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The one in which Jim points out a coffee shop lesson

Long-time reader Jim was reading yesterday’s email about baristas from the #1 rated coffee shop in America and pointed out an interesting idea:

“One thing I’ll add is that the best shops are often rigid or uncompromising about something that ends up being inconvenient for customers.”

I also found many practices of great coffee shops annoying at first, for example, that they only serve drinks in one size. That seemed crazy to me when I was a coffee novice!

But, now I look for that as a sign of a great coffee shop.

See, I learned that great coffee shops tune their recipes for a particular ratio of water, coffee (and maybe milk.) This is especially important with pour-overs and espresso drinks.

Crappy coffee shops simply keep adding liquid to fill the cup without regard to taste.

This brought up an interesting parallel: Maybe the best programmers appear annoying to novice managers.

Where a less experienced programmer will jump into coding, great programmers start by understanding. When they receive a new project, they begin by asking questions. Probably LOTS of questions.

Asking a lot of questions might not feel ‘productive’ to a novice manager, or one in a big hurry – so it might appear annoying.

Today I’m going to be on the lookout for ‘annoying’ things, and ask myself, “Could this be an opportunity for learning?”

Thanks, Jim!


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About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

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