Culture is Not a Set of Beliefs; It’s a Set of Actions

In today’s fast-paced world, organizations are constantly evolving to meet the challenges of an ever-changing business landscape. They invest significant time and resources in crafting mission statements, setting key performance indicators (KPIs), and developing strategic plans. While these elements are undoubtedly important, there is another factor that plays an equally, if not more, significant role in shaping the character and success of an organization: its culture. Culture is not a static set of beliefs; it’s a dynamic, ever-evolving set of actions that influence every aspect of an organization’s functioning.

Understanding Culture as Behavior

When we talk about culture, it’s essential to shift our focus from what an organization claims to believe in, to what it actually does. Culture is all the behaviors that people exhibit within an organization, how they treat each other, their daily interactions, and the choices they make in their roles. It’s not just about the words on a poster or the lofty statements in a mission document; it’s about the lived experiences of employees and the tangible outcomes of their actions.

Culture Defines Organizational Behavior

In many ways, culture defines an organization’s behavior more than any mission statement or set of KPIs ever could. Consider this: an organization may have a mission statement proclaiming a commitment to inclusivity and diversity, but if its daily actions reveal discrimination, bias, or exclusion, the culture is misaligned with its stated values. Conversely, a company with no formal diversity statement but a culture that actively promotes inclusivity through daily actions will create a more diverse and inclusive environment.

Micro Decisions and Culture

Culture is not solely shaped by grand gestures or big decisions; it is also built on a foundation of countless micro decisions that everyone in the organization makes on a daily basis. These micro decisions, whether they involve how to respond to a colleague’s idea, how to prioritize tasks, or how to handle a customer complaint, are all reflections of the culture.

For example, if an organization values innovation but punishes employees for taking risks or experimenting with new ideas, its culture stifles creativity, no matter how lofty the mission statement may be. On the other hand, a culture that encourages experimentation and learning from failure will foster innovation naturally, even without explicit directives.

Leadership’s Role in Shaping Culture

Leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping an organization’s culture. Leaders set the tone through their own behaviors and actions. If leaders consistently model the values and behaviors they want to see in the organization, those behaviors will ripple throughout the company. However, if leaders espouse one set of values but act in ways that contradict them, it creates confusion and cynicism among employees.


In conclusion, culture is not a static set of beliefs or ideals; it is a dynamic and ever-evolving set of actions that shape the daily life of an organization. It defines how employees interact, how decisions are made, and how the organization responds to challenges. While mission statements and KPIs provide important guidance, it’s the behaviors and actions of individuals within the organization that truly determine its culture.

Organizations that understand this concept and actively work to align their actions with their stated values are more likely to build a culture that fosters success, innovation, and inclusivity. To create a thriving culture, leaders must lead by example, and employees must consistently make choices that reflect the organization’s core beliefs. In the end, culture is not what you say; it’s what you do, and it defines the essence of an organization more powerfully than any words ever could.

Increasing the Information Resolution of the Universe

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as one of the most transformative technologies of our time. Just like a microscope allows us to observe the intricate details of the microcosmos, AI serves as a powerful tool to enhance our understanding of the vast universe of data that surrounds us. In this article, we explore how AI functions as a “microscope” by increasing the information resolution of the universe, enabling us to delve deeper into data, uncover hidden insights, and make more informed decisions.

AI as a Data Magnifier

Imagine the universe of information as a vast, complex tapestry. Traditional data analysis tools are like trying to discern this tapestry from a distance, where only the broad strokes and basic patterns are visible. However, AI acts as a powerful magnifying glass, allowing us to zoom in and explore the smallest threads, colors, and details within the tapestry. It does this by processing immense amounts of data at incredible speeds, extracting meaningful patterns, and revealing previously unseen connections.

  • Pattern Recognition: AI is exceptional at recognizing patterns within data. Whether it’s identifying fraudulent transactions, predicting disease outbreaks, or optimizing supply chains, AI algorithms excel at spotting intricate correlations and anomalies that would be impossible for humans to discern manually. This ability to recognize patterns is akin to a microscope’s capacity to reveal the hidden structures within the microcosmos.
  • Data Exploration: Just as a microscope lets scientists explore the hidden worlds of microorganisms, AI enables data scientists and analysts to delve deep into vast datasets. It allows them to uncover valuable insights, such as consumer behavior trends, climate patterns, or the composition of distant galaxies. AI-powered data exploration transcends the limitations of traditional methods, providing us with a new lens through which to view the universe of information.
  • Predictive Power: One of AI’s most remarkable features is its predictive capabilities. Much like a microscope can help predict the behavior of microscopic organisms, AI can forecast future events with remarkable accuracy. Whether it’s predicting stock market trends, weather conditions, or customer preferences, AI leverages historical data and complex algorithms to make informed predictions, helping individuals and organizations make better decisions.

AI and the Expanding Universe of Data

The universe of data is constantly expanding, driven by the proliferation of digital devices, the internet of things (IoT), and the ever-growing amount of information generated by businesses, governments, and individuals. This expanding universe presents both opportunities and challenges. While the sheer volume of data can be overwhelming, AI serves as a valuable tool to make sense of it all.

  • Handling Big Data: AI’s ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data is crucial in the era of big data. It allows us to extract valuable insights from massive datasets, leading to innovations in fields such as healthcare, finance, and scientific research. Just as a microscope reveals details that were previously invisible, AI reveals insights buried within the sheer volume of data.
  • Real-time Insights: In a world that operates in real time, AI provides us with the ability to gain insights and make decisions at unprecedented speeds. This is akin to having a microscope that instantly magnifies and analyzes samples, allowing scientists to respond rapidly to changing conditions. In industries like cybersecurity and autonomous vehicles, real-time AI-driven insights are indispensable.


AI, as a “microscope” for the universe of information, offers us a new perspective on data, revealing hidden patterns, enabling deeper exploration, and enhancing our predictive abilities. Its capacity to increase the information resolution of the universe empowers individuals and organizations to make more informed decisions, innovate, and tackle complex challenges. As AI continues to evolve, its role in magnifying the details of our data-rich world will become increasingly essential, ushering in an era of unprecedented understanding and progress.

Sharpening the Axe of Productivity

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is celebrated not only for his leadership during the Civil War but also for his profound wisdom and insightful quotes. One such quote that continues to inspire individuals around the world is, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” This timeless piece of advice from Lincoln embodies the essence of preparation, efficiency, and the importance of groundwork before tackling any task.

The Power of Preparation

At first glance, Lincoln’s quote may seem like a simple statement about the value of preparation. However, when delving deeper, it reveals a profound truth about productivity and success. The act of chopping down a tree is a metaphor for any significant endeavor in life. Whether it’s starting a business, pursuing a new career, or embarking on a challenging project, the principle remains the same: preparation is key.

Sharpening the Axe

The central message of Lincoln’s quote is that before undertaking a task, one must invest time and effort in preparation. In this case, sharpening the axe is the preparatory phase. It signifies the importance of honing one’s skills, acquiring knowledge, and ensuring that you are fully equipped for the job ahead. In essence, it’s about setting the stage for success by eliminating any unnecessary obstacles.

We can mention the joke here – “do not forget to start swinging – even the sharpest axe in the world won’t chop down a tree on its own” adds a touch of humor while reinforcing the message. Indeed, having a sharp axe is vital, but it is not the sole determinant of success. You must also take action and put in the work to achieve your goals. In other words, preparation is essential, but it must be followed by execution.

The Four Stages of Preparation

  • Knowledge and Skill Development: This stage involves acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in your chosen endeavor. It might mean learning from experts, attending training sessions, or gaining experience through practice.
  • Planning and Strategy: Once you’ve honed your skills, the next step is to create a well-thought-out plan or strategy. This plan will serve as your roadmap, guiding you through the journey ahead.
  • Gathering Resources: To be fully prepared, you need the right tools and resources. This could include equipment, financial resources, or a network of supportive individuals who can assist you in your quest.
  • Mental and Emotional Preparation: Success often requires mental and emotional fortitude. Preparing your mindset to handle challenges, setbacks, and uncertainties is just as crucial as any physical preparation.


Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe,” encapsulates a timeless lesson on the significance of preparation and groundwork in achieving success. While having a sharp axe is essential, it must be coupled with action and effort. In the pursuit of your goals, remember the importance of not only sharpening the axe but also swinging it with determination. By combining preparation with action, you can conquer even the tallest of trees in your path and achieve your aspirations.

The Endless Pursuit of Overwork: Why We Glorify Busyness and Shun Rest

In a world that seems to spin faster with each passing day, many of us find ourselves caught in the relentless pursuit of overwork, constantly racing against the clock. It’s a phenomenon that begs the question: Why do we glorify overwork and refuse to rest? The answer to this perplexing question lies in our deeply ingrained beliefs about productivity, self-worth, and societal pressures.

None of us want to admit that we would rather feel overwhelmed than underwhelmed. In fact, we often experience a greater sense of our own value when we’re working than we do when we’re not. Our culture has instilled in us the notion that busyness equates to importance. When we’re occupied with work, we wear it as a badge of honor, as if it were a measure of our worth. It’s not merely a means to stay occupied; it’s a way to prove our worthiness – both to others and, perhaps more crucially, to ourselves.

In this relentless pursuit of overwork, we inadvertently become willing participants in a system that encourages us to push our limits. Employers often place intense pressure on their employees to perform, and without the right guardrails in place, we silently collude with this overwork culture. The fear of falling behind or being perceived as lazy drives us to work excessively long hours, compromising our well-being in the process.

So, how do we break free from this cycle of overwork and embrace the importance of rest? There are strategies that can help us intervene when we find ourselves compulsively overworking:

  • Honest Self-Recognition: The first step is to honestly recognize your tendency to work long and continuous hours. Acknowledging that you have a problem is the foundation for making positive changes.
  • Prioritize Sleep and Movement: Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. Prioritize getting enough restorative sleep, and also incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. Exercise not only boosts your energy but also reduces stress.
  • Rediscover Pleasure Outside of Work: It’s crucial to have an activity outside of work that brings you true enjoyment. Whether it’s a hobby, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing a passion, this can serve as a counterbalance to the demands of your job.
  • Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Turn off work-related notifications during your downtime and resist the urge to check emails or messages outside of working hours.
  • Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist if you’re struggling to break free from the overwork cycle. Talking about your experiences and challenges can provide valuable insights and emotional support.
  • Embrace the Power of “No”: Overcommitting to work and personal obligations is a common pitfall in our overworked society. Learning to say “no” when necessary is a vital skill. Recognize your limits and be selective about the tasks and commitments you take on. It’s not a sign of weakness to decline additional responsibilities; it’s a sign of self-awareness and self-preservation.
  • Time Management and Efficiency: Rather than equating productivity with working long hours, focus on effective time management and efficiency. Set clear goals for your workday, prioritize tasks, and eliminate distractions. By working smarter, not harder, you can accomplish more in less time, leaving room for valuable breaks and rest.
  • Cultivate Mindfulness and Relaxation: Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a few minutes to disconnect from work can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. These practices can also help you become more aware of when you’re slipping back into overwork mode.
  • Lead by Example: If you’re in a leadership position at work, consider the impact your behavior has on your team. Encourage a healthy work-life balance by setting a positive example. Promote open discussions about workload and mental health, fostering an environment where employees feel comfortable seeking help if they are struggling with overwork.
  • Advocate for Change: On a broader scale, consider advocating for change in workplace culture and policies. Encourage your organization to implement initiatives that support employee well-being, such as flexible work hours, mental health resources, and reasonable workload expectations. By participating in the conversation about work culture transformation, you can contribute to a more sustainable and balanced future for all.

In conclusion, the glorification of overwork is a deeply ingrained societal issue, but it’s not insurmountable. By implementing these strategies and making a conscious effort to prioritize rest, you can reclaim control over your life and well-being. Remember that your worth extends far beyond your productivity, and self-care is not a luxury but a necessity. By taking steps to break free from the overwork cycle, you can lead a more balanced, fulfilling, and healthier life – one that celebrates the importance of both work and rest.

Embrace Authenticity – Through Fashion?

This week is Fashion Week in New York. So – let me touch on a fashion topic 😂

In a world often constrained by societal norms and expectations, fashion designer Christian Siriano’s powerful statement, “You can wear whatever, be whatever, do whatever you want,” serves as a beacon of inspiration and a testament to the boundless possibilities that exist when one embraces their true self. Beyond the realm of fashion, Siriano’s words carry a profound message about authenticity, individuality, and self-expression.

The Essence of the Quote

Christian Siriano, known for his inclusivity and diverse approach to fashion, encapsulates a sentiment that extends far beyond clothing choices. At its core, his quote urges us to shed the constraints imposed by external judgments and societal pressures. It champions the idea that every individual has the right to be unapologetically themselves, free from the fear of judgment or ridicule.

Wearing Whatever

Fashion is a powerful form of self-expression. Siriano’s encouragement to “wear whatever” is a call to embrace clothing as a canvas for personal identity. It emphasizes the importance of fashion as a means to convey one’s unique personality, style, and values. In a world that often imposes rigid standards, this message fosters acceptance and encourages people to express themselves authentically through their fashion choices.

Being Whatever

Embracing the idea of “being whatever” challenges traditional notions of identity. It celebrates the fluidity of human nature and encourages individuals to explore various facets of themselves without fear of judgment. In a society that has historically imposed limitations based on gender, race, or societal expectations, this quote encourages people to break free from these constraints and discover their authentic selves.

Doing Whatever You Want

The notion of “doing whatever you want” is a rallying cry for pursuing one’s passions and dreams. It rejects the idea that there is a prescribed path to success or happiness and instead encourages individuals to follow their hearts. Whether it’s pursuing a unique career, engaging in a creative hobby, or advocating for a cause close to one’s heart, this message empowers individuals to live life on their terms.

The Impact of Siriano’s Message

Christian Siriano’s quote has resonated with individuals from all walks of life. It has been particularly influential in the fashion industry, where diversity and inclusivity have become increasingly important. Siriano’s commitment to designing for all body types and embracing a wide range of models on his runways reflects the values embedded in his quote.

Beyond fashion, this quote has permeated various aspects of society, encouraging people to challenge societal norms, break free from limiting beliefs, and embrace their true selves. It has become a symbol of empowerment for those seeking to live authentically and unapologetically.


Christian Siriano’s quote, “You can wear whatever, be whatever, do whatever you want,” encapsulates the essence of individuality, self-expression, and authenticity. It serves as a powerful reminder that we have the agency to shape our lives according to our own desires and values. In a world where conformity often reigns, this quote is a beacon of inspiration, reminding us to be true to ourselves and to celebrate the uniqueness of each individual. It challenges us to embrace our passions, wear our identities proudly, and live life on our own terms.

The Shrinking Half-Life of Skills

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, the adage “learn once, work forever” has become a relic of the past. The average half-life of skills is now less than five years, and in some tech fields, it’s as low as two and a half years. This seismic shift in the professional landscape has far-reaching implications for millions of workers who find themselves navigating an increasingly uncertain terrain.

The Half-Life of Skills: A New Reality

Traditionally, individuals would acquire a set of skills, hone them over their careers, and rely on them for job security. This approach made sense when the pace of change was relatively slow. However, the digital age has ushered in a new era, where technological advancements and market dynamics are reshaping industries at breakneck speed.

The concept of the “half-life of skills” refers to the time it takes for half of a worker’s knowledge or skills to become obsolete. This means that skills that were relevant just a few years ago may no longer be applicable today. This trend is particularly pronounced in technology-related fields, where innovation occurs at a breathtaking pace.

The Tech Revolution’s Impact

Tech fields, such as software development and data science, exemplify the extreme end of this phenomenon. In these sectors, the half-life of skills can be as short as two and a half years. For professionals in these domains, it’s not merely a matter of keeping up; it’s a constant battle to stay ahead of the curve.

The rapid pace of technological advancement means that even established tech professionals can find themselves facing skill obsolescence. This has significant implications for job security and employability, even for those with substantial experience.

Upskilling Alone: A Partial Solution

Given the shrinking half-life of skills, upskilling has emerged as a crucial strategy for workers looking to remain relevant in the job market. Upskilling involves acquiring new skills or enhancing existing ones to adapt to changing industry demands. While upskilling is undeniably valuable, it may not be a panacea for everyone.

Firstly, the sheer frequency of upskilling required to keep up with evolving demands can be overwhelming. Workers may find themselves in a perpetual state of learning, which can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.

Secondly, upskilling alone may not guarantee job security. The job market’s fickleness, especially in sectors with volatile skill requirements, can render upskilled individuals vulnerable to sudden shifts in demand.

A Holistic Approach to Career Resilience

To thrive in a world where skills have a short shelf life, a more comprehensive approach to career resilience is necessary. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Lifelong Learning: Cultivate a mindset of lifelong learning. Embrace continuous education as an integral part of your career.
  • Adaptability: Develop soft skills like adaptability, problem-solving, and critical thinking. These traits are transferable and can complement specific technical skills.
  • Diversify Skills: While specialization is essential, having a diverse skill set can make you more adaptable to changing job requirements.
  • Networking: Build a strong professional network. Connections can open doors to opportunities and provide valuable insights into industry trends.
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: Consider entrepreneurship or freelancing as avenues to create your own opportunities and revenue streams.
  • Stay Informed: Regularly consume industry news and market trends. Being informed helps you anticipate shifts in demand.
  • Mentorship: Seek mentorship from experienced professionals who can guide you through the evolving landscape.


The shrinking half-life of skills presents both challenges and opportunities. While upskilling remains a critical component of career development, it’s no longer enough to rely solely on this strategy. To thrive in this new era, workers must embrace lifelong learning, adaptability, and a holistic approach to career resilience. By doing so, they can navigate the ever-changing job market with confidence and adaptability, ensuring their skills remain relevant in a world of perpetual change.

The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People


Cloe Madanes, a renowned family therapist and author, has made significant contributions to the field of psychology and personal development. Among her many insightful works, one that stands out is “The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People.” In this article, we will delve into Madanes’s intriguing exploration of the habits that can lead individuals down the path of misery, as well as the valuable lessons we can learn from her work, applicable to IT.

  • The Constant Need for Approval: Madanes identifies the first habit as the relentless pursuit of approval from others. People who constantly seek validation often find themselves trapped in a cycle of insecurity and disappointment.
  • Living in the Past: Another common habit of misery is dwelling on past mistakes and regrets. Madanes highlights the importance of letting go of the past to embrace the present and future.
  • Fear of the Future: On the opposite end of the spectrum, the fear of the unknown can also be a source of misery. Those who are paralyzed by anxiety about the future may find it difficult to enjoy the present.
  • Resisting Change: Madanes emphasizes that resisting change is a habit that can lead to stagnation and unhappiness. Embracing change, even when it’s uncomfortable, can open doors to personal growth and happiness.
  • Criticizing and Complaining: Constant criticism and complaining not only create negative energy but also alienate others. Madanes urges individuals to shift their focus towards constructive communication.
  • Blaming Others: Playing the blame game is a surefire way to remain miserable. Madanes encourages taking responsibility for one’s actions and choices.
  • Always Playing It Safe: Madanes suggests that staying within one’s comfort zone might provide temporary security but can lead to a life devoid of excitement and fulfillment.
  • Exaggerating Problems: Miserable people often blow small issues out of proportion. Madanes advises maintaining perspective and not catastrophizing minor setbacks.
  • Unresolved Guilt and Shame: Holding onto guilt and shame can be emotionally crippling. Madanes underscores the importance of forgiveness, both for oneself and others.
  • Lack of Compassion: Madanes stresses that failing to show compassion to oneself and others can breed negativity and isolation.
  • Seeking External Happiness: Material possessions and external achievements can provide temporary joy, but Madanes reminds us that true happiness comes from within.
  • Striving for Perfection: The pursuit of perfection can lead to unrealistic expectations and constant dissatisfaction. Madanes encourages embracing imperfection as a part of being human.
  • Avoiding Responsibility: Avoiding responsibility can lead to a sense of powerlessness and unhappiness. Madanes urges individuals to take charge of their lives.
  • Focusing on What’s Missing: Miserable people often fixate on what they lack instead of appreciating what they have. Madanes advocates cultivating gratitude as a key to happiness.

Applications for IT

Applying Cloe Madanes’s insights from “The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People” to the realm of Information Technology (IT) is not only relevant but can also significantly enhance the well-being and effectiveness of IT professionals and teams.

In IT, the constant need for approval can manifest as a never-ending quest for recognition and praise, often leading to burnout. IT professionals should be encouraged to focus on their intrinsic motivation and the satisfaction derived from solving complex problems rather than seeking external validation. Furthermore, the resistance to change, a common habit of misery, can impede progress in an industry where technological advancements occur rapidly. IT teams should embrace change as an opportunity for growth and innovation, understanding that adapting to new tools and methodologies is essential for staying competitive.

Additionally, the habit of criticizing and complaining can have a toxic effect on IT teams, hindering collaboration and problem-solving. Encouraging open and constructive communication is vital, as it fosters an environment where team members can voice concerns and suggest improvements without resorting to negativity. Moreover, striving for perfection in IT projects can lead to delays and missed opportunities. Embracing the agile mindset, which values incremental progress and learning from mistakes, aligns well with Madanes’s advice to accept imperfections and focus on continuous improvement.


In conclusion, Madanes’s insights can be invaluable in the IT industry, helping professionals and teams cultivate a positive and productive work environment. By addressing these habits of misery, IT personnel can boost their resilience, creativity, and overall job satisfaction, ultimately contributing to more successful and innovative projects.

Technical Debts – the top 10


Technical debt is an inevitable aspect of software development. It refers to the shortcuts or compromises made during the development process that may result in long-term maintenance challenges. These shortcuts can accumulate over time and hinder the progress of a project. In this article, we will delve into the ten categories of technical debt that developers and teams commonly encounter.

Outstanding Migrations

One of the most prevalent forms of technical debt is outstanding migrations. These occur when a project fails to update to newer versions of libraries, frameworks, or platforms. Delaying these migrations can lead to security vulnerabilities, performance issues, and compatibility problems.

Missing or Incomplete Documentation

Inadequate documentation can be a significant source of technical debt. Without clear and comprehensive documentation, developers struggle to understand how different components of a system work. This can result in slower onboarding of new team members, increased debugging time, and decreased overall productivity.

Poor Test Quality or Coverage

Insufficient testing can lead to technical debt. When test cases are incomplete or of poor quality, it becomes challenging to detect and fix issues early in the development process. This can result in the accumulation of bugs, leading to increased maintenance efforts and decreased software reliability.

Poorly Designed Code

Code that lacks proper design principles and architecture can quickly accumulate technical debt. Such code may be difficult to extend, maintain, or modify. Refactoring becomes a necessity, and delaying it can result in a tangled web of complexity.

Dead or Unused Code

Unused or “dead” code that remains in the codebase is a form of technical debt. It clutters the codebase, increases complexity, and makes maintenance more challenging. Identifying and removing dead code is essential to keep the codebase clean and efficient. (Anyone remembers Knight Capital?)

Code Not Aligned with Current Standards

Failure to adhere to industry best practices and coding standards can lead to technical debt. Outdated code may not take advantage of new language features, performance improvements, or security enhancements, leaving the system vulnerable and less efficient.

Lack of Needed Expertise

When a development team lacks expertise in certain areas, it can lead to technical debt. Code written without the necessary knowledge and experience may be suboptimal and require extensive rework. Investing in training and skill development can help mitigate this type of debt.

Problematic Dependencies

Relying on problematic or unmaintained third-party dependencies can introduce technical debt. When these dependencies become obsolete or vulnerable, the project must allocate resources to update or replace them.

Incomplete Migrations or Upgrades

Incomplete migrations or upgrades, such as database schema changes, can create technical debt. If not properly handled, data inconsistencies and compatibility issues may arise, causing disruptions and additional work down the line.

Out-of-Date Release Process

An outdated release process can hinder the development and deployment pipeline. Modernizing the release process, including automation and continuous integration, is crucial to reduce technical debt associated with slow, error-prone releases.


Technical debt is an inherent part of software development, but understanding its various categories is crucial for managing and mitigating its impact. By addressing outstanding migrations, improving documentation, enhancing testing practices, and tackling other forms of technical debt, development teams can ensure that their projects remain efficient, maintainable, and adaptable in the long run. Proactively managing technical debt is essential for delivering high-quality software that meets user expectations and maintains a competitive edge in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Pitfalls of Measuring Developer Productivity

Still staying on the McKinsey topic – feel like I could write a dozen post on this 😂


Goodhart’s Law is a concept that originated in the field of economics but has since found relevance in various aspects of life, including software development. This law states that “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” In other words, as soon as you start using a specific metric as a goal to optimize, people will find ways to manipulate it, often leading to unintended and undesirable consequences. In the context of software development, this law has profound implications for how we measure and manage developer productivity.

Developer pitfall

The Obsession with Metrics

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in the software industry to quantify and measure every aspect of the development process. Metrics like lines of code written, bug fix rates, feature delivery timelines, and code review completion times have become the gold standard for evaluating developer productivity. While the intention behind these metrics is often to improve efficiency and accountability, they frequently fall victim to Goodhart’s Law.

The Harmful Consequences

  • Gaming the Metrics: Developers are intelligent problem solvers. When they are faced with metrics as targets, they tend to optimize for those metrics rather than the actual quality of their work. For example, if lines of code become a key performance indicator, developers may write more code, including unnecessary or redundant lines, just to meet the quota, even if it doesn’t contribute to the overall quality of the software.
  • Neglecting Code Quality: Quality often takes a backseat when metrics like bug fix rates are emphasized. Developers may rush to fix bugs without thoroughly testing their solutions, leading to more bugs and technical debt in the long run. This can result in a vicious cycle where the rush to meet metrics causes more issues than it solves.
  • Demotivation and Burnout: Constantly measuring and evaluating developers based on metrics can create a culture of stress, competition, and burnout. Developers may feel pressured to meet unrealistic targets, leading to decreased job satisfaction and creativity. This can have a detrimental impact on the overall health of the development team.
  • Focusing on the Wrong Goals: Metrics tend to measure what is easy to quantify, not necessarily what is most important. Focusing solely on metrics may divert attention away from critical but less quantifiable aspects of software development, such as design quality, user experience, and long-term maintainability.

A More Holistic Approach

Instead of solely relying on metrics to measure developer productivity, a more holistic approach should be adopted:

  • Quality over Quantity: Emphasize the importance of code quality, design, and user satisfaction over arbitrary metrics like lines of code or bug counts.
  • Continuous Learning: Encourage developers to learn and improve their skills rather than pressuring them to meet short-term targets.
  • Team Collaboration: Foster a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing within development teams, which can lead to better outcomes than individual performance metrics.
  • Flexible Goals: Recognize that development is a creative process, and set goals that can adapt to the unique challenges of each project rather than one-size-fits-all metrics.


Goodhart’s Law reminds us that measuring developer productivity solely through metrics can lead to counterproductive behaviors and harm the overall quality of software. Instead, we should focus on fostering a culture of quality, continuous improvement, and collaboration within our development teams. By doing so, we can achieve better outcomes while avoiding the unintended consequences of misguided metrics.

Beyond the fast lane, OR Why the journey matters

I could not walk past beside the by now infamous McKinsey developer productivity measurement grasp on billable hours without making a note myself.


In today’s fast-paced world (yes, it sounds like written by an AI because of this term – I still love this term), the pressure to climb the career ladder quickly often overshadows the importance of choosing the right direction. Many individuals feel compelled to rush through their career journeys, seeking promotions, raises, and accolades as quickly as possible. While ambition and drive are commendable qualities, it’s equally important to remember that success isn’t solely measured by how fast you reach your goals. Instead, it’s about the direction in which you are headed. In this article, we’ll explore why focusing on the direction, not the speed, is crucial in your career journey, and many of them I touched upon before.

Personal Growth and Development

One of the most significant advantages of prioritizing the direction in your career journey is the opportunity for personal growth and development. When you emphasize speed, you may rush through crucial learning experiences and miss valuable opportunities for skill-building. On the contrary, when you focus on the direction, you can take the time to learn, adapt, and grow. This deliberate approach allows you to become a more well-rounded and capable professional over time.

Building a Strong Foundation

Imagine building a house without a solid foundation. Similarly, in your career, rushing towards success without establishing a strong foundation can lead to instability and setbacks down the road. By focusing on the direction, you can build a robust base of skills, knowledge, and experience that will support your long-term success. This foundation will serve as a stable platform from which you can continue to grow and excel.

Strategic Decision-Making

Focusing on the direction of your career journey enables you to make more strategic decisions. When you’re not fixated on speed, you can take the time to evaluate opportunities carefully. This means considering whether a job aligns with your long-term goals, values, and aspirations. By making well-informed choices, you’re more likely to find satisfaction and fulfillment in your career, rather than simply chasing the next promotion.

Work-Life Balance

An excessive focus on speed in your career can lead to burnout and a lack of work-life balance. Neglecting your personal life and well-being in the pursuit of rapid success can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health. Prioritizing direction allows you to strike a healthier balance between your career and personal life, leading to greater overall well-being and happiness.

Resilience in the Face of Challenges

Challenges and setbacks are inevitable in any career journey. Those who focus solely on speed may find it difficult to bounce back from disappointments because they haven’t developed the necessary resilience. On the other hand, when you prioritize direction, you build the resilience needed to overcome obstacles. You understand that setbacks are part of the journey and can use them as opportunities for growth and learning.

Long-Term Satisfaction

Ultimately, career success is not just about reaching a specific position or salary level; it’s about long-term satisfaction and fulfillment. When you focus on the direction, you’re more likely to find a career path that aligns with your passions and values. This alignment leads to a deeper sense of satisfaction and contentment in your professional life, making it all the more meaningful.


In your career journey, it’s crucial to remember that success is not solely about how fast you can climb the ladder. Instead, it’s about the direction in which you are headed. By prioritizing the direction, you can experience personal growth, build a strong foundation, make strategic decisions, maintain work-life balance, develop resilience, and ultimately find long-term satisfaction in your career. So, take the time to reflect on your goals and values, and focus on the path that will lead you where you truly want to go.