#100 Jeff Glennon, The Man Who Left Technology for Beer

Summary
Jeff Glennon used to be an agile consultant helping companies align their departments to deliver better software, but he left that world behind and is now the Chief Operations Officer at Night Shift Distributing, a distributor of craft beers and other beverages in Massachusetts. Jeff talks to me about his move, the skills he brought with him and what he has learned.

Details
What he used to do, moving to Nightshift Brewing, bringing his skills from the software world. Setting goals, doing it as a team, "commitments", scaling, going beyond the local customers, opening another location. Being the chief operating officer and leading sales at same time. Differences and similarities between agile consulting and role as COO.
An agile approach to beer distribution, partnering with their customers, when to drop a partner.
Scaling problems, logistical challenges, capital investments, big decisions affect many families, how they make big decisions, strategy is a day to day and week to week thing. Three to five year plan. It's not lines of code it's beer, the similarities between the software and beer worlds. What he has learned in two years, "the value of stopping for a second", saying no and letting people challenge you is important. Jeff doesn't plan to go back to tech. "It's just beer"

Links

Download mp3 of podcast

#83 Steve Elliot, When to Rearchitect

Summary
Steve Elliot, CEO of Agile Craft talks to me about re-architecting software, why it should be done, when to do it, and how to do it well.

Details
Who he is, what he does. When to re-architect, monitor usage patterns, out of date ui, spaghetti code, ratio of bug fixes to new code, not mobile enabled, difficulty recruiting, market opportunity. Making a decision, who gets a say. How to measure success on a long-term project. Practical steps for moving to new architecture. What to start with, easy or hard pieces; what to do next; how to keep the old system going. What about people who don't want to learn new things. Dealing with remote offices. How to keep the project on track and the momentum going.

Links
Agile Craft

Download mp3 of podcast

#81 Doc Norton, Better Agile Metrics

Summary
Doc Norton tells me why measuring agile velocity is a bad idea and what to do instead.

Details
Who he is, what he does. "Escape Velocity", why he wrote a book on agile metrics. What velocity is, rate of delivering value to customer, "it is useless", estimates are "bunk". "The business" pushes velocity based estimates. Lack of trust throughout organization. Can we really reduce a complex problem down to a simple number. Anti patterns: more velocity, cross team velocity comparisons, estimating with time, measuring individual velocity. Side effects of metrics. Variable velocity. What should we measure, cycle time and lead time, fixing bottle necks, code quality, team joy. Where does dev ops come in. How to find Doc's book. Upcoming conferences.

Download mp3 of podcast

Conferences
DSM Agile - St. Louis
dev up - Des Moines
Yow - Australia

#80 Angela Dugan, Impostor Syndrome

Summary
Angela Dugan tells me about impostor syndrome, why it matters and what you can do about it.

Details
Who she is, what she does. What impostor syndrome is, Hanselman's post. Who is affected by it. The more you know, the more you realize you don't know; being an "expert"; why is "I don't know" not acceptable, do agile sprints and commitments force unreasonable expectations. Angela's impostor syndrome survey. The opposite of impostor syndrome - Dunning–Kruger. Should one do anything about it; teaching what you learn. Angela might retake the test. Angela suggests helping others with impostor syndrome.

Download mp3 of podcast

Links
Angela's Twitter

TFS Whisperer

#77 Laurent Bossavit, Software Myths

Summary
Laurent Bossavit talks about the myths like the 10x developer that have grown in the software industry.

Details
Who he is, what he does. His book - "The Leprechauns of Software Engineering", why he wrote it. The 10x developer, literary archeology. The telephone game, examples in the software world, cost of when defects are discovered. Industry does not have interest exposing faults, why is the word "belief" used in software, is software an engineering discipline, opinions over measurements, how did we end up with manifestos. What should we measure when judging software quality, why measuring bugs are like eating from the garbage can. How to make things better. How to get Laurent's book. Laurent's book recommendations.

Download mp3 of podcast

Book recommendations
Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research

Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Links
The Leprechauns of Software Engineering

Laurent's GitHub

#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.

Download mp3 of podcast

Links
Pluralsight courses

Book - Difficult Conversations

#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.

Download mp3 of podcast

Extended Interview

#31 Jason MacInnes, Draft Kings

Summary
Jason MacInnes, CTO of Draft Kings tells me about their architecture and scaling demands.

Details
A little about Jason; what Draft Kings is, why it's not gambling, how Draft Kings started; controlling growth, SDLC, Agile growing pains, aligning skills; software stack (MySql, RabbitMq, MassTransit), choice of ASP.NET; scaling the system; transitioning to micro-services, dev ops; service level agreements, dealing with unpredictable events; where the statistics and data come from, customer privacy, future work.

Download mp3 of podcast

#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.

Download mp3 of podcast

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

#7 Rebecca O’Dette, Agile at RunKeeper

Discussion with Rebecca O’Dette about Agile development at RunKeeper. We cover Rebecca’s role, company growth over the past few years, development structure, introduction of agile processes, moving from waterfall, choice of scrum over other agile options, first steps in agile, team size, current team structure, changes over past few years, scaling and syncing teams, scrum of scrums, QA and release processes, release bottlenecks, release cycles, missing Microsoft project, agile for marketing, support, business development and user experience, kanban, story points, planning poker, complexity and time, explaining story points to upper management, culture team, vacation, book choice – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

Download mp3 of podcast

Book Recommendations

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t