Tetris Men

Last night, I got to meet and shake the hand of my programming idol, Alexi Pajitnov! Let me tell you how it happened.

My wife and I and a group of friends went downtown last night to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. The police stopped traffic for the block party.

We met by the pier and had a few drinks. Last call for the block party was 10pm. But we weren’t done for the night so I suggested that we go to Dragon to hear some live music.

I led the charge as we snaked through the crowds. Then I caught sight of a distinguished gray beard and a floral hat to my right. It was Henk Rogers! He brought Tetris to Nintendo. I didn’t want to bother him but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to thank him for bringing Tetris into my life.

I shook his hand and thanked him. Then he looked ahead of us and gestured saying, “Guess who else is here?”

I turned to see where he was pointing and I was face to face with Alexi Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris. I was so happy I fan’d out hard and asked my wife take our picture.

Check out this video to learn the awesome history of this soviet embroiled video game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhwNTo_Yr3k

Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup – Session 16

This past week’s meetup had the highest turn out. Developers were really interested in watching the app submission process. I met a few new developers. Adam is an iOS developer who just landed a new client. Ryan has worked on Mac apps and wanted to learn more about iOS development. He brought his friend from Berkley to sit in.

Next week we’re going to be coding up Magic the Gathering in Swift. I’m looking forward to this project because it’s a chance to use structs to hold the card data.

I love card games. There is something so wonderful about the depth of the battles and combat waged in our minds. And all of this comes from tiny little cardboard cards. Fantastic stuff. I can’t wait to get started!

If you’re interested in attending the next meetup, please RSVP.

What do you do to ensure the psychological safety of your coworkers?

5173lnlcqnl-_ac_us218_I love Saturday Night Live. I’ve loved this sketch comedy show since the first skit I saw back in the early nineties. Dana Carvey was dressed up as the Church Lady yelling, “Satan!” followed by her catchphrase, “Well isn’t that special?” My very religious grandmother was in the kitchen chopping vegetables. I looked over and saw her shaking her head, laughing looking down. 

Lorne Michaels has steered Saturday Night Live for 42 years. He shares that the trick to setting up the right group of people is counterintuitive:

“You know that saying, There’s no I in TEAM?” Michaels told me. “My goal was the opposite of all that. All I wanted were a bunch of I’s. I wanted everyone to hear each other, but no one to disappear into the group.”

But if everyone is an individual, how do you make sure there’s order in the room? How do you make sure that egos don’t get crushed? The point is made even clearer when Duhigg points out that, “Comedy writers carry a lot of anger.”

The norms a company’s culture cultivates play a huge role in allowing the “I’s” to soar without bringing the whole show crashing down.

“Allowing others to fail without repercussions, respecting divergent opinions, feeling free to question others’ choices but also trusting that people aren’t trying to undermine you – were all aspects of feeling psychologically safe at work.” – Duhigg

So how do you cultivate this psychological safety with your teams? Luckily Duhigg provides us with a check list:

What matters are five key norms:

  • Teams need to believe that their work is important.
  • Teams need to feel their work is personally meaningful.
  • Teams need clear goals and defined roles.
  • Team members need to know they can depend on one another.
  • Teams need psychological safety.

Duhigg goes on to list ways to build up psychological safety in your teams as the leader:

  • Leaders should not interrupt teammates during conversations because that will establish an interrupting norm.
  • They should demonstrate they are listening by summarizing what people say after they said it.
  • They should admit what they don’t know.
  • They shouldn’t end a meeting until all team members have spoken at least once.
  • They should encourage people who are upset to express their frustrations, and encourage teammates to respond in non-judgmental ways.
  • They should call out intergroup conflicts and resolve them through open discussion.

“Teams succeed when everyone feels like they can speak up and when members show they are sensitive to how one another feels. What I’ve realized is that as long as everyone feels like they can talk and we’re really demonstrating that we want to hear each other, you feel like everyone’s got your back.” – Duhigg

What do you do to ensure the psychological safety of your coworkers?

I struggle with this at times as my programming position is a lonely endeavor. I find that doing favors for my colleagues and encouraging them to go for their goals, knowing that we all grow as we push ourselves to realize new goals is necessary, noble, and needed. 

“Leap and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs

Got any suggestions to cultivate psychological safety by example? Email me!

Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup – Session 15

This week I updated the code for the randomly generated car. It’s coming along. I added SpriteKit code to create a carBody, added random spokes at different lengths, then added wheels to some of the spokes.

Chae, Joanne, Tyler, Jody and I met at at HICapacity at 6pm. At the beginning of the meetup I shared that I needed to end the meeting at 7pm exactly last night. I had tickets to see Anderson Paak. It was an amazing show 🙂

I went through the additions to the boxcar2d001 repo with the group. Then I shared that I was not successful in getting MultiPeer Connectivity framework working. I will continue to work on it this weekend. If you’re interested in checking out the code please clone the multipeerConnectivity001 repo.

Next week we’re going to cover beta testing your app with Test Flight. And we will also be covering App Store submission. Please RSVP is you’re interested in attending