Learning to balance a Maker’s and Manager’s Schedule

Schedule Changes

One of the hardest things thus far about becoming a manager (managing others and their work) has been learning to balance my maker’s schedule with my manager’s schedule.

Maker Schedule, Manager Schedule

The concept comes from a Paul Graham essay which says:

There are two types of schedule, which I’ll call the manager’s schedule and the maker’s schedule. The manager’s schedule is for bosses. It’s embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you’re doing every hour.

When you use time that way, it’s merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Find an open slot in your schedule, book them, and you’re done.

Paul Graham

I’ve built out a team of three testers (plus myself) who each work embedded on an engineering team for a given business unit. I’m responsible for helping my team understand their respective businesses, contribute meaningfully to the team and their professional development (to name a few things). Then I help maintain and build out automated tests across three teams in two business units. In short, I’m a hands on manager with individual contributor responsibilities dealing with what feels like a split personality.

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THE Ultimate Curved Monitor for a MacBook Pro

Back when I wrote Building an Awesome Home Office I was six months into remote work and although optimistic about my chances of returning to the office, determined to use all the hardware I had at my disposal to make my home work conditions better. As time went on I grew tired of my two 27″ ASUS monitors and began my search for THE Ultimate Curved widescreen monitor to power my MacBook Pro.

As time went on I grew tired of two drawbacks with dual 27″ ASUS monitors:

  • The closer you work to the center of those two screens the more you stare at the bezel.
  • The further away you work to the center of those screens, the more uncomfortable the distance is between you and the screen.

It was time for an upgrade to THE Ultimate Curved monitor. Ultimate is useful adjective when describing a piece of hardware but also relative: ultimate for now. I fully expect curved monitors to drop in price and expand in functionality over time. Regardless I started a search with a few important pieces of criteria:

  1. USB-C downstream charging. I have a Macbook Pro 16″ and no longer wanted to use the provided charger.
  2. 38″ or above in size. My desk is 60″ in length and dual 27″ took up a ton of space (although they floated above the desk). I was fine with downsizing a little.
  3. Removable stand. I don’t want a monitor stand on the desk, I love a clean looking desk with few things on it.
  4. As few cables as possible: one, maybe two tops.

Research time. I created a Google Doc and started comparing different options:

Click on the image to go to the doc

Ultimately I ended up with a Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved WUHD Monitor – U4021QW. (See what I did there?). It hit all of my requirements and even comes with a built in USB Hub so I can plug in my DSLR webcam and Blue Yeti microphone.

I love this monitor; it’s well worth the money and time invested to find it.


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