How Hierarchy affects Responsibility

It's been amazing to see all the entrepreneurship occurring in the Waterloo region in the wake of BlackBerry's transition.

One particular observation that I've noted:

Placing people in corporate hierarchy is usually enough cause to stop their critical thinking machinery. Remove someone from corporate hierarchy, and you'll be surprised how much they can do. I am most surprised by young people, probably because I was so conditioned to thinking 'older people ran companies'.

It takes a while for people to unlearn an attitude for lack of responsibility, but with some minimal guidance it happens. Occasionally you can even see the moment when they realize - if I don't show up (in body and mind) then no one else will do it for me.

How can large corporations fight this effect? My advice is to create small, autonomous teams composed of experts in different subject areas. Treat each product like an independent company that exists in an ecosystem of other friendly companies that will do business with it for free.

write - a blogging engine for non-https sites

Just flipped the public switch on the repo terrilldent/write.

It tries to create an environment with strong authenticity and integrity - but does not provide confidentiality. It's not done yet, but I want to work in the open.

It takes a lot of care to migrate an existing project to git, and finally open source it. Mostly I worry about passwords (or other sensitive info) leaking. I was thankful that people took the time to writeup their costly mistakes this week as a reminder to us all.

Secondly I worry about vulnerabilities in my code that I don't know about being exposed. Extra care and humility are important when making claims about the security of your software.

2015 - Code every day

One of the best blog posts I read in 2014 was John Resig explaining his change in working strategy for side projects, from bunched up mainly weekend work to at least a little bit every day.

I've struggled with the feeling of making inadequate progress. This is something that I want to try, and I'm willing to dedicate the effort. I'll share my progress.

Fall 2014 Rabbit Illustration

A new illustration for Fall 2014. This 9"x12" Christmasy rabbit was inspired by a combination of paintings by Bateman, as were most of the other drawings in my Illustrations Book

Professional Update

Last July (2013), nearly a year ago, I left RIM/BlackBerry and joined a startup in Waterloo called TrustPoint as Engineer #1. That's a big change for me. BlackBerry was (and still is, in some way) a significant part of my world.

I'm now building a Certificate Authority for non-humans from the ground up. It's super challenging work, spanning a multitude of disciplines.

Since this blog rarely gets updated, I should mention that I'm on twitter @terrilldent.