Why Your Code Review Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good…

And how trunk-based-development can help

Here is my latest post for Simple Programmer…

Recently, I conducted an experiment with my team.

This experiment was challenging enough to make even some seasoned developers sh*t their pants.

What experiment did we run? We stopped branching our code, we threw away code review, and we started pushing directly to master.

Before you build the product, build the deployment pipeline.

Why building a deployment pipeline should be one of the first things you consider when creating a new product.

Recently I’ve been training for a long cycling event.

The event is a three day event where we will cycle around 70-100 miles each day back-to-back.

It’s very much an endurance event and for all my adult life, I’ve been a strength athlete competing in strength sports that are maximal exertion. It couldn’t be much more of a polar opposite set of skills.

Are you thinking of building an app or website? Ask yourself these four questions first.

I sat at a Starbucks cross-legged with my laptop on my lap. I’d gone out to try and find the peace required to focus on the job application I was completing as a front-end product developer.

The task was simple: Create a demo app that connects to an API (Foursquare) and shows the results.

As I sat there putting the finishing touches on the demo (you can actually still see it here) I had a realization…

Iterating to product/market fit

Since I'm a big fan of getting real practical about the skills required to build digital products, lets take a look at how exactly we are going about finding the product/market fit for Splitoo.

We’ve been working hard over the past few weeks to put together finishing touches to the UI design. Whilst it’s not perfect, and with many more ideas to come, the product is starting to come together.

8 Non-Programming Books You Haven’t Considered That Will Boost Your Programmer Career

Here is my latest post for Simple Programmer…

There are many lists of books about becoming a better programmer. They likely include books like Refactoring, Code Complete, The Mythical Man Month, etc.

However, in the workplace, it isn’t just programming knowledge that we programmers need. Learning programming is an essential part of our work — but it’s not everything.

The authors of iconic programming books had remarkable careers, but it wasn’t just their coding knowledge that made their careers noteworthy. They were well-rounded experts and we should strive to emulate that quality as well.

You’re Selling It Wrong — How to Explain DevOps so Your Business Will Care

Here is my latest post for Simple Programmer…

We were struggling to get our features out into production. There were lots of defects and firefighting. All this and the company was but a few months old. What was working here going to be like in a year? We were all staying as late as we could and even working weekends to try and fix issues that would appear, seemingly, from nowhere. It was hell.

Build Faster, Waste Less, and Save Your Sanity by Writing World Class Tickets.

Writing tickets is an art worth mastering, for your own sanity and that of your team.

Here is my latest post for Simple Programmer…

As programmers, we have a lot on our plates. Understanding the newest technology, the business, navigating politics in the business and in our teams, and all of the tools, languages, and everything else that comes with the territory. It is overwhelming.

When it comes to making improvements, it’s easy to be in favor of our own personal development over that of our teams. Choosing to focus on gaining personal skills over improving the output of the team or the business. After all, these improvements are a manager’s responsibility, right? Possibly. But this type of thinking can backfire on us if we’re not careful.

Why? Because, ultimately, we get paid for the value we deliver to our business. So if we want more pay, more recognition, and ultimately a better career, it makes sense to keep an eye on what the business wants and needs, not just our own personal development. That’s how our checks are paid and how we keep a roof over our head.

This type of thinking can seem somewhat counterintuitive, and maybe even scary, as we’re focusing on areas that feel outside of our control.

The Software Career You Didn’t Think To Consider — Professional Services

When I started working as a programmer, I assumed there was only one career path for programmers...

Here is my latest post for Simple Programmer…

It looked something like this: Become extremely knowledgeable in a given programming language until eventually you become a senior programmer.

Once you’re a senior programmer, you ride out the rest of your career as a programmer. Or you make a leap out of the technical world and into a strategy- or management-focused role.

For many programmers, this is a hard decision. Programming is what we love and we don’t want to lose our hard-earned skills. As programmers, we’re often very aware of how quickly our skills fade when we’re not in the business of putting out code anymore.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is another option that allows you to straddle both areas of the so-called softer and technical side of the profession.

And that’s in the realm of professional services.

How to Coach: A Cheat Sheet

"The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is." — Jim Carrey

Here is my latest post for Simple Programmer…

At some point in your programming career so far, you might have been asked to “coach.” Most programmers get into the field to write code, and often before we know it, we end up in a leadership role, almost as if by accident.

Only a few months into my first job I remember telling my boss that I felt like I was teaching a lot. I’d like to say it was a natural inclination towards teaching, but I don’t think that’s it. Because of the nature of the field of technology, teaching and coaching others is an inherent part of what we do. Even if we’re really new to the field.

Building a Workplace Learning Culture: Starter Kit.

If there is one fundamental truth I have come to realize after working in technology, it is this: Mindset and approach trump skill.

Here is my latest post for Simple Programmer…

For success, it isn’t the programming knowledge you or your team members have at present that matters most. Nor is it how many years of experience we have.

It’s how we work together, how we approach problems, and most importantly, how we learn. Michael Gerber said in the most eloquent way I have seen in his book The E-Myth: “Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.”