Sat.Apr 02, 2016 - Fri.Apr 08, 2016

NYC subway math

Erik Bernhardsson

Apparently MTA (the company running the NYC subway) has a real-time API. My fascination for the subway takes autistic proportions and so obviously I had to analyze some of the data. The documentation is somewhat terrible, but here’s some relevant code for how to use the API: from google.transit import gtfs_realtime_pb2. import urllib. for feed_id in [ 1 , 2 , 11 ]: feed = gtfs_realtime_pb2. FeedMessage (). response = urllib. urlopen ( '[link] % s&feed_id= % d' % ( os.

Inside’s Data-driven, Real-time Rules Engine

Cloudera Engineering

In this post, engineers from, the online game developer and publisher, describe the design of their real-time recommendation engine built on CDH. The scope of activities at extends far beyond the development of games.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

When You’re Passionate About Your Cause, Success Will Follow

Women on Business

We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: [link] If you haven't already done so, update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us. link]. Reader Submission business passion


My Great Leadership Discovery: The Utter Simplicity At The Heart Of Any Business

Terry Starbucker

In 2007, while SVP of Operations for Bresnan Communications, a cable TV company with 300,000 customers in 4 Rocky Mountain states, I was searching for a solution to a problem that had been eluding me for many years – a simple way to connect the 1,100 employees I was responsible for around a higher cause that went beyond profit. Fortunately, late that year a dedicated field technician in Grand Junction, Colorado and my faulty memory during a morning shower in Billings, Montana were the catalysts to finally lead me to the answer, and my greatest leadership discovery. Here’s the story……. Larry Does His Job. In many of my field staff meetings in 2007, I started my presentations using a famous quote by Winston Churchill: “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”. In that spirit of continuous improvement I headed to one of our cable systems in Grand Junction, Colorado, to do a “ride along” with a particular cable field technician on their daily rounds as they did installations or service calls. I wanted to see with my own eyes the progress we had made, and the improvements we still needed to make. My philosophy was clear – there was ALWAYS room for improvement. I always wanted to raise the bar. The tech I was going to hitch a ride with was named Larry. I had heard about Larry many times in the past several years, because the managers in Grand Junction kept citing him as a shining example of an exemplary technician. Larry was a plain spoken, straight-shooting guy who clearly loved his job. You could tell that just by watching him talk, and interact with customers. He was short, round faced and stocky – not a matinee idol, but at the same time, he had a zen-like quality that was immediately calming, not unlike the happy Buddha statue I would see a few times a week at my local yoga studio back home in Connecticut. I loved how he didn’t think he was doing anything extraordinary – “ just paying attention ”, he would say. It didn’t take long to see how he put that attention to work when we arrived at our first house. It was a “triple play” installation – video, internet, and phone. We walked over to the side of the house where the cable entered the structure from the street. You could see the frown on his face when he examined the handiwork of previous technicians at this spot – messy, loose and obviously not done with much attention to detail. This was substandard work, and while for some technicians it would have qualified as “good enough” and enabled them to continue on with the install, Larry wasn’t going to let it go. He was going to re-do it, even if it added to the time on the job. So I watched him do it, very deliberately, all the while having a running conversation on a wide range of topics. “What do you think of the company in general?”. “Doin’ fine”. “Are our standards and policies correct?”. “Yes, but they need to be better enforced. This is a case in point.”. After 20 minutes he had fixed the outside wiring, and was now ready to complete the install. I watched him interact with the customer, calmly explaining all the services and setting up all the added features. The customer was clearly comforted by his zen- like approach. He was careful and meticulous as he wired up the television and installed the modem for the Internet and phone. 45 minutes later, everything was finished, and the customer was quite pleased with the results. It was, for Larry, a routine install. He was “ just doing his job ”. But for me, it was anything but routine. He clearly made a customer happy. Larry just made a difference. It was a visual representation of what I had been seeing on my recent customer satisfaction reports – great interactions between employee and customer DO make a huge difference in customer satisfaction and retention. When I pointed this out to Larry, he just gave me one of those “aw shucks” looks and said. “I just like serving customers, and take pride in my work. That’s all there is to it. No big deal”. No big deal? I begged to differ. I just got a booster shoot of fuel for the drive to find the answers I was looking for. We hadn’t set the bar too high. It didn’t surprise me a couple of months later when I saw his name next to yet another accolade nomination. But this time, it WAS a big deal. A customer whose husband was blind had cited for Larry “above and beyond” kindness. At a cable install, he had patiently shown the husband how to use the remote control by placing his fingers over the proper buttons and describing their function. Nobody would have known about it if it wasn’t for the customer reaching back out to us – after all, according to Larry, it was “no big deal”. A Mantra Is Born. “The ultimate test for a mantra is if your telephone operators can tell you what it is. If they can, then you’re onto something meaningful and memorable. If they can’t, then, well, it sucks.” – Guy Kawasaki. With Larry and his customer service experience fresh on my mind, I traveled to Billings, Montana for some regional management meetings, and scheduled one of my usual 8AM chats with the local technical staff. My core topic for those chats at the time were a set of 7 Values we had rolled out a few months before, with great fanfare, during a company re-branding effort. Honest. Thorough. Reliable. Supportive. Respectful. Grateful. Involved. The wallet-sized version of our 7 Values. We had posters up with the values listed all over the place, and handed out wallet-sized fold-outs to every employee so everyone could carry them to work every morning. In the early morning before this particular chat I got into the shower at my hotel and started to gather my thoughts. “OK, I want to cover our new process initiatives. Check.”. “Let’s talk about a few of the product upgrades too. Check”. “Finally, let’s review the 7 Values – OK, let’s run them down. Honest, Reliable………now what are the rest of them?”. I couldn’t remember them all, even after over 4 months of talking about them. That was a problem. If I couldn’t recite them from memory, than who else would be able to? I had put a lot of time and effort into those 7 words, and used a lot of my internal capital to make it part of our rebranding. My heart sank – was it going to be all for naught? Did we create something that just made us feel good at the time it was created, but then would be stashed in our wallets forever? Then, I got angry. It was just too darn complicated. It wasn’t going to work the way I wanted it to. But what was I supposed to do, just abandon the whole thing, right then and there? Or press on, dutifully reading the values off of the wallet card to stand behind something that I now knew wasn’t the answer? I remembered what I had said at my original pitch to the executives as to the “why” behind the value set: “A unified team rallying around a common set of values, and leadership that shares AND lives them, every day, will be a happier and more productive one”. I still wanted that. I KNEW we needed it. “C’mon Terry, what’s this all about!” I coached myself, hoping that an answer would appear before the hot water ran out. Suddenly, it hit me. “ Summarize ” them. Create a shorthand version of the 7 Values. That way they could still exist, but not out in front as the rally point. “What does this company do –it’s a service – it’s about service. Great customer service. we provide a service to customers”. My ride-along with Larry flashed in my mind. I remembered what he said. “I just like serving customers”. “ Serve the customers ”. I said that out loud and tried it on for size. “ Nope, not right. ”. “ Serve OUR customers ”. I loved how that pronoun worked – a collective ownership. That was good, but there had to be something to promote the “unified team”. “Be a team”. Nah, nothing inspirational about that. “Think team”. Better. But not it. I took a deep breath, and focused. What does a great team do? They work well with each other. They help each other. I thought about Larry again. He selflessly “covered” someone else’s error on that install, and thought nothing of it. And, he supported me with his call for more enforcement of proper processes. “Supported – like that word”, I thought. They support each other. I really did like “support” better than help. “ Support each other ” Mmmmm… “Serve our customers and support each other”. “That’s it!!!” I said it so loud I’m sure the folks in the next room heard it clear as a bell. I had my shorthand, but as I toweled off and thought about what I would do with it, I had another, more deeper realization. I had finally found what I was looking for – a great leadership discovery. There’s such an utter simplicity at the heart of any business. We can get so caught up in all the nuts and bolts, the campaigns and brands, the product and technology, and the processes and policy that we forget the essence of what we’re doing. Larry’s experience with his customer got at that essence and brought things into focus for me. We need to pay attention to the things that really MATTER. Those precious customers, and our human selves. If we’re not serving one and supporting the other, we’re doomed, regardless of the state-or-the-art technology and the fancy ads. It was so simple! I also figured out that “ Serve Our Customers and Support Each Other ” was the mantra I had been looking for – it could be on the lips of every employee. And I could easily repeat it over, and over, and over again. Earlier in my career I figured out that repetition was a great leadership tool – in fact, through too many experiences where I thought someone had understood something but in fact did not (or just tuned me out), I had developed what I called “Terry’s Rule”: If you want someone to remember something you have to say it at least 15 times. 15 times? For this one, it was going to be thousands. Epilogue. Our mantra did end up being our biggest rally cry for success, spoken in every office, every conference room, and at every team meeting, and present on all the walls and in all of our email signatures. It indeed served as our connection to a higher purpose – and better still, higher profit, and many of the best operating metrics in the industry. We got to that point where we were sharing and living our values every day. And yep, I said it myself way, way more than 15 times. . It was a discovery that lives and breathes in my heart every single day as a fundamental way to conduct a business – we serve our customers, and support each other. The post My Great Leadership Discovery: The Utter Simplicity At The Heart Of Any Business appeared first on Terry "Starbucker" St. Marie. Leadership

Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life with Nir Eyal

Speaker: Nir Eyal

Ever get the feeling the world is full of too many distractions? Research shows the ability to stay focused is a competitive advantage, in work and in life. However, in an age of ever-increasing demands on our attention how do we stay productive and stay sane? In this webinar, Nir provides research-backed, practical advice, and memorable strategies for managing distraction and our time. Nir Eyal shares findings of his five years of research into how to master what he calls, "the skill of the century," the power to be "Indistractable."

NYC subway math

Erik Bernhardsson

Apparently MTA (the company running the NYC subway) has a real-time API. My fascination for the subway takes autistic proportions and so obviously I had to analyze some of the data.

More Trending

Genome Analysis Toolkit: Now Using Apache Spark for Data Processing

Cloudera Engineering

Users of the latest release of the Genome Analysis Toolkit, an open source framework for analyzing high-throughput DNA sequencing data, can now choose Apache Spark for data processing.

How to Become a More Effective Manager #WinningWell

Let's Grow Leaders

As we’ve been traveling for our book tour and media interviews, David and I consistently get asked questions we imagine may be on your mind as well. So as we begin our official launch of Winning Well, we share with you why we believe this message is so vital for you and your organization.

5 Signs Your Website Needs a Facelift

Women on Business

We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: [link] If you haven't already done so, update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us. link]. Marketing business website design web design website design

How discipline creates great leaders

Lead on Purpose

“Discipline equals freedom.” This statement sounds like a contradiction because the word ‘discipline’ is most often used in the context of punishment or reining in improper behavior. In leadership, however, discipline creates power. Discipline leads to more flexibility and control … Continue reading → Leadership Team Building humility business confidence endurance discipline ownership courageous

Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

Cloudera Enterprise 5.7 is Released

Cloudera Engineering

Cloudera Enterprise 5.7 is now generally available (comprising CDH 5.7, Cloudera Manager 5.7, and Cloudera Navigator 2.6). Cloudera is excited to announce the general availability of Cloudera Enterprise 5.7!

#WinningWell – Your Practical Guide from Amacom Books

Let's Grow Leaders

The Winning Well ruckus has been a delight…and part of that is the chance to be part of Amacom’s book family. The American Management Association is a leader’s source for so many great resources, it’s an honor to have Winning Well among them. A Winning Well Preview on AMACOM.

How to Save a Dying Business

Women on Business

We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: [link] If you haven't already done so, update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us. link]. Uncategorized business failure saving a business small business small business owners

Where Have All the Good Leaders Gone?

Nathan Magnuson

If you’ve worked for any length of time, you’ve probably wondered, “Why is it so hard to find good leaders?” ” You’re not alone.

eBook 88

BI Buyers Guide: Embedding Analytics in Your Software

The business intelligence market has exploded. And as the number of vendors grows, it gets harder to make sense of it all. Learn how to decide what features you need and get an evaluation framework for every technical and non-technical requirement you could imagine.

Five Choices That Created an Amazing Five Years

Next Level Blog

Today is my 55 th birthday. Yes, I said it. It’s part of my new policy of radical transparency. I’m now older than my parents were when Diane and I got married. Heck, I’m older than they were when we had, Andy, our first child. There was a time in my life when 55 sounded really old. Now that I’m there, I realize how relative that is. Old compared to what or who? It seems especially relative when I consider all that has happened in the five years since I turned 50.

Leadership Heresy: A #Winningwell Guest Post by David Dye

Let's Grow Leaders

I’m in trouble now. I’m about to commit heresy. I want to address what I believe to be one of the most important aspects of your workplace leadership.

Toptal's Quick and Practical CSS Cheat Sheet


As software engineers, we’re always searching for the best tools and guides that will help us to be more productive while spending less time searching and reading long technical specifications. Today, Toptal is pleased to present an entirely new resource to the community as a free download: a CSS Cheat Sheet.

HBaseCon 2016 Speaker Lineup Announced

Cloudera Engineering

The speaker lineup for the fifth annual edition of HBaseCon reflects an amazing diversity of production deployments. The organizers of HBaseCon , the conference for the Apache HBase community, have published the agenda for the conference (May 24, 2016, in San Francisco)—and once again, the impressive geographical and use-case diversity of HBase are on full display. Keynotes include: “State of Apache HBase” – Apache HBase PMC.

Business Agile: A Roadmap for Transforming Your Management & Adapting to the VUCA Environment

Speaker: Peter Taylor, Speaker/Author, The Lazy Project Manager

Businesses everywhere are trying to “get business agile”—but it’s not easy to adapt to becoming this adaptive. How can conventional organizations succeed in this transformation? In this webinar, Peter Taylor will walk through the change process step by step, and look at a tried and tested transformation roadmap: benefits are outlined, solutions to common challenges offered, and tried and tested methods and tools provided. It will be a guide towards a decentralized and management style that offers more successful decision making through collaboration.

3 Ways To Get Your Company To Take Digital Security Seriously

The Accidental Successful CIO

Security only works if people take it seriously Image Credit: Holly Victoria Norval.

Insights on Becoming an Effective Learner


We learn the most from that which challenges us the most. I remember having learned server side scripting many years back completely on my own. I had no special resources, no advanced tools and no external guidance – just a lot of willingness to pick up the skill.

HSA For Developers: Heterogeneous Computing For The Masses


HSA is a set of standards and specifications designed to allow further integration of CPUs and GPUs on the same bus. This is not an entirely new concept, but HSA takes it to the next level. HSA would effectively take the developer out of the equation, at least when it comes to assigning different loads to different processing cores. In this post, Toptal Technical Editor and resident chip geek Nermin Hajdarbegovic takes a closer look at HSA and the future of heterogeneous computing in general.

Data Security is Picking Up the Conversation on Net Neutrality


Rick Delgado. The debate over net neutrality is far from over. While the FCC’s ruling last year seemed to be the final say on the matter, the agency’s decision has only extended the discussion to other areas. To be clear, the ruling essentially settled multiple matters by officially classifying internet service providers as carriers now subject to certain rules under the Communications Act. The FCC determined that all web traffic must be treated equally.

.Net 36

2019 State of Engineering Performance Management Report

More than 100 software leaders were asked how they manage and measure engineering performance. How do the findings stack up to your own experience? The report includes the top engineering challenges and the most used performance metrics.

Planning for Agile Delivery with Scrum’s Secret Meetings

Storm Consulting

In a previous post I looked at Scrum’s regular planning meetings as a way of doing Agile Delivery. You can read that post Use Scrum Planning Meetings for Agile Delivery. There are two other planning activities which are crucial to Agile Delivery success.

Agile 52

“Wellth” is the New Wealth

Strategy Driven

Wealth has historically been viewed as financial success in business that translates to success in life. Money, real estate, investments, and “stuff” like cars and expensive vacations – if you’ve got these things, you’re doing well for yourself… right?

Getting Started with Elixir Programming Language


Elixir, a dynamic, functional programming language, is designed for building scalable and maintainable applications with a simple, modern, and tidy syntax. Although it is easy to understand, Elixir's approach to concurrency and its data type nuances require some getting used to. In this article, Toptal engineer Kleber Virgilio Correia gives us a comprehensive guide to the various basic data types in that are available in Elixir

Tech News Roundup April 8


Katie Kennedy. The following are some of the hot topics we are tracking in the technology ecosystem: Technology Ticker. Kalyna White Selected to Represent Women in Homeland Security at the Congress of the Future Science & Technology Leaders. Amazon now has three CEOs: Tech powerhouse promotes Andy Jassy and Jeff Wilke to CEO roles of respective divisions. Elon Musk’s Tesla Model 3 update: 325,000 cars ordered (and your bike will fit).

Beyond the Findings: The Case for UX Research in Digital Transformation

Speaker: Marina Foglietta-Tereo, Head of UX Research, AXA Insurance

People often think of UX research as a tactical approach to improve the usability or visual appeal of a digital product. While good research will certainly validate an existing design, using it for validation alone would be like using your iPhone solely to tell time! Join Marina Foglietta-Tereo, Head of UX Research at AXA Insurance, as she explores the unrecognized organizational, cultural, and strategic benefits of an in-house, central and mature UXR team.