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You know how it is: all metrics can, and will, be gamed. So using metrics is always a balancing act: how much can you learn from a single metric, how resistant is it to being gamed, and does it have a counterbalance that avoids pushing the organisation too far in one direction? The trick is to not use a single metric, but a system of metrics. That way, by improving any single one through gaming, you inevitably create a counter-signal in the other metric. Read More →

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Are you familiar with the term resiliency? Not the one used in psychology, the one used in technology. Resiliency (as I discuss it here) is the quality of systems to not merely withstand assaults (defects, attacks, etc) – that would be robustness. A very desirable trait of course. But perhaps it would be even more desirable to create systems which are more than robust: they might be designed such that they will actually grow more robust when exposed to disturbances or attacks: they learn, and grow to be more robust. Read More →

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Did you know: tech work isn’t about tech 🚀…it’s about humans. No, really. Katherine Porfilio refreshed this thought in my mind this morning with her latest post. You know, I’m a mechanical engineer by training. I love technology. I find the smell of machine grease pleasant. Imagine my surprise when I realised that engineering isn’t actually about technology, it merely seems to be. I was actually retroactively a bit disappointed with my professors at university, who went to great lengths to make me good at maths – but spent pretty much not time making me good at working with humans. Read More →

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