Blog

Oct 2

Low-fi Language Habits

In a previous post I introduced the topics of poor quality language giving rise to poor quality output from software teams. Here, I want to go into more detail on three major bad habits which frequently mark such communications. I would categorize the following mistakes as mistakes of “laziness”, although we should be careful to […]

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Oct 2
Oct 0

Why a little language is a dangerous thing

This is the first post in what is planned to be a sweeping arc of discussion on the place of language in engineering teams. Over the years I’ve spent in software development, and in particular those I’ve spent doing product management and product ownership, I’ve come to the realization that our use of language – […]

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Oct 0
Jul 0

Three deadly sins of software teams

There are three* really fundamental mistakes I’ve come to realize characterize most team dysfunction. They may sound obvious, but it’s taken me many years to spot and generalize them. Each is a form of interpersonal dysfunction, rather than an environmental issue (e.g. lack of funding, etc.) Dogma In my opinion, the most despicable sin of […]

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Jul 0
Mar 0

A breath of fresh air

I changed the format of my team’s story cards on our Kanban board recently.  I think the previous format had been in effect for around two years. Since formally picking up Scrum, a few years back, which involved transitioning from an electronic story tracker to a physical one, the format had been to write out […]

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Mar 0
Mar 0

Dev Bake Day

How often do you get together as a team to do some extended activities? I’m not talking about the 15 minutes you spend in stand-up meetings every day, and I’m not even talking about the few hours that you spend every iteration in planning and review meetings together.   The importance of planning distractions If […]

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Mar 0
Mar 0

Awesome Companies: Ingredients

Ingredients of an Awesome Company I was thinking recently about the effect teams and individuals can have on how a company performs. Now I’m no expert on building companies per se, but I do know what makes a great team, and I’ve been privileged enough to be involved with some companies at a sufficient level […]

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Mar 0
Mar 1

Is this what you wanted? (Product Management vs. Lean/Agile)

One of the most problematic and misunderstood aspects of Agile is the “Voice of Customer” aka “Product Owner” function, and I’m not just saying that because it’s my job right now. I’ve been familiar with the idea of “Voice of Customer” ever since my first dealings with eXtreme Programming which emphasises keeping the customer close […]

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Mar 1
Mar 0
Feb 1

“…or is it just me?” – notes on obviousness in user experience

I went to a great presentation yesterday evening about User Experience tonight near Farringdon station. (Shout out to @UXPhil and @ComplexityTamed) Farringdon is a difficult place for me to get to/from and I was idly wondering whether using overground (ThamesLink) would have a ticketing implication for me (is my PAYG Oyster valid on the service? […]

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Feb 1
Feb 0

Wah, meh, huzzah!

I followed a Twitter / blog thread today which led me to some discussions about how the familiar 5-star rating system may be fundamentally flawed (i.e. useless). This makes some intuitive sense, both from the point of view of a viewer and contributor to product ratings. I’m working on an App right now that I had planned […]

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Feb 0