Blog

Oct 2
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 0
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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Jul 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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Mar 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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Feb 0
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
Feb 0

Don’t Panic

  Some days it seems like my job is mostly about not allowing people to panic. Or at least pointedly ignoring those who do. I hate doing it, I really do — it’s not in my nature to ignore people’s emotions, or their ideas or inputs, but I simply can’t allow the presence of panic […]

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Feb 0
Feb 0

The sound of awesomeness

I mentioned the “awesome bell” (pictured) in my post about some of the tools I’d require to implement Scrum. I want to briefly say a little bit more about why this bit of kit is so important. The way it works is that whenever a Story in the current Sprint goes to Done (i.e. done-done), […]

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Feb 0
Feb 0

A Bug’s life (part 1)

I’ve argued previously that rigid or otherwise over-prescriptive processes lead to sub-optimal performance of creative teams. But not everything about software development is creative. For all but the most esoteric of offerings, there will come a point when we need to deliver the fruits of our labour to users, and from that point on an […]

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Jan 0
Jan 0

Will today’s users be here tomorrow? And why Grandma wants to be friends with you on Facebook.

For a few years now I’ve been debating, on and off, quitting Facebook.  My reasons are many and not always convincing and, to date, I haven’t followed through on it. We all know the story – that the now world-dominating social networking site started life catering exclusively to feckless university students with too much time […]

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Jan 0
Jan 0

My nutshell

Most people outside of software ask me what I do and then appear to glaze over slightly when I tell them. The following YouTube video may not retain the attention of the non-techie for the whole 15 minutes, but it is a gorgeously crafted explanation of what an Agile Product Owner does. By the way, […]

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