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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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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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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It Doesn’t Take Muscles to Use Your Strengths

But it does take a manager that understands how to leverage strengths.  Many managers say they do this, but I’d question if they really think this way, if “leveraging peoples’ strengths” is really part of their DNA.  The reason I question this is because many companies have defined roles for people to do.  They are…

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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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Advice From Your 95 year old Self

There you are sitting on your death bed.  Yep, you had a good life.  And although many people have come to visit you and feel sad for you, you aren’t sad.  You are content.  You did absolutely everything you wanted to do and had a ton of happiness along the way.  If you had to…

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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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If You Want It, Then You Aren’t Ready For It

Are you just dying to get promoted?  How about seeing your individual engineering role turn into a lead role?  Many people focus on that next step in their career, and with good reason.  We all look for ways to grow and challenge ourselves.  But many times, people hit a point in their careers where that…

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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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