Wedding bells for my older son

I skipped writing in June to help prepare for my son’s wedding. It was as wonderful as it could be. I’ll be back in August with a new column. Love is a many splendored thing.

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Connects with impact

We’re closing in on the end of the fiscal year, which means many Microsoft engineers will be writing Connects. Connects allow you to document your past impact, reflect on what could have gone better, and plan for your future success and personal growth. Connects form the basis for productive career discussions with your manager. Many…

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The forest, trees, and weeds

I’ve advised on how to be a better lead, architect (“The other side of quality”), and PM. A problem all these positions share is not seeing the forest for the trees, an expression that refers to getting so caught up in immediate concerns (the trees) that you miss the larger issue (the forest). Leads caught…

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Lost in space: The value of teamwork

What is the higher-order bit in software development: individual productivity or feature team productivity? Five years ago, in The flow fallacy, I argued that responsive delivery of customer value was the goal, and that goal was best achieved by feature teams, not individuals. Thus, feature team productivity outweighs individual productivity. While many readers agreed that…

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Customer obsession

You love your customers. You care about them. You design for them. But, are you truly obsessed, or do you let technology and personal preferences creep into your decisions and communications? I sometimes recognize when my personal agenda is creeping in—it requires real vigilance to keep personal bias in check. To help me stay customer-focused,…

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Good engineers

It’s time at Microsoft for midyear career discussions. I’m often asked what makes a good software engineer. I used to think it was writing quality code, as I describe in Nailing the nominals. Good engineers review their software design with peers (that’s right, they think first and consult others), write code and unit tests, ensure…

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