#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

#27 Deb Biggar, The Importance of User Experience

Summary
Deb Biggar of Boston Human Factors and I discuss what UX is and why it is important.

Details
Who she is; a story of why is UX important; what is UX, disciplines in UX - experience design, interaction design, information architect, user researcher, UX unicorns; phases of UX work - concept, design, prototype, validate, implement; what if a company can't afford UX; should you copy from big companies; relationship between UX and front-end, nitpicking and deadlines; agile or fragile, UX stays sprints ahead; books, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Deb's UX play book.

Book Recommendations

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces

#26 Peter Welch, Programming Doesn’t Suck?

Summary
Peter Welch, code monkey, blogger and author, and I talk about the software industry and the people in it. 

Details
Peter's background; his books; programming sucks, problems in the interview process; utilitarian programming; complexity in software; how bad are things in the industry, business doesn't understand complexity; Bryan rants about C level people in companies, Peter tells a story about restaurants, whose job is it to ensure quality work is done, over engineering; respect for engineers; are great engineers dangerous, arrogant engineers are worse; politics - taking part of avoiding; "everything is broken because there's no good code and everybody's just trying to keep it running", HeartBleed, is the "sophisticated hack" a fair excuse, hard for old businesses to move to new tech; standards and practices; "all programmers....are slowly going mad", how do we make programming better, Peter is an optimist!; complexity.

Extended Interview

 

#25 Jeff Glennon, Improving Software Delivery

Jeff Glennon

Summary
Jeff Glennon of Software Delivery Labs and I talk about how to improve the software delivery process.

Details
Jeff's background and company, what is software delivery vs project management; getting all teams working together, deathmarch towards a release date; blame always lands on engineering; other problems, forcing new processes on teams, disputes, transparency is the best approach; power and politics, no silver bullet; how to improve the process, responsibility without blame; agile seems to be the only choice, what if the client doesn't want scrum; end to end example, miscommunication, delays, finger pointing, lost money, get to prototype and fire 'em all; when is your work done; outsource mentoring.

Book Recommendations
The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

#19 Michael O Church and state of software engineering

Summary
Michael O Church and I discuss whether software engineers have become the manual laborers of the 21st century, open allocation, agile development and how companies could be better.

Details
Michael’s background; being an engineer vs a manager; poor perception of engineers, value of engineers, makers vs takers, engineers as a commodity; not everyone with an MBA is a bad person; engineers are the manual laborers of the 21st century, craziness of interview processes; continuing low status after staring a job, getting credit for work done; open allocation solves many problems, better work, better rewards, happier engineers, language choices, learning new code is harder than learning a new language; agile in an open allocation company, agile as micromanagement, scrum masters, lords and knights, sprints; what Michael’s company would be, constrained open allocation, small, profit sharing; how companies can improve, become engineer driven, engineers should engage more with business, understand convexity; understanding company politics; hard to challenge bad ideas, open allocation helps; arrogance is rewarded; engineers are not always the best at communication or accepting criticism, engineers should learn to fight for themselves; reading broadly, book recommendations, Breaking Bad executions and map reduce.

Book recommendations
Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell: Techniques for Multicore and Multithreaded Programming

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Concepts, Techniques, and Models of Computer Programming

The Prince

The Art Of War

A Game of Thrones

The John Locke Collection

Other Recommendations
Valve – Handbook for new Employees

Mad Men

Breaking Bad

The Walking Dead

Silicon Valley