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  • My Personal Blog


    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

    Another week has passed and one project has ended

    Another week has passed and this week I have made my final delivery for one project. This makes my head a bit less conflicting and I can focus a bit better without the need to split my attention on multiple projects. I have also played a bit Destiny 2 this week and looked into some interesting topics surrounding Agile and Story Points. Now I plan for the weekend to catch up on some things.
    On Tuesday this week I made my final delivery for the Martin & Servera project. I held a two-hour-long presentation to the steering group to summarize the result of the pre-study. The delivery was well received and I will probably have a new project next year based on that outcome. It always feels good when the client is happy with the delivery and I got a lot of good feedback on the presentation to boost my ego a bit.
    In my other project we are doing a lot of work defining processes right now. Next week I will hold my training course for Incident, Change, Problem and Service Request again, and we will have a retro on the first part of the POC. It is likely that I will set up a simulated workflow for the training course using Advanced Roadmaps and next year we also need to dig into Insight a bit more.
    As part of this project I am working on a graphic workflow of sorts that I will use as a basis for future articles on how to work properly with IT development. It will be a continuous work where I expand the design with new workflows and try to tie it together in one big overview. Then the idea is to break out certain areas and define them in more detail. This ties well into the work I have been doing to write my book for the last few years.
    Last week I wrote about estimations and this week I have followed up some discussions about Story Points and the Iron Triangle, which I will write about this weekend I think. It is a bit interesting to see prominent members of the Agile community quite clearly promoting avoiding responsibility because the work process is flawed rather than fixing the problems themselves. I think I will write quite a bit about that topic in a near future.
    Updating on the site is on my agenda this weekend. I have made some changes to the form for this blog and the articles form, so now I need to build new forms for My Projects and the Awesome People section. I will probably start looking at the Atlassian App Reviews database and My Book database as well. My Book will be a bit different so it will need a custom design, but for the Atlassian App Reviews I can use the standard design.
    Overall this has been a pretty good week and I look forward to next already 🙂

    A good week and things are a bit weird...

    So this week was a bit hectic to say the least. I had a big training session for Stockholm Exergi where we started up the developers for the new work processes using Jira and Confluence. I also finished up some things here on the site and it seems that I am getting noticed because I have received multiple requests for sponsored articles this week.
    The work I do for Stockholm Exergi is fun and I got great feedback from the education I held on Friday. That was the first education and it was aimed towards the development team. Next week I will do another education session regarding ITIL and ITSM for the management teams. It will be based on Jira service Management and Confluence with the focus on Incident and Change management. I look forward to that.
    Otherwise, on the work side I am getting a ton of questions for employment right now and you can really tell that the market is shifting a bit. There is an increasing need for help with work processes and especially for Atlassian's products it seems. No doubt this is driven by the change in work conditions that for many are strange and unfamiliar. It means I get more work and that is not a bad thing right now.
    It seems I am not the only one being popular lately. This website also start to get some attention. This week I have received a handful requests from people who want to post a sponsored article. This of course is always welcome and I think I need to work on the guest blogging page soon as more and more people are starting to ask about it. I might need to work on the Author database a bit sooner plan planned I think.
    The past months I have been asked quite a few times to talk with friends about their current situation in life. Some ask for advice on work processes, others ask for help with jobs and so on. I am happy to help of course, and I am happy to have helped some friends and colleagues to find new employment. This is something I enjoy a lot and I will look at expanding that a bit more in the future here on the website as well.
    I have started to evaluate a books feature here on the site. Not sure if I like it yet, but I feel that having a books feature is a definitive must. I will continue testing it out as time permit and if I don't like it then I will build a custom database for it.
    Finally, I have been playing a bit of Destiny 2 now with the new expansion and I started to get a bit stressed over it. Not so much that the game itself was stressful, but the fact that I am not leveling up as fast as other players. I know it's just a psychological effect that my mind feel that I am loosing out on things, so I just had to adjust my mindset a bit. Overall I think there are a bit to many bugs right now, but overall it's a pretty fun experience.
    Today is Raid day when the best raiders in the world give the new raid a go in order to try to become worlds first. I will probably watch it a bit if I can as it's often pretty funny to watch.
    It has been a weird week.
    How was yours?

    Almost there and yes, I now have reviews as a standard feture

    This weekend I took a moment to first build a reviews feature for the blog and then I took a look at building a custom form, so I can have better control over the way these new fields are managed. I am also slowly getting back from last week's flu that had me in bed for way too long.
    Building things here is always fun. This weekend I took some time to look at adding a review function using the star ratings that you set for each category. I added it into the standard template, so I can add the fields to any database to have reviews show up. I also defined the colors based on the category, just like I have for sidebars and so on. Overall it turned out pretty ok so far and you can see what it looks like below.
    I also took a crack at the form for creating new articles. It turned out to be much easier than expected, much thanks to the help from Morrigan over at the Invision Community forum. She is always helpful and thanks to her example code it was easy to create the first version of the tabbed form. I will make a little more evolved version later, but for now tabs works pretty well.
    Getting back to work again today has been a bit difficult as I am still not 100%. It is a good thing that the work I am doing now is focused work with few meetings though, so I feel I am up to speed again.
    It feels good to be productive again!

    Happy Diwali - may the light shine in your hearts

    To all my friends and visitors who celebrate the holiday of Diwali I just want to say: Happy Diwali. In a year when darkness truly have been more dense than ever before a celebration of light is even more precious. No matter where you are in the world and what religion you put your faith in I hope this light of Diwali will find its way into your heart.
    While my knowledge of this holiday are not very good, all I need to know can be found in the eyes of those that celebrate it. It is a holiday of family, joy and the celebration of good over evil where the light break through the even the deepest of darkness. What more would you need to understand and who do not wish to celebrate such things?
    To all my friends who have taught me about their culture I wish you a special happy Diwali. It is the light of your kindness and generosity that is rekindled during this holiday. I wish you the best and light a candle in hopes that the light will find its way to you and your hearts.
    Happy Diwali @Praveen S, @Priya Arunachalam, @Mathan Prasad Kandasamy, @Bharath Kumar Dhanasekaran, Ruchir Shrivastava, @Sundhar Manian, @Dipayan Kundu, Martha Jennifer, Prachi Arya, Rahul Tyagi and many others.

    Destiny 2 - getting back in there

    Sometime tomorrow Destiny 2 will release their latest expansion: Beyond Light. I did lose interest in the game during the summer when Bungie announced not just the sunset, but also changed the PVP experience severely for me and many other players. Now however I am ready to go in and experience the new story and the many, many changes coming to Destiny 2.
    It might seem strange to get back to Destiny 2 after the changes that pretty much killed any incentive for me to play. However, I like the changes I see and I will give Destiny 2 another shot. At least story wise and more of a casual experience than before as I am less interested in grinding now than before due to the sunsetting and the death of PVP as I see it.
    The new mechanics seem awesome, the story seems intriguing and I guess there is kind of that new game feeling even if it is "just" an update. It will be interesting to see what comes of this and in a few days we'll see if I still like Destiny 2, or if t is time to say goodbye for good.
     

    Organizing & setting a course - cleaning things up for the new year

    As I am down with a cold, again, I start to feel the need to organize a bit. Things are getting a bit unstructured outside the site itself, but there are also some things on the site that need a bit of cleaning up. As I am going to make some investments in more images, FontAwesome and so on I also need a more structured setup.
    With the new designs for the site in place I feel that I am in a good place content wise. I will fine tune and fix bugs of course, but overall it is now more an exercise in updating the content according to the new design. In order to make that easier I have moved over the banners to Sketch, so they are easy to update if needed.
    Sketch is also the first stop for making updates. It is now a bit messy because I have not completed the transformation from the old color system to the new with color variables. That have made  few areas a bit messy and I need to reorganize that to make sure all assets are correctly setup. It's an easy task, but time-consuming.
    The CSS in the original design here on the site also have hard coded color values instead of variables. That mean that there are some areas where the colors are a bit off. I need to change that and make sure I have the color values defined properly to ensure that the colors I define are consistent throughout the site. Again, not a big task, but a bit time-consuming.
    The way I organize the content also need to be updated. Right now my Dropbox storage is a bit all over the place. I need a clear definition on what is what, so I can get the structure...well, structured, again. I also need to reorganize things in Eagle because for some reason I have a lot of .eps files as .png, which is a bit of an issue. So I need to download the .eps files again and make sure I have the right structure in place. This is a bigger task, but one I have to do as I plan t make another purchase of 750 images from Shutterstock soon.
    I also need to clean up my Jira and Confluence instance as it is now getting a bit messy.
    There are some things to be done for sure 🙂

    Is USA a Democratic country - and should it be?

    As a Swedish citizen I tend to look at the USA elections with morbid fascination. While we have our own issues with politics the USA seem to go all in and for months the country go into a state of near war like frenzy. While it seem obvious from the outside that the election process in the USA is a strange process that appear promoting corruption, one question always comes up for me: is the USA really a democratic country?
    Why would I have this question? Well, there are a few reasons why I wonder just how democratic the USA really is and to what level you can actually claim to be a democratic country. I know this is a touchy subject for some Americans and I rarely write about politics, but I write this because for every election this question is getting louder and louder around the globe.
    As I do not claim to be a political expert take this with a grain of salt. It is just my reflections based on my limited understanding of the complex presidential election process in the USA.
    Indirect voting system
    The USA is not a direct democracy, meaning that the people do not vote for a party or a president directly. They instead employ an indirect elector process where a group of people do the actual election for president and vice president.  This group is referred to as the United States Electoral College and while the presidential electors mostly vote according to the popular vote of their state, they are not obligated to. If someone cast their vote differently they are referred to as a faithless elector. In fact there has been incidents where presidential electors
    While a federal constitutional republic is technically a democracy, I can't help feeling that if you can't really trust that your vote will actually count towards the desired outcome, then how democratic is that system really? In fairness this has not been used more than 165 times in the history of the USA, but it does happen. 33 states have laws against faithless electors, though the laws in half of these jurisdictions have no enforcement mechanism. In 2016 there were 4 faithless electors.
    The Plurality System
    The plurality system, or the winner takes all system, is common in the USA. What it means is that only the winner of a certain district count. This means that all votes that is not made on the winning candidate are lost and essentially useless. Because of this system there will be as few candidates as possible to avoid dilution of votes. As a result the people have very limited choices for whom they can vote for.
    Not only will this make voting less appealing if the candidates are few and not to your liking, it can also lead to a situation where a presidential candidate loose even if the majority of the people vote for that person.
    The Design of voting districts
    This is something I did not know existed, but apparently it is the right of the ruling party to redefine the boundaries of voting districts between presidential elections. This even has its own name: Gerrymandering. What it means is that the ruling party redefine voting districts in a way that have the potential to give the best outcome in  presidential election. This to me is a very bad way to manipulate the outcome of an election by rigging it beforehand to tip the scales in your favor?
    This also have the potential to make it more difficult to know what district you are in and where to go to vote.
    Making voting difficult
    If designing the districts add a barrier and the plurality system make it less likely that you will vote the design of the vote itself and how information on voting is managed may be worse yet. Back in 2010 there was a big debate over the design of the Florida ballot and how it might have caused people to vote for the wrong candidate. This led to a guideline for better designs of ballots, but it is not enforced as they are just guidelines.


    There has been quite a few issues where legal and illegal methods of voter suppression have prevented people from voting, misinformation is used to make it harder to vote and so on. In This election we see quite a few concerns over mail-in ballots for example. Overall it seems that the fear of voter frauds seem a bit strange considering that there are almost no confirmed cases for that in the USA? To me, it seems that the risk of manipulation and corruption is a far greater threat than voter fraud?
    Conclusions
    Considering the way people's votes are managed, the risk of manipulation through the design of districts, information and the ballots themselves is it fair to say that the USA are not a democratic country? I am not sure to be honest, but I do think that the people in the USA deserve better. I think a good start would be to scrap the United States Electoral College and use a direct voting system so all votes count equally. Then make it as easy as possible to vote and I think many of the issues currently in the USA can be mitigated if not completely fixed?
    In the end however this is not up to me to judge or demand a change for. It is up to the people of the USA if they are happy with the current system or if they want to see it changed.
     
    I leave you with a presentation by Mike Monteiro who is slightly more critical than I am. This is from 2017 at a Swedish event called from business to buttons that I attended.
    Mike Monteiro
     

    Attitude change - letting go of the grumpy

    After reflecting a bit lately I have realized that I have been a bit grumpy lately. This has been extra noticeable on Twitter where I have been a bit aggressive in certain discussions. This is something that is not really me, so it is time to change that. It is time to kick out the grumpy!
    With the current situation in the world maybe it is not very strange that the mood takes a bit of a hit due to isolation and so on. Not having an assignment also is a bit frustrating, moving to a new company and all that comes with that and cold that never seem to be going away.
    Still, it is not a good feeling and I have decided that the grumpy need to go.
     

    A constructive week - Making progress

    This week has really been a roller coaster. I have worked hard on the Martin & Servera assignment and I also made some slides to present to Stockholm Exergi that led to a new assignment there as well. We got a visit from Alexandra and Milton from Falun and this weekend I pushed through a new design here on the site. Overall it has been a busy week.
    The Stockholm Exergi assignment is a 50% assignment that goes well with the Martin & Servera assignment. I start that tomorrow and it will be a project to test out the Atlassian suite for a ITSM and Agile setup. I will be in charge of setting up the systems, the training and driving the proof of concept project.
    I have also received several offers ranging from design lead on a new startup and Agile coach at a telecom company. It is flattering of course and I probably will have an interview next week if things go as planned.
    On the site here I got inspired this weekend and created a new design in Sketch that I liked and then pushed it out in code. There are some bugs still, but I am working on them. With this I now have a new design in place and I can remove the old plugin I had. The only thing left is to build anew form, but that is not a high priority right now.
    I really enjoyed building this new template this weekend as there were some interesting challenges. I now have automatic color changes based on category for all databases I use. The exception is the Swedish blog that I have given a generic layout. this was pretty easy by targeting that particular database for some classes.
    I also updated the graphics for DISC and 16personalities and uploaded them as SVG instead of PNG. This felt much better and I still have quite a few to create.
    Overall this has been a very good week.

    Book plans and working again - Back in the saddle again and making plans

    A pretty good week have passed, and I am officially working again on two projects. I am also planning a presentation of Jira Service Desk as an ITSM tool for a company next week. To top that off I have also been going over my old book that I have been writing on and off for quite a white and I think I will put it up here on the site. Overall a very productive week to say the least.
    This week I started working on TheLeft, an Invision Community project that I am having a lot of fun with. I also confirmed a project for Martin & Servera where I will do a prestudy to implement Atlassian products. On Monday I have been asked to show Jira Service desk to another company that are looking at tools and methodologies for their future operation.
    While setting up the demo for Jira Service Desk I realize that I have not posted that much about it. I also have not posted much about ITIL och ITSM, even though I work with it quite often. When adding the new ITSM templates currently in early access I have to say things look pretty good. So I will probably write a bit about it in the Atlassian Series that I need to pick up again.
    While I was thinking about the Atlassian Series I realized that I have not looked at my book for quite a while. I do have quite a bit of content already, so I am wondering if I should actually add it to the website. It's not that hard to add a new database and recreate the structure as I have it now. I will need to add another template design of course, but I think the listing version I already had planned would work just fine for that.
    I also realize that I do not have issue types for the ITSM flows in the Jira Icons package. So I will probably add a second set, or update the existing one with the new icons. I will probably add some additional packages, like for the Deviniti app or QMetry. I also feel that I should update the PowerPoint for Designing Jira Workflows as it is branded with my old company.
    There is no shortage of things to do and it feels fantastic to be honest.

    A pretty good week that give hope for the future

    This week was a good week. I had several good meetings, including one long conversation about methods and processes with the always amazing @Nicklas Egilie. I also had a good meeting with a company that might be a future client. We got some great new features from Sketch and I discussed a potential passive income opportunity.
    My cold is slowly letting go of me, which means slightly higher energy levels. This in turn mean my mind start spinning its creative juices a bit more. As we got the new features from Sketch with their Sketch 69 update I am eager to get into design mode again. I have played around with the features a bit and started a new design during the week for a fun potential project.
    I also had a nice meeting with a potential client this week, where organization models and processes is in focus. A lot of talk about the challenges mixing traditional ways of working like ITIL and how that mixes with Agile and Lean, which is similar to the work I did for H&M. So this also means I am brushing up a bit on ITIL 4 and the latest and greatest when it comes to SAFe and other frameworks.
    There is a bit of an influx of potential assignments now, which means a lot of CVs and reading assignment descriptions. Some roles I read are like Frankenstein's monster. It mixes multiple roles that do not really go well together in a way that you almost wonder what the people behind the ad really think they will get with that ad.
    I am also given the task to set up a new hosting and move a WordPress installation there. It is something I have done hundreds of times so it will not be a big thing. I do realize that a lot of people find this difficult to do if you are not familiar with cPanel for example. So I might write a blog post about it later.
    Speaking of writing that has felt a lot better lately and I have a pretty big backlog of topics already lined up. Now that I have better overview of what I will focus on, after doing a bit of mapping, I feel more relaxed about it. I also have a nice breakdown of the different "sizes" so I know what to expect from myself.
    This has been a good week, but I lost some energy at the end of it for some reason. So this weekend I will relax and focus on reading a bit I think rather than planning as I usually do.
    I hope you had a great week as well?
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