New day, new team

Today I logged into the system and saw that the team I’ve been leading for a few weeks now is formally now reporting to me.  I didn’t write about the change for the same reason I don’t write about a lot of my day-to-day issues as an engineering manager: it’s hard to make the content interesting while still respecting the privacy of the people involved.

My responsibilities aren’t changing, not in the grand scheme of things.  I’m still leading a team which is responsible for doing a lot of the “guts” type work in the SRM Suite, which includes functionality from ProSphere, Watch4Net, and Storage Compliance Analyzer … and unless you’re a customer or a fellow ASD employee, I don’t expect that means anything to you.

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Friday links, autumn edition

The time has just about come to officially enter my favorite season of the year — autumn!  Football season, malty seasonal beers, crisp mornings, sweatshirts and campfires … the brief respite between air conditioning and heating.

Some links harvested from my RSS feeds for your in-between season consumption, even if none of them are particularly work-related….


Friday links, “It’s September already?” edition

Welcome to Football season, ladies and gentlemen.  Summer is quickly turning into a memory — and I’m thrilled.  While you enjoy the brief lull between lawnmowing season and leaf-raking season, enjoy some links from my RSS feeds:

Have a good weekend!


I … I don’t even know (Friday link)

In place of actual content, I give you this.

Friday linkdump

It’s been a busy week; I celebrated my 40th birthday with a small vacation up to Portland, Maine, and came back to the kind of “Everyone Must Change” insanity that everyone at EMC is familiar with.  But, I didn’t forget you.  Links I stumbled on via RSS this week:

Until next week….


Scrum training thoughts

Recently, I took the Certified Scrum Product Owner class with Angela Druckman.  Angela was an excellent teacher and brought some new perspectives to me, and everyone in the class.

My organization has been using Agile/Scrum in one way or another for several years now, and much of the class felt like a review.  But, as the class went on, I realized just how much we had modified “textbook” Scrum to fit our needs, and it gave me some interesting moments of introspection relating to what that tells me about our organization and the way we do business.  That may not be the value most people expect in taking a class, but I tend to find that the biggest wins from formal training aren’t usually in direct addition of knowledge (“I know Kung Fu“), but rather in being forced to think about things in new ways, or in the side conversations you have the luxury of having since you aren’t at your desk focusing on getting something done.

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Midweek Links

Last week I took the Scrum Certified Product Owner course, and I’ve got some ideas of content to share here from that, but in the mean time, enjoy some information I’ve stolen from my RSS feeds….

That’s all for now….


All code is throwaway code

This year, I’ve had two different occasions where I had to work with team members who had invested significant amounts of time into developing features which ended up not being included in our shipping product.  This wasn’t prototype code, this was code we fully intended to ship while it was under development, but chose not to for business reasons.

As I got ready to break the news to the team, I remembered the first time that happened to me as a developer, and how frustrated I was.  You think back on the weekends you worked to hit deadlines, the hours you spent trying to find tricky bugs, the wars you went to over design philosophy, and you wonder if any of it was worth it.

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Friday links

A bit less than I had hoped to share this week, but since it’s Friday I’ll widen my scope a bit and give some links which don’t directly map to the subject matter of my blog but which I think you might be interested in anyway…

  • CNET offers a fairly low-content report on requests from the Federal Government for user passwords.
  • Facebook wants to know why specifically people hide certain ads.  Isn’t the answer usually “because they’re ads”?
  • Haliburton admits to destroying evidence in Gulf oil spill probe.  This isn’t interesting to me, but the question of what we’d all do if our managers said “Remember that test you ran?  Can you delete that from the results database?” is.

Enjoy your weekend….

Monday morning links

After a weekend spend camping, I’m back and scouring my RSS feeds for links to share with you this morning.  Here’s what I’ve got:

I’m not sure what to make of the idea of Granny in the cloud helping with education, but I do find it interesting to keep an eye on what our technological innovations are leading to in this space.

I enjoyed reading Robin Hanson’s piece on questions being more important than answers.  This is going in my folder to review next time I’m dealing with the interview process.

I enjoy reading about how other people work.  I could never answer email just once a week, but it was an interesting read in any case.

The article quickly turns into talking about the specifics of Stack Overflow, but I like the push to really examine the re-usability of our code.   This is something I’ve been thinking about lately as a technical manager, about the obvious (and hidden) costs of doing something poorly because we know we should be doing it well but don’t really know how to.

Sorry not much for a Monday; I’ll be back later this week….