Aaaah, February. The nights are getting shorter and the first, early flowers come out. I can't wait for spring!
This year I want to dig into music theory, composing and song writing. I have been calling myself a musician all my life, but never seriously went deep into the topic. So beginning of January I started to practice the piano including reading notes, learning about cadences and all the stuff that mainly reminds me heavily of math lessons :) However, I just want to mention this, because there are some beautiful people out there, who make it their work to help others understand music, compositions, music production and more. So this month I include a collection of a few sources that might be interesting for musicians - beginners or advanced.
- First of all, if you happen to own an iPhone, Mac or iPad and a living TV+ subscription, you should watch "Watch the Sound". It's a series of episodes around music making, production and evolution with Mark Ronson, a renowned musician and producer. He looks at the technology evolution of music (with a focus on the last 50 years) and talks to a lot of known musicians to understand their approach to music making, composing, production and technology.
- Then there's Scott Paul Johnson. A Seattle-based guitarist who uses his YouTube channel and his Patreon to teach music theory for guitar. Scott has a calm approach to teaching, but looks deeply into why things are as they are.
- Enter Bill Hilton. Bill has some books out on learning to play the piano and understand music theory, and he has a lots of videos that give you hours and hours of knowledge, practice ideas and about different music styles. The learning curve is steep for beginners, but if you dig into it, it is definitely worth it.
- If you happen to be a Disney+ customer, you can watch the documentary Get Back about one of the last masterpieces of Beatles. I have never been much of a fan, but I honour their incredible work and it is inspiring to see how they worked together even after so many years. The 3 episodes consists of now disclosed recordings and material that are now put together by Peter Jackson.
This month I read Radical Focus by Christina Wottke. The book mainly circles around Objectives and Key Results, a system to align an organization, a group of people or even just yourself towards ambitious, but achievable goals. Christina spent a lot of time implementing and practicing OKRs in many companies and you can feel that almost on every page. The book actually starts with a beautifully written novel around a start-up in the Valley, followed by a lot of practical tipps and advices towards the end of the book. It was great to read from somebody so much experienced and insightful. If you or the organization you are in is interested in OKRs, this for me is the best book out there (I liked it even more than the well-known "Measure What Matters" by John Doerr). Highly recommended!
- Your calendar tells your priorities. Here are a few ideas how to get it under control.
- Marcus Aurelius not only was a Roman Emperor, but a stoic philosopher, too. Read about his 12 stoic rules for life.
Agile Software Development
- Here is an article on the nature of technical debt and what to expect if you start dealing with it.
Pianists will no longer continue playing pianos that have been detonated.The SIMS patch notes are hilarious
- On crafting user stories
- Example Mapping is a technique to help you improve the way how you write your user stories.
- Hiring more will not make you faster and here's why
- Here are some great infographics about the content of the book "Team Topologies" by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais.
- There is a good article on sustainable architectures over at the stackoverflow blog.
- What is the difference between Products & Platforms
- There is a great podcast episode out there with Scott Belsky where they talk about Products Development, Hiring good product manager and more
- Shreias Doshi's Twitter channel is an infinite stream of inspiration. This time he tackles time management.
- Align stakeholders to outcomes with outcome mapping and impact metrics.
- Yes, I have read and recommend Radical Focus 2.0, but Christina has a lot more about OKR online.
Psychological Safety, Culture & Well-being
- BICEPS is an abbreviation of our basic needs.
- Anselm is a good friend, a family man, a developer and a farmer and there is a mini documentation on YouTube about his life and the burnout he went through.