll find a lot to learn from LeadDev Live.
Category: Speaking 29 Apr 2020
- Blocking Out Your Day for Remote Work
By organizing your day into dedicated blocks of time, you can make the most of working remotely.
Category: Remote Work 24 Apr 2020
- Non-Cash Ways to Pay Speakers
Event organizers have a wide variety of ways compensate speakers for their time without making direct cash payments.
Category: Speaking 17 Apr 2020
- How to Play Werewolf Over Zoom
Werewolf is a fun social game that can be enjoyed even by a distributed group using the Zoom remote meeting software application.
Category: Remote Work 14 Mar 2020
- The SNES Method for Health
I've developed a simple system for thinking about maintaining my health.
Category: Health 14 Nov 2019
- My Experience as a Denver Startup Week Ambassador
I had the honor of serving as an Ambassador for Denver Startup Week 2019. This is what I experienced during the program.
Category: Tech 25 Sep 2019
- What Is a Common Misconception People Might Have about You?
This is my answer to a question that was asked through the Know Your Team service that my company uses to help us know each other better.
Category: Work 23 Aug 2019
- Make It Factual, Friendly, and Funny: How I Write Talks
Writing talks is a craft, and I use three guidelines to help direct my process. I make my talks factual, friendly, and funny.
Category: Speaking 10 Aug 2018
- Six Leadership Anti-Patterns
Leadership is complicated, but there are six anti-patterns that seem effective in the short-term but will result in advantages that are only temporary.
Category: Leadership 15 Feb 2018
- How to Tell When Someone is About to Quit
I'm rarely surprised when someone tenders their resignation because I've learned to recognize the signs that someone is exploring other opportunities.
Category: Work 26 Jan 2018
- The Ten Planning Poker Commandments
In my role of ScrumMaster, I've helped several teams learn how to use Planning Poker to size user stories. This post distills the lessons I've shared over the years.
Category: Agile 20 Jan 2018
- Amplifi HD: The Dark Fiber Saga
My home network wasn't meeting my needs. I was blowing through my ISP's data cap every month, and I had dead spots in various corners where the WiFi completely died. This is the story of how I fought to revive my home network with AT&T's fiber service and AmpliFi HD.
Category: Tech 17 Jan 2018
- Master Your Inbox with the D.R.A.F.T. Method
Are overflowing email inboxes getting you down? The D.R.A.F.T. Method will help you master your messages and bring your email under control.
Category: Work 15 Jan 2018
- How to Spot Workplace Toxicity During the Interview Process
When you're looking for a job, making progress through the interview process can be exciting. However, don't let it blind you to clues that the company may be a toxic workplace.
Category: Work 09 Jan 2018
- Getting Promoted in Public Speaking
Every speaker has a different journey, but there are levels to public speaking that almost everyone has to navigate.
Category: Speaking 06 Jan 2018
- Public Speaking Retrospective 2017
My public speaking career went fully international in 2017, and I'm more thankful than ever for the privilege to take the stage at tech events all over the world. Once again, this is what I learned and my goals for the future.
Category: Speaking 03 Jan 2018
- Setting up My Site on GitHub Pages
This is a high-level log of what I've done with the site as of Sunday, August 27, 2017.
Category: Jekyll 27 Aug 2017
- How Your SXSW Proposal is Evaluated
I've been a member of the SXSW Advisory Board (AB) for several years. As a member of the AB, I've reviewed hundreds of proposals submitted throug hthe PanelPicker interface. Here is my approach to deciding if I should vote for a proposal to be a part of SXSW.
Category: Speaking 26 Aug 2017
- What Companies Consider When Planning Workforce Reductions
A reduction in force (RIF) is an act to remove headcount in order to satisfy budgetary concerns. Knowing what companies consider when planning a RIF can help you avoid being included in one.
Category: Work 22 Aug 2017
- Public Speaking Retrospective 2016
I learned a great deal about public speaking in 2016. This is what I learned and my goals for the future.
Category: Speaking 03 Jan 2017
- Evaluating Conference Proposals Using STARS
Conference committees have the daunting tasks of evaluating hundreds of proposals to find the ones that deserve to be on the conference schedule. As a member of several conference committees and advisory boards, I've developed a rubric for grading proposals called STARS.
Category: Speaking 05 Nov 2016
- Slack Groups for Black Technologists
Relationships are critical to any career, and this is doubly true for Black Technologists. This is a list of Slack groups for Blacks who work in the Technology Industry.
Category: Tech 06 Aug 2016
- Why Small is the Key to Big Agile Results
Software development efforts often try to quickly scale resources in order to speed the pace of development. However, taking a small approach can often yield better results.
Category: Agile 21 Jul 2016
- Interview with Jopwell on Being a Software Project Manager
Here's an interview I did with Jopwell's 'The Well' that was published on April 22nd, 2016 about being a Software Project Manager.
Category: Interviews 22 Apr 2016
- Formulating a Team Code of Conduct and Constitution
A Code of Conduct and Constitution can help your team manage how they interact with each other and maintain their culture.
Category: Work 09 Feb 2016
- A Great Team Does Not Make You a Great Manager
Great teams are built by raising the performance output of everyone on the team. The glass isn't half full or half empty. It simply needs to be raised to the right level.
Category: Work 16 Dec 2014
- Making Tech Spaces Safe for Diverse Faces
Here's a piece I wrote for Model View Culture on creating inclusive spaces in the technology sector. You can read the original version [here](https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/making-tech-spaces-safe-for-diverse-faces).
Category: Inclusion and Diversity 30 Oct 2014
- Interview with AnythingUЯBAN on Being Black in Tech
Here's an interview I did with AnythingUЯBAN about my experience being Black in the technology field.
Category: Interviews 24 Jun 2009