Industry Insights From Our Team

July 23, 2018

You Have an Answer for Everything

Leaders should have all the answers, right? If you always have the answer to everything, or an answer for everything that’s wrong, you are probably doing yourself — and your team — a disservice. Let me tell you a little story. Many years ago I came to have yet another new boss at a company where I excelled well beyond my pay grade. But this time she had called me into her office for what I’ll call “an uncomfortable conversation.” I sat there and talked about the whys and wherefores. She sat behind her desk, watching me silently, and letting me go on for […]
March 4, 2017

A Shelf, a Stock Room and a Warehouse

A shelf, a stock room, and a warehouse. Those are pretty familiar concepts to just about everyone who has ever shopped in a store and/or placed an order for something that’s not currently in stock. That is how we should talk about technology. O Clarity, Clarity, wherefore art thou, Clarity? When the S3 outage with  Amazon Web Services (AWS) happened earlier this week, that’s the analogy I was using to explain to a number of people about why their favorite apps and sites were feeling a little clunky, or not responsive at all. Yet, not ONE article I read, even […]
January 3, 2017
Lesser Software?

“Lesser Software:” Blaming Legacy Software

“Lesser software.” Yes, that was actually used as an excuse for an app not working well during a second attempt to go live for a potential client. It happened on the CNBC reality show, Billion Dollar Buyer. The founders of the company were given a second chance to work out the kinks. Tilman Fertitta told them to not bother coming back until the glitches were gone. Here Comes the Cringe Read the cringe-worthy phrases, as the servers and customers at one of Tillman’s restaurants couldn’t get the app to work properly: “Your system is not feeding us the data.” “My […]
January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for your health, happiness, and success in 2017. May all your dreams take flight!
November 24, 2016
Thanksgiving 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

May your Thanksgiving weekend be filled with peace. Life is more than work, more than money. May you find meaning and true satisfaction!
November 18, 2016

Agile Coaching for the Boss

Meet the new Agile boss: same as the old, Waterfall boss.  That is a pattern that I have noticed in a lot of companies: the boss of agile efforts is also the boss of the old waterfall processes. This month, I was happy to contribute to another industry publication that helps developers work smarter, and produce better software: Front Row Agile. Managers may hire staff with agile experience and certifications, or even send their own staff for training. Yet the person who owns all those efforts, agile and waterfall, is the usually same person.  What does that mean for a company’s […]
October 8, 2016
Asbury Agile 2016

Asbury Agile 2016: Getting Nimble

The Asbury Agile Conference was even better this year for many reasons. This time, the weather was in our favor; the venue, parking, and turnout were also better. As usual, the point of the conference is how can we work in nimble fashion. It attracts engineers of all stripes, business people, and local press. Agile frameworks sometimes get lost in the demagoguery of  jargon. Instead today, we heard models of what works: in design, in development, in QA, etc. We also heard from entrepreneurs and small business owners about creating momentum in order to scale a business. For me, 3 speakers stood out. […]
October 2, 2016
Ready for prime time?

Code Mirror: Ready for Prime Time?

A mirror…It can make a difference when you’re getting ready to go out, to go to a meeting, or even to have a video conference call. Taking a look in the mirror, by itself, doesn’t fix anything. But knowing that it’s about to be show time, you take extra care. The same goes for your code. A code review process is like looking in a mirror. By itself, it fixes nothing. But knowing that the review coming up will probably cause a developer to become more conscientious over time. Since Microsoft has opened up its ecosystem to open source resources like Git. Because of […]
August 25, 2016
Dev in DevOps

Whatever Happened to the Dev in DevOps?

DevOps is a term that comes full of controversy. A lot of people are on the bandwagon, while others are waiting for the term to jump the shark, and eventually go back to business as usual. Regardless of where you are along the spectrum of loving or hating the term DevOps, one thing is certain. More and more people are using it to describe a system administrator who uses scripts, or tools like, Chef, Puppet or Ansible, in order to provision infrastructure. There is also usually an expectation of being able to deliver this in 100% cloud, or hybrid cloud environments. […]
August 15, 2016
Toolchains or Tool Cemeteries

Toolchains or Tool Cemeteries?

Toolchains have become the bane of DevOps. Much like Agile, DevOps has become cramped by everyone pushing their favorite tools as the proper means to adopt a DevOps strategy. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this periodic table of tools.   How We Go Astray People cite good reasons for wanting to decentralize tools and processes: To allow for flexibility For better product management To beat competitors to the market   Why Tools End up In Cemeteries It is well-worth taking the end-to-end view up front, to deliberate before making decisions. Instead of getting enamored of a tool because […]
August 15, 2016
Delta's Digital Disaster

Delta’s Digital Disaster

Delta’s recent digital meltdown on August 8th has many ramifications and lessons. What could a good approach to DevOps have done to diminish it? Don’t get me wrong. I’ve worked for extremely large enterprises, and I can appreciate the innumerable number of details that go into complex, interconnected systems. I know first hand how painful it is when everyone is scrambling to bring systems back online, while trying to appease disgruntled customers on the receiving end of the problem. I’m sure that Delta, like many other companies, has articulated a DevOps philosophy. But too often, conversations about DevOps are reduced to what […]
August 11, 2016
cloud savings cnn money

Tech Tip: AWS Cost vs Control

The AWS cloud is a great option to control costs, but it doesn’t mean that all the options available to you are equally cost-efficient. Amazon is always upgrading its services, down to the presentation of the management console, depending on how far back you have been a client. Considering that EC2 is one of the most frequently used services on the platform, here’s a tip to lower the cost of maintaining it.   Less Costly and Less Control If your account was created on or after the latter days of 2013, the only choice of a network platform that you have […]
August 3, 2016
Sonar: Start Small

Sonar: Start Small

Start small to get ahead faster: that’s the principle I want to share with you today. I recently got an email from someone who works at a startup. Startups are not very well-known for baking in a ton of unit testing at the beginning of a project. They are focused on getting out their minimum viable product (MVP), as well they should be. The last thing they need is to spend limited cash on bells and whistles that nobody wants. Quality, however, is neither a bell, nor a whistle. It’s what your clients will expect. As such, the person who […]
July 30, 2016
Windows 10 Privacy

Privacy on Windows 10

Have you considered all your privacy options? Much ado has been made recently about Microsoft arm-wrestling users into upgrading to Windows 10. Personally, it’s one reason I chose to not enable Cortana Voice. A so-called “truly personal assistant,” except for the fact that my so-called assistant dictates to me. Even if you have upgraded already, you can still modify your privacy settings. Steps to Take For the quick and dirty approach, use this. If you’re truly paranoid and want something more in depth, go here.
June 25, 2016
With SonarSource Co-Founder and Leadership Team

Fix Your Leaky Code

A leak is never fun. If a pipe bursts in your house, and your floor is getting ruined, should you try to find a mop, or look for a way to fix the leak? The same logic applies to making your code  more maintainable, reliable and secure. During the Sonar Summer City Tour 2016 (#ssct2016), that is the message from SonarSource. The company’s product aims to analyze an application’s source code, so that quality is baked into it from the time development starts, to the time that the final product is delivered to your end clients. How is that quality expressed? It can be summarized […]
May 21, 2016
debugging tip for phantom errors

Tech Tip: Intermittent Errors

This is a quick tip to help you find and fix errors that, on the surface may appear intermittent. It’s an “oldie but a goodie” tip that I still have to get out of the toolbox on occasion for a given client. During times of frequent changes, both new and rollbacks to previous versions, you may get tripped up by the cache that controls the interaction between Visual Studio, and an on-premise version of TFS. This is particularly important for developers who are working on new code and legacy code, in older and newer versions of Visual Studio and TFS. Symptoms […]
May 2, 2016
Transformation

Two Keys to Successful Transformation

A lot of companies believe that they can transform the way they do business. Some go so far as to include transformation in some job titles. You might be an architect, an agile coach, or otherwise responsible for setting the new standards or transitioning to a new set of tools. Sometimes you may have just one shot at doing it right; it’s worth taking the time to do it right. Let me suggest two quick tips to make your life easier. Education before Enforcement All chances for a lasting transformation depend on how well change management is executed in the organization. People […]
April 26, 2016
Prince - Kiss

4 Principles from Prince

While many people’s obsession with Prince revolves around “Purple Rain,” the song that first captured my imagination was “Kiss.” It was released the year that most of my family immigrated (yes, legally!) to the United States. For me, that was the summer of both Springsteen and Prince. I would spend hours watching and listening to both men, in awe of their talent. In the spirit of Kiss, and keeping it short and sweet, I will share 4 career lessons I take from his life. Develop yourself. If you like something, master your craft. For many songs, Prince received all the […]
March 25, 2016
Status Reports

Yet Another Status Report? Oh, Joy!

Reporting should be in any organization’s blood, whether it is a startup, a large enterprise, or something in between. Many teams are bogged down because there are legions of people who seem to do nothing but create status reports all day. Is that truly what their calling in life should be? I touched upon this conundrum just a bit in the previous blog entry, and wanted to say a few more words on the subject. When you are dealing with a particularly complex system with many moving parts, folks should have enough understanding to at least articulate the model. It does […]
January 13, 2016
Shedding Technical Debt

Shedding Technical Fat

January is a month of reckoning. We think of all the extras we bought because while we were in the store for one thing, we thought we “might as well” pick up something else. We think of every holiday party where we had “just one” extra appetizer or drink. Now people are starting to get the bills for charges they racked up during the holiday season. And we also see the scale moving in an unflattering direction, and shedding that addition is top of mind. As you begin 2016, are you considering the ways that you can also plan to […]
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