New ways to find your next book or video
Safari’s collection of books and videos is huge, so we’re always looking to create new ways for you to explore. As you know from last month’s update, we’ve been enhancing our Twitter bot and listing newly published content every day. This month, we’ve added two new ways for you to find what you’re looking for.
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By Theodore Kinni
Theodore Kinni has written, ghosted, or edited more than 20 business books. He was book review editor for strategy+business for 7 years.
Fed up with his team’s lack of productivity, the manager calls everyone together yet again. Iron-fisted, he declares, “We’re are going to continue having these meetings, every day, until I find out why no work is getting done.”
I know it’s not a howler of a joke, but then it’s hard to squeeze a laugh out of as pervasive a bane of organizational life as meetings. Think about how much of their time managers spend in meetings (25-50 percent, per Brian Tracy). Then, tally up the labor costs—to say nothing of the impact on productivity and the opportunity costs. It’s no laughing matter.
So what’s to be done about meetings? I went looking for suggestions in Safari and found a slew of ideas. Here are three of the most intriguing: Read more »
“In a time of drastic change – it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” - Eric Hoffer, American social writer
Employee engagement impacts performance indicators
You may be hearing strange rumors of people landing jobs with titles like culture manager, employee engagement specialist and organizational effectiveness manager. Who are these people, and what are they doing to the workplace? Where are companies getting the money to throw around for these ‘good-vibe’ curators, and most importantly, why are organizations making such investments?
According to Gallup’s 2014, The State of the American Workplace Report, disengagement amongst American employees nicks the bottom line of United States companies to the tune of over $450 billion each year. Read more »
It’s the weekend. You’re on your favorite MMO, just about to reach the quest objective, and your character suddenly plunges through that one tiny hole between the landscape and the stairs. You’re doomed to wait for customer service, as you consider how this wouldn’t have happened if you had written the collision detection for the game instead.
Determined not to let their inferior coding ruin your weekend, you tab over to your free trial of Safari. With over 30,000 titles and only thirty minutes to read, what do you choose? It is the weekend, after all; maybe you feel more like a bit of hobby coding instead of studying for the coming week’s tasks. Perhaps you just felt like taking some personal time to read, but you are finding it hard to concentrate when you know your child could be so much happier with her rote memorizations for school if you could think of some way to make those times tables and Revolutionary War dates seem relevant to a nine year old. Maybe you just logged on to Safari because you are looking for a personal coding project after a long week of working on everyone else’s code – preferably something truly interesting and possibly in a language you aren’t using 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday.
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Having spent a large part of my career as a business writer and editor, one of my passions as Safari’s editor-in-chief is to help our users develop their business and management skills alongside their tech chops. I believe strongly that successful professional careers, whether they include formal management roles or not, are driven as much by organizational effectiveness and business savvy as they are by personal talent and skills. To that end, I am particularly excited about the new business books we are adding to Safari this week, which include a number of true must-reads for anyone set on improving their management acumen. Add these to your queue and you won’t regret it. Read more »
A little over a year ago, I decided to leave behind seven years of work experience in academic libraries and begin a new career in community and marketing in tech. I had no experience with either of these subjects and threw myself into a new career with very little planning and a lot of enthusiasm.
I worked harder than I ever have in my life in order to make the transition successfully, but as the newest member of the Safari Growth Team, I want to share my experiences and what I’ve found useful along the way.
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A Twitter bot is a program that composes and posts tweets without any human intervention. They can be purely utilitarian (@safaribot announces new and popular content added to Safari), they can be artistic (@pentametron assembles rhyming couplets out of existing tweets), or they can be utterly surreal (@autocharts and many more by Darius Kazemi). We’re kind of obsessed with them.
Getting set up
I recommend three preliminary steps before writing a line of code: Read more »
My job here at Safari is a unique and multi-faceted one, which suits my personality and work history well. I’m basically an experienced project manager who is deployed on internal projects that are of important strategic value to the company. This means that I can be working on basically anything! A built-in part of the job is to quickly immerse myself in topics about which I may initially only have a passing familiarity. My background prepares me for some of this gear switching – I have worked as a web and print project manager, financial advisor, classical musician, bartender, and am an avid multi-disciplinary fiber artist. But invariably I have a lot to learn about whatever projects I’m currently working on. I recently got rid of plenty of outdated physical technical books from when I was learning to build websites, but now I have access to a much larger and more up-to-date digital collection in Safari.
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By Lauren Keller Johnson
Lauren Keller Johnson is a freelance writer living in Harvard, MA
As a manager or team leader, you’re responsible for many things. But your most important task may be crafting and executing strategies for your group.
Strategies are the plans you build to set direction. They might center on how your group will help the overall organization achieve its mission. Or they might emphasize how your group will sharpen its competitive edge; for example, by achieving unparalleled excellence in its operations, developing breakthrough products or services, or finding innovative ways to anticipate and satisfy customers’ needs.
You might define brilliant strategies for your group, informed by a clear understanding of your organization’s mission or a careful analysis of market and technology trends. But if you can’t execute the strategies you’ve crafted—if you can’t put them into action—then they’re worthless. Read more »
While my job responsibilities don’t formally include accessibility, Safari is awesome and lets me use my ability chops for the products and sites we make. I had not created an accessibility report for a native iOS app before, so testing Safari Queue was a fascinating experience for me. I’m very pleased that Safari is comfortable with me posting the results of my testing, especially since the results reveal that we have some way to go before the app is perfect. In my experience, transparency about accessibility weaknesses has a strong correlation with companies who have a commitment to fixing those weaknesses.
Queue is pretty accessible! There’s definitely room for improvement, but I spent time reading in Safari using my iPhone with the screen blanked. There were some hurdles, but I managed some not insubstantial reading and navigation without being able to see the screen. That being said, we definitely have some stability fixes to put on our list.
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