Julie’s Tiny Contribution to Audrey’s On Being a Datachick In a Developer’s World, or “This One Goes to 11”

part 1part 2

and now part 3:

11. Leave a “fidget” on your desk at all times.

If you are lucky (or unlucky depending on your need for companionship) enough to have your own office, there will often be a steady stream of visitors to this office.  Developers, managers, business analysts, project managers all find their way to your desk to talk about the data.  This is a good sign.  You must be doing something right, even if it’s just the cookies.

I placed an innocent looking “fidget” on my desk when I got my new office.  It was a little plastic disk with a fairly strong magnet inside.  Along with this disk came about 30 nuts (no I’m not talking about the people who came to visit me; I mean actual metal nuts that would go with a “bolt”).  The magnet made the nuts moldable and also hard to lose.  I thought it might help the occasional restless developer work through some process. 

Boy Howdy, was this thing popular.  I don’t think I ever saw anyone sit in the chair opposite me who didn’t absentmindedly reach for the fidget and start creating works of art.  One guy spent about a week trying to shape the nuts into a hand flipping me off (that’s just his thing; he doesn’t hate me).  When that novelty wore off, then he started trying for height records before the magnet failed.

Another developer became a big fan of the fidget as well and started a covert contest of “Fidget Art” with Magnetic Bird Man.  I can’t remember the title of his work, but I have officially declared his piece the winner:

I did not pack up this fidget in my box- o-belongings.  I felt the guys had grown too attached to it and to deprive them of their fidget would be cruel.  I’ll have to get a new one now, anyone have any suggestions?

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Julie Smith

One half of the Datachix.com. ETL person. This picture is the best of me ever taken. Don't be too sad when you meet me for real :)

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