getcwd: cannot access parent directories: No such file or directory

The other day we started a new course here at </salt> And the first day we are used to seeing some confusion from the developers and the odd strange, wrongly configured computer (by us). But the error in the title of this blog post:

 getcwd: cannot access parent directories: No such file or directory 

had me scratching my head for quite some time. Until I realized that the error message states what was wrong.

The whole thing is quite simple: the team I was helping got this, or similar errors whatever command they tried to run:


shell-init: error retrieving current directory: getcwd: cannot access parent directories: No such file or directory 

open .?

LSOpenURLsWithRole() failed with error -50 for the URL ./. shell-init: error...
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How we start with trust and vulnerable in our developer training

In the </salt> accelerated learning program we emphasizes learning in groups throughout the entire boot camp. We do this through the use of mob programming that is not only a great way to solve problems together but also puts learning front and center. I’ve yet to sit down with any mob and not learn a new thing (I’ve tried 40+ so far.)

But there’s a thing that needs to be in place in order for the learning to be allowed to flow freely; psychological safety. We try to create a psychological safe space through two tools:

  • Trust
  • Vulnerability

Let me, very breifly, expand on how we use this in our training.


We build trust in the mob through some different exercises, but the underlying thought is that from the great book 5 dysfunctions of a team

You trust...

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Applied learning - things noticed

I work for a developer accelerated career program. I have (together with Jakob Leczinsky) created a training material that takes people with no professional development experience into professional developers in 3 months. We have now run 4 courses and found jobs for about 100 people. All of them have got rave reviews from our clients, top-line software companies in Stockholm.

But how?! This is quite provocative, even for me. I spent 4 years in university (Go DSV!) - surely you can’t learn as much in 3 months.

How can this work? Because it quite obviously does. I have 100 devs telling me so.

I was pondering this as I picked up the book Antifragile by Nicholas Nassim Taleb for a reread. And things clicked. Our method is antifragility applied to training. And we create antifragile developers.

In this post I will speak solely from my...

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How do you get so much done?

How do you get so much done? Where do you find the time?

This is a question that I often get asked and it always catch me off guard. I don’t have a recipe (or do I?) and I don’t think I get more done than others.

But last time when I was asked this question I stopped for awhile and thought to myself - what do I do, and is that something others don’t?

In this particular case I referred to a blog post I’ve written and the question back was:

How do you find the time to write blog posts?

In this blog post I share a couple of my … tricks.

When I decide to do it - I do it

If I get an idea for a blog post (or any other task that needs to be done) -...

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Scraping with Google Sheets for fun and profit

Yes, yes … I know. I do way too much Google Sheets for my good. But that tool is SO amazing. It’s becoming my first go-to-tool when it comes to small simple tasks at the office. And it allows us to be more data-driven and visual.

And it’s very easy to build aggregation tools for people around the office. For example; the other day we were wondering what kind of technologies that was hot in different cities in Sweden.

From that question, until I’ve created a simple but powerful tool to scrape data from, presented it with a simple filtering function and got it in the hands of the sales team was 45 minutes.

In the process, I learned about two new friends; IMPORTXML and the slicer-feature of Google Sheet.

Let me show you what we did.

Indeed is a site that aggregates job...

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Summarizing data over several Google Sheets - an exercise in stats and formulas

In my current job, as Head of Quality and Curriculum at </salt>, my thirst for being data-driven is frequently useful. In particular when it comes to test results for the developers in our courses. We test the developers every weekend (for 10/13 weeks) and we have now run 4 courses using the same tests… A gold mine of knowledge if you can mine it.

To help each developer and us, understand how they are doing we produce a diagram that compares their results to the result of their class (ca 30 people) but also compared to all classes (to date 4 x 30 people).

In the end we want to produce charts that looks like these:

But getting there has been quite tricky but oh so rewarding. At the end of this blog post, the whole thing is fully automated and...

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Metrics on 'well-defined' projects - and what I learned about uncertainty

I’ve just finished a huge project here at work. I have recorded reference recordings of all the lectures in the </salt> bootcamp. It was quite fun, quite exhausting but also quite rewarding as it basically drained me of every system development knowledge I have in me. And some that I didn’t have in me (there’s CSS in there, my friends…)

Obviously, I cannot share the result - but what I can share is what I learned.

I am a fan of embracing uncertainty since I first heard Dan North all those years ago. Most of the work I do is development hence naturally uncertain, as learning is the main constraint. This has led me to ditch the idea of being able to estimate how long a task or project will take before we start.

But still I and teams I’ve coached are often asked this. Before the...

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Why the retrospective prime directive is paramount

I’m about to run a few retrospectives with a group of people with little to no experience of agile previously. In doing my preparations I went back to the core and start of retrospectives, why we do them, their purpose and meaning, etc.

Before long I stumble onto something that I have had some issues with; the Retrospective Prime Directive. But as I read it and was thinking about how to introduce the whole concept to retrospectives to my friends I realize that without the Retrospective Prime directive being agreed on - retrospectives are not worth the time. Or at least not interesting in the long run.

Let me explain what I mean.

The retrospective prime directive

The retrospective prime directive is originally written by Norm Kerth in Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Review, all the way back in 2001. The same year as the...

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Talking about what really matters to us - what I learned from a spiritual day

No - this post will not be about Christianity per se. You don’t have to worry.

That said I am a Christian and proud member of the Salvation Army and I wanted to share something I observed during two (actually) spiritual days. Something that I think is sorely missing in business today. Something crucial.

I’m not talking about God now - although he’s often out of the picture too :)

I have the great honor and joy to be part of the Salvation Army leadership board in Sweden. It’s the first time the Salvation Army is trying having a representative for its members (aka Salvation Army solider) on its board. Not in Sweden but worldwide. Quite the honor, for me!

And the difference is vast, y’all. Well, in many regards we are talking about much of the same things; finance, staffing, and program. But other topics usually don’t...

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Prioritizing and sequencing are not the same things

Having an (any) work in process (WIP) limit to your workload is the best way I know to improve speed, quality and focus on value in what we do. This goes for individuals, teams and whole organizations alike.

As you apply a limit of how many things you will work on at the same time, you very soon will start to prioritize among your work. (Psst - I’ll let you in on a secret: if you don’t have limit you still prioritise, because at any one given time you are only working on a thing … but that is a topic for another post)

Being nudged to do this prioritization is a Good Thing (TM) if you let it. It starts moving you towards knowing WHY you are doing something NOW and away from ensuring that you are kept busy (or keeping people busy)

Ok but inevitable very soon we...

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