Lean In Book Review

Now I always classed my self as an equal opportunity’s person when it came to women in IT, I had always worked with women and the majority of my bosses and PMs for projects for major client have always been women ( I prefer women as PM’s in large clients as there is normally less chest beating and more getting on with the job) but recency I have discovered that I had far less of an understanding than I thought I had and to truly work well with the other 50% of mankind you have to do more than think of them as men in dresses you have to see the world and it problems from their point of view, this was down to a number of friends enlightening me and to attending things like the nerd girl talks at IBM conferences.

I realised I lacked some understanding, so when This week in tech mentioned “Lean In” by sheryl Sandberg” I figured I would give it a read and see if I could learn something.

And indeed I did, I gained a much better understanding of woman’s issues both from a work and from a home life point of view and how to assist with these. how simple decisions that feel like common sense arn’t and in fact re-enforce social stereo types (both male and female) and a bit of empathy can go a long way (this last I already knew)

But much to my surprise I took away far more than just this, I took away,

  • Practical tips on how fathers and husbands can help (not just the obvious ones)
  • How to balance work and home including a wonderful viewpoint on why its not your clients job to ensure you have a home life.
  • The things that as a male I have to be on the look out for to stop unconscious stereotyping from slipping into my decisions.
  • and that “Sorry you can have it all, aim for happy not superhuman”.

The book is not perfect, the first and last chapters really have to be battled thought, and the first feels like it is written by a cross between and hippy and a 80’s power manager, but give it time and once Mrs Sandberg gets to the meat of her experiences you will find it most enlightening.

Ext deployment zip

A large number of Domino apps I develop solutions for seem to need a few jar files and more often than not these end up in the ext lib on the server (be that for speed/memory or conflict reasons)*

but such apps are a sod to deploy for administrators, I figured a simple and consistent zip file in the files section would make everybody’s life a bit simpler so I went and asked a top admin and this is the suggestion.


where XXXXXXXX is the name of the application (maybe a version number for the developer) and YYYYMMDD is the date the zip was added (yes include it despite the fact it will be in the files section as admin’s tend to store these things on the file system)

This file should contain:

  • An ‘Ext’ directory that contains the jar files you require
  • A java.policy file and any other files that need modifying containing the changes required
  • A “readme.txt” with you descriptions and justifications for the changes (enough justification so that the admin can take it to a manager if permission is needed)

*OSGI has not always made it to clients but it if has SHOW112 by Paul Fiore is an amazing presentation


Well my first Blug is over and I have to say I am very impressed, Theo Heselmans is a genius and the fact that there was actual IBM backing, both in terms of people and in terms of money made a real difference, apparently Blug is now the largest lotus user group in the world.

The feel was very professional as well as relaxed, I made more contacts and had more serious conversations then even at Connect 2013 and shock of shock there were even times when I exchanged business cards with people when both of us REALLY wanted to rather than it being one sided or for politesses sake.

Both the food and drink for the event were amazing and seemed to be none time based (at Connect and other conferences its always “how much can we get down out throats within the time limit”)

The venue was awesome, the Faculty Club in Leuven

for some reason I have yet to grasp I did not take any pictures of the bleeding inside (face palm)

The first proper day of blug started with a apparently amazing keynote where notes 9 would be released, I say amazing because I was skulking in the speaker room as all my clients had noticed I was busy and so were having melt downs but even here Blug did us proud as the network was nice and fast even when Notes 9 was released and 200+ people pounded the hell out of the network.

I did have time in between sessions, client needs and hard core social interaction to not only have squint at the freebie bag, which unbelievably had some things in it I wanted to keep (this has not happened since the last Ilug) but also kept the bag its self (a note to all conference organisers, unless you are giving us a brand name back pack that’s better than our current one a book bag is the way to go as we can use it later),

The session I did with Martin Vereecken, Mark Leusink and Matt White went down very well with it filling the room

All credit to the amazing slide deck goes to Martin!

Talking of sessions all the content I saw was brill, absolutely no fillers or restrictions, which produced many near perfect sessions.

Lastly the town of Leuven was spellbinding

You will note that [Matt White](https://twitter.com/mattwhite) and I skulked out of the conference to go fetch the gift of chocolate that is required of everybody who visits Belgium, by the end of the conference EVERYBODY had done this task.

Lessons other IBM conferences should learn

– Having a steady but not extreme flow of wine and beer in the sponsor area makes people come to it all the time and makes them more relaxed so they talk to the sponsors, no need to over do it so they get pissed but just grease the conversation wheels
– Sugar and caffeine on hand at all times give people energy and makes the more enthusiastic
– Allow ALL forms of content and presentation just make sure the quality is high.

Notes9 release Oops

As a firm insider on the IBM community I often forget how impenetrable IBM stuff is from the outside, I got this contact from a friend who no longer makes his living from IBM/Lotus products but still likes to keep up to date, they are less than impressed…

..quick rant to you … not at you at all.

Who do you know high up in Lotus/IBM that listen to their public? I find the product release and websites around the Notes/Domino product HORRENDOUS. Download 9 (yep, just found out it’s been released after searching many pages down in Google despite being a PARTNER!), get the release notes – click on the What’s new, takes you to Lotus site, click on the link there, takes you to IBM, click on Notes 9 stuff, takes you BACK to the readme file I started at – do I know what’s new yet? Yep, that nothing has changed when it comes to taking care of customers or the paying public – IBM/Lotus – go and talk to Atlassian, they know how to grow community, build awesome products and take care of customers and evangelists alike.

Try it out – search Google to find anything about the product being launched and fail badly.
When you download, you can get to the release notes – I’ll save you the time – http://infolib.lotus.com/resources/domino/Notes/9.0/Readme/readme.html – now tell me what’s new?

Gladly share this with whomever you wish as high as you can – they are a bunch of absolute rubbish.
And if they want suggestions of how to do it better rather than just a rant, I’ve got a LOT of suggestions but I’m not making them if none will be implemented (like me contacting XXXXX XXXXX directly to get the forums sorted out and it NEVER happening, so I stopped sending any feedback on any beta testing)

what can I tell him?

Blug2013 day0

So my first Blug begins, travelling up in a full car with both Matt White and Jullian Woodwood, with thanks to the kindly Tim Clark from TC Soft Consulting for driving us all that way (and letting me kip on his floor).

This conference is a rare thing, a well run conference organised by Theo Heselmans who seems to be a master at the art as well as of getting money out of sponsors, as a speaker I am being treated amazingly, and the venue is jaw dropping, more on that next entry.

First night was the speaker dinner, in which nice food and amazing beer was served. but my main enjoyment was the company, packed with the smartest of the IBM community, I learnt more and made more contacts there than I have done in the last year put together, this included:

  • The new wrappers for the IBM Domino java interfaces , which IBM should have done ages ago but is awesome that the community has taken it on.
  • The discovery from Mikkel Flindt Heisterberg at http://lekkimworld.com/ that the problem with log4j that I simply could not fix in domino CAN’T be fixed (god I feel better knowing that)
  • Tons of what other people are up to from marketing to breaking into new markets.

additional fun was provided by the caricature painter, who managed to make me look better on paper than I have ever done so in real life.

One final thing, the night before the trip was as normal devoted to building the LDC freebies, so if you want one come pester either Matt White, Jullian Woodwood or me

catch you tomorrow