Off for the holidays

 My next column will be in February. I’m taking the holidays off to enjoy a break, and work on a fun personal project that I’ll share when it’s finished. Happy Holidays!


Escalation acceleration

 When I recently wrote about the frightening yet fantastic world of DevOps, I discussed how escalations reach the dev team, but I skipped over when the dev team does the escalating. As you move from shipping annually to shipping weekly and daily, you depend on engineering systems and services to work 24×7. However, engineering systems…


Better for everyone

 This month’s column is about accessibility. I’m not making patronizing arguments for it. I’m not saying, “We’ll all need it someday.” I’m not rehashing heartwarming stories of inspiring people who prevail over life’s challenges. I’m not reminding you of your legal obligations. If that’s why you’re following software and hardware accessibility guidelines, then you’ve missed…


The value of navigation

 Times change, and we must adapt to those changes. There was a time when software products were packaged, installing an upgrade was a big deal, and the market could only handle a new version every few years. Now products ship daily online. There was a time when intellectual property was king, you jealously protected your…


A silver respite

 I skipped writing this month, and instead took a holiday with my wife in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful time, recalling old memories and creating new ones. Hard Code will return next month.


Love your customers and partners

 Horrible teams dislike their customers. They think their customers are stupid, lazy, and ignorant. To horrible teams, customers are infuriating imbeciles who completely miss the point of the product, but must be dealt with anyway. In contrast, tragic teams tolerate their customers. They think their customers are misguided, lazy, and imperfect. To tragic teams, customers…


Bogeyman buddy—DevOps

 Tell average naïve developers that their team is embracing DevOps, and panic will fill their eyes. Their hearts will race, their muscles will tense, and their resumes will reinvigorate. DevOps is the bogeyman to unfamiliar developers. The thought of being on call 24 hours a day, 365.25 days a year, to support the crappy code…


Being big

 In March, I sang the praises of Staying small, as each team focuses solely on its added value, and we share more as One Microsoft. If you agree that to go fast you must be small (which I do and you should), then shouldn’t Microsoft be much smaller? According to the 2013 Fortune 500, we…


On budget

 When you become a dev manager, new responsibilities may arise that you are utterly unprepared to handle. I’m talking about recruiting, firing and layoffs, vendor management, and budgeting. You get very limited exposure to these duties prior to becoming a manager, and as a techie you took roughly zero classes about them in school. Most…


Staying small

 The One Microsoft strategy tells us we are one company. We have one operating system, one app API, one marketplace, one cross-platform set of apps, one search, one cloud solution, and one toolset. The days of duplication and reinvention are over. Good riddance. What’s a huge team left to do? Get small and stay small….