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The Hedge: Episode 11: Roland Dobbins on Working Remotely

6 November 2019 |

Network engineering and operations are both “mental work” that can largely be done remotely—but working remote is not only great in many ways, it is also often fraught with problems. In this episode of the Hedge, Roland Dobbins joins Tom and Russ to discuss the ins and outs of working remote, including some strategies we have found effective at removing many of the negative aspects.

Explain-a-holic (Communicate Clearly)

15 June 2015 | Comments Off on Explain-a-holic (Communicate Clearly)

But just a couple of days ago, I was talking to someone about managing expectations in the IT world. How do you convince someone else to buy into a project? How do you get them to back your idea, rather than inventing their own? While the question itself is interesting, I’m going to leave my…

Eschew Obfuscation (Communicate Clearly)

18 May 2015 | Comments Off on Eschew Obfuscation (Communicate Clearly)

Many years ago, I worked for a manager who had two signs on his desk. The first was a pencil with the words, “Pencil 2.0” printed above them. The rest of the sign went on to explain how the pencil had undo (the eraser), was renewable (it can be sharpened), etc. The second sign was…

Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 2)

29 December 2014 | Comments Off on Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 2)

Last time, we talked a little about making certain your presentation has a point — or a porpoise, as the case might be. This time I want to talk about a few other common mistakes I see network engineers make when building presentations, and actually presenting them. First, you put too much text on your…

Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 1)

15 December 2014 | Comments Off on Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 1)

Powerpoint doesn’t stink. Our presentation skills do. So how do we fix it? First, you must decide: what do I want this presentation to be? We’ve all seen the brilliant TED talks about new ideas. We’ve all seen the really cool sample presentations from those online presentation sites about someone’s trip around the world. When…

Powerpoint Doesn’t Stink

7 December 2014 | Comments Off on Powerpoint Doesn’t Stink

“Presentations are just a waste of time.” “Powerpoint stinks.” “Can’t we do something other than another long, boring, presentation?” “We should just ban Powerpoint.” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone complain about Powerpoint, or presentations, I’d be rich enough to quit work and stop blogging. 🙂 Isn’t it about time…

Write Like You Mean It (Part 2)

13 October 2014 |

In the first part of this two part series, I talked about why it’s important to learn to write — and to learn to write effectively. But how do you become an effective writer? I started with the importance of reading, particularly difficult and regular reading across a broad array of topics. Is there anything…

Write Like You Mean It (Part 1)

6 October 2014 |

Engineers are supposed to be able to gather information, arrange it in a way that makes sense, and then propose a solution that actually solves the problem at hand — right? So why is it I’m almost constantly astounded at the lack of writing skills in the engineering community? Why don’t engineers know how to…

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