What Is Your Management Philosophy?

I was listening to an interview with a CEO and he was discussing the weight they put on the interviewing process. One of the questions he asked potential managers was what their management philosophy was. I had to think for a minute how I might answer that. It would be something like this:

  1. Treat management of your group like a democracy. Everyone gets to participate.
  2. Properly incentivize your teammates so that their efforts are focused on the correct goals.
  3. Encourage your teammates to take risks. Improvement can’t happen without risk. And understand that they will make mistakes and that you can’t come down too hard on them for it.

I would probably leave it at that. Nice and simple.


I’m fortunate to get to jog down roads like this regularly. The US countryside is covered with old power poles holding ~13.8KV power lines going to farms. It always mimg_1676-1akes me wonder why it is that we can’t have fiber to every premise (FTEP).

During the last century the utilities managed to not only install power feeds to every farm in the country, but to meter at the service entrance and charge the customer for only the energy they used. Even with state regulation of profits (local utilities were a monopoly), the utilities managed to grow into successful public businesses.

So why is it that the utilities were able to profitably install power to every premise in the country but communications companies can barely install fiber into high density neighborhoods?

Career Advice for Graduates

I woke up one morning and had several thoughts about the advice I wish I could go back and give to myself right before I graduated from college. I have been in industry as an Engineer in some shape or form for the last 15 years. I started writing this with the hope that it may help someone graduating in the near future. Most of this is targeted toward a new Engineering graduate but some things are applicable to all graduates.

Continue reading “Career Advice for Graduates”

How To Learn 30 Languages

Somehow I came across this BBC article a few weeks ago and it has been sitting in a browser tab waiting for me to read. It’s Sunday morning and I’m closing tabs and so finally read it.

I am not fluent in a second language and it is something that really bothers me. As someone who has struggled to learn a second language via self study as an adult I think it’s important to note that these people all seem to have learned through immersion (they lived someplace where the language is spoken) and started learning languages early in life.

I have noticed that immersion makes learning easier by a factor of at least 10. I spent a year or so studying Brazilian Portuguese as much as I could. I made several trips to Brazil for work during that time and found that I learned more in a week just by being there than I could learn in a month studying at home. It’s possible to learn another language without moving and being immersed in it, but it is very difficult and is going to take much longer.

No Tracking

I’m not a big fan of web tracking or of massively interconnected javascript adds. If visitor data collection were only utilized for serving targeted adds then it wouldn’t bother me. Unfortunately some web sites pass non-anonymous information about visitors on to 3rd parties who then aggregate and sell the information on farther down the chain. I doubt that many web sites actually perform this type of tracking willingly, but it happens automagically through their javascripted web add system.

This web site contains absolutely no tracking whatsoever. I used to utilize google-analytics because I was curious to see how many visitors the site had and where they were coming from. I really don’t need this information and so there is no reason for me to collect and share it with google. I have removed google-analytics from the site. The site has never had adds and never will (beyond my own plugs for consulting services). I may put an old-school hit counter at the bottom of the front page too gauge how much traffic there is, but also because I think they are cool.

The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath – NYTimes.com

Reading an article in the NYTimes this morning. From the article:

Thanks in part to the $250 million last year spent on lobbying for pharmaceutical and health products — more than even the defense industry — the government allows such practices. Lawmakers in Washington have forbidden Medicare, the largest government purchaser of health care, to negotiate drug prices. Unlike its counterparts in other countries, the United States Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which evaluates treatments for coverage by federal programs, is not allowed to consider cost comparisons or cost-effectiveness in its recommendations. And importation of prescription medicines from abroad is illegal, even personal purchases from mail-order pharmacies.

via The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath – NYTimes.com.

If we could just get the money out of politics ….

Drink Up at 2014 World Cup

A BBC article quotes FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke stating “beer must be sold” at all venues at the Brazil World Cup in 2014. Apparently Brazil has a law banning alcohol sales at certain soccer matches. I have been to three soccer matches in Brazil and purchased and drank beer both outside and inside the stadiums and so I am a little confused by this. Maybe the law is only for matches with the national team?