Make A Name Map

This is an article that I have seen go past in my RSS reader a few times lately: Meeting Tip: Learning Names. It is something that I have used for years, but this is a great writeup of what to do. Simply stated, make a little “map” of the meeting table you are at and write everyone’s name along with any other information you might need next to them.

I’ve taken it further a few times and actually written notes under each person’s name so that I knew who came up with the idea. It was a common practice for me at NeoTactix where we would meet a ton of new companies all the time and I could _never_ keep their names straight in my head. I find it equally important in my consulting life at ThoughtWorks, but rely on it less when I see the people that I meet every day and their name eventually starts to stick in my head.

Wink is Great

I used the awesome tutorial and presentation software Wink today and it worked surprisingly well.

I was testing out the newest version of SIFR (also awesome software) and found a few bugs. Screenshots weren’t going to be enough to show the problem, so I created a simple screencast with Wink.

You can see the results here.

I can definitely see myself using this more in my work on client projects for ThoughtWorks.

Enterprise Business Analyst?

Is there a position within a large project for a business analyst that is half architect, half business analyst? Keeping with the subject of my current assignment, a coworker mentioned a role that might make sense in some situations. More after the break.

Is Agile Susceptible To Dilution?

I am currently working on a large project with around 30 fellow ThoughtWorkers and another 30 consultants comprised of about 6 different consulting firms. There have been some questions rolling around in my mind regarding how agile methods are working on a project where not everyone is used to those techniques and some actually seem to reject the ideals and use their own methods. More after the jump.

My First Few Weeks at ThoughtWorks

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for me at my new job. I’ve met so many new people and have gotten involved in many different parts of the business. Orientation went by in a blur in the “bored” room. I got to hang out with 3 great people who were going through orientation too and run around Chicago during the immigration rally and get Giordano’s pizza.

I’m currently working in Madison, Wisconsin on a project doing Enterprise Testing which is much more fun than it sounds. Today, for instance, I was working on some ruby code (yay!) to automate a huge number of tests. I work with lots of great people and get to see how a truly large project gets done. It’s an amazing thing what the agile process does for development.

I’m getting used to the travel and all of the “joys” that go with it. Life as a consultant is good right now and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope to update more now that I have my poor PowerBook back from the grave.

I’m a ThoughtWorker!

I’ve been sitting on this news for a while until the final paperwork came through, but now that the ink is drying on my contracts, I’m proud to announce that I will be working as a Business Analyst for ThoughtWorks. I start May 1st with orientation in the Chicago office and then I’ll be put on a project for one of our clients. Read on for more if you want to know why I chose ThoughtWorks and how I got to this point.