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Radial Development Group

November 16 · Issue #42 · View online

Our thoughts on running a company, tech insight, news, and nerd life.

Hi Friends,
Working on older code is like working on a house built in 1974. You open up a wall and start cursing whoever installed the wiring. 
I work on a couple code bases like this. We refer to this type of code as “legacy code.” 
Legacy projects are hard to set up, hard to work on, hard to add new features to, and hard to understand.
Sometimes I feel bummed out when I am assigned these projects. I know simple tasks will take longer, and the project’s architecture choices will frustrate me. 
Last week I tried to restructure my thinking about this work. I was working on a project with a complicated test setup. It should have never been structured that way, and untangling it is an effort that would probably take weeks. 
But I could still find a small knot to untie. 
I took two hours and worked on a small improvement. Those changes made it a little bit easier for the next developer performing an initial test setup on the project. It also made it easier to update the test setup later. 
It’s not a complete solution. The way the tests work is still problematic. We’ll never have time to fix it all. 
Nonetheless, it is a little bit better.
There is a lot about life we can’t control. Your house’s wiring and code written in 2015 are two of those things. And while you’ll probably never get around to completely rewiring the house, you can take a couple hours and make it safer and better for the next person.
**Radial will not publish a newsletter the Thanksgiving holiday week. We’ll be back in your inbox November 30!**

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Being Better
Journaling prompts from our friendly neighborhood nerd Ariana F., at Rosabella Consulting.
There are certain situations that are inherently emotional for me. For example, anything that requires a substantial investment of money, dealing with certain people who are triggering just by being themselves, and situations where I feel an overwhelming sense of external pressure that conflicts with my inner truth. In each of those examples, my emotions drive my narrative in (typically) unhealthy ways.
In other words, the story I tell myself when I’m already worked up is usually full of assumptions with a single intention: self-protection. Unfortunately, because of the single-track nature of my mind in those moments (as substantiated by neuroscience research), the story usually misses the mark. And because of that, I limit my own potential.
In these instances it’s important to separate fact from fiction. The fiction is the story you’re telling yourself. And like all works of fiction, it’s rooted in some truth. But it isn’t the Truth. And assumptions like “they’re just out for themselves” or “they won’t ever listen no matter how hard I try” are not facts. They are the stories you’re telling yourself because on some level they make you feel safer.
I recently was navigating such a situation. And turning to the pages of my journal helped me to separate fact from fiction. Pausing and reflecting enabled me to get a handle on my deeper concerns or needs so I was able to communicate more openly and directly. As a result I was able to advocate more effectively for a mutually beneficial outcome. When I don’t invest such time and effort, I usually end up festering or feeling like I’m talking to a brick wall.
Here are some journaling prompts to help you get started in separating fact from fiction.
  • What’s the situation you’re feeling so worked up about?
  • How is this situation making you feel?
  • What’s the story you’re telling yourself (or what are your thoughts about this situation)?
  • What’s actually happened (these are the facts)?
  • What if you extended grace to the other people involved?
  • What is the essence of the need or request you are advocating for?
Are you feeling bothered by a situation that just won’t go away? Would you like to reclaim control of your work and life? What if you could make tangible progress in an hour? Checkout our next Leadership Circle with Ariana (formerly Journal Jams) on Friday November 19th at 12:30PM MST. Enjoy camaraderie with like minded change-makers while leveling-up!
More information and registration is available online here - use coupon code RadialRocks to join for FREE.
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