Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

Take a look at your company’s employee handbook, expense policies, and other procedural documentation. Why does all that exist? Probably not just to make employees miserable, I imagine, or to complicate the workday. “To cover their ass,” you might think – which is an outcome, but not a reason. But understanding your company and your career, and navigating both, requires you to understand those reasons. To understand, if you will, your company’s perspective. 

Continue reading

I got a charming letter from Ashleigh, a “Business Development Representative” at Dotmailer, today:

I hope you’re well. My name is Ashleigh and I’m reaching out to users of MailChimp like you to let them know about dotmailer, because it’s very likely you could spend the same amount with dotmailer as you do with MailChimp and have a far superior platform at your fingertips.

Some of the key reasons 4,500+ businesses like Vizio, DHL, Asana & Converse use dotmailer are:

– A drag and drop editor like no other, providing you complete control without the need for a designer
– Segmentation to the most granular level, so you’re always communicating to the right people
– An automation suite with zero limitations, so you only communicate at the right time
– A dedicated customer success team and 24/5 telephone support, to give you the assistance you need, exactly when you need it

We’re also always happy to put a commercial agreement together that works for both of us, so how about we have an initial call to find out more about your requirements to see how dotmailer can help?

Continue reading

Here’s a proposition for you to consider: 99% of all human social problems are the result of two or more groups of people holding different opinions, with each group lending no credence whatsoever to the others’. This happens almost constantly in life, and – unsurprisingly but almost always unrecognized – almost constantly in business.

Continue reading

Our new book, PowerShell Scripting in a Month of Lunches, is now available as part of the Manning Early Access Program. This is the spiritual successor to Learn PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches (it’s a complete rewrite versus a second edition), and is the “sequel” to Learn PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, and the “prequel” to The PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking Book. The relationship between the books is explained here.

Now’s a great time to buy the MEAP, if you’re interested. The entire book is “in,” but we’re really interested in feedback – which you can drop as a comment right here, if you want – because we have some additional ideas for “completing” the book. So it’s a great opportunity to make a substantive impact on the final book. The chapter count is finalized; what’s on the table, potentially, are expanded examples, more explanations, and so on. We’ve potentially got around 60 pages we could add to the book – but we want to add it in the right place, not just gratuitously fill the wrong spots.

You’ve got until roughly the end of July to give us ideas (the book is on a fast track), at which point we’ll be turning the entire thing over to Manning for final publication.

Looking forward to your feedback!

When I was younger, I always wondered why companies were so on about “growth.” It’s like, look, your CEO makes good scratch. You’ve got a lot of employees, they’ve got solid insurance, and they’re all getting paid well. Your customers are happy. Aside from gaining new customers to replace ones that drop off, what’s this continuous focus on getting bigger? It can, after all, be hugely detrimental. You have to figure out how to scale processes, compete with ever-larger competitors, and it just feels like a never-ending rat race.

Continue reading

Categories: Life

This isn’t actually a “policing” situation – it’s just something I thought you might find interesting.

Writers – especially technical writers – often have to work within the scope of globalization. Globalization is a way of writing that lends itself to localization, which is the process of translating a communication into another language and culture.

For example, you can help globalize a software application by pulling text strings, icons, and other forms of communication into separate files, which can then be localized for each culture that the application will support. Culture encompasses language, but also includes things like graphical icons that might not have a similar meaning to a different people. In writing, globalization can mean taking a careful approach to the words you use.

Continue reading

As most of you know, I write  lot. I enjoy it. I started out writing 800-page books; when I was offered by first 800-word monthly magazine column, a wise editor told me, “this’ll make you a better writer.” That’s because, when you only have 800 words, you choose every one with care. An unfortunate side effect of that is it can make you a bit of a syntactic hair-splitter.

Continue reading