Development Culture. Do You Speak It?

software developers in an open floor plan

What has a hundred legs, sits in your office, occupies fifty computer screens, clicks on keyboards and trackpads all day, and gets nothing accomplished? Answer: Your development team. Wait, the CEO says.  What is going on here?  We hired a bunch of developers.  We bought a very long party table and two very long benches. … Read more

Agile, Tribal Knowledge, and the Trail of Documentation

It's all ones and zeros

When I encounter a software company that claims to be “agile,” I often also hear something like this: “We’re an agile shop. We don’t do documentation because we don’t need to.  Documentation goes obsolete quickly.” Right. Whenever I hear such things, there is a part of my brain called the bullshitathalamus that quickly utters some … Read more

Can’t Get Technical Talent? Mind the Interviews!

Waiting for job interviews

Imagine this scenario: your company paid a recruiting firm to find candidates for new technical roles in support of your expanding product portfolio.  Technical talent is rolling in, your team is interviewing them, but nobody is accepting your offers.  You are starting to wonder how this is happening. “We’re a world-class company, with world-class talent … Read more

Engineering Better Meetings

Sleeping at the conference. Tired businesswoman sleeping while sitting at the table with her colleagues

Meetings have a bad reputation in the corporate world.  Everyone seems to have war stories of boring, wasteful, time-sucking meetings.  In my own experience, I would estimate that about one in fifteen meetings that I attend is “effective” in my own definition.  Alas, for my junior colleagues just entering the workforce, it is entirely possible … Read more

Engineering And Bagel Shops

Bagel with Coffee

What do bagel shops and engineering have in common?  More than you might think! Bill Gates once said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”  I think most business should pay meaningful attention to that statement. At upper echelons of management, this kind of viewpoint on customer focus and process optimization is … Read more

The Alliance: Game Changer?

My copy of The Alliance

Imagine this scenario: A seemingly great company woos you with overtures about their great software, unheard-of cultural values, and equally great support of software engineering best practices. They promise you that the sky is the limit!  You will be working on the next generation of their flagship product, pushing the company into greatness, if you … Read more