Industry Insights From Our Team

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 […]
December 6, 2015

4 Reasons They’re not Buying what You’re Selling

A development manager who read my article on best practices told me recently about technical and interpersonal roadblocks that his organization was facing. He was new on the job, at a very large company where changes happened at a slower pace than he was used to. Very often, the help desk would escalate issues to his department, and he had a pretty crafty idea in mind about how to prevent a particular issue that caused a lot of aggravation for his team. He asked how I would  have approached the situation differently. The company serves nearly 10 million customers. Concerned by the reactive approach […]
December 5, 2015

The ScrumMaster is not a Boss

Many times I come across job descriptions where the ScrumMaster role is just another hat worn by a lead developer, a development manager, a project manager, or someone else in a similar position of power over the development team.  Of course, everyone has a budget, but skimping on this role is not the place to try to save money. Worse yet, sometimes companies hired for agile coaching will explicitly, or tacitly, endorse that conflation in responsibilities. To them, securing the engagement is more important than doing the job well. By definition the ScrumMaster is a servant leader; they should have the traits of both a […]
December 1, 2015

Still spending the night on the phone?

“Release night” is something of a norm in many development organizations. Not because it takes so long to deploy the software, but because there are so many unforeseen problems that need to be addressed right away. Sometimes there isn’t away to roll back: database issues, third-party services that only have a limited window to apply changes, etc. Everyone ends up scrambling to fix what they can before daylight. Who wants to constantly live in fire-fighting mode? Well, you don’t have to. It is possible to be confident when deploying your software products. Monitoring your applications and your environments is a proactive strategy to protect your productivity. Monitoring […]