A lot of work this week, possibly fueled by too much caffeine (3 cups in 4 days is a lot for me). But I am practicing deep work techniques to avoid email, single task and stay in the flow.
Jvns post from a couple days ago caught my attention. Just today I encountered both sides of how to answer questions in a helpful way.
How you phrase a question is important:
- Rephrase a more specific question back at them (“Are you asking X?”)
- Ask them for more specific information they didn’t provide (“are you using IPv6?”)
- Ask what prompted their question. For example, sometimes people come into my team’s channel with questions about how our service discovery works. Usually this is because they’re trying to set up/reconfigure a service. In that case it’s helpful to ask “which service are you working with? Can I see the pull request you’re working on?”
When asking a question, you need to be cognizant that the other person may not know your level of understanding. Set the state by giving them some insight into your point of view. Maybe start with a drawing.. Visualizing the problem often makes it easier to communicate.
Figuring out what your question-asker knows already is important because they may be confused about fundamental concepts (“What’s Redux?”), or they may be an expert who’s getting at a subtle corner case. An answer building on concepts they don’t know is confusing, and an answer that recaps things they know is tedious.
Building on the idea of visualizing the problem, when talking about how you solve a problem, try to show what you did and explain your thought process
New person: “I’m seeing errors on the site, what’s happening?”
More Experienced Person: (2 minutes later) “oh that’s because there’s a database failover happening”
New person: how did you know that??!?!?
More Experienced Person: “Here’s what I did!”:
Often these errors are due to Service Y being down. I looked at $PLACE and it said Service Y was up. So that wasn’t it.
Then I looked at dashboard X, and this part of that dashboard showed there was a database failover happening.
Then I looked in the logs for the service and it showed errors connecting to the database, here’s what those errors look like.
High Frequency Trading
If this doesn’t seem like a company run by a Bond villain, I don’t know what does: Citadel
And Reading for the Emmys
The Handmaid’s Tale
Relax. Be mindful of my breathing and body positioning. Rest my muscles and let all tension melt away. Start at the top of my head and slowly scan down how I am holding each part of my body. Relax the mind and loosen the neck and shoulders, slow my heart rate, expand my stomach, stretch my legs, spread my toes, and open my mind.
Over the next few days put your learning to the test. Along with over coming the fear of exposing yourself as an imposter, you will also attempt to keep you ego in check and build relationships with others. That sinking feeling you get when encountering a difficult social situation will be redirected to external action rather than receding inside yourself. Most importantly, you should remember to be yourself, live small, build up others, and keep learning. You’ll be great.
Passionate players will give it their all while winning, but play discouraged when losing big. Purposeful players will see the challenge as an opportunity to show determination, resolve, and sportsmanship. Displaying their grit to continue playing, even when all hope seems lost.
Passion inflates you. Purpose defines you.
While something may make sense in your head, you must work hard to have it click for others. Furthermore, you must create a space where others can feel safe in being vulnerable and asking questions. Don’t be angry someone doesn’t know certain things. Be happy you are able to teach them something new.
Bonus track: Something new at Somewhere New
Exploring a new city can be daunting at first. I knew little to nothing of how to get around and barely knew anyone here. I did all the research and tried to avoid routine for as long as possible to take advantage of all the opportunities. To expand my view of the surroundings I went on running tours of the area trying to uncover new places. This slower paced, in person exploration gave me a great feel for the city and where I wanted to venture next. Running out with no destination in mind, I used the few landmarks I knew to guide me back at the end of the day. Running, rather than driving connected me to the city first hand and exposed me to much of what the city has to offer. I noted restaurants, parks, concert venues, and trails to return to later. Physically exploring new areas instead of scrolling on a screen was a fruitful exercise, but I won’t let it stop. Build on my findings, explore more, and keep running.
Learn to control your biases and impulses around others. Stop and ponder “What are you thinking about? What’s going through your head?” Keeping these thoughts in everyday life humanizes others and allow you to better understand that we are all people with complex histories and emotions. Prodding with simple questions like “What do you think about? What are you thinking about? What do you mean? What are you working on?” Ground conversation on an emotional level and foster deeper connection. This is the type of conversation which brings us together and stimulates growth. It’s not superficial, but thoughtful, on a level helping us come to a better understanding of ourselves and others.
Video of the day
Today was AI day.
Artificial Intelligence arrives, expands, supercharges, gets stuck, provokes the apocalypse, and returns from the past, defying all sense of logic, in a single day. The topic is a couple Wolverine stories away from an Xmen franchise.
Continue reading “AI Today”
I like this commercial. Watch me.
Continue reading “Watch me”