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My friend Kirk has run his dev team in a mostly Agile system. Code sprints, agreeing on tickets for the sprint, declaring victory at the end of the sprint, etc.

But now Kirk’s boss says:

I need you to commit to achieve certain goals by various dates over the next year. Once you agree to them, you need to commit to delivering them on time.

How is this situation silly? Let me count the ways…

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A friend, whom I’ll call “Kirk,” works in a startup. A really good developer, whom I’ll call “Amy,” reports to him.

Kirk lobbied his boss for a big raise for Amy. He thought about this the right way:

I’ve researched the current market rates for developers of Amy’s level and abilities. She’s very good, she’s worked hard for us, and I expect great things from her this year. The plan calls for raising her salary to $X, But I suggest we raise her salary to $(X + n) because that’s the going salary for someone like her in this area.

Kirk’s boss thought about it the wrong way:

A raise to $(X + n/2) would be better. It’ll be a large increase over her current salary.

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My October rant about Counterbalance park included intellectually sublime comments about the park’s tagline, “An Urban Oasis.” Let’s examine it more closely.

It contains, gosh, three words.

  1. An: A preposition. There’s nothing to complain about here, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
  2. Urban: An adjective meaning, “in, relating to, or characteristic of a city or town.” Seems fine to me. Move along.
  3. Oasis: Whoa.

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Counterbalance Park

Counterbalance Park design prototype

Counterbalance Park, Seattle’s newest park, located in lower Queen Anne, aka Uptown, sucks. It’s an incredible Fail. An unmitigated disaster.

The city calls this ode to concrete an “urban oasis.” I am not kidding — its official name is, “Counterbalance Park: An Urban Oasis.”

I knew it’d be terrible when I heard its name. Because when an official body extravagantly claims something, you can safely assume their claim isn’t true. If you think that’s too cynical, I submit the following evidence:

  • Exhibit A: A company frequently claiming to be “transparent,” isn’t
  • Exhibit B: A sentence beginning with, “Let me be candid…,” isn’t
  • Exhibit C: A Bible-thumping crusader who says, “You should never…,” does
  • Exhibit D: “Counterbalance Park: An Urban Oasis,” isn’t

I rest my case.

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