• What makes a workplace (part 4)


    • OH&S
    • Sunlight
    • Coffee/tea
    • Biscuits (nice to have)
    • Flexible hours
    • The odd pot plant!

    It shouldn’t be a problem to provide a friendly, safe, healthy environment. I’ve worked in places that provide basic tea/coffee/milk facilities, and also in some where they think they’re saving money by making the employees provide their own. I think that’s a false economy – the value of better moral surely outweighs the insignificant cost. If you’re lucky, throw in some bickies (cream assorted would be nice!), or one of those fancy coffee machines. On the other hand, if you have those things and then management takes them away – don’t expect any productivity improvements! You don’t realise how useful flexible hours are until you have kids. Not everyone lives close to their place of work, so the option of working from home, or doing that extra work at home instead of the office means you’re more likely to be around home – just so the kids and spouse remember you live there too! Finally, the physical location of your team is also important. Having a space where all your team can sit in close proximity really helps with communication, team identity, and ideally reduces outside interruptions.. There are few things more distracting than a non-team co-worker with a particularly loud, carrying voice - especially in a large open-plan office. Martin Fowler posted recently on his thoughts on the ideal team room.

  • ASP.NET web host suggestions?

    I’m wanting to change the hosting provider that I use to host the Australian Carnivorous Plant Society’s website. I’ve been with with SeekDotNet since 2006, but would like some more modern features and the ability to pay using the society’s PayPal account (instead of using my own personal credit card for which I then need to get reimbursed :-( )

    I’m currently paying $US8.75/month for:

    • ASP.NET 3.5
    • IIS 6
    • 1.5 GB disk (only using 70MB!)
    • SQL 2005 (100 MB max)
    • 30GB bandwidth

    I would like to pay using PayPal for roughly the same price and have:

    • ASP.NET 4
    • IIS 7/7.5
    • At least 1GB disk space
    • SQL 2008/2008 R2 (at least 100 MB!)

    Any suggestions?

  • What makes a workplace (part 3)


    • Protect you from politics and other stuff
    • Set appropriate boundaries
    • Respect
    • Honest and courageous
    • Encouraging

    As Rob said, I want my manager to “go into bat for me”. They should be my advocate, saying “Dave, what can I do to help you do your job?”. They’re off dealing with all the other stuff so that you can get on with your job.

    Likewise I think you want a manager that keeps you informed of things that are relevant, so that you aren’t left out of the loop.

    I mention “Honesty and courage” in that they need to have the guts to tell the “big” bosses the truth. The last thing you need is the CEO being told “everything is fine, yes we’ll make the deadline” if that’s not correct – everyone loses when that happens.