Are You an Employee or a Founder?

If you search on the differences between a “founder” and an “employee”, you will see a lot of articles on start-ups, shares of stock, being an entrepreneur, etc.  And if we look at the definition of a founder, it is someone who establishes or creates.  Ironically, the verb form of the word means to fill…

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7 Mistakes New Managers Should Avoid

When you move into a people manager role, it’s usually because you are doing a great job as an individual contributor.  Being a manager is quite different than being an individual contributor. Instead of only being concerned with getting your own work done, you are now responsible for a whole team of people getting their…

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Stop Hoping for Quality and Just Test It!

As I continue to apply more engineering rigor to the release process in my team, I hear statements referring to engineers being hopeful and hoping things will go well.  Hoping is not the correct way to ship software.  I also hear a lot of statements like “we are confident this will work”.  Confidence, although great…

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6 Ways for Engineers to Connect with Their Customers

Satya Nadella’s strategy for Microsoft is “Mobile First Cloud First”.  That’s helped keep teams inside the company stay focused on the right objectives, but it only describes the “what” and not the “how”.  For the how, we should think “Quality First Customer First”.  Quality can mean a lot of things and I listed out some…

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Quality First

Whether you are a developer, a tester, or in a combined Software Engineering role, understanding the fundamental thinking behind testing your own code is of significant importance to producing solid, quality services for our customers.  Due to this, I’d like to spend some time directing you to some of my previous blog posts pertaining specifically…

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It’s Not Over, Till It’s Over

The word “over” can mean a lot of positive things.  “Over the rainbow” is where you find your pot of gold.  “Turn over a new leaf” means you’re changing your ways or stopping a bad habit.  And “head over heels” describes falling in love.  Yet, the word “under” usually means something negative.  “Getting under my…

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Clean Up Your Campsite!

I always feel like a responsible adult and global citizen when I go camping or hiking and follow the rule on “leaving no trace”.  So why do we not do the same thing as engineers?  As a camper, I spend time setting up my tent and sleeping bags, organize my picnic table and fire pit area,…

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Sprint to the Finish!

A sprint team that starts together, ends together.  That seems like a fairly simple principle to follow.  Yet for teams that are transitioning from a waterfall methodology to an agile one, following this in a practical sense is much more difficult.  These teams are used to a milestone based approach to deliver software which includes…

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DevOps, The Art of Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes

All engineering teams are set up differently.  In the Microsoft IT department, we have a set of Software Engineers that work on designing, implementing, and testing the software solutions needed to run the company.  We help deploy our builds, but most of the work of getting our new bits out to production servers and live…

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