When is it ok to compromise quality?

This weekend we packed up the littlest kids and trucked them over to the aunt & uncle's house early Saturday morning. Our mission? Cleaning out the garage which has, over the holidays and last six months, become the dumping ground of partially finished projects and the victim of my latest office remodeling overflow. I wondered how things got into such a state. We didn't intend the garage to look like this. Just last spring we had it cleaned and everything was neatly in its place. Exactly the opposite of a thief in the night, items began to appear almost immediately and at random. A dropped off item, something that didn't belong elsewhere in the house, something that we really wanted…

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“Storming” your Development Team

Due to the great 2019 Post-Superbowl "Snowpocalypse" which has just started to thaw in Seattle, I wanted to pull forward one of my planned posts aptly named "'Storming' your Development Team." I've had the honor of being part of many development teams in my twenty-year career of professional software development. They all had a similar structure, with common titles we're most familiar with in scrum: Scrum Master, QA Lead, Lead & Sr. Engineers, Product Owner, Business Analyst, etc. People in these teams have had vastly different experience and skill levels, but all teams had to go through the same progression stages outlined below. Early in my career, I was introduced to the Tuckman stages of group development. This can apply…

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Catching­­ Unicorns & Purple Squirrels

I recently ran across a job listing for a Solution Architect position.  It’s common to see these include significant knowledge and experience requirements in high (or low) level languages, recent experience in new technologies, and solid fundamentals in well-established standards.  Check.  What was confusing to me though was the buzz-word bingo sheet that the job listing appeared to be.  Recruiters have started calling this candidate the Purple Squirrel for good reason. To paraphrase: they wanted “Expert” level knowledge of Java, “Expert” level knowledge of Microsoft Stack / C# / .Net, significant experience with Microsoft and Google cloud platforms, and “preferred” someone also have knowledge of Node.js / npm / etc.  This was in addition to all the standard database proficiency…

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I think I can, I think I can

No, this wasn’t a pasting accident in the title.  No, it’s probably not grammatically correct.  I was putting our toddler to bed the other day and the book she picked out was one about a little blue train.  The book was well worn and the little blue toy train that I imagine came with it was missing. I had to use my finger and imagination to guide this invisible train through the tracks that followed it’s winding journey on each page. This train story was a perfect analogy to life in general and the need for a positive outlook (see “Have to vs. Get to”.) In the past, I’ve been put in several scenarios where success was not a foregone…

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Have to Vs. Get To

At our church a few weeks ago I heard a portion of the Sunday sermon that really resonated with me. It made me think about the business applicability of having a positive mindset and how powerful that can be. I’ve heard many proverbial stories and read tons of “rah-rah” business literature about the subject, but what was remarkable to me was the simplicity of it. No matter what organization you work for, at some point in your career there will be days where it’s hard to be positive. RIFs, clipped budgets, departure of key colleagues, uncertainty, real or perceived crises, someone just having a bad day and letting other people know it [future blog link to come: dealing with problematic…

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