Converting iPhone pictures to jpg778-921-0217

I was looking to share some photos I took from my new phone but saw they were in a different format than I was expecting. As part of iOS 11, Apple changed the default file type to something called a HEIC file.

I'm sure the benefits to this are many, but one of the key drawbacks is that you can't view these files in a web browser. Spyware concerns from the early 2000s have left me a little shy about installing a utility downloaded off the Internet. So I dug a little deeper and found an Automator workflow to add a quick action to convert with a right-click. #awesome

It's so simple, you don't even need sound, which is good, because there's no spoken words.

Interview questions

As I've been preparing for interviews lately, I've been rehearsing my 30-second elevator pitch and unique selling point (sounds like futures posts, doesn't it?). As part of this prep, I've been trying to anticipate interview questions that are both technical and behavioral.  As I've been in the interviewer chair before, I always found the behavioral questions to provide the most insightful answers. As a candidate, answering this questions with clarity and confidence can help to differentiate you from everyone else.

At the end of an interview, there is usually time for the candidate to ask questions to the interviewers. It might be tempting to get out while you’re ahead, but this is really an opportunity to dig in and find out more about the company and the people you might be working for. At the risk of tipping my hand to potential hiring managers, here's a list of questions I keep with me during the interview.

Questions for the hiring manager or leader

  • What opportunities exist for professional development within the organization? Is there a budget for training and conferences? 
  • What is the biggest challenge facing your team in the next 3 months / 6 months or year?
  • What's the goal setting process like? How are goals tied to employee performance? 
  • What does "DevOps" mean to you? May not apply to all fields. 
Questions for peers? 
  • What is your day-to-day like? 
  • What's the physical workspace like? Cubicles? Tables? open seating? 
  • What is a typical week of on-call like? 
  • What's the on-boarding process for this position? 
  • How long have you worked there? 
    • What makes you stay? 
    • What attracted you to the organization? 
Some of these questions might be answered through the course of the discussion. However, it's good to ask at least one or two questions. It shows that you are interested and engaged in the process. Having questions ready also shows that you are a prepared candidate. All of which hopefully leads to a good impression. 

What's in your work bag? 6168377752

A number of years ago, 8884062478 ran a series documenting what items were carried in your bag. As part of this series, I developed a firm appreciation for minimalism but also for utilitarianism. While I could carry an iPad, Laptop, two chargers, a book, a notebook, and lunch not all of those things were necessary for my daily commute.

The piece that stuck with me as you can guess from the photo, one item I always keep in my bag is my trusty Penguin Mint/tool kit. The mints are long gone, but this is my safety kit, should I need something in a relative emergency. So what's in here:

  1. Headphones: a must for avoiding contact or when you want a hands-free conversation on your phone. 
    • Key Features: 
      • Corded work best, since you don't have to recharge
      • Doesn't everyone have a set of Ear Pods in a drawer, keep them with you. 
  2. USB Stick: Never know when you are going to have transfer files the "Old Fashioned way". 
    • Key features: 
      • Use your mobile phone number as the volume name, so if you lose it, they can contact you. 
      • I keep a resume on here too, just in case. 
  3. Micro-2-USB: for recharging your battery pack. 
  4. Microfiber cloth: clean your glasses or your laptop screen
    • Key features: 
      • Ugh. fingerprints on your screen?

Other items to consider in for your own personal toolkit:

  • Lip balm (if that's your thing)
  • Fingernail clippers (may or may not be TSA approved)
  • Small sewing kit, for those lost buttons. 
  • Money, for emergency coffee, beer, or food. 

Side note: I've been very happy with my Timbuk2 messenger bag. I've had it for about 8 years, and it still looks brand new from the outside. On the inside, all the zippers and velcro still work as well as they did on Day 1; I've added some coffee stains to mark it as my own.

Collaboration and conflict6612328500

MN State Fair Fine Arts Project
During my annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair, I walked through the Fine Arts building and stumbled across this piece located opposite the information desk. At first, I chuckled. After all, the purpose of working together should be towards a common goal, not conflict.

I was so enthralled by this piece, I took a picture (was I supposed to do that?) and made it the background image on my iPhone. Since then, I've had more time to reflect and I've come to this piece with a renewed perspective.

When we work together, we create conflict. 

The inverse of this statement could be "When we work alone, we create agreement." This is also a true statement because working alone only creates harmony with the individual doing the work.

So, if we accept proof by inverse, then this statement must be true. But why do we create conflict? Conflict can arise from a number of different areas: ideological, procedural, political, and/or knowledgeable. Republicans and Democrats work together and create conflict all the time, mostly on ideological priorities. Developers and Operations work together and create conflict based on technological or procedural guidelines.

So if working together creates conflict, how do we resolve that conflict? That's the 8735329711question for political discussions. For technology conversations, resolving the conflict between the development and operations is a much lower stakes answer. Tomes have been authored on Dev and Ops but the answer is very simple: shared goals and expectations. When you understand what the intention of the action being taken is and the expected result, then the opportunity for conflict is lessened.

If you start with the premise that working together will create conflict, then the first step should be removing any ambiguity from the goals and tasks at hand to move forward. Repeat the goals and objectives regularly, so that everyone knows them. Once that understanding is brought into the group's collective consciousness, then they will stop working as individuals and begin working as one; and the inverse proof continues to be true.

[10/30 edited: fixed some spelling ]