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I fell out of reading books for many years, now I'm back on the bandwagon. I've been cranking on books for about six months now. Once I got back into the rhythm, which took about a week, I was able to settle down and really read again.
Concentration is a choice, just like multitasking. All the cool kids showed off by doing many things at once, and now we think that's normal, but it's just a fashion like any other fashion. I've noticed a rise is "put your phone away on holidays," for instance, or willfully putting your phone down in meetings. This is an acknowledgement that multitasking doesn't work in many situations. You may also need sleep.
Learn to make a business case for best practices. "Best practices will save this company money/time/liability because
MOM: Why should we implement that?
YOU: We can get trainees up to speed quicker, which saves us money. We produce fewer bugs, which saves us money. Instead of wasting time squashing bugs, this lets us implement new features, which we can sell. That makes us money.
When throwing money into a project, ask yourself, "What tech will survive the next 10 years unscathed?" If a tech won't change much in that span, then it might be worth installing in the house. Otherwise, you are pissing money away. So that means that you invest in power outlets and upgraded power. Otherwise, invest in insulation and windows. Replace your fridge, especially if it's over 10 years old.
20k is chump change in the renovation game.
A few things to add. I've met too many IT folks who berate people for their ignorance. Of course those people are ignorant, they are experts in a different area. If you spend a great deal of time building specializing in an area of knowlege, don't you honestly expect most folks to know less about that area? Strangely enough, the more that you know, the less that you appreciate your knowledge. You begin wondering why others don't know this simple stuff.
Once you allow people to be ignorant, then you can focus on treating them like people. And really, people out there know all kinds of cool stuff that you don't, and that's great fun. They aren't ignorant. They are specialists in areas where you are ignorant.
This country needs lots of professionals in lots of areas, and many of those areas don't pay big bucks, yet the degrees cost a bundle. Thus, you wind up with people avoiding such fields. One solution to such a conundrum is to charge less for lesser paying fields. If students don't come out of school with a crushing debt, they will be more tempted to be social workers, physical therapists, teachers, or any number of less-glamorous professions.
My suspicion is that you all are a bit low. Reasons:
- People get sick.
- People take vacations.
- You need to cross-train each other.
- Special projects can and do come up.
- There are under-met needs in the company.
To get the person that you need, you really need to show the business case for it. Once you can do that, ratios don't matter.