Industry Insights From Our Team

February 7, 2019

Accomplish More In 2019

Want to accomplish more with your tech career? Stop waiting for someone to notice you. In our consulting work, we come across many people like that. Very often, you will see someone get an opportunity, not because they’re smarter or better than you, but because they have the confidence of—or friendship with—someone in authority. Does that mean you’re stuck, and you have to start kissing up? Heck, no! That’s life, and “sugar honey ice tea” happens. Instead of putting your headset back on, and staring at your computer, here’s one thing you can do instead. Find something that is neglected […]
November 19, 2018

A Gentle Introduction to Azure DevOps

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. […]
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 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 […]
May 2, 2016

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 […]
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 […]