Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 44, 2023

The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.
The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.

So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 – The Worst Programmer I Know
#2 – Beware the Metagame
#3 – The Open-Office Trap

The Worst Programmer I Know

Source: Dan North
Author: Dan North

The article argues that individual performance metrics can be flawed in evaluating the productivity of programmers. The author tells the story of the worst programmer he knew, Tim Mackinnon, who consistently scored zero points in productivity metrics. 

However, the author refused to remove Tim from the team because he realized that Tim’s true value was in his ability to help his teammates become more effective and aligned. 

The article concludes that team accountability, rather than individual productivity metrics, is a better way to measure business impact in a complex adaptive system.

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Beware the Metagame

Source: Amjad Masad
Author: Amjad Masad

The article discusses the problem of getting too involved in the “metagame” of a field, which involves the study of the subject itself rather than practical application. While taking a meta view of a subject can lead to progress, it can also result in a lack of connection to reality and practical issues.

The author warns against becoming a “metapreneur,” or someone who is more focused on the metagame than actually doing the work. 

The article references a replication crisis in certain scientific fields, which may be a result of too much focus on the metagame rather than practical application.

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The Open-Office Trap

Source: New Yorker
Author: Maria Konnikova

The open office plan, originally meant to facilitate communication, has become a popular workplace architectural design. However, research shows that open offices lead to increased distraction, reduced productivity, and lower job satisfaction. Psychological studies show that physical barriers and control over the environment are closely linked to psychological privacy, which boosts job performance. 

Noise is also a major problem, reducing cognitive performance and causing increased physical strain due to reduced ergonomic adjustments. 

While younger workers may find open offices more socially engaging, they are also affected by the negative consequences of distraction and reduced productivity.

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