#10 Belatrix, Outsourcing

Discussion with Alex Robbio and Silvana Gaia of Belatrix Software about what they do, and what the company does, why they focus on software product development and qa; outsourcing vs offshoring, nearshoring; choosing an outsourcing partner, location, type of project, technology, collaboration; skills of devs in outsourced team; contract termination; size of team; scrum in an outsourced project, personal contact with client; cultural differences; team turnover, project governance, customer control over devs on project, better to be a big customer of an outsourcer; advantages of having multiple teams on a project; costs and benefits of visits; managing projects, planning; handling client complaints, catch early, provide training, improve communications, retrospective; customer buy in; customers who just want a job done; setting customer expectations, culture; customers moving away from far away outsourcing; global shortage of IT talent, training; breaking rocks vs building cathedrals.

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Book recommendations

Alex’s choices
Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art

Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy

The puzzle of motivation, Dan Pink.

Silvana’s choices
Agile Project Management with Scrum (Developer Best Practices)

The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership

#09 Grant Fritchey, Database Dev Ops

Discussion with Grant Fritchey about what he does; origin of scary DBA nickname; what is dev ops, day to day dev ops tasks; DBA and developer interactions, communications, DBA’s favorite word is “no”; dev ops and source control, putting a DB in source control, integration with dev, auditing; moving DB from production to source control, ssdt, red gate sql source control, DBA resistance to source control, changing methodologies and mindsets, teething pains; tooling; keeping DB source in same place as software source, merges; benefits of source control, auditing, legislative requirements, tight coupling with dev, versioning, commenting, labeling a version; shared dev DB server vs individual dev DB server; comparing production to source control; continuous integration and automated deployment, complete replace of DB vs incremental builds, breaking changes; maturity of tools for CI, automated testing, app code vs TSQL for testing, testing before check in; replication and automated deployment; Entity Framework Migrations, breaking changes, EF Migrations vs SSDT and Red Gate SQL Source Control, up and down migrations*; ORMs, dbas don’t like ORMs, performance, Glimpse to assess executed SQL; book choice – The Phoenix Projec, a parable on dev ops and making teams work together; Grant is presenting at the PASS summit full day seminar on query tuning, Grant’s book SQL Server Query Performance Tuning coming in Sept, wearing rainbow fuzzies for Argenis Without Borders.

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*see erratum below.

Grant Fritchey is a technologist, evangelist, presenter, Microsoft MVP, and author. He has over 20 years experience in IT. He currently works for Red Gate Software as a product evangelist and as a consultant. Find out more here – Scary DBA blog

Grant’s new book – SQL Server Query Performance Tuning.

Grant is presenting at the PASS Summit 2014.

See Grant in fuzzies – Argenis Without Borders.

Book Recommendations

Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Fowler))

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

Erratum
I made a mistake in my comment about moving between migrations with EF Migrations. The problem faced is if we are on migration 5 and need to deploy migration 2. Migration 2 knows nothing about migration 5 and can’t roll the database back. You need to get migration 5 to roll down and then deploy migration 2, but that is not ideal if all you want to is pick a deployment and deploy it.

#08 Brian O’Neill, good design in software

Discussion with Brian O’Neill, who he is and what he does; role as a designer vs developer; how to find out what is needed, getting feedback, including engineers in feedback process; what is great design, invisible interface, task flow, google as an example of good design, good task flow example, db tables should not dictate the view; who is responsible for good design; bridging the gap between designers and developers, learning design; steps in making a good design from the perspective of a designer and an engineer, laddering, sketch on whiteboards rather than using fancy software, user testing; why not to start from the data model; flexibility vs usability; engineers should be involved in user testing, self reflection; agile, incrementing rather than iterating, lack of user representative is common, design runway – designers stay ahead of engineers by a sprint, validation loops, don’t worry about what people like about an interface only what they do; definitions of success from different perspectives; working as an insider rather than as an external contractor; conflicts between engineers and designers, justifying decision making and intuition, sum of design errors reflect on overall product, building respect between engineers and designers; just because the big boys do it doesn’t mean you should; Brian’s music; author recommendations, Edward Tufte, Stephen Few.

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Links
Brian’s site – rhythmspice.com
Brian’s music – Orchestrotica

Author Recommendations

Edward Tufte

Steven Few

New York Times data visualizations