🗂 Money Stuff: $10,000 for reading the fine print

> The conventional approach to form contracts is (1) no one reads them but (2) the company pretends that everyone reads them and makes an informed decision to accept their terms. If you’re the company sending out the contracts, it seems kind of risky to undermine that convention. [www.bloomberg.com/opinion/a…](https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-11/you-need-a-big-tower-to-trade-stocks)

🗂 Pie-charts and proactive app introductions

> Send in a mole: “Find one really smart engineering type in your IT organization and put them on a skunk works project with one engineer,” Martin-Flickinger advises. “You need to identify an IT person who looks and smells like a product engineer; it needs to be someone the engineering people like.” If you do this right, says Martin-Flickinger, that person will become your ambassador. “That way, when someone in engineering says, ‘what do you think of involving IT in this?’ the engineering team will be supportive.”

Persuading tech people to do things in new ways. [www.cio.com/article/2…](https://www.cio.com/article/2370077/cio-role/moving-the-it-conversation-from-cost-to-value.html)

🗂 What happened to OpenStack?

> So, you see, creating a viable, open source, hyperscale cloud software solution was against the best interest of the companies most heavily investing in OpenStack’s development.

> When you’re looking at other cloud products, think about similar conflicts of interest that might be affecting your favorite spokespersons today… (I’m looking at you, kubernetes) [aeva.online/2019/03/w…](https://aeva.online/2019/03/what-happened-to-openstack/)

🗂 Coaching CD change leaders

> Burke identified a few key architects who believed in the automated continuous delivery model and coached them to bring the vision to the rest of the team. “Through the influence of these leaders, the people who had been terrified to automate development were starting to get excited about it.” [www.cio.com/article/2…](https://www.cio.com/article/2915610/solving-the-big-application-problem-amazon-style.html)

🗂 Agile Q

Seems like a budget luxury, but sure:

> In fact you have more time to focus on developing your team because you don’t have to spend so much time trying to figure out who is going to work on what this week. Your team is stable and dedicated, and they are the ones deciding the specifics of what they are working on in any given week.
>
> That frees you up to provide them opportunities to improve their technical skills through identifying resources to help them learn and put them in situations where they can try out new technologies and learn from each other. You can also help you your staff improve their problem solving skills by stepping back and letting them resolve issues that are within their control to solve.
>
> There are going to be situations where your team faces a challenge that is beyond their ability to address. And that’s where the other main thing that development managers do in an Agile setting – address organizational issues that get in the way of their team(s).
>
> You’re in a good position to address those issues because you have visibility into the impact of issues on multiple teams, you’re in a better position in the organization’s hierarchy to address the issues, and you can free up the team to stay focused on work to move their product forward. A key here is to know the balance of standing back when your team can address their own issues and when to step up to help the team address issues beyond their control.
>
> A final thing that you do as a development manager is provide air cover for your team. Keep unnecessary distractions away from your team so that they can focus on the product they’re working on. Providing air cover may be intercepting requests for information from others in your organization and redirecting requests for your team to work on something not related to the outcome they are currently focused on. [www.agilealliance.org/agile-qa-…](https://www.agilealliance.org/agile-qa-is-there-a-place-for-managers-in-an-agile-organization/)

🗂 Geico Walks with Watson on AI Journey

Replacing human agents with AI, matching it to the right sales workflow:

> “So we watched how this was going very closely,” he said. “We’d review transcripts from the early customer interactions, verbatim transcripts, to see how people are reacting in a conversation with Watson – because they didn’t know it was Watson.”
>
> Kalinsky found reassurance in particular from a Watson-customer conversation that occurred one night at about 2 a.m., in which Watson closed a sale, then thanked the customer and asked if there was anything else the customer needed.
>
> The customer replied, “‘No, thank you, you’ve been wonderful, I appreciate it. You know, we late night workers have to stick together.’”
>
> That customers were not put off by (or know they were) interacting with Watson was a positive step. But Kalinsky and his team also found that using Watson with auto insurance customers wasn’t getting the sales traction they wanted. “We did no harm, but we couldn’t get the improvement we were holding ourselves accountable for. So we said, ‘maybe this application is just a little too structured to really feel the benefit.’”
>
> So they re-directed Watson at selling renter’s insurance: “We were able to reconfigure it because it was a slightly less complicated application…in a way that we eliminated some of the traditional flow in the application, but then we mitigated the disruption to a customer who didn’t know what to expect next by layering in Watson. Bottom line: we achieved a 40 percent increase in our closure rate on those policies, it was a tremendous success.” [www.enterprisetech.com/2019/02/2…](https://www.enterprisetech.com/2019/02/26/geico-walks-with-watson-on-ai-journey/)

🗂 Duke Energy leases Tompkins Hall in Charlotte

> Meant to be more funky and collaborative than typical uptown office space, about 400 Duke Energy employees will work at the former mill on a permanent basis, with about 100 more working there on a rotating basis. [www.charlotteobserver.com/news/busi…](https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/development/article165228052.html)

🗂 Execs think more optimistically about app dev practices than reality

> The same HBR survey found that 61 percent expect software release cycles to be three months or less, but only 27 percent of their companies actually achieve that goal. The takeaway is that executives aren’t hands-on enough to know how much time software development takes. Without a deeper understanding, they are prime targets for salesmen pitching digital transformation nirvana. [thenewstack.io/add-it-up…](https://thenewstack.io/add-it-up-c-suite-doesnt-have-a-clue-about-app-dev/)

🗂 How Vans Keeps Its Cool

> The company hopes that Vans will reach $5 billion in sales by 2023 — and it’s on track, having grown 25 percent in its most recent quarter, and expanded at an average 15 percent annually over the last 15 years. [www.businessoffashion.com/articles/…](https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/how-vans-helped-its-owner-escape-the-department-store-trap)

🗂 bol.com CIO interview

> The strength of our IT department is that IT is fully integrated in our organization. About 400 IT people or engineers work at bol.com, and they are organized as much as possible in about 70 small, multidisciplinary and self-managing teams. We see that that works best. These teams build features for our customers or partners. These innovation teams are supported by an IT ecosystem that facilitates them in the flexible and fast construction and running of software. Our IT engineers are therefore not together in one department, but spread over the entire company. The IT is thus integrated into the business. In fact, we strive that there is no difference between business and IT.

In Dutch, translated by Google above. [www.agconnect.nl/artikel/c…](https://www.agconnect.nl/artikel/cio-aan-het-woord-jurrie-van-rooijen)

🗂 Karl Lagerfeld dead

> “There is no secret to life,” Lagerfeld said. “The only secret is work. Get your act together, and also, perhaps, have a decent life. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t take drugs. All that helps.” [www.businessoffashion.com/articles/…](https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/karl-lagerfeld-dies-in-paris-at-85)

🗂 Video: To make 1997’s Blade Runner, Westwood first had to create the universe

> The genre reached its peak in the early to mid 1990s, with some of the best-remembered LucasArts and Sierra titles making their appearance thereabouts. [arstechnica.com/gaming/20…](https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/02/video-to-make-1997s-blade-runner-westwood-first-had-to-create-the-universe/)

🗂 The new CEO of Google Cloud explains the updated master plan for taking on Amazon Web Services

> “We’re going to specialize our sales team to talk to specific industries in the language of the industry,” Kurian said. “You will see us competing much more aggressively going forward,” he continued. [www.businessinsider.com/google-cl…](https://www.businessinsider.com/google-cloud-thomas-kurian-master-plan-2019-2)

🗂 Imposter Syndrome and Finding Your Flow

> I have wasted so much time and energy stalling on a task because I was questioning myself [wasting] energy thinking about them when I could be spending that on improving my skills.

Also, best use of tildes that I’ve ever seen. [medium.com/@grace.m….](https://medium.com/@grace.m.nolan/imposter-syndrome-and-flow-f1628be8ebb4)