I was watching the gymnastics competition at the Olympics on Sunday night and on more than one occasion heard commentators applaud competitors for their agility. As I watched these gymnasts move swiftly and with exacting precision across the beam, floor, vault and bars, I could not help but marvel at their abilities and at how appropriate a descriptor “agile” was for them. Long before businesses tossed around the term “Agile” as a method of technology project management, it stood as a word that often affixed to people and objects that displayed a certain set of characteristics. People earning the moniker “agile” almost invariably were both fast and nimble – not … Read More
Any advocate for better software quality knows that one of the biggest challenges is helping the CIO reach the CFO. When your team needs a budget for an important project, those conversations often break down. Thanks to the unavoidable technical complexity of IT, oftentimes the CIO might as well be speaking Esperanto to the CFO. When it comes to budgeting, IT might be the least-understood department in your organization. And what the CFO doesn’t understand, he doesn’t budget for. Instead, capital that should rightfully go towards IT growth and innovation is allocated to other groups and initiatives. That dulls the organization’s competitive edge, and can have a toxic effect on … Read More
Here’s a poster for you to celebrate the Fourth of July in the way only a mature development team can appreciate. Feel free to download it, share it, or print it out and hang it around your office. Also feel free to annoy anyone who doesn’t understand the importance of insight and transparency in application development.
I have been an East-Coaster all my life. I’ve lived, worked and even attended college in states that all lie East of the Mississippi. However, throughout my 18 years working in the technology business, my clients have been spread out around the U.S. and abroad. I’ve found myself doing phone calls before the sun rises and well after it has set. That’s just the way it is in this business. While it is admittedly easier to write about companies that are located in another state, I the remote worker hardly begins and ends with us writers. More often than not I’m working with companies that have developers, architects, managers, directors … Read More
Developing software, like almost any facet of business, often can be overtaken by some rather sinful thoughts and actions. This is why I really enjoyed a recent post on GigaOm by Magne Land, scrum master and tech lead at RightScale who compares issues within software development to the “Seven Deadly Sins.” While Land makes a great case for each of the sins, the one that resonates the most is the sin of Greed. Anyone who ever saw Wall Street knows that every for profit business in the world is pushed by greed. The main character, Gordon Gekko, goes so far as to say, “Greed is good.” But in the development … Read More
Catchy slogans are catchy for two good reasons – the put an extremely true point into very simple, succinct language. This is probably why they call these true, simple statements, “catch phrases.” One of the most effective catch phrases of my youth was for a product called Fram Oil Filters. Sometime in the 1970’s, Fram came out with a set of television and radio commercials where a mechanic would explain how a simple thing like replacing your oil filter on a regular basis could prevent major engine problems. The catch phrase uttered by the mechanic at the end of each commercial was, “You can pay me now, or you can … Read More
Over the past 10 years or so, it has been interesting to watch the metaphor of Technical Debt grow and evolve. Like most topics or issues in software development, there aren’t many concepts or practices that are fully embraced by the industry without some debate or controversy. Regardless of your personal thoughts on the topic, you must admit that the concept of Technical Debt seems to resonate strongly outside of development teams and has fueled the imagination of others to expound on the concept and include additional areas such as design debt or other metaphors. There are now a spate of resources dedicated to the topic including the industry aggregation … Read More