• Agile Isn't Just Something the Developers Do

    If your business is asking the IT groups to "be agile" but are not, themselves, living by the Agile Values as laid out in the Agile Manifesto, the impedance mismatch between Business and IT will fast become untenable.

    If the development team values Individuals and interactions over processes and tools, but the business mandates the use of multiple systems for time reporting, the creation of complete, pre-project, exact time and cost estimates and gant chart project plans, and monolithic, …

  • Take This: It's Dangerous to Go Alone - Craftsmanship and Agile Software Development

    In the early days of Agile Software Development, agile was actually an adjective. Agile Software Development was a complete thought and process, and it focused on the process by which software was created by dedicated software developers. Extreme Programming (XP) was the norm and it was understood that good development practices created quality software. Unfortunately, although many XP practices can be found in scrum, not since the heyday of XP have they been a focus.

    Over the years, as scrum …

  • What does it take to be a good Developer?

    The folks at lifehacker asked a simple question on their site the other day "Programmers: What Does It Take to Be a Developer (Other than Coding)?". I love questions like this as it takes the conversation away from the religious wars of language syntax and looks at the other, important facets that make a good developer. My focus on teaching and improving ALM and Agile methodologies on dev teams has me asking this question quite often. To find the answers for a specific team, I tend to break …

  • On Becoming an Enterprise .NET Web Developer using PluralSight

    About a year ago I started a series of posts on becoming a software developer to coincide with the Code.Org "Hour of Code". This post is the fifth post in the series focusing on the skills, patterns and practices involved in being a developer. If you haven't yet, please go back and read through the preceding posts for better understanding of where this post is coming from.

    Part 1 - On Software, Getting Started and Staying Relevant

    Part 2 - On Software, Stacks and Technologies …

  • On Software, Agile Reading

    If you want to support your agile activities with deep thinking and process guidance, I suggest you start at the top and work your way down this list.

    I added the third category because good agile practices and software craftsmanship go hand in hand. Please read the craftsmanship books as soon as you can if you are writing code or supporting / managing those that do.

    Finally, I am Microsoft leaning in my career, if you aren't, you can skip the TFS/Visual Studio centric titles.

    Scrum and …

  • On Software - Owning your brand

    It's been nearly two weeks, and you have been diligently making your way through the various tutorials, on line content and examples listed in my previous two articles. And you've written a bunch of code and you're pretty excited and you have absolutely NO idea what to do next.

    Just about everything about us is on line. It is shared between platforms controlled by Facebook, twitter, tumblr, and instagram. The thing that these things don't give you is control. You are not their customer, you …

  • On Software, Stacks and Technologies

    So now what? You've run through all of the Code Academy tutorials, enjoyed being able to build your own dynamic web pages and want to know how to write your own, robust web sites; to maybe head off on your own and help mom with her church mailing list or Bobby's soccer team track their schedule on line. You are wondering how to manage data, dynamically and conditionally generate HTML and are really confused as to what tools you should be using to write this code on your own machine and make it …

  • On Software, .NET

    Development Environment

    First things first, you'll want something other than notepad in which to write code. Microsoft provides several options for the would be .NET developer, including a free development environment called Visual Studio Express and a more robust (for pay) environment, Visual Studio, which students can actually download for free.

    Unlike PHP, Python and Perl, .NET languages (C#, VB.NET and F#) are compiled languages like C++ and Java which requires a couple of other tools be …

  • On Software, Getting Started and Staying Relevant

    There is an infographic up on Code.Org today that shows the immense gap between the number of computer science related jobs and the number of qualified resources in the market now and coming into the market over the next 15 years. In Wisconsin alone, there are:

    7,909 open computing jobs (growing at 3.6x the state average)

    781 computer science graduates

    67 schools teach computer science

    I think that it is fascinating that over the span of just one or two generations of …