Building a Human-Centered Workplace

Building a Human-Centered Workplace

Finding and keeping quality employees is getting harder, and it will not improve soon. A 2018 article stated that by 2030 we will face a global talent shortage of 85.2 million people.

Consequently, it is becoming imperative for companies to keep talented workers. The 2018 Workforce Retention Report concluded that 28.6% of employees left a job that year and that number will rise to 33% by 2020. The cost of replacing each of these people is estimated at about 20% of their annual salary.

STEAM: Put the Arts in STEM

STEAM: Put the Arts in STEM

Richard Feynman, Nobel winner in Physics, loved to play the bongos and was a best-selling author.

Albert Einstein adored Mozart, played both the piano and the violin and wrote:

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music... I get most joy in life out of music.”

Max Planck, famed as the originator of quantum theory; took singing lessons, played the piano, organ, and cello. He also composed music.

Flow State: Achieving Balance in Work and Life

Flow State: Achieving Balance in Work and Life

Have you ever been so engrossed in a task that hours pass and it feels like minutes? The distinction between yourself and your task blurs, and a kind of euphoria takes grip as momentum builds and neural pathways align to provide optimal focus and concentration. It's often referred to as being in "The Zone" in sports, but it is applicable to every field of activity. Whether you are a musician, a designer, a business executive, or a software engineer, when you hit this flow state time stands still, work comes quickly, and you are oblivious to the rest of the world. You are laser-focused, immersed in the work and enjoying a deeply rewarding experience. But what's going on in our neuroanatomy and how does it impact our overall well-being?

Empathy in Engineering

Empathy in Engineering

“Man-computer symbiosis is an expected development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers. It will involve very close coupling between the human and the electronic members of the partnership.”  Licklider, Dr. J.C.R. (1960).  Man, Computer, Symbiosis

Nearly 60 years later, we are not achieving this convergence as well as early pioneers like Dr. J.C.R. Licklider hoped. Not only is the process of interacting with computers often frustrating and cumbersome, but I also suspect computers might feel just as frustrated with us if they had the capacity. It is not a lack of computing power, poorly built applications, or even badly designed interfaces; but rather the result of a dysfunctional process, creating dysfunctional products.

Advice For New Developers

Advice For New Developers

The great thing about technology, especially coding, is that it’s a great equalizer. Quality work is what matters. The more you learn and the more effectively you apply that knowledge, the faster you can progress.

Younger people often ask me for suggestions on how to get started in software development. I tell them if you have the means to study computer science, technology, and liberal arts without getting into debt — fine. But it’s not a requirement.