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A Human API , A New Logo & My Super-Secret Side Project…
Be A Better Problem Solver With Simple Communication Strategies
Here are two updates that directly turned from personal itches to finalized tasks.
Very satisfying. They are now out of the way and I can continue to fully focus on my projects and work again.
A new logo…
The time has come. I needed a logo.
The problem I have though is that I suck at design. I got tired of the AI-generated logo-makers on the web so I solved my problem by picking up an old Wacom tablet from the drawer and playing around with some shapes and figures myself.
As I went through several examples I realized I was drawn to circles and waves for some reason. Maybe it has something to do with the iterative nature or the feeling of repetitions… Not sure, but here it is:
For me, this logo represents:
Iterative work and continuous learning,
Starting small and growing over time,
Communicate clearly, and speak out.
I value and live by three main areas through my daily work as an employee and team member and as an independent creator.
My Super-Secret Side Project
OK, you got me; it is not a secret at all.
It is the opposite. I keep it open-sourced and seek contributors over time if it gets wings.
If not? I have learned how to build a full-stack web app with Angular and Springboot.
My central itch was that I wanted to build a full-stack web app to use as a simple idea baseline. This is a simple list of local gyms that I populate from a database I’ve made myself.
I thought; that it should be simple enough to complete yet challenging for me now.
This is the result so far:
Consisting of a list component where in-memory items are presented and new ones created by a second club-form component, where you can add new clubs.
And here is the repository:
I followed this great article on Baeldung to get the initial structure up and make the frontend communicate with the backend—great way to get started.
I’ll share my progress and probably bumpy way towards a fully-functioning web app through my blog, nimblegeek.com.
Communication As A Problem-Solving Strategy
I’ve been thinking a lot the past months about effective problem-solving and how to improve this meta-skill, both as an individual contributor and as a team. It is one of the key traits we explored in one of the first issues in this newsletter.
I believe that the quality of our solutions and abilities to solve probelm depends on our ability to communicate well.
In todays issue, we will explore some simple ways to lift you and your team to the next level, with three simple communication strategies.
A Human API
Communication is a fundamental aspect of human interaction. We communicate to share ideas, collaborate, to express ourselves, and build relationships.
However, communication is not just about expressing ourselves; it is also a tool for testing our understanding of the world. This is especially important when it comes to learning and problem-solving.
Communicating what we learn, teaching others before we fully understand it, and restating our problems, we have three simple strategies to boost our personal and collective growth.
Communicate What You Learn
We accelerate our learning by communicating what we have learned to others. This is because explaining what we have learned to others requires us to test our understanding of the material. It forces us to think critically about what we have learned and to put it into our own words.
In addition, communicating what we have learned helps us to remember the material better. When we explain something to someone else, we are essentially rehearsing the material in our minds. This helps to reinforce the knowledge and make it more likely that we will remember it in the future.
Furthermore, communicating what we have learned can also help others to learn. When we share our knowledge with others, we are helping them to learn something new. This can be especially important in educational settings, where knowledge is often shared through group discussions and presentations.
However, effective communication can be challenging. There are many barriers to effective communication, such as language differences, cultural differences, and even physical barriers. It is essential to be aware of these barriers and take steps to overcome them, such as using clear and concise language, being patient, and actively listening to others.
Teach Before You Know It
Or let us re-write that header: Teach it so you can fully know it.
Most people choose only to express and teach what they are experts in. We are naturally afraid of public opinion, especially regarding our competencies. We don’t want to be considered frauds.
But when you learn something new, you benefit from a beginner’s mind.
A powerful and simple way to teach others what you are learning is by speaking or writing. Some prefer talking to a rubber duck, others prefer to write things down.
And let’s not make it more complicated than it has to be, ok?
Using complicated vocabulary and jargon may be a way to hide our lack of understanding. If you cannot define the words and terms you use simply and clearly, you do not truly understand what you are talking about.
Restating The Problem
After talking ABOUT and AROUND the problem, we realized our problem was not a problem anymore.
The past week our team, consisting of 9 people, invited over a colleague from another team. 10 people comprised developers, a product owner, a business analyst, a designer, and a tester were sitting together in one room. Our cross-team colleague walked us through his experiences working with an internal product used across the organization, enabling internal users to orchestrate documentation flows.
Working in the financial industry means lots of requirements for documentation. From legal-, to customer- and internal requirements. What should be stored, how it should be stored, and when it should be stored. Documentation reqs can be tricky to implement without affecting our customers and end users too much.
Without going into too much detail, our main problem has been linked to the need for clear and correct documentation of customer financial advice.
We thoroughly discussed the ins and outs of how our colleague worked, used this document flow system, and concluded that our previously stated problem was not at all a problem.
All we did was sit down and talk and actively listen.
No fancy presentation decks. No solution workshop presenting 20 solutions to how we can use “our hammer.”
Just a calm and thorough discussion.
Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this issue!
Let me know in the comments below or by hitting reply on your experiences by talking through problems or how you currently struggle communicating your ideas at work.
All the best, until next week!