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Setting Core Values for the IT Industry

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In the second installment in our series on values and how they affect workplace culture, we spoke with Sam Ramji, vice president of product management at GoogleDaniel Lopez Ridruejo, CEO of Bitnami; Chris Brandon, CEO of StorageOS; and Dave McCrory, vice president of software engineering at GE Digital. TNS founder Alex Williams hosted this episode of The New Stack Analysts podcast, along with TNS San Francisco correspondent TC Currie.

Their companies range in size from a handful of employees to many thousands, but the need for consistent values across the company, no matter its size, is universal. “What we’ve found at The New Stack,” said Williams, “is it all comes down to trust, respect, and integrity.”

Google’s mission, said Ramji, “is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and universally useful.” This core value is overlaid at the engineering level with the focus of “How are we doing this at the next order of magnitude?” As a company, it is working on how to provide engineers with a level of empathy for individual engineers.

“How do we make sure we have an internally empathetic and widely inclusive culture as we focus on the telemetry of interacting with their users?” he asked, mentioning that Google has seven different businesses that each have over a billion users.

In order to make sure StorageOS prioritizes correctly, Brando said they built three core streams of business. First, is focusing on the team, making sure the right people are in place and making sure they have the resources necessary to do the job. Second, is the product. Third, is that the product works well and feeds into the customer environment. Additionally, the company made sure everyone is learning every day.

At Bitnami, Ridruejo said the values are “make it so, stay curious, empower users, simplicity and teaming up.” The way to filter for values is when hiring people, he said. A common idea is that it’s better to have someone who’s good at something but who is difficult to work with, but the company found that being really smart and being nice are not mutually exclusive and nice smart people take a lot less management time and make the teams run smoother.

But what about when the stated values don’t match up with the execution?

McCrory said that when an organization has strong values, you have to hold management accountable for making sure they are practiced, otherwise they become worthless to the individual contributors. In that scenario, he said, “execution starts to fail.” When you have a culture where there is a low level of trust, he said, “you get into a culture where debate is valued more than actual execution.”

In This Edition:

1:33: How “hacker culture” has impacted organizations.
10:29: What questions do you ask to determine the values of potential new hires?
18:52: Google’s approach to engineering groups and developer teams interacting with open source companies while mirroring company values.
26:53: How StorageOS is managing exceptions and processes.
30:35: The culture of escalation and choosing what to celebrate in terms of values.
33:05: What are the dynamics one has to think about when determining values and functioning as an organization?

Google is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image via Pixabay.

The post Setting Core Values for the IT Industry appeared first on The New Stack.

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jonwreed
2 days ago
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looks like an atypical tech podcast
Northampton, MA
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A new weapon in the fight against superbugs | David Brenner

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From: tedtalksdirector
Duration: 10:14

Since the widespread use of antibiotics began in the 1940s, we've tried to develop new drugs faster than bacteria can evolve -- but this strategy isn't working. Drug-resistant bacteria known as superbugs killed nearly 700,000 people last year, and by 2050 that number could be 10 million -- more than cancer kills each year. Can physics help? In a talk from the frontiers of science, radiation scientist David Brenner shares his work studying a potentially life-saving weapon: a wavelength of ultraviolet light known as far-UVC, which can kill superbugs safely, without penetrating our skin. Followed by a Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson.

Check out more TED Talks: http://www.ted.com

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more.

Follow TED on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TEDTalks
Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED

Subscribe to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/TED

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jonwreed
4 days ago
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coooool
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SPOS #601 - Dan Heath On The Power Of Moments

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Welcome to episode #601 of Six Pixels Of Separation - The Mirum Podcast

Here it is: Six Pixels Of Separation - The Mirum Podcast - Episode #601 - Host: Mitch Joel. The Heath Brothers (Chip and Dan) write some of the most compelling business books that that world has ever read. To this day, Made To Stick remains a staple and masterclass in how a brand can (and should) tell a better story. From the massive success of that book to Switch (all about change) and then Decisive (all about how to make better choices)... their books are just so powerful. Most recently, I devoured their latest business book, The Power of Moments. Why do certain experiences have specific impact on our lives? How is it that an event that took place when we were a child could be a hardwired value set that we carry with us to this day? Is it all just chance and luck (nature) or is their an opportunity for us to create moments like this (nurture)? I had the please of discussing this and much more with Dan Heath. Along with writing brilliant business books with his brother, Dan is also a Senior Fellow at Duke University's CASE center, which supports social entrepreneurs. At CASE, he founded the Change Academy, a program designed to boost the impact of social sector leaders. Enjoy the conversation...

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels Of Separation - The Mirum Podcast - Episode #601 - Host: Mitch Joel.

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jonwreed
9 days ago
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always dig Mitch Joel's podcast banter
Northampton, MA
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Free yourself from your filter bubbles | Joan Blades and John Gable

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From: tedtalksdirector
Duration: 09:19

Joan Blades and John Gable want you to make friends with people who vote differently than you do. A pair of political opposites, the two longtime pals know the value of engaging in honest conversations with people you don't immediately agree with. Join them as they explain how to bridge the gaps in understanding between people on opposite sides of the political spectrum -- and create opportunities for mutual listening and consideration (and, maybe, lasting friendships.)

Check out more TED Talks: http://www.ted.com

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more.

Follow TED on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TEDTalks
Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED

Subscribe to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/TED

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jonwreed
9 days ago
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looks interesting....hate filter bubbles :)
Northampton, MA
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SPOS #598 - The Business Of Expertise With David C. Baker

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Welcome to episode #598 of Six Pixels Of Separation - The Mirum Podcast

Here it is: Six Pixels Of Separation - The Mirum Podcast - Episode #598 - Host: Mitch Joel. Sometimes you come across an individual (and a book) and it just mystifies you. How is it possible that you had not heard of this person's work before? That was my reaction when I was introduced to the work of David C. Baker. His book, The Business of Expertise is simply brilliant. In a world where self-proclaimed Gurus and Thought Leaders are everywhere (and including these titles on LinkedIn), the work of David could not have come at a better time. Just who is an expert? And, if you truly are an expert, how do you turn it into a true business and revenue opportunity (without looking like a jerk)? David has done the real work. He has worked with 750+ firms and in-house departments on helping individuals to figure out the true value of their expertise. If that were not enough, he's also the author of Managing (Right) for the First Time and Financial Management of a Marketing Firm. Not just one to work on marketing, David also teaches racing to expert motorcycle racers and flies 25 different types of airplanes and helicopters (no joke!). Enjoy the conversation...

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels Of Separation - The Mirum Podcast - Episode #598 - Host: Mitch Joel.

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jonwreed
24 days ago
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ok this looks good....
Northampton, MA
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How Do Values Affect Software Companies?

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In this end-of-the-year discussion about missions, values and goals, Alex Williams, TNS founder, was joined by Ashley Williams, Services and Ops engineer at npm, Inc. who has been active in the Node.js and Rust communities, Charity Majors, CEO of Honeycomb, a company that provides “observability for a distributed world,” and TC Currie, TNS San Francisco correspondent.

Topics include hacker culture, preferred perks, what gets lost when pushing employees, what is gained and more.

Alex Williams started by presenting the question: “How do values affect organizations and how do values affect the people who work inside organizations?”

“Your values are what you publicly celebrate and what you publicly punish,” said Ashley Williams. Values are what organizations use to guide decision-making — they help determine what to say “no” to.

Majors agreed, but added that values are also the things that you celebrate because whatever gets celebrated will be repeated.

“Values are all about defaults, the habits you revert to when given no other stimulus,” she said. Values are internal, and often not communicated publicly. But there’s often a disconnect between what is happening inside an organization and what’s being demonstrated on the outside.

There are always values in a culture, said Currie, whether they are implicitly defined or explicitly acted upon. “Every company has a set of core values, but they are not necessarily in evidence. This drives people crazy, when upper management espouses a set of core values but your manager doesn’t follow them.”

A company’s values are going to be the values that show up in the workplace, not what’s written on the web page.

“Goals are an interesting struggle between what you aspire to do, and the constraints you’re presented with,” said Ashley Williams. We have the things we aspire to, then the things that we are given, she said. The tradeoffs that people make are not always the correct ones, but as in all software, everything is a tradeoff.

Balance: It’s Hard

Teams with good live/work balance move faster in the long term, but move much slower in the short term, Ashley Williams said. If you have a business-critical function coming up that needs a push (e.g., a funding round), you need to push hard or maybe go under. It’s really complicated. This is where companies end up not meeting their values because they’re put in a system of constraints.

As a leader, said Majors, you’re often put in the position of “sure it’s not good to burn people out, but it’s also not good for the company to go under because then people will not get their paychecks.”

Valuing Communities Is a Plus

A key component for software companies is a user-friendly community, said Ashley Williams. Majors agreed. Users will often make decisions based solely on a company’s delightful community support.

Summing up the conversation, Currie said, “Values drive the company, whether they are implicit or explicit. The disconnect between what the stated values are and the lived values is something that is crazy-making for the engineers and other employees doing the work of the company.”

In This Edition:

1:39: How do we instill values in business?
9:44: What are the values of hacker culture in Silicon Valley and how do you balance that inside your organization?
15:02:
 Establishing boundaries and a better work/life balance.
17:12:
 The exploitation of the open source community and people’s ability or inability to participate in it.
22:09:
 What are some of the values you respect inside of open source communities?
26:43:
 How companies organize around their values from within.

Feature image via Pixabay.

The post How Do Values Affect Software Companies? appeared first on The New Stack.

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jonwreed
24 days ago
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finally a practical take on balance, not pie in the sky
Northampton, MA
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