Category: General (page 2 of 268)

That was 2022

Ice on a window

Inspired by Warren Ellis closing his LTD site until 2023, this is a notification that Thought Shrapnel is done for the year!

I may send out a ‘best of the year’ newsletter (sign up here!) if I don’t end up in a mince pie coma, but either way thanks for your attention and appreciation. See you in January!

Image by Kelly Sikkema

Presenteeism, overwork, and being your own boss

I spend a lot of time on the side of football pitches and basketball courts watching my kids playing sports. As a result, I talk to parents and grandparents from all walks of life, who are interested in me being a co-founder of a co-op — and that, on average, I work five-hour days.

This wasn’t always the case, of course. I’ve been lucky, for sure, but also intentional about the working life I want to create. And I’m here to tell you that unless you at least partly own the business you work for, you’re going to be overworking until the end of your days.

Hidden overwork is different to working long hours in the office or on the clock at home – instead, it’s the time an employee puts into tasks on top of their brief. There are plenty of reasons people take on this extra work: to be up to speed in meetings; appear ‘across issues’ when asked about industry developments; or seem sharp in an environment in which a worker is still trying to establish themselves.

There are myriad ways a person’s day job can slip into their non-working hours: think a worker chatting to someone from their industry at their child’s birthday party, and suddenly slipping into networking mode. Or perhaps an employee hears their boss mention a book in a meeting, so they download and listen to it on evening walks for a week, stopping occasionally to jot down some notes.


However, for many, this overwork no longer feels like a choice – and that’s when things go bad. This can especially be the case, says [Alexia] Cambon [director of research at workplace-consultancy Gartner’s HR practice], when these off-hours tasks become another form of presenteeism – for instance, an employee reading a competitor’s website and sharing links in a messaging channel at night, just so they can signal to their boss they’re always on. “We’re seeing… more employees who feel monitored by their organisations, and then feel like they have to put in extra hours,” she says.

As such, this hidden overwork can do a lot of potential damage if it becomes an unspoken requirement. “If there’s more expectation and burden associated with it, that’s where people are going to have negative consequences,” says Nancy Rothbard, management professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, US. “That’s where it becomes tough on them.”

Source: The hidden overwork that creeps into so many jobs | BBC Worklife

On GitHub Achievements

GitHub is owned by Microsoft, and Microsoft was one of the earlier adopters of the Open Badges standard. So when I saw this announcement about GitHub Achievements, I naturally assumed they’d be Open Badges.

However, I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s another staging post in the vendor lock-in long game.

Achievements celebrate and showcase your journey on GitHub. You can take a trip down memory lane as you reminisce on some of your earlier work (yes, certain achievements will surface events dating back to the beginning!). You can also share them on social media to show off the new badges you’ve earned. We’ll only ship a few to start, but as we roll out more over time, achievements will begin to paint a clearer picture of you and the work you’re passionate about.

Source: Introducing Achievements: recognizing the many stages of a developer’s coding journey | The GitHub Blog