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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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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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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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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It Takes a Village to Blow Your Nose

I heard this saying recently and although I chuckled, I also understood it more than I wish I did.  What does this statement mean to you?  Does your team behave like this?  Maybe this represents the managers of a team, ones who micro-manage.  Or a team that needs to ask permission to get things done…

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