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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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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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 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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Sometimes At Work, We Act Like Dogs

You can only buy loyalty if you buy a dog; otherwise loyalty has to be earned.  One of the best things an engineering manager can receive from their team members is loyalty.  It’s not something that you should ever ask of them, but they may just give it to you anyway.  When you have people…

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Don't Show Me Your Ugly Duck Feet!

Picture this, it’s a nice warm summer day and you are relaxing next to a lake.  There is no breeze in the air so the surface of the water is very still and you see a duck.  It floats by, calm and quiet, with just a small V-shaped ripple in the water behind it.  You…

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Are You Aware That You Lack Awareness?

Recently I took a very interesting training class.  As part of that class, we had to sit still in the room for 8 minutes with our eyes closed and become aware of sensations in our body.  How hard can that be right?  Yep, it was easy.  I was hungry, maybe a bit tired, and eventually…

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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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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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Integrity With a Dose of Confidence Part2

My last blog was about how to act as a person with integrity, how to make sure you are thinking in terms of doing the right things for the right reasons no matter hard difficult that may be to do.  Sometimes the easiest route is not the right route.  As you continue to become a…

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