Category Archives: individual

category for individual episode

When the Client Leaves the Premises

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 You don’t, and that”s the point.  

We have a company. We have a consulting team. And we believe we have a client, though it would seem that the client is not sure that he would have us. Days after the HWMS team arrived at BKL, it’s owner decided to go hiking in the Swiss Alps. It could be the confidence of a secure leader. It could be a brilliant strategy to get a new perspective on the business. It could also be a poor choice by a misguided manager. We take a moment to get the owner’s point of view as he walks with his friends in the Alps.

A short episode to give us a little insight into the challenges of tech consulting.

Cast:

  • Florian, the Client  – Josh LaForce
  • Ida, Friend of Florian  – Debbon Ayer
  • Max, Friend of Florian – Jake Minevich

[18327]

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The Beginning is Chaos: Starting to Consult

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How do you begin a consulting job?

In thunder, lightening or in rain?

It is chaotic at the start. You move to new offices, meet new people and start to appreciate new responsibilities. Our podcast has been hired by a German firm – a logistics provider to the coffee industry – to review their software systems and make recommendations. They arrive on site, after a long flight, and quickly discover that they did not fully appreciate the environment in which they would have to work.

First episode in a series on tech consulting.

Cast:

  • Kit, Chief Consultant  – Kit Kuksenok
  • Evelyn, The Business Manager – Margaux Amie
  • Anna the intern  – Sarah Corbyn Woolf
  • Dirk, the Tech Guy – Noah Masur
  • Florian, the Client  – Josh LaForce
  • Sonya, the head of operations – Debbon Ayer

[18320]

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Tech, Money, Betrayal & Bad Driving

hwms.coverartThings are never as clear as they seem.  Never as obvious.  Never as straightforward as you would like.

It should be simple.  You get an idea.  You make a product.  You take it to the market.  Let your customers decide for good or for ill.

But that simplicity masks the fundamental conflict.  A conflict over goals.  A conflict that is often deeply hidden in the acts and decisions of daily life.

Cast members Caraid O’Brien and Josh LaForce talk about the current series of the podcast and the challenges of preparing a podcast while driving through the streets of San Jose, California.

 

Cast:

  • Molly of SidePocket – Caraid O’Brien
  • Carl of G&P – Josh LaForce

[18142]

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Assume an Infinite Pile of Turtles

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When it falls apart, it just goes. You think you understand something. You got the idea right. You’re ready to act, to executive. Then all of a sudden, you realize that your approach has a flaw, a fundamental flaw. It would work perfectly well, IF you could have an infinite pile of turtles. Turtles, Turtles, all the way down.

If this doesn’t make sense, listen to Bix. He’ll make the idea clear.

Cast:

  • Bix the Master Scrum Master- Ron Bianchi

[18805]

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The Improvised Engineering Career

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What does it mean to plan your career. You have a degree in some technical field. Plenty of experience and lots of well-meaning advice from friends, family, colleague and strangers who have nothing but good will and strong opinions.

Yet we’re improvising. We’re inventing steps as we move along, just as an improvising musician invents melodies and harmonies and they play.

There are reasons for this improvisatory world. We’ve changed the practice of engineering by the very tools that we have invented.

Why technical careers have become an artistic pursuit. A special episode for the Eta Kappa Nu Engineering Honors Society.

Cast:

  • Sulley from the Policy Office – Josh LaForce
  • Evelyne the Business Manager – Margaux Amie
  • Penelope Othmar – Debbon Ayer
  • Bix the Master Scrum Master- Ron Bianchi
  • The Engineer – Noah Masur

[18610]

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How Smart Is Your Phone?

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It’s not a question of smarts. It’s a question of how it got that way. A lot of the smart apps are fairly straight forward – classic computing ideas repackaged in a clever case. You start taking the p hone apart and you a lot of ideas that aren’t that clever experience t for the effort that it took to get them into that little case.

So we ask the question “How?” And of course, Anna has her ideas. Maybe she’s right. Maybe she’s not. But someone had to decide why the map app was important and why it was smart.

Anna and her crew take apart the smartphone as part of her series on Artificial Intelligence.

Cast:

  • Rohit from IT – Noah Masur
  • Zack the Database Guy – Jake Minevich
  • Anna the Intern – Sarah Corbyn Woolf

[18525]

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Machines that Learn Our Jobs?

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A metal lathe. A 40 year old clasp. A playlist of unfortunate songs. Most unfortunate. A suspicious relationship between Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison. All of these point to questions about what we know about our jobs and know that knowledge can be captured by machines. Deep learning. Big Data.

Capturing what we know. A new thing, right? Is it only the new generation, the millennial who squint into the future with the gloaming dread that there will be nothing for them in the future? Nothing at all?

The answer is “Not quite.” Those with the greatest fear of automation and smart machines are those at the end end of their careers, not at the start. Those that realize that their skills will not survive them. Furthermore, one quality of work makes it possible to capture knowledge, the fact that we tend to do jobs in sequence, that we have a set of steps that we follow to get things done.

To protect yourself, do you need to be good at things that are done out of order? That wander from task to task? So we ask in our story about captured knowledge.

Cast:

  • Bix the Master Scrum Master – Ron Bianchi
  • Molly the Podcast Consultant – Caraid O’Brien
  • Anna the Intern – Sarah Corbyn Woolf

[18520]

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Searching for Intelligent Machines

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Do smart machines help us understand smarts? More important, do we learn something about intelligence by working with artificial intelligence? The results are mixed. Current researchers regularly argue that their work is inspired by their understanding of the brain but that claim still begs the question, “do these machines teach us about through?” Some of the more common forms of smart machines, so common we not longer think of them as smart, rely on various forms of search. And of course, we can ask, is searching smart, even when we find a good answer? Third in a series on smart machines hosted by Anna-the-Intern.

Cast:

  • Jenny – Debbon Ayer
  • Zack – Jake Minevich
  • Anna the Intern – Sarah Corbyn Woolf

[18515]

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