THE WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY OF HTTP/2
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Patterns and Anti-Patterns of Tech Leadership
R: Why it’s the next programming language you should learn
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10 WEIRD AND WONDERFUL OFFICE BUILDINGS
Mixer – Fostering Peer to Peer Connections in Your Organization
Hi everyone, here is a new sets of reading for you. Today we are going to speak about Twitch like code streaming, Android global survey and accessibility.
With 24 093 distinct Android devices seen this year, we have to do a solid work on apps and webapps… This report present the basis on Android’s global reach. An interesting reading to complete our user stats.
See you next month !Share
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“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas A. Edison
I like that quote from Thomas Edison, as it tries to take away the drama of failure.
We don’t like to fail as we fear the consequences of failure and how people around us will consider our failure.
This is in our human nature, but the intensity of that feeling of failure varies also very strongly depending on cultures. This is for instance much stronger in French culture than it is in American culture.
The problem is that you need to take risks to progress, to innovate, to learn. You need to go out of your comfort zone, try out new things in unfamiliar places. And of course sometimes you will fail, because you can’t control everything and your experiments might not bring you the expected results.
The important thing with failure is to learn from it to avoid repeating the same mistake again. You fail, and then you try something different.
How can we try to make sure people are ready to take risks while not fearing failure? Here are a few ideas of mine.
My recommendation is to start small. Start by experiments that might fail in a controlled way. Don’t start by taking massive risk that might jeopardize the whole company. In an engineering team, this can be to run proof-of-concepts or prototypes before investing heavily into a new technical solution. First run a pilot project before generalizing to the whole system. Or try out a new organization practice with one dev team before expanding to all. If it does not work, the investment was reasonable, you do a post-mortem of the experiment and you try something else. The important point is to have Controlled Failure. For instance, at Betclic, when we started rebuilding our Mobile Web Sites, we tried to use a framework called Ionic. But it proved to be not what we needed in our context, so we quickly concluded to drop it and produce our own custom code. Of course we spent some time testing the framework, trying it out on a small part of our project, but this was a reasonable investment and had not jeopardized the whole project.
Also you should try to fail fast, meaning you need to be capable of evaluating the results of your experiment and identify if you failed or succeeded in a short amount of time. So when trying something new, ask yourself from the start how you will know that you succeeded or failed, and how much time you will need to reach that conclusion. This is part of Agile vision and Lean principles. You define a MVP that you put in production fast. You measure and you adapt depending on success. By having a short iterative cycle, you can of course react to change but you can also quickly change course if you are failing to deliver the right thing.
Then there is a management aspect behind failure. To take risks, it is better to have your managers authorizing you to do it. My vision as a manager is that I give automatic authorization by default to all the people in my team to try anything they want. They are welcome to talk to me if they need advice or coaching, but apart from that I try to let them be as creative as they want. Of course, there are boundaries of delegation that limit them and make sure we are in controlled conditions. But I’d rather they fail and learn from it. I will forgive them for having taken a risk and not succeeded.
Celebrate both failure and Success
This one is hard to do and I am still looking into ways of doing it the right way. If we were capable of celebrating both successes and failures that taught us important things, then it would clearly facilitate risk-taking and put everybody in a spirit where it is ok to fail. I am very interested if anyone has suggestion on the matter.
The risk of not failing
One last idea around failure. There is a risk in not taking any risks and not failing. By only repeating the same thing, that we know and that works for us, we risk being overtaken by competitors, smaller incumbents, changes in our environment. That would probably be our biggest failure.
One last quote to finish with on the theme of Failure:
The only real failure is the failure to learn from failure!
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First Wednesday of each month stands our Lab Day at Betclic. The whole day is dedicated to technical project where teams can mix together to work on several kinds of project that aim at improving the way we work. This can go from a simple Chrome extension to long-term project like getting into Continuous Delivery!
We also took the opportunity to organize something we call the monthly 3C’s: Coffee, Cookies & Conference (aka “Ciné Goûter” in French).
The concept is really simple: people that are interested are invited to come and see a nice conference displayed on a large screen while enjoying a coffee and some good cookies!
Everyone has a list of videos of interesting talks to see. The problem is that we don’t often have the time to see them all! Sometimes you also had the chance to go at a conference where you saw an awesome talk that you’d like to share with everyone. This is exactly what the 3C’s is all about! Once a month we offer everyone an opportunity to discover a brilliant talk and learn new things. What better way to do it while drinking a coffee and eating some cookies? 😉
So far we organized the event 3 times where we saw: