Fireside Fridays #2: e27 staff picks

Oh, the weather outside is frightful… Read your weekend away!

fireside

This week, all eyes were on Apple. The tech giant’s annual conference Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) took centre stage as enthusiasts and professionals on Twitter, Facebook and international tech publications raced to talk about new updates on the various devices. Apple’s new programming language Swift was particularly interesting, since it could potentially level the playing field.

Aside from Apple, we are also gearing up for next week’s Echelon in Singapore! Have you gotten your tickets? Come say hi to all of us at Max Atria next Tuesday!

What’s a degree worth now? / My Paper
“For those who pursue it simply for the sake of their careers, it may be worthwhile to consider alternative routes. Instead of rushing straight to grab that degree, they might want to get some work experience first, which could burnish the worth of that degree.”

“For a degree can no longer be looked to as a passport to a good job and a good life; it has become more an enabler than a guarantee, more a necessary condition than one that is sufficient.”

It was on May 17, 2013 — a workday — that I found myself waiting, in a graduation gown, alongside many others, to enter an echoey auditorium and collect my diploma.

While my peers contemplated university and academic degrees, I was already gainfully employed at e27.

I saw a number of my friends go from a diploma in Mass Communication to a degree in the same field, even though their hatred for the industry was more than apparent. According to them, the paper chase is strategic; it grants interviews to firms which might want to see a (general) degree in the resumes. The good thing about hiring a person with a general degree? They can do anything from web design to radio hosting.

However, is a degree really worth cursing and swearing for the next one to four years, and chalking up exorbitant debts? I doubt it. Unless you’re in love with the topic, a degree is hardly worth it.

- Elaine Huang, Correspondent (Southeast Asia)

The Heretic’s Guide to Getting More Done / Harvard Business Review Blog Network
“Are you working endlessly but not accomplishing all you want? Mystified that continuous attention to work is not resulting in satisfactory progress toward your goals? So focussed on work that you’re not thinking about or doing much else?”

That was an article I was browsing through during my lunch break and it came to me that very often, people complain about not being able to accomplish assignments or other projects due to time constraints.

I regularly refer to Harvard Business Review’s blogs for inspiration and content, as well as meaningful articles like this. It gives me ideas for my own articles, advice on self-improvement and is worthwhile reading for both employees and employers. Productivity and results matter, not so much the time, especially in knowledge work and when dealing with information.

Far too many people complain about being unable to be as productive as they would like in their professional lives, and managers complain about their workers slacking off and being unproductive. Entrepreneurs constantly complain about the long hours involved when starting a business. This helps give people an idea about how to optimise their time and get more out of their day.

- Shiwen Yap, Correspondent (Southeast Asia)

Managing times of transition / Mint
Written by the CEO of National Intelligence Grid (Government of India), Raghu Raman started his career in the Indian Armed Forces. He has served in the frontline at the highest battlefield in the world in Siachen Glacier. Raman is a great leadership speaker and brings his army experiences to the corporate world. Here, he talks about “The first 100 days”, throwing light on the eight mistakes leaders make during the times of transition and how to avoid them. And he does it in his signature style, drawing analogy from the Armed Forces.

“Action taken in the early days can start a vicious or virtuous cycle. If the transition leader makes early mistakes, his judgement comes under question and subordinates don’t trust him, thus cutting off the leader’s learning conduits, undermining his efforts and eventually his credibility. On the other hand, if the leader is able to implement small but good steps, his personal credibility is enhanced, and over time, he is able to take stronger and more controversial decisions,” says Raman.

Maneka Tanwani, Assistant Editor

Spoilsports: On Gaming’s Unhealthy Obsession With Spoilers / Crispy Gamer
“To worry about spoilers is to cede this co-creative power; it is to make oneself a bystander in an active imaginative process. With videogames, we have nothing less than one of the most involving and potentially powerful forms of art in the whole history of the world — a form of art whose interactivity has everything to do with the how rather than the what. Worrying about a mortar, or who the hell is Frank Fontaine, or that (spoiler!) the final confrontation in Assassin’s Creed II is a fistfight with a fat guy, is not even infantilizing. Babies, after all, do not like surprises.”

Some wise man of unknown origin said once that the journey is far greater than the destination itself. This oldie-but-goldie of an article hits that adage home: with any sort of medium from books to television, it’s not about what happened at the end of the tale, but how the story/narrative/experience got to that point in the first place. By just focussing on the end, you’re just marginalising the point of the work of art presented to you. Insightful articles like this one help me (and hopefully others) realise that whatever features or stories I write won’t mean jack if its stylised bookend doesn’t match what’s in-between.

- Jonathan Toyad, Games Editor

Other reads:

Apple unveils iOS 8 and a tonne of goodies at this year’s WWDC / e27

Why I Can’t Stop Being Excited About Swift / Natasha The Robot

David Streitfeld on Amazon: ‘They don’t care if they’re liked’ / Ponyter

Uber Anxiety: When Your Car Service Is Judging You Back / NYMag

Featured Image Credit: Andreas Saldavs / Shutterstock

e27 Editorial Staff

Keeping a pulse on Asia's emerging technology and business sectors, e27 brings users the latest news, analysis and events that impact Asia's tech industry.

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