On Learning New Things

Holiday is mostly past us going into the new year of 2019 which means we retailers are starting to have some time again.  The start of the year is when people think about making resolutions with the intent of improving themselves.  For the past ten years at least, my resolution has always been to “eat more pie.”   It’s an easy resolution to keep and it makes me happy to accomplish it every year.

It’s better to be more intentional about what you are learning, so skip the resolution and take some action.  In the last year I took a deep dive into Distributed Ledgers (DL, better known as Blockchains) to determine how we might use them at Target.  This turned out to be a much harder problem that it sounds, use you can use a DL for anything really, but it only makes sense in specific contexts where you are actually sharing data with external partners.

Second, I gave a presentation on technical culture rather than technology.  It was a first to talk about building engineering culture, even though it’s what I’ve done for most of my career.  But it was important to put Target on the map as a leading technical retailer.  Five minutes from the keynote is below, but there’s also a 45 minute talk if you have access to Pluralsight.

Outside work, I learned silver smithing and attained the rank of amateur.  I generally need something inside and outside work to keep me busy.  Plus, you can give the finished products away and it makes people happy.  An almost finished ring below: