#67 Steve Ellmore, On Game Development

Summary
Steve Ellmore, co-founder and president of Disbelief, tells me that games are a collaborative effort and how game dev differs from other dev.

Details
Who he is. What he does. His first game was in BASIC. What Disbelief does. "A game is a piece of art that can move". Game dev is iterative and never the vision of one person; why it is thought to be that way; the visionary is more of a guide, deciding what to include and exclude; Hundreds of people involved. Using game engines. Prototyping; "made four games and shipped one". Avoiding "group think". Sequels are common, holding back features. Sharing ideas between devs and companies. What happens after prototyping - playing end to end, the doldrums, getting it back together, closing stages, technical debt, making a product. How long a game takes to make. Specialized work of Disbelief, frame rates, VR. Disbelief is hiring in Boston and Chicago.

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#66 Ben Day, Therapist for Teams

Summary
Ben Day, Plualsight author, coach and trainer talks to me about real world agile and scrum.

Details
Who he is, what he does, Pluralsight, how long it takes to make a course; what agile and scrum are, agile is abstract, scrum is concrete; why daily standups are boring, shortening the cycle between dev and qa; Bryan doesn't think you need the meetings if the project is going well, Ben explains why you do; scrum masters should not be project managers, scrum masters are coaches, scrum masters are not leaders; Ben doesn't like the three common stand up questions; scrum should provide a framework; "multitasking is death"; people don't like being screamed at, how to deal with unrealistic expectations; software development vs software delivery; agile and scrum forget that people are involved, "Ben Day - Therapist for Teams"; it's all about people, leave ego out of it, Difficult Conversations; Ben's scrum courses on Pluralsight.

Links
Pluralsight courses

Book - Difficult Conversations

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#62 Samantha Stone, Tech Product Launches

Summary
Samantha Stone, author and CMO of the Marketing Advisory Network talks me about tech product launches, marketing and sales.

Details
Who she is, what she does; her book; complex sales process, what it is and how it differs from a simple process; launching and positioning a tech product, going to market, don't build for the largest audience; engineers might not have the skills needed to target a product; how to prioritize the right product for development; focus on differentiation but pick the right ones, four steps; differences between sales and marketing, when to hire those roles, pivoting is not always a good thing, marketing comes before sales.

Book

Unleash Possible

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#59 Stephanie Viccari, Girl Develop It

Summary
Stephanie Viccari tells me about the Boston chapter of Girl Develop It, an organization that encourages women to enter software development professions.

Details
Who she is, what she does; Girl Develop It, Code and Coffee Boston, anyone can go, wide range of technologies in use; getting a degree or not, easier to target web dev, cost of education vs benefit, are bootcamps a replacement for degrees, ease of getting started with development; how to join or help Girl Develop It.

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#52 Eric Bloom, Productivity

Summary
Eric Bloom and I discuss productivity, what it means and how to be more productive in an IT environment.

Details
What is productivity, different kinds of productivity; not viewing IT as a cost centre; knowing what you are good at as a company - The Box book; how to increase your productivity, getting in the zone, picking the right task for your level of energy; culture as an influence on productivity in an organisation, how handle challenges, delegating; dealing with a bad culture, "people are often not against you, just for themselves", diversity of opinion and perspective; bringing about change; Eric's book.

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#45 Michal Klos, Localytics and the World of Big Data

Summary
Michal Klos of Localytics tells me about their big data stack and where he thinks the industry is going.

Details
Who he is, what he does; overview of the world of big data, history, batch processing, stream processing and micro batching; databases, Apache Spark, separating storage and compute; where he think the industry going in the next five years, more about Spark, data lakes, query federation, Presto; how to get started with a big data project, picking technologies, doing a test; most big data projects fail, you should start small, get cross team involvement; how to scale to petabytes, start small with short expected lifespan; technologies Localytics uses, blog, they are hiring.

 

Book Recommendations
Hadoop Application Architectures

I Heart Logs: Event Data, Stream Processing, and Data Integration

Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud

Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

Brilliant!: Shuji Nakamura And the Revolution in Lighting Technology

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

 

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#43 Amir Rubin, Augmented Reality and Paracosm

Summary
Amir Rubin, CEO of Paracosm tells me about his company, the state of augmented reality, mixed reality and where his company fits in.

Details
Who he is, what he does, what Paracosm does; human level of understanding; what is augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, devices, phones, tablets, headsets; virtual reality is finally here?; common uses of Paracosm's tool, engineering tasks, construction projects, how to scan, depth sensors, dealing with errors; what happens after the data is uploaded; example of game playing on 3D environment; availability of devices; future of augmented reality, where Paracosm is going.

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#38 Mark Eisenberg, Private Cloud


Summary
Mark Eisenberg of Microsoft talks to me about the private cloud and why it has failed.

Details
Definition of private cloud, virtualized data centers, getting value from the cloud; enterprise scale, web scale and hyper scale; differences between private and public cloud, daytime and nighttime workloads; cultural change is needed when adopting cloud; same software problem, different decade; companies expected cost reduction, but didn't get it; vertical scale doesn't work anymore, start small in cloud and grow; we got it wrong so often why would you expect anything different now; current state of private cloud; private cloud is failing; bringing in the skills to deploy private cloud, need exec buy-in; how to get buy-in; agility, complexity and cost example of success at Lowe's; wrap up.

Book Recommendation
Continuous Delivery

Building Microservices

The Art Of War

The Prince

The 48 Laws of Power

The Fountainhead

The Black Swan

Thinking, Fast and Slow

#34 Trevor Stricker, Indie Games

Summary
Trevor Stricker of Disco Pixel tells me all about indie game development.

Details
Who he is and what he does; what is an indie game developer; skills needed to be an indie dev; protecting your work; platforms to develop on, naming your child Unity, learning about Unity, technical limitations; importance of partnerships as a game developer, corporate and developer partnerships; learning non games skills to scale your game; making money; book recommendations, Creativity, Inc.

Book Recommendations
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)

#33 Justin Mills, Yesware


Summary
Justin Mills, software engineer at Yesware tells me about their flat organizational structure and development practices.

Details
Little about Justin and Yesware; team structure, no test team, no defined team leads; no cohesive architecture; shared infrastructure, hierarchy might be needed; getting approval to reduce technical debt; assigning teams to tasks, trying open allocation, ending open allocation; no titles in engineering but other departments have titles; no one in a position to make a tough decision; struggling with agile, speed of development is the goal.
**extended interview** SDLC, frequent releases probably break often,
Justin's hopes for the company's future.

Extended Interview