A year of professional development

March 22, 2016

It is a well-known fact that professional software developers are driven by more than monetary rewards.  Rob Walling wrote a great article ten years ago that still rings true today about motivating developers. Learning new things is at the topic of my list.  In the old days you had to find money to attend conferences, however, now pretty much everything is online.  While there is no substitute for being able to immerse yourself in new technology at a conference watching recordings is not a bad way to learn.  As a manager it has always been difficult to find the money to send folks to a conference. Breaking top developers away from their work is an equally difficult challenge.  Last year we started playing recordings from interesting conferences at company sponsored lunch and learns.  Listed below is our “playlist.”




Git and Gitflow References

November 16, 2015

Getting Started with Git (Microsoft): http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/using-git-with-visual-studio-2013-jump-start

A Step by Step Guide to using GitFlow (endjin): http://blogs.endjin.com/2013/03/a-step-by-step-guide-to-using-gitflow-with-teamcity-part-1-different-branching-models/

Gitflow Tutorial (Atlasssian):  https://www.atlassian.com/git/tutorials/comparing-workflows/gitflow-workflow

Git Branching Model (Vincent Driessen): http://nvie.com/posts/a-successful-git-branching-model/

SourceTree App (Atlasssian) https://www.sourcetreeapp.com/

Doing things that don’t scale

August 21, 2013

I recently came across a great essay from Paul Graham, one of the the founders of Y Combinator, entitled Do Things that Don’t Scale.  For those of us that operate mostly within the safe confines of an established business Mr. Graham’s guidance is very unconventional.  On the other hand I love the thinking and indeed parts of it are totally applicable to established entities.  Some of the ideas I like most:

  • Startups take off because the founders make them take off.
  • The question to ask about an early stage startup is not “is this company taking over the world?” but “how big could this company get if the founders did the right things?”
  • You should take extraordinary measures not just to acquire users, but also to make them happy. I have never once seen a startup lured down a blind alley by trying too hard to make their initial users happy.
  • It’s not the product that should be insanely great, but the experience of being your user. The product is just one component of that.

There is a great quote from Hannibal to the effect “We will find a way or make one.” Whether you are incubating a new business or improving an established product or service it is up to the leaders to find the way to make “it” happen.

Hello world!

August 22, 2008

From the most influential Computer Science book ever written.  Thank you Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie aka K&R.

#include <stdio.h>


printf(“hello, world\n”);