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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Standing Desk

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Filed under Corporate Culture
Photo by Marc-Julien ObjoisKalin is a fan…

A few years ago at my last workplace I decided to try a standing desk. It was only a month or two before I made the move to Quercus. Lifehacker articles were the main reason I gave it a shot, coupled with a few back issues from leading a sedentary lifestyle.

At Quercus, the low-walled cubicle style and my preferred position in the office (right in the middle!) made it unfeasible to set up a standing desk.

Having asked for and obtained an “OK” from HR, and Kalin having recently moved desks (say hi, Kalin!), I decided to take his corner spot and try the standing desk again.

In the past, I found that the easiest way to get the minimal back exercise needed to avoid injuring myself during everyday activity was to work at the standing desk. I found that my left knee (injured while skiing many years ago) didn’t like it at first, but overall I found the position quite comfortable.

It has been a day and a half into my “standing desk reboot”.

Day one was brutal on my bad knee and my feet.

One element I have not reintroduced is standing, shoeless, on a folded up yoga mat. I’m not sure whether that cushiness is better in the long term or whether I just need to toughen up.

Photo by Marc-Julien ObjoisPhoto by Marc-Julien ObjoisMy new digs!

The bad knee is going to need flexing throughout the day. The cartilage is in chunks, and I find that it gets stiff when I’m standing for long periods. Bending at the knees helps, so I take sitting breaks, which are a welcome break for my feet and back.

As time goes on, my goal is to be able to stand the entire time I’m at my desk rather than giving up and sitting down. On my first day, I lasted until 4pm, after which I had to sit for an hour. Today I’m “feeling the burn” right before lunch. It’s proving difficult somehow to remember to stand on the balls of my feet rather than on my heels, and when I remember to shift my weight forward, I get more comfortable. I’ll be posting updates about the success or failure of my second attempt at a standing desk. Stay posted, and remember to Keep Fit & Have Fun!

Wordless Wednesday

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Filed under Corporate Culture, Developing Teams

Facebook Relationships, Plotted with Geomatic Visualization

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Filed under Corporate Culture, Developing Teams, Growth & Development

Paul Butler started as an intern on Facebook’s data infrastructure team. As a side project encouraged by the company, he took 10 million records from the FB database, and began geomatically plotting their latitude and longitude points. The brightness of the lines indicate the number of relationships at that locale.

On a magnificent 2010 world map, Paul Butler managed to plot millions of Facebook’s user relationships…


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50% Development = 100% Project Success?

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Filed under Uncategorized

Unlike the construction industry (which hails from engineering lineage), software development is a craft that hails from mathematics. Profession hard-industry benchmarks like estimating tables, universal best practices, common lexicons of customer and vendor language are only now becoming standards in software development.

Take the phased estimating of a software project, for example. While a civil engineer might use industry standards like “20% cost for feasibility and design, 60% cost for procurement and construction”, the software world has no heuristics like this.

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One Way to Look at Life

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Filed under Corporate Culture, Developing Teams, Productivity

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