Ambiguity Can Be Your Friend

Six months ago, I took on a new role at Microsoft.  I haven’t written a blog entry in a while because of all the work I was doing in my new role.  I spent 10 weeks as an individual contributor before building a new team and it was a really fascinating time for me as…

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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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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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Don’t Call My Baby Ugly

A big change is happening in the engineering teams across Microsoft IT.  We are combining developers and testers into one role we are calling Software Engineer.  This new role owns coding and testing equally, and specifically feature design and coding, unit and functional testing, and system level testing like integration and performance testing.  Traditionally, we…

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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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Imperfection is the Way to Agility!

The term “perfectionist” is one that most people are familiar with.  Either because we are one or we know someone who is one.  Many times, being a perfectionist adds a ton of value to your work, your team, etc.  As one, you are driven to do the right things to a level of detail most…

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Superheroes Don’t Work at Corporations

This message is for the workaholics out there, and not for those of you who barely want to get your work done, who aren’t interested in doing more than just what is asked at work, or who have a balanced lifestyle so that you are seeing many years of success within your career.  This blog won’t help you…

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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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How Important is the "How"?

Do you know the best way to succeed in your career?  To stand out in the crowd?  To prove your capabilities?  Well sure, that’s by showing results, a ton of results!  You work long hours and stay focused on getting your deliverables done.  Right?  Well, have you considered the possibility that showing results isn’t the…

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