Getting Ready to Break Everything (in 5 Easy Steps)

Every project eventually hits a point where a big change needs to be made, and it’s going to break everything. And you’re going to be the one stuck putting it back together.

Whether it’s a language or tool change that causes your application to no longer compile, a third-party SaaS service change that breaks features throughout your app, or just a big refactoring, eventually you’re going to have to bite off more than you can chew. After having been faced with situations like these many times, I’ve developed a coping strategy. Read more on Getting Ready to Break Everything (in 5 Easy Steps)…

It Turns Out I Don’t Actually Know Everything – and I Never Will

Over a recent weekend, I installed a new faucet in a bathroom. Aren’t I handy? Well, not especially—I heard the same joke from the employees at three separate hardware stores: “Well, it’s not a real house project until you’ve gone back to the store at least twice.” Read more on It Turns Out I Don’t Actually Know Everything – and I Never Will…

The First Five Things to Learn in Any IDE

The Pragmatic Programmers advise us to “use a single editor well,” letting it “…be an extension of your hand.” If you’ve ever watched an experienced developer, it can be quite dispiriting to see just how effectively and quickly they can work. IDEs both old and new have such a dizzying array of facilities that it can take a very long time to learn a tool deeply. Read more on The First Five Things to Learn in Any IDE…

What Shape is Your Project? – Tackling Software with a High “Complexity to Visibility” Ratio

Debugging a recent project has been surprisingly challenging. It’s a complicated product with multiple components, but that’s nothing new. The customer’s QA department has done great work, but it still feels like this is harder than it should be. Read more on What Shape is Your Project? – Tackling Software with a High “Complexity to Visibility” Ratio…

Want to Increase Your Custom Software ROI? Trust Your Team

To have a successful project, you need to trust your team, and they need to trust you.

This is obvious on some levels. Your team must trust that they’re going to get paid, and you must trust that they’re not going to copy your whole database and sell it to your competitors.

But trusting your team should mean more than that. To achieve real, powerful teamwork, trust must go far beyond, “I know you won’t cheat me.” Read more on Want to Increase Your Custom Software ROI? Trust Your Team…

Don’t Force Diverse Stakeholders into the Same Tools

How do you share information with your team? There are so many different things to communicate:

  • Bob is out sick today.
  • The TPS reports are functional and deployed.
  • The utilization metrics have been spec’d.
  • Visual design is complete for the login screen.
  • We’re still seeing errors from that federated login package.
  • We’re all out of beer.

All of those things matter. But they matter differently, to different people. Read more on Don’t Force Diverse Stakeholders into the Same Tools…