Focusing on the right or wrong things?

I may have just added another book to my pile of to read/buy stuff!

If the most fundamental definition of design is to solve problems, why are so many people devoting so much energy to solving problems that don’t really exist? How can we get more people to look beyond their own lived experience?

In “Design: The Invention of Desire,” a thoughtful and necessary new book by the designer and theorist Jessica Helfand, the author brings to light an amazing kernel: “hack,” a term so beloved in Silicon Valley that it’s painted on the courtyard of the Facebook campus and is visible from planes flying overhead, is also prison slang for “horse’s ass carrying keys.”

To “hack” is to cut, to gash, to break. It proceeds from the belief that nothing is worth saving, that everything needs fixing. But is that really the case? Are we fixing the right things? Are we breaking the wrong ones? Is it necessary to start from scratch every time?

Empathy, humility, compassion, conscience: These are the key ingredients missing in the pursuit of innovation, Ms. Helfand argues, and in her book she explores design, and by extension innovation, as an intrinsically human discipline — albeit one that seems to have lost its way. Ms. Helfand argues that innovation is now predicated less on creating and more on the undoing of the work of others.

“In this humility-poor environment, the idea of disruption appeals as a kind of subversive provocation,” she writes. “Too many designers think they are innovating when they are merely breaking and entering.”


Getting better at doing nothing and being me

I definitely want to get better at being more idle, less productive, and just being me.

Overall I feel quite confident and calm about the direction I’m taking.  And whilst I may not ‘be bored’, I am personally trying and doing better at focusing on the things that matter to me.

This is a nice article on the topic.  I’ve also signed up to his newsletter to see what that is all about.  Innit!

View story at

Coaches for employees

For Ministry of Testing I’ve often thought about coaches for our team.  It’s not something I’ve managed to look into in detail, but interesting to see a company offer it as a service.

Guided is the easiest way to offer high quality and affordable coaching to all of your employees –

Not all the tools in the box…

Stand-ups, planning, and retros are a tool and you should be putting a lot of thought into what tools you use.


It’s so easy to get carried away with doing all the things.  Often you forget about what you actually need.  At MoT we have very few meetings, once every week or two for different ‘depts’.  And then we catch up as and when we feel the need.

Not that I think what or how we do things is the best.  But I’d like to think we do what we can, the best we can, whilst adapting to the different needs of the team.


Things they don’t teach you running a business by yourself

I should probably write one of these myself.  But for now, it’s nice reading it from someone else’s perspective.

Yes, indie businesses are all the rage at the moment.  Little did I know I started one all those years back.

One of the most hotly talked about topics in tech right now is starting an indie business. What is an indie business? It’s one where you, and maybe a co-founder, attempt to start a business with no investor funding or large external influence. It goes by many names: boot-strapped, solo-founded, self-funded, indie-hackers…etc… and it’s pretty hot right now! Which is why we see a proliferation of sites like IndieHackers and posts on Hacker News (frequently making it the front-page). While I think it’s an exciting venture to take part of, I don’t think it’s for everybody. There’s a reason that folks seek employment over entrepreneurship, and we often forget these points when we see how “Joe Schmoe” went from an individual-contributor role to making $50k/mo with his side-hustle selling artisanal crayons out of his basement. Also, spoiler-alert, that kind of growth is an outlier, and not something to expect or bet on. A large amount of these run-away success stories are backed by years of failures and experience that catapulted them to where they are now.

Full article:

The Bullshit Web

So refreshing to read this.  Would it be possible to see a movement towards a minimalistic web?

So, with an internet connection faster than I could have thought possible in the late 1990s, what’s the score now? A story at the Hill took over nine seconds to load; at Politicoseventeen seconds; at CNN, over thirty seconds. This is the bullshit web.


Debt instead of venture funding

I love reading stories of companies that don’t sell out and try to find their own creative way.  It also makes me feel better about Ministry of Testing being a Wistia customer. 🙂 This shares how Wistia decided to take on debt instead of selling out.

There were a few things within it that reminds me of MoT, particularly about reminding themselves that business can be fun and creative but that it is all too easy to lose that when the wrong things are focused on.

It was nerve-racking to operate on gut instincts, but when it worked it felt amazing. Source:

Bit Planner – A Lego Planner

Oh, I love the the visual aspect of this!  Plus Lego!

Bit Planner is a wall mounted time and resource planner. It’s made entirely of Lego bricks, and if you take a photo of it using our app all of the events and timings will be magically synchronised to an online, digital calendar.

It makes the most of the tangibility of physical objects, and the ubiquity of digital platforms, and it also puts a smile on our faces when we use it!

Teach Yourself Computer Science

From a testing perspective I would love to know how many subjects within this TeachYourselfCS site that testers have gone to the effort to learn.  Of course it depends, but how necessary/beneficial is it.

(I haven’t tried to learn each topic in details, I find it overwhelming!)


Study all nine subjects below, in roughly the presented order, using either the suggested textbook or video lecture series, but ideally both. Aim for 100-200 hours of study of each topic, then revisit favorites throughout your career 🚀.

Visit source:

The Site Reliability Workbook

This book is the companion volume to Google’s first book, Site Reliability Engineer‐ ing. To get the most out of this volume, we recommend that you have read, or can refer to, the first SRE book (available to read online for free at