Uncategorized

Boxers fighting in the ring

Listen to Mike Tyson and Avoid These 5 Project Planning Pitfalls:
The best-laid plans go so easily awry

As Mike Tyson so eloquently stated, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Iron Mike’s subtext is that, when faced with obstacles, even the best-laid plans go to hell.  Zigging and zagging become easier when a team is unencumbered by grandiose long-term plans. Here are some ideas about how to keep project plans achievable and maintain your sanity in the process. 1. Know thy business If you… Read More »Listen to Mike Tyson and Avoid These 5 Project Planning Pitfalls:
The best-laid plans go so easily awry

A flight of craft beer

The Commonality of Craft Brewing and Software Development:
The benefits of small-batch brewing and small-batch coding

Imagine a small craft brewery that produces award-winning India Pale Ales (IPAs) and stouts. The brewery is acquired by a national brand determined to make the beer available countrywide.  Somehow, whatever gave the beer its uniqueness in small batches cannot be replicated on a large scale, and it doesn’t taste as good as before. It may be a matter of micromanaging small-batch brewing along the way. For example, the brewmaster… Read More »The Commonality of Craft Brewing and Software Development:
The benefits of small-batch brewing and small-batch coding

Two surfers in the water

Burger Shack and the Beach Bum Burger Moguls:
A case study in how growth stresses an organization

Suppose two beach-bum friends start up a burger stand at the beach. They share a vision of high-quality burgers at a fair price. They also want a lifestyle that enables them to surf every morning and make enough money to afford their rent.  They set up a grill in a little hut with a window where they serve lunch to customers. When the friends begin, they offer hamburgers, cheeseburgers, lettuce,… Read More »Burger Shack and the Beach Bum Burger Moguls:
A case study in how growth stresses an organization

A muddy rugby scrum

Agile’s Dirtiest Secret:
Working before getting answers causes chaos

Ask almost any technical team nowadays, and they’ll claim they’re using some flavor of Agile practices instead of the debunked Waterfall method.  Teams using Scrum may engage in story point poker-playing, a method of estimating the level of effort of stories. Or they may relinquish their chairs for daily standup meetings. The corniness of Scrum aside, there’s no arguing that the Agile Manifesto is rock solid.  Still, the technical landscape… Read More »Agile’s Dirtiest Secret:
Working before getting answers causes chaos

The Battle of Grocery Shopping Tech:
Innovations in supermarket smart carts

Never have grocery prices been so high. The sting of inflation makes parting with hard-earned cash even more painful after a sub-standard shopping experience. This article focuses on the high and low points of three in-store technology solutions intended to remove friction from grocery shopping. While these technologies do nothing to curb out-of-control prices, they do minimize or eliminate some of the things shoppers hate most — like waiting in long checkout… Read More »The Battle of Grocery Shopping Tech:
Innovations in supermarket smart carts

Pete Rose and Software Rearchitecture:
Yup, the two are related

Children of the ’70s may remember Pete Rose, aka Charlie Hustle, as a superb, hard-charging Cincinnati Reds baseball player with a Popeye physique. Millennials may remember Rose as the Reds’ manager banned from baseball forever for betting on games. A spectacular, Rudy Giuliani-like fall from grace. What does Pete Rose have to do with software rearchitecture? Plenty. The most fraught words a CEO will hear from a CTO are, “We need… Read More »Pete Rose and Software Rearchitecture:
Yup, the two are related

Deconstructing a Poor Product Management Decision

Peapod Digital Labs, the eCommerce engine for Giant Foods, recently released a doozy of an ill-conceived multi-order feature. As a consumer, I shake my head at Giant’s carelessness. As a technical professional, I understand why and how bad releases occur but I’m unsympathetic. Peapod Digital is a highly competent shop with processes in place to prevent such disasters. The multi-order feature enables customers to keep multiple grocery carts open. A… Read More »Deconstructing a Poor Product Management Decision

10 Sins of the Founders:
Fire, Aim, Ready

Regardless of the approach, an entrepreneur’s initial idea is invariably incorrect. Since the initial attempt is bound to fail, the audacious ones have the right idea to quickly release products without wasting time over-analyzing. They toss s*%@ against a wall and see if it sticks. Chemistry ultimately determines the success or failure of a startup. Do the founder and executive team possess chutzpah and humility in equal measures? If so,… Read More »10 Sins of the Founders:
Fire, Aim, Ready

6 Keys to a Killer Cover Letter:
Half-ass this important communication at your own peril

Call me anachronistic, but job seekers who neglect to include optional cover letters miss a huge opportunity to wedge a foot into the corporate door. Artful cover letters enable applicants to stand out, providing narrative color that enhances otherwise drab resumes. The term “cover letter” is itself anachronistic. In pre-digital days, this letter served as the “cover” of a printed, mailed resume. In the days of mailing resumes in an… Read More »6 Keys to a Killer Cover Letter:
Half-ass this important communication at your own peril

6 Recruiting Software Epiphanies:
Art versus science in hiring

Never has it been easier for job-seekers to apply for open positions. LinkedIn’s “Easy Apply” feature enables a candidate to verify a few auto-populated fields, attach a resume, and click “Apply.” Companies offering these easy applications are undoubtedly inundated with them and guaranteed to receive scads of resumes from unqualified and/or disinterested candidates. Q. What’s a poor Human Resources professional to do? A. Separate the wheat from the chaff. With… Read More »6 Recruiting Software Epiphanies:
Art versus science in hiring