Out of all IT employees in Cluj-Napoca, 40 people from five companies stand out with a more unusual routine. Once a week, for an hour, they volunteer to coordinate coding clubs for five classes of 4th graders in local schools. With the help of Scratch, the students learn about algorithms in a friendly environment. They learn how to animate characters and create small games. All the clubs have the same purpose: to prepare the students for a labor market that is becoming more digitalized.
Fake News is a term that made its way into common vocabulary only recently, starting with the US presidential elections. This is a phenomenon that was mostly known through click bait articles that were rapidly “viralised” on social media. Fake news gained notoriety only when its global impact was acknowledged by the bosses of IT giants like Google and Facebook, who admitted, for the first time ever, that this kind of news has the power to influence democratic elections.
Writing code is a synonym for building, for creating. Code contains the bricks the future is made of. You let your mind develop incredible tools. This entails a level of creativity which is not found in another field, or at least not in a similar format. Creativity is the ability to turn imagined ideas into practice. Creativity consists of the ability to perceive the world in different ways, of being able to identify hidden patterns, of making connections among apparently unrelated phenomena, and, last but not least, of solving problems by generating and implementing solutions.
I was at a coaching session with a senior manager of a services company. We were discussing the challenges that she was facing with some specific team leaders. At one point, when discussing solutions and action steps, she asked me “Should I just be myself or try this instead?” She was thinking of having a different approach which would not have been her natural response. The question struck me because, on the one hand, I believe in authentic leadership. I believe that leaders should naturally be interested in performance through people. They should naturally be assertive and offer constructive feedback and appreciation, and naturally communicate the purpose or the mission. Leaders should be natural and authentic at all times because their role is not linked to a schedule (ex: from 9 am to 5 pm). It is a 24/7 role where people are watching your behaviors and words, and are translating them into things to consider (follow) or to criticize.
Often times, design is seen as an accessory to the development process; a complex and difficult process that can easily stray away from the big picture. The design component is a major factor in keeping the whole product development process aligned with the overall objectives of the project. This is a chance that must be seized. When a design strategy is formulated with the general objective in mind, it will be very different compared to when it is conceptualized merely to feed the development process.
With the growth of companies, in terms of employee numbers, and in terms of service quality and complexity, they provide the human factor which has become a prime competitive advantage on the market. Therefore, many companies are facing a stark competition for talent, for educated, creative and dedicated employees. Here’s how the wellbeing of these colleagues becomes a priority in business...and not only for HR!
One of the main concerns of employers nowadays, is how to motivate their employees so that they become more productive and satisfied with their job. Since this is not an easy task, the search for a solution continues: from gym subscriptions to parking subscriptions, from financial compensations to bonuses or team buildings. If you are an employee, the HR people are in charge of this, but what happens when you don’t have a boss? What happens when you are your own boss, or when you are a consultant, freelancer or just doing home office?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were a standard for evaluating design deliverables? It would make everyone’s life easier: designers, project managers, clients. Good-bye complicated discussions! Well, even if there is no magical formula, this article gives an overview of criteria that help to evaluate digital design deliverables. The way people relate to design can make the process of digital product creation difficult. Design seems to be subjective and esoteric. Further, some people believe the myth that having seen many designs makes them experts. In reality there are empirical and pragmatic principles that form the basis of good design.
I often see technical people who offer a solution too quickly, instead of “wasting time” with questions which might help identify certain needs. Then, developers feel offended because their wonderful solution is not embraced by decision-makers for the mere reason that they simply do not understand it – or so they claim. If they rush to come up with a solution, someone (even if they are developers) should spend time to identify the needs of those involved in the decisional process. There may be one or more who have different interests.
The beginning of the year and various other occasions mark the opportunity to wish each other good health. Health is most important for many of us. So, why wouldn’t it be important for the business environment as well? Why shouldn’t our organizations also aspire to good health? This is even more relevant since we spend more than a third of our day (out of the time we are awake) at work; and, let’s face it, our involvement with our work goes beyond working hours, stretching in our free time as well. Since the organizations we work for occupy such a great deal of our time, I cannot imagine any HR person, any team lead, any manager or person who wouldn’t like to work in a healthy organization. I think we can all guess the answer to this one.