Two Transformation Questions

What exactly is a transformation? Is it "go to the cloud" or "be Agile" or "containerise the things"? Despite the number of organisations which state those as their goals, I'd say it isn't. Those examples are merely means to an end. They're often a part of transformation, but they're not »

Performance Reviews

I had an interesting conversation last night about that old bugbear, the annual performance review. No matter how many well-meaning attempts have been made with SMART targets or peer review systems, every annual review I've had or given during my professional career has gone something like this: Here are a »

The Sierra Adventure Codebase

We broke something this week. Well, I broke something, if you go by code authorship. It was supposed to be a bug fix, and we did everything by the book - pair-programmed the fix, did a code review, got our testers to do some QA, even went through the don't-really-believe-in-it-but-pick-your-battles »

Bias for action and agility

What has linked all of the high-performing teams and organisations I've worked for or with? That title is a bit of a clue: it's a bias for action. What this means is they believe the way to solve a problem or to improve things is to do something. A team »

Bad Team Leads and Responsible Adults

Does a team need a team lead? I've been thinking quite a bit about flat team structures over the past couple of weeks. As is often the case, it's recruitment-driven. I'm going to be blunt here: I've been really disappointed by the prospective tech leads I've been interviewing. This is »

Avoiding growth by accretion

Software has a tendency to grow by accretion - a gradual build-up of material causing what was a small and simple nucleus to become a large, complex object with many layers. It's the same mechanism by which planets form. A small clump of particles attracts other particles, and this new »