Starters vs. Closers

I haven’t written a new blog post in a while because my new role has given me new perspective and I am personally learning a lot and organizing my thoughts so I can share them with everyone. One way to describe the change in my role, and what I suspect others have come across, goes…

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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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What's Your New Currency?

There’s a change spreading across the software engineering landscape.  What you thought you knew about testing and shipping software is changing and it’s time we all get on board.  Some of us older engineers have learned how to ship software in a traditional way similar to the Waterfall methodology.  But the software industry is changing…

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Don't Fall Asleep with Geckos

A few years ago, I had the great opportunity to take a 2 month sabbatical fully-paid by Microsoft.  For this time off, I absolutely did not want to just sit around at home.  I arranged one month for my family to “live” in Hawaii.  It was awesome and something the whole family will always remember. …

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Experienced to the Level of Obsolete

Some days I just amaze myself.  I can be tired, even exhausted, and not very focused on work.  Still I can go into a work meeting, make a few comments and add a ton of value.  And I can do this again and again and again until I really don’t need to pay much attention…

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Fixing What's Not Broken

Many engineering teams look at change as a bad thing, something that will disrupt their work.  And granted, changing for the wrong reasons, or making changes for the right reasons but too many of them too quickly, can be disruptive and affect productivity.  But you should also be careful about being too stagnant as a…

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The toughest question you can ask, isn't tough enough

One skill all engineers need to have in order to ship high quality software is the ability to ask hard questions.  No matter if you are a developer, a tester, or a project manager, you need to look at each situation, line of code, architecture/design, or user scenario and determine if you and your project…

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Up, Up, and Away!

Picture this visual.  You are standing in a field on a foggy day and a rope is dropped in front of you from the sky.  You can’t see where it is coming from but you hear someone ask you if you want to experience the unknown, be challenged more than ever before, move forward in…

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Transformers are Leaders, not Toys!

{EAV:fb71307c644189ca} I was recently asked ‘how do you take a team mostly focused on manual testing andturn them into a team that writes solid automation?’.  And as I thought about my answer, I realizedthis doesn’t just apply to testing, but any team that is reforming can followthese same simple steps. I honestly didn’t realize this…

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Training Your Manager

We recently did a realignment on my team due to a change of priority of projects.  This was a good experience as we moved projects between QA leads so that our workload was more evenly balanced.  And then we moved people around from projects that were getting less funding to those that were becoming more…

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