Blog Updates

I haven’t been keeping up with this blog for a while, but it is challenging to produce relevant content while working a full time job, though not for the reasons you might suspect.

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Twitter account move and social media.

Also decided to restart my twitter account for professional purposes only. I’m finding 140 characters less useful everyday…

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Getting Effective Feedback

When presenting work in progress to a group or team, setting the tone and trimming the attendees can mean the difference between success and frustration.
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New feature pitfalls

New features or products are exiting, and can get a disporpotionate amount of attention. Developers are often more engaged when tackling new concepts and code, while the account managers and sales teams are anxious to present the added value to the customer.

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Software devs and presentations

In many organizations, developers tend to be insular, with little external communication outside their team.

Part of this is simply the nature of the job, but a much of this stems from belief in developer stereotypes. I have seen organizations that jump through hoops to prevent developers from interacting with clients or other stakeholders. Even organizations that claim to follow agile processes such as Scrum often do not like developers showing their new features.
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There is such a thing as “too” prepared

I wince when I think of the time that has been wasted over my career from teams trying to “guess” what a client will need rather than just asking them what they want.  A client may ask for a 30 minute phone call to discuss a particular detail, and it will somehow spark hours of internal speculation about what the client might want.

I believe it stems from a fear of making a suggestion that turns out to be wrong, or concern that you will be unprepared for client questions.

I’ve never known a client to be upset when they’re told, “I hear your requirements, and I will get back to you with a response soon.”


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CloudCooker Project – IoT on Azure

The CloudCooker system is a side project I’ve been working on to connect Arduino-based PID controllers to the Azure cloud. More information can be found at the Code Project site and a YouTube video I recently published. I hope you find it interesting!

The project won an “honorable mention” in the Microsoft Azure IoT contest and was featured on their idevthis site.

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Fix the problem TODAY.

Managers frequently attempt to develop solutions and processes that can benefit groups outside of their domain. Wide-reaching organizational change is a great goal, but it can lead to a “scope panic” where nothing is accomplished.

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Smoldering Dev blog move

After several months of inactivity due to a combination of family and work responsibilities, I have decided to restart writing to this blog again.

My primary intent is to sharpen my own writing skills while sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned while leading software teams.

Along with the blog, I have decided to start actually using my dedicated twitter account for software development and product management related information. This way, I can write and follow professionally interesting people on one account without including my thoughts on family events or the Philadelphia Flyers…

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Cleaning my lawn after the storm

We had a pretty large storm in our area a few days ago, and our wooded yard was a disaster. There were at least 20 branches down too large for me to move by myself along with hundreds of several smaller ones. It ended up being a parody of project estimation mistakes.
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