Play Some Interference

Managers need to play interference in order for their engineers to stay focused and show results.  Someone who is good at this will know when to give their team information and when to shelf the information for later or sometimes not at all.  But it’s not just about filtering information.  When issues or requests come…

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There’s No Room For Watermelons

I have noticed a problem lately that needs some focus.  I heard a statement that sums it up nicely.  “Don’t be green on the outside and red on the inside.”  Now if this was a joke (What’s green on the outside and red on the inside?”) I can think of a few answers like a…

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Everyone Wants To Test

You are new to testing.  You are sitting in front of your computer staring at the software code you need to test.  What do you do?  Let’s look at testing from a very basic level and maybe this will help you make progress.  If you don’t “get it” at this level, you should consider spending…

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Crawl, Walk, Run

Babies figure out how to do it right – how to make progress and get to an end result.  I think we can learn something from them!  If you stood a baby up and expected them to walk, you’ll realize they are not equipped to do this.  They don’t have the skills in their legs…

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Me, My Car, and a Thump

I have a neat story to tell about something that happened last week and how you can apply problem-solving skills to almost anything in life.  Actually this example will show what happens when you don’t apply these skills properly.   Those who know me know I have a nice sports car.  It sits low to…

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The Tale of Two Teams

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land far, far away, there were two teams, umm, I mean villages.  They were run by one manager, I mean one powerful king.  He didn’t have many rules for his villagers, just one, “do whatever it takes to ship”.  For his villagers, this gave them…

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Do you need a career mentor?

I was recently asked a question from an engineer on whether she should find a mentor.  It seems like many people have mentors so how does one determine if they need one or not?  Or does everyone need one and by not having one, are you missing out on something?    First, let me describe…

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Recruiting – it’s not just an open job position, it’s an adventure!

As a manager, hiring good people is a necessary skill to build a highly-functional team and continue to be seen as a credible manager.  Recruiting can be difficult depending on the time of year or the position you are trying to fill.   As the hiring manager, you own the whole recruiting process and final decision. …

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Tribal Knowledge and Engineering Don’t Mix

In many engineering teams, having tribal knowledge is normal and accepted.  This is when information about a product, process, or technology owned by the team is described verbally from person to person, release after release, without writing it down.  Or if it is written down, only a select group of people know where the documentation…

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Speak up to succeed

Speaking up in meetings seems like such an easy and somewhat insignificant task.  But in fact, many people do not say a word while in meetings and never think about the ramifications of this.  No matter what profession you are in within the software industry, you will find that career growth into the higher levels…

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