2015

Norvig’s claim that programming competitions correlate negatively with being good on the job

Erik Bernhardsson

I saw a bunch of tweets over the weekend about Peter Norvig claiming there’s a negative correlation between being good at programming competitions and being good at the job. There were some decent Hacker News comments on it. Norvig’s statement is obviously not true if we’re drawing samples from the general population – most people can’t code.

The Critical First Step For Great Leadership: The Journey From “I” to “We”

Terry Starbucker

There comes a time in a more human leadership journey where something radically changes. The focus of our effort makes a major progression forward that, once accomplished, propels us to greatness.

4 Reasons Your Feedback is Being Ignored

Let's Grow Leaders

The number one frustration I hear from team leaders is that their feedback falls on deaf ears. The employee seems to get it– for a minute, and then they go right back to their old habits.

How Motivation For Female Entrepreneurs Differs Throughout The World

Women on Business

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Rapid Experimentation at Every Stage of Product Development

Speaker: Tanya Koshy, VP of Product, UserTesting

Experimentation isn't something you do once you have designs or once you’ve built the product; it's important to validate early and often to better understand your customer, their needs, and the market opportunity. Join Tanya Koshy, VP of Product at UserTesting, as she explores how, by using customer feedback at every stage of the product development process, you can better and more quickly iterate on your product ideas. Ultimately, this rapid experimentation during development will enable you to deliver customer value faster.

Greater Than Yourself: A Success Approach Whose Time Has Come

Steve Farber

When my third book, Greater Than Yourself , was published in 2009, it seemed to many that the world was going to hell in the proverbial hand basket. Wall Street had melted down, the market had crashed, and folks were losing their homes and getting laid off in the process.

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More Trending

Write Your Leadership Legacy in 6 Words

N2Growth Blog

By Grant Wattie. President, N2Growth Australia. While having lunch with a number of writers, Ernest Hemingway claimed he could write a short story that was only six words long.

Black Box Machine Learning in the Cloud

Erik Bernhardsson

There’s a bunch of companies working on machine learning as a service. Some old companies like Google , but now also Amazon and Microsoft. Then there’s a ton of startups: PredictionIO ($2.7M funding), BigML ($1.6M funding), Clarifai , etc, etc. Here’s a nice map from Bloomberg showing some of the landscape. As much as I love ML, I’m not super bullish on these companies. I wrote a pretty cynical tweet the other day.

Nearest neighbors and vector models – part 2 – algorithms and data structures

Erik Bernhardsson

This is a blog post rewritten from a presentation at NYC Machine Learning on Sep 17. It covers a library called Annoy that I have built that helps you do nearest neighbor queries in high dimensional spaces. In the first part , I went through some examples of why vector models are useful. In the second part I will be explaining the data structures and algorithms that Annoy uses to do approximate nearest neighbor queries. Let’s start by going back to our point set.

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Benchmark of Approximate Nearest Neighbor libraries

Erik Bernhardsson

Annoy is a library written by me that supports fast approximate nearest neighbor queries. Say you have a high (1-1000) dimensional space with points in it, and you want to find the nearest neighbors to some point. Annoy gives you a way to do this very quickly. It could be points on a map, but also word vectors in a latent semantic representation or latent item vectors in collaborative filtering.

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The Science of High-Impact Experimentation

Speaker: Holly Hester-Reilly, Founder and Product Management Coach, H2R Product Science

Too many product teams don't know what to test, which leads to poorly designed experiments and unclear results. How can a product manager be certain they’re making effective decisions when it comes to experimentation? Join Holly Hester-Reilly, Founder and Product Management Coach at H2R Product Science, as she walks us through the entire experimentation process, from deciding what to test to sharing the results with stakeholders, to illustrate what strong testing practices look like and how they can be implemented in every organization.

The relationship between commit size and commit message size

Erik Bernhardsson

Wow I guess it was more than a year ago that I tweeted this. Crazy how time flies by. Anyway, here’s my rationale: When I update one line of code I feel like I have to put in a long explanation about its side effects, why it’s fully backwards compatible, and why it fixes some issue #xyz. When I refactor 500 lines of code, I get too lazy to write anything sensible, so I just put “refactoring FooBarController”. Note: don’t do at home!

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Books I read in 2015

Erik Bernhardsson

Early last year when I left Spotify I decided to do more reading. I was planning to read at least one book per week and in particular I wanted to brush up on management, economics, and technology.

The 5 Best Pieces Of Advice Any New Leader Will Ever Get

Terry Starbucker

Jack Kent Cooke, my boss back in 1987, when I had my first leadership job. “Terry, my boy… ” When I heard those words from Jack Kent Cooke back in 1987, I knew he was about to teach me something.

What Happens When We Really Listen

Let's Grow Leaders

Have you ever noticed that sometimes life rhymes? Something happens to you that fits together so well with what happens next that (as my editor would say of another one of my other rhyming days) “That story is so tight no one is going to believe it.”

Design and Run Experiments That Actually Progress Your Business

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

Experimenting as a way to explore new products, services, and business models can help eliminate the guesswork involved in building something your customers actually value. That said, it's often quite tricky to take your vision and figure out the first experiment to run. How do you get started? How can you ensure your experiments are well-designed? Join Nick Noreña, educator, entrepreneur, and currently an Innovation Coach at Kromatic, as he walks us through how we can figure out the right experiments to run for any product or service, and in organizations of all sizes.

Top 10 States for Women-Owned Small Businesses

Women on Business

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A Stunning, New Leadership Lens

Steve Farber

As a 21st century Extreme Leader and life-long learner, you are constantly looking for ways to improve yourself, not just for your own advancement, but also for the greater good.

Mindful Mondays: Pope Francis’ Nine Rules for Happy Living

Next Level Blog

In case you haven’t been paying attention, it turns out that Pope Francis is one of the most popular people in the world. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that he has a 90% favorability rating among U.S. Catholics and a 70% favorability rating among all Americans.

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Get Off The Strategy Merry-Go-Round

N2Growth Blog

By Mark Hefner. Global Practice Chair, Strategy N2Growth. Most organizations, and even most strategy consultants, are using strategic planning frameworks built for business models that were designed during the industrial age. These methods are antiquated in both efficiency and effectiveness.

How to Design Strong Experiments

Speaker: Franziska Beeler, Head of Cloud Academy, and Tendayi Viki, Associate Partner, Strategyzer

When testing new business and product ideas, choosing the right experiment is just the beginning. After we have chosen our experiment, it’s important that we spend some time designing it well. Join Tendayi Viki, corporate innovation expert and associate partner at Strategyzer, and Franziska Beeler, Head of Cloud Academy at Strategyzer, as they walk us through the three key elements that help you design stronger experiments and come away with the evidence you need to advance your idea.

More MCMC – Analyzing a small dataset with 1-5 ratings

Erik Bernhardsson

I’ve been obsessed with how to iterate quickly based on small scale feedback lately. One awesome website I encountered is Usability Hub which lets you run 5 second tests. Users see your site for 5 seconds and you can ask them free-form questions afterwards.

There is no magic trick

Erik Bernhardsson

(Warning: super speculative, feel free to ignore). As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”. Unfortunately predicting is hard, and unsurprisingly people look for the Magic Trick™ that can resolve all the uncertainty.

MCMC for marketing data

Erik Bernhardsson

The other day I was looking at marketing spend broken down by channel and wanted to compute some simple uncertainty estimates. I have data like this: Total spend. Transactions. Channel A. 2292.04. Channel B. 1276.85. Channel C. 139.59. Channel D. 954.98.

Nearest neighbors and vector models – epilogue – curse of dimensionality

Erik Bernhardsson

This is another post based on my talk at NYC Machine Learning. The previous two parts covered most of the interesting parts, but there are still some topics left to be discussed. To go back and read the meaty stuff, check out. Part 1: What are vector models useful for?

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Get Better User Insights With Wasteless Validation

Speaker: Tim Herbig, Product Management Coach and Consultant

Product teams tend to get ahead of themselves by rushing from idea straight to building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). How can a product manager slow their team down and prevent them from wasting valuable resources? Join Tim Herbig, Product Management Coach and Consultant, as he introduces a new way of understanding MVPs and explores how you can approach validation without wasting the resources of your development team.

Common Probability Distributions: The Data Scientist’s Crib Sheet

Cloudera Engineering

Data scientists have hundreds of probability distributions from which to choose. Where to start? Data science, whatever it may be, remains a big deal. “A data scientist is better at statistics than any software engineer,” you may overhear a pundit say, at your local tech get-togethers and hackathons. The applied mathematicians have their revenge, because statistics hasn’t been this talked-about since the roaring 20s.

The One Thing A Great Leader Has To Give Up (After Working Hard To Get It)

Terry Starbucker

I remember the first time I got it at age 22, a mere 4 months after I graduated from college, as a staff accountant at a public accounting firm. It was given to me reluctantly, out of sheer necessity, and it terrified me. But on the other hand, it was what I wanted.

Sarcasm is Not a Leadership Competency

Let's Grow Leaders

I’m not sure why so many people in positions of power think sarcasm is a leadership competency. Sure a quick wit, used well, can energize the team and lighten the load.

The (Slightly Terrifying) Freedom of Being a Female Entrepreneur

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 female entrepreneur starting a business women entrepreneurs

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An Adult Conversation About Estimates

Speaker: Beekey Cheung, Software Consultant, Professor Beekums, LLC

Estimates are a contentious topic in software development. Most of our development teams hate providing estimates and many managers are starting to view them as unnecessary. As senior software leaders, how can we determine whether estimates are helpful or harmful to our teams? We are excited to be joined by Beekey Cheung, a software consultant and blogger known as Professor Beekums, who has helped many leaders and teams go from fearing estimates to using them appropriately. He'll walk us through the value of estimates, how to overcome the hesitancy many have in giving them, and how to provide better estimates.

My Personal Facebook Business

Steve Farber

“It’s not personal; it’s just business.” ” –Too Many People. I’ve always felt that the lines we draw between business life and personal life are mostly artificial.

What’s the Difference Between Executive Presence and Leadership Presence?

Next Level Blog

The title of this post is a question I was asked yesterday during an interview for the book summary service Get Abstract. Audio excerpts from the interview will be available in a few months.)

How Many of Your Organization’s Strategic Initiatives Succeed?

N2Growth Blog

My guess is that your answer is less than half or at least “not enough of them.”. Delivering on strategic initiatives on time, every time, is the hallmark of organizations that are best in the world at executing strategy, and they’re rewarded with a premium put on the value of their company. Organizations that can’t deliver on their strategic initiatives fail at executing their strategy, and organizations that fail at executing strategy will not survive. It is just that simple.