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Reflection on 2023

Do what you teach and pause to reflect so that you can improve

It’s time to walk the talk, and do as I tell others for the year that ends. This has been a big year work wise.

The year that was

I had a chance to re-run a few courses for the second time. This is always interesting as you see how you can improve them from the previous run. My software engineering ones went better this time than last time. I’m already thinking of how to improve them for the next run too. Mainly by introducing more around the topics that I’ve shared here.

The conferences that I made it to were good. I was able to glean more from others and test my ideas in conversations, which is always good to do. Some of them also let me reconnect with people too, which is also fun.

Launching the books

Launching this blog and the books have been my other big things. These went much easier than I feared they would. For Teaching Team Collaboration everything FINALLY came together: a mail list on getting a product launched, and time in my schedule, as well as an incentive to finish this soon. It ended up being a bit slower than planned, but I finished it.

The other book 101+ Ideas to Improve Team Collaboration has taken much longer to finish. I started that one in 2020. It fed a lot of ideas, and without it, I’d have never thought about the other book. I knew it needed a re-write, and some feedback from folks told me what was needed. I just needed the time to do it. Last month I found that time. Each small idea was self-contained so I could pick them up and put them down as ‘small slices’ of work.

Writing gets the ideas out of my head and ready to share and re-use in my own work. This is a good surprise, which I suspected was the case, but wasn’t sure about. I now wish I’d started this years ago. Oh well.

People looking at the sea while on a beach

The year to come

Going forward I’ll take note of what someone else shared a while ago: I’ll try to say NO to things, so that I have more time to do the important things in life. By saying NO we gain respect from others, and reduce our stress too as that is one less thing to make time for in our busy lives.

My main goal in the coming year is to spread more awareness of how to improve team collaboration. I especially focus on how we can teach this to students in software engineering, but I also realise that it applies as much to the many organisations that also ignore this aspect of software development too.

I want to get the word out and improve how people do the work they do together. This is such an overlooked area, a one which we should teach our students so that we seed the workplace with people who have experienced this fun and collaborative way of working.

I wish you all a great holiday and a happy new year.

This post is part of a project pulling together my materials and ideas about Teaching Team Collaboration: the Human-Side of Software Development for software development to students.

The ideas above are from my book 101+ Ideas to Improve Team Collaboration, which covers all of these little things that students can do to improve their collaboration.

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