• What makes a workplace (part 2)

    Continuing my thoughts on what makes a great workplace..


    • Interesting
    • Challenging
    • Useful

    Whilst there are always times when you can’t avoid some tedious or annoying tasks, for the most part I want to be working on stuff that I find engaging.

    I’ve also found that there’s nothing like working on something that is appreciated by the end users.

  • Australian Weather Radar Gadget v1.2

    It’s been a few years since I’ve been able to update the Vista Sidebar Gadget that I wrote which displays the radar images from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. It’s worth noting that while the sidebar doesn’t exist in Windows 7, you can still add gadgets to your desktop.

    I’m now hosting the source code on Google Code, and I’ve released a minor update to reflect some changes to radar locations:


    • Sydney (Terry Hills)
    • Norfolk Island
    • Emerald (QLD)
    • Bairnsdale (VIC)
    • Perth (Serpantine)


    • East Sale

    I’ve had a few reports of a memory leak when people run the gadget for extended periods of time. I think this may be an unfortunate side-effect of the way the gadget uses HTML. Maybe re-writing the gadget using WPF or Silverlight might help with that.

    The gadget can be downloaded from the Windows Live Gallery from here (currently 1.1 but hopefully 1.2 will be approved shortly), or go to the Downloads page of the Google Code site.

  • What makes a workplace (part 1)

    Not everyone gets to work somewhere like Fog Creek, Google, Microsoft or even LobsterPot Solutions. I thought I’d take Rob’s lead and write down some of the things that come to mind when I think of the characteristics of my ideal work life. It ended up a bit longer than I was expecting so I’ve broken it up into multiple posts.


    • Friendly
    • Peers
    • Complimentary skills
    • Shared values
      • Passionate about quality
      • Continuous learning/improvement

    My best work experiences have always coincided with being part of a great team. I don’t remember too many people that I’ve worked with that I haven’t got along with well. I also discovered that you can learn a lot from older, wiser colleagues – sometimes they’re in the best position to realise that the latest trend or fad is just a variation of something that’s been around before.

    Having complimentary skills is also really valuable. You can learn from each other, but also you can bring new perspectives to particular problems that otherwise may not have been considered.

    Edited 24/6/2010 - Included LP in list of desirable employers!