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So, your company has decided to go “agile”? What does that mean for you as a department manager or project manager? How do you know if your teams are making progress? How do you manage “agile” teams when the rest of the company is still “waterfall”?

Waterfall + Agile = “Wagile”

As companies respond to distributed teams and remote workers in a rapidly changing world, the trend to adopt agile ways of working has gained more momentum. But what is “agile” and how does it differ from traditional “waterfall” methods?

Businesses spent over a trillion dollars on enterprise software and IT services last year, with a healthy forecasted growth fueling an otherwise flat IT market.

You might expect this investment would be producing better and better software, but every day you probably experience the reverse. Cryptic error messages, confusing flows and plain old software crashes seem as inevitable as death and taxes.

But they don’t need to be. The difference between disappointment and software people love to use boils down to just five golden rules.

In previous posts, I discussed the fundamentals of understanding your user and creating a consistent…

People sometimes describe DevOps as a factory. It’s a good analogy. Like a factory, code goes go in one end of the DevOps line. Finished software comes out the other.

I’d take the idea one step further. In its highest form, DevOps is not just any factory, but a ‘lights-out’ factory.

Also called a “dark factory,” a lights-out factory is one so automated it can perform most tasks in the dark, needing only a small team of supervisors to keep an eye on things in the control room. That’s the level of automation DevOps should strive for.

In a lights-out…

‍Maybe you know someone like my friend Pete. He grew up in a small town in Ohio dreaming of a big tech career. By working hard, he was able to study computer science at Northwestern, move to California and become a successful Silicon Valley executive.

It’s a classic American success story, but something always nagged Pete. Did he really have to leave the state he loved to build his dream career?

If that was ever true, it’s not anymore. World-class jobs are popping up around America’s Heartland, especially in the tech industry.

Look beyond New York and San Francisco

Tech jobs are projected to grow about twice…

Making good software isn’t hard. But in the race to generate more revenue, businesses sometimes lose sight of what’s important. In fact, sticking to a few basic rules can help you grow your bottom line.

In this three-part series, I explain how the golden rules of software development will help you create software people love so your business thrives. I already covered the hardest rule (Know Your User) in part one. Here in part two, we’ll explore the importance of creating a seamless experience, both in terms of consistency and functionality.‍

Rule №2: Provide consistency

Businesses don’t have one digital presence anymore — they…

Humans are tool-making creatures. Technology is what we’re supposed to be good at. So why is so much of the software we use every day so bad?

You know what I’m talking about: Help boxes that don’t help, buttons that don’t seem to do anything and features hidden in sub-menus three levels down.

You don’t have to be a coder to know when software is good or bad. You can feel it the same way you can feel the balance and heft of a well-made hammer or the flimsy construction of a cheap door handle.

Even among professional coders, the…

It’s easy to understand how Danny became a senior developer. His code was fast and elegant, and after four years in the company, he understood the product well. But there was a problem. His team was no longer hitting scheduled milestones, and attrition was high. Colleagues privately confessed that Danny’s “my way or the highway” development approach was demoralizing and disruptive.

The truth is, there isn’t much room for lone wolf coders — even talented ones like Danny — in this era of Agile, real-time software collaboration. Modern software development is a team sport, and its tempo is increasing…

Most Agile developers have worked in both real Agile environments and in the more traditional set-ups dressed up in Agile ceremonies. You know the ones — where people are just stepping through the Agile motions, with “standups” in which no one stands up; and “retrospectives” where there is no honest reflection and improvement.

These fake retros bother me the most.

All week, you’ll hear people griping privately about problems with the development process, but when it comes time for the retrospective you hear a bunch of gratuitous back-patting. “Great job, everyone!”

There’s nothing wrong with giving credit where credit is…

So your development team wants to start using DevOps, but the ops team has dug in its heels, the infrastructure team is throwing up roadblocks left and right, and management is oblivious to the whole disagreement?

Sounds about right.

Most organizations are DevOps-resistant by nature. Even if they say they value innovation, nine times out of 10 they’d prefer to stick with the manual, inefficient status quo.

So the cycle begins. Your team needs DevOps to be faster and stronger, but you’ve got zero buy-in. …

  • Once I found an internal system that was logging usernames and passwords in plain text
  • In trying to educate the client about the right way, I used the term “best practice.”
  • The customer heard “best practice” and treated it as a matter of opinion.
  • I had to explain the danger of those credentials leaking out much more thoroughly than if would if I had simply presented it as what it was — a security risk

The right way: adhere to the law

  • Sometimes you’ll be asked to write software that actually violates a company’s stated privacy policy or terms and…


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