Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why developers and meetings don’t go well together

Reason 1

Different people have different preferred modes of communication.
If they operate in their preferred mode, they are efficient and lose very little energy.
If they operate in a mode that’s not preferred, they are inefficient and they lose energy.

One of the dimensions of that is “recorded” versus “live” communication.
Software development is an extreme form of recorded communication.
Therefore, good software developers are usually not suited for meetings.
They’ll lose a lot of energy in meetings and it distracts them big time, even way before and after the meeting.

Also, recorded communicators need time to think before they say something.
So, developers often remain silent in meetings. (Which creates problems with energy feeding, see further below)

(Casual conversation at lunch or so is a different thing…)

Or software developers are actually live communicators, so they
have a very hard time to switch back to software development after a meeting
because the meeting is much more in their groove than software development.

Reason 2

Some developers are high empaths.
This may be a surprise, but it makes sense.

Here’s why:
High empaths pick up subtle energies and feelings of other people.
This creates a lot of information which can be quite overwhelming and stressful (also depending on what is received).
Therefore some empaths tend to chose work where they don’t have to deal with people all the time.
Software development fulfills that to some extent.

Meetings are often especially stressful for empaths because meetings tend

  • to get emotional
  • or feelings are covered (which is even more stressful energy than open communication)
  • or in extreme cases there is some form of manipulation going on
  • often there is energy feeding going on. Energy usually flows from the listener to the talker.

But even meetings in a positive, relaxed atmosphere can cause distraction later on.
After all, any form of emotional stuff (even positive) can distract from software development.

Reason 3

It happens quite often that managers require from developers in a meeting to
spontaneously give them answers that require extensive research (such as cost estimations for new requirements),
and insist on a spontaneous answer. (Which can only be given by lying, i.e., telling a random number)
This adds to the stress level.


If you want to destroy the productivity and motivation of your software developers, do as many meetings with them as possible.

The worst for productivity are daily meetings in the middle of the morning.
This is the worst because the morning is usually the most productive time,
and software development requires highly focused attention for long time-spans without interruption and distraction.

Personal note

Personally, I like the human connection in meetings (if there’s a good atmosphere).
But I don’t like the energy feeding and that I don’t have time and solitude to think or to listen to my intuition or to my inner wisdom before I say something.

Rules and Masters

The following applies to many disciplines:

Rules are for apprentices so that they don’t stumble that hard.

A master doesn’t need rules.
A master will sometimes break the rules, and it leads to good results.

In fact, masters (or their disciples) write the rules.
But masters are aware that their rules are just a crude approximation of their wisdom.
(Disciples are not necessarily aware of that.)

These words came to me during my morning meditation.

Do you have a Real Life and Time for Thinking? (Or do you live in the Matrix/Internet all day?)

Now, there is an index to measure this.

It is called the Digital Insanity Index.
Created by Perry Marshall who is a famous marketing and business consultant.

One of his recent creations is the “30 day reboot” program which helps you to get you in control of your life again.

I have taken the Digital Insanity Index and my score is 329/1000 which means “well-managed”. This is after doing Perry’s “30 day reboot” program.

I can definitely recommend 30 day reboot. It has life-changing potential.

The next round of 30 day reboot starts on February 1st.

Kolbe Test as Burnout Prevention Tool

The Kolbe test is primarily used as a hiring and team-building tool.
It measures the mode of operation of a person, which is the instinctive and natural way to do work (such as getting new ideas versus implementing existing ideas).

In team-building it is important to have people with different modes of operation in a team. This ensures that the team members complement each other, so that the team is optimally effective.

In hiring it is used to determine the roles which a person is best suited to.

But there is an aspect of Kolbe that’s equally as important:
One of the often overlooked aspects of the Kolbe mode-of-operation is that it costs a person a lot of energy to work outside his/her natural work instincts.
Often people are not aware of their natural instincts. So they just assume that it is normal that work exhausts them. After all that’s conventional wisdom about work in our society.

Especially young people have so much life-energy that they can work against their natural instincts for years in a row, without noticing it. And they even may produce great results doing so.

But when a person works against their natural mode of operation for too long, he/she drains him/herself of energy. This can lead to burnout or other severe health problems.

Of course burnout can have many causes, and most of the time multiple causes are at work simultaneously. Usually, working conditions, and mental health issues of that person are the first reasons that are named. Prevention usually focuses on working conditions. This is fine, and necessary, but it is only a part of the picture.

If people are unconsciously working against their natural instincts for a prolonged time, then even the best working conditions cannot prevent a serious drain of energy.

Therefore I suggest to measure the natural mode of operation of all employees, and let them work in their mode of operation most of the time. Even one hour per day in the opposite of the natural mode of operation can cause a severe energy drain. So, you need to let them work 95% or more of their time in their natural mode of operation.

If an employee already has a burnout, or is close to it, then doing a Kolbe test can reveal an important cause. Once you know the cause, it is usually obvious what has to change.

BTW, this does not only apply to employees. Entrepreneurs also should be aware of their natural mode of operation and make sure that they run their company such that they only work in their natural mode of operation. They can delegate the rest, or choose a business that only needs their natural mode of operation. This makes them more happy and energetic, and the grumpy boss syndrome will melt away fast. Which creates a better climate in the whole company.

High Level Software Project Consoluting Service

From now on, I offer a high level Software project consulting service.

This means that I take a role outside of the in-the-trenches work of your project.
My contribution is to provide guidance and supervision, mostly at the meta level.
Being outside of the in-the-trenches work enables me to keep an overview and really see the whole thing.

E.g, I can help you with the following things:

  • Which people/experience/skills you need on your team
  • Helping you to become aware of the risks you are really taking when starting a software project. (and therefore hopefully you will assess whether you are really willing and capable to take that risk)
  • Helping you to find out whether a software project really solves the problem you are trying to solve with it.
  • Helping you to find out what you need to do before starting a software project even makes sense.
  • Helping you to explore options when a software project is off-track.
  • When involved on a regular basis: Help you to recognize the state and health of your software project.

In many cases my role will be to ask provocative questions that make you think about things you might not have been aware of before.

I am very confident that I can provide a valuable service, because:

  • I have 30+ years of experience in software development.
  • Experience with leading software projects. Both in my company and outside. With up to 10 people on the team.
  • Being directly involved in requirements engineering, and corrected the course of that when needed.
  • Extensive psychological knowledge and experience from 17+ years of psychotherapy and other activities.
  • Highly trained intuition when it comes to software projects. Including the human aspects of it.

My hourly rate for this service is US$ 200. (I may rise that fee later. So engage me while I am still at this level.)

We can do the consulting via Skype or on-site.
For on-site consulting you’ll also pay for travel cost and travel time.

All consulting has to be paid in advance.

More details provided on request. Just ask me.

New focus in my Business: Own products, High-level consulting, Physical Inventions

I have been preparing my business for a transition for some time now.

In short, I’ll focus and strengthen those areas of my business that work well and that are compatible with my mission and with my soul.
And I’ll phase out or stop the rest.

In details this means that I’ll focus more on the following:

  • I’ll focus more on my DemoRecorder-24×7 product. Which is a screen recorder for mission critical systems. This product is a long term committment. It is on the market since 20 years now. And I am determined to provide long term stability and maintenance for my clients.
  • I’ll create a high-level consulting service. Part of my mission is to help people to get answers to seemingly hard problems.
  • I’ll work on physical inventions. I already have written down many inventions. Now is the time to bring them to light and reap the harvest
  • I have another software product / business in the pipeline. But I keep this secret until the time is right to publicly announce this

This also means that I’ll reduce or stop the following activity:

  • I’ll stop the consumer version of DemoRecorder. It doesn’t make sense anymore to offer that. There are free software alternatives. And the market is so small that it does not make any economical sense to try to compete with these free software alternatives on a feature level.
  • I’ll stop writing software that I don’t own, i.e., I stop offering a software development service writing software for others. The writing is on the wall since about August this year that I should stop offering this service, even though I am very good at it.

    It doesn’t make sense economically anymore given all the other higher-level things going on in my business.

    And it also doesn’t make sense personally anymore. I am a creative person with a never ending stream of high quality ideas. It doesn’t make sense to implement other people’s ideas while I cannot keep up with getting my own ideas implemented. And my soul is sending me very intense signals that I should stop implementing other people’s ideas.

    Of course I’ll finish existing, active projects writing software for others. Emphasis on “active”.
    (I might even take small projects from time to time from customers that have treated me with respect, are calm and trustworthy and do not exert time pressure.)

    For customers who want to reactivate projects that they have suspended or stopped prematurely: I can offer my high-level consulting service to get you going with other developers, if needed.

Just returned from a trip to the US

I have just returned from a great business trip to the US.

In Chicago I have done several things to get a good and spiritually founded direction for my business.

I have done the following in Chicago:

  • a Sozo session with Margaret Nagib, which was an amazing experience.
  • have attended Perry Marshall’s “Memos from the head-office” seminar which was a great great great experience. It finally helped me to know what my mission is.
  • and more great things… (which I may or may not write about)

Chicagoland is a great place on earth.
It feels like what they call a “thin place”. Where you are more connected with God than in most other places.

People show that they love each other in all everyday transactions.
Great place, great people.

Then I went to another place in the US and visited a customer.
This is confidential, so I won’t write any more details about this here.

I’ll post more of the consequences of this trip.