Software manager responsibility

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Recently I heard from a senior people — the major responsibilities of a software manager are just three: 1. Project Management
2. People Management
3. Release Management

I am familiar with the first two, however listing #3 as a key item is the first time I heard…


Recommend great tmux guide articles

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There are two great handy articles about tmux here:

I can’t wait to read them!

Acer’s tablet TV advertisement

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Acer’s tablet TV advertisement is really funny. There are two actors on stage to perform Chinese comic dialogue, talking about buying a tablet back to troupe. One of them says NO. No USB, No Micro SD, No Flash, Close Platform. And Nobody tells you to buy it… Yes, you know what he is talking about. Then it comes Acer Tablet, with USB, with Micro SD, with Flash, Open platform – Android 3.0.

Does such Ad really work? If I am not an Apple fan, most probably I will be confused.

Is Baidu a shopping search only?

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When I use taobao or amazon search box, my intention is obvious to find something to buy. When I use google or baidu, probably my intention is to look for knowledge I do not have — if it’s some relevant commodity, I am fine to see them in search results. Today when I read a book, which talked about "Fort Dunlop". I don’t know what it is. It’s very nature for me to ask search engine. Google gives me the exact link to Fort Dunlop, and also tells me to ask wikipedia. I do want its Chinese translation which Google do not offer. Baidu, the Chinese search engine might help. However when I search it on Baidu, what stuns me is, all search results at first 3 pages are all advertisements about commodities branded in Dunlop or Fort Dunlop. What can I say… Baidu is doing a very terrible job.

Get your point across in 30 seconds

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(The reading notes from, which is probably from the book How to get your point across in 30 seconds.)
Attention span of the average person is 30 seconds!

  • Doctors listen to their patients for an average of only 19 seconds!!
  • Television commercials do a good job of getting their message across in 30 seconds!

So if you can’t say it in 30 seconds you are likely not thinking about your message clearly.

Prepare your message

  • Do you have a single, clear-cut, specific OBJECTIVE?
  • What does your AUDIENCE want from you? Can you speak in their thinking quadrant? What benefits can you offer?
  • What format would be most effective? Brainstorm different STRATEGIES, then select the approach that best meets the objective.

Four-quadrants thinking

A – Clarity: Concise facts.
B – Action Plan: Well organized implementation
D – Imagery: Creative word pictures
C – Emotional appeal: Building relationships, sharing emotions and personal stories.

Examples (the conclusion part of the book):

  • Application and use are your responsibility. — Clarity
  • You’ve been given the knowledge, now go and build on this foundation. — Action Plan
  • Sink your teeth into it. — Imagery
  • Now the ball is in your court. — Emotional appeal

Structure of a message

  • Hook: How can you get the audience’s attention?
  • Dramatic or humorous question or statement
  • Can be non-verbal
  • BKM: keep a "hook book" of ideas and quotes

Subject: Are you providing all necessary details?

  • Try to think in four-quadrants

Close: Are you asking for a specific action or reaction?

  • Must ask for what you want
  • Demand action within a specific time frame
  • Ask for a reaction through the power of suggestion or example
  • A message without a specific close or bottom-line is a wasted opportunity

Verbal message delivery

  • Style: What non-verbal message are you giving? Monitor/Watch your body language.
  • Appearance: Are you well-groomed?
  • Speaking: Learn to modulate your voice. Use pauses. Be animated.
  • Acting: Smile. Use eye contact. Transmit a positive, friendly attitude.

Written message

  • Write legibly and neatly
  • Use good grammar and correct spelling
  • Where appropriate, also pay attention to a pleasing layout
  • Be positive and friendly, or polite and formal, as required by the situation
  • For important messages, proof-read and edit, then double-check again.

8 Tips for making an effective formal presentation

  • Start and finish on time!
  • Make sure each person on your team is introduced clearly
  • Speak the language of your audience and state the purpose of your presentation
  • Use visual aids so people will better remember your main ideas.
  • Plan time for questions at the end; respond directly to the questions.
  • Be yourself; project energy, enthusiasm, competence
  • Don’t exaggerate or criticize — don’t badmouth the competition
  • PRACTICE before hand.

Make your presentation memorable

Typical listeners can only remember three to five points, and then only if the points are reinforced!

  • Preview the main points to have the listeners anticipate them
  • Continuously tie the points to the structure of the presentation
  • Provide summaries as handouts if you have many details
  • At the end, review or reinforce the main points to provide closure

Count number of unique lines in a file

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Somebody asked me how to count number of unique lines of a text file under Linux. That’s very easy:

$ cat input.txt | sort | uniq | wc -l

Noted that ‘uniq’ only filter the adjacent repeated lines — this is why a ‘sort’ is required before processing by ‘uniq’.

Genuine and Fake smiles

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Can you spot fake smiles from people’s faces? Here is an interesting tests:

I only get 12 correct among 20 faces.

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