Operations and Life

Sort By:

Make Two Trips:
Larry David's New Year's resolution works for IT too.

Whether your project is as simple as carrying groceries into the house or as complex as a multiyear engineering project, "make two trips" can simplify the project, reduce the chance of error, improve the probability of success, and lead to easier explanations.

by Thomas A. Limoncelli | May 20, 2024

Topic: Development


What do Trains, Horses, and Home Internet Installation have in Common?:
Avoid changes mid-process

At first, I thought he was just trying to shirk his responsibilities and pass the buck on to someone else. His advice, however, made a lot of sense. The installation team probably generated configurations ahead of time, planned out how and when those changes need to be activated, and so on. The entire day is planned ahead. Bureaucracies usually have a happy path that works well, and any deviation requires who knows what? Managers getting involved? Error-prone manual steps? Ad hoc database queries? There's no way I could know.

by Thomas A. Limoncelli | January 10, 2024

Topic: System Administration


Knowing What You Need to Know:
Personal, team, and organizational effectiveness can be improved with a little preparation

Blockers can take a tiny task and stretch it over days or weeks. Taking a moment at the beginning of a project to look for and prevent possible blockers can improve productivity. These examples of personal, team, and organizational levels show how gathering the right information and performing preflight checks can save hours of wasted time later.

by Thomas A. Limoncelli | September 21, 2023

Topic: Business/Management


Improvement on End-to-End Encryption May Lead to Silent Revolution:
Researchers are on a brink of what could be the next big improvement in communication privacy.

Privacy is an increasing concern, whether you are texting with a business associate or transmitting volumes of data over the Internet. Over the past few decades, cryptographic techniques have enabled privacy improvements in chat apps and other electronic forms of communication. Now researchers are on the brink of what could be the next big improvement in communication privacy: E2EEEE (End-to-End Encryption with Endpoint Elimination). This article is based on interviews with researchers who plan on presenting at a symposium on the topic scheduled for April 1, 2023.

by Thomas A. Limoncelli | March 30, 2023

Topic: Privacy and Rights


Split Your Overwhelmed Teams:
Two Teams of Five is Not the Same as One Team of Ten

This team?s low morale and high stress were a result of the members feeling overwhelmed by too many responsibilities. The 10-by-10 communication structure made it difficult to achieve consensus, there were too many meetings, and everyone was suffering from the high cognitive load. By splitting into two teams, each can be more nimble, which the manager likes, and have a lower cognitive load, which the team likes. There is more opportunity for repetition, which lets people develop skills and demonstrate them. Altogether, this helps reduce stress and improve morale.

by Thomas A. Limoncelli | November 10, 2022

Topic: Business/Management