#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

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#89 Mark Eisenberg, Breaking the Monolith

Summary
Mark Eisenberg talks about the very long life of the software monolith, when it started, and how we have been trying to escape it since.

Details
Who he is, what he does. What is a monolith, tell-tale signs of a monolith, coupling and decoupling. Why we built monoliths. N-tiers and monoliths. Software is rarely a green field. Were we ever able to swap tiers. Advantages of a monolith, it's familiar. Companies need a visionary to effect change. Risk raises its head. SOA didn't work, client server didn't work, n-tier didn't work. Successful companies went from monoliths to microservices when they needed to. RPC is from the 1960s, are you running one piece of code on one machine or ten machines. How to get off the monolith, find a visionary. Time to respond to a challenge is very short. Microsoft is a good example of a large company changing.

Links
Mark's LinkedIn

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#87 Veronika Kolesnikova, Xamarin and Cognitive Services

Summary
Veronika Kolesnikova talks to me about Xamarin and Microsoft Cognitive Services.

Details
Who she is, what she does. What is Xamarin. What are cognitive services, why so many services; artificial intelligence vs machine learning vs deep learning, training models. He she got started in Xamarin; it's part of Visual Studio, SDKs and testing tools, Xamarin live player debugging on device. Why use cognitive services, examples of use. Types of cognitive services - labs, vision, face, speech, translator, language understanding intelligence service. Should I train my own model. Recommendations API. It started with Bing, how is it to use, examples. People to follow - Paige Bailey, Seth Juarez. Veronika is presenting at Visual Studio Live, Las Vegas.

Links
Veronika's twitter
Visual Studio Live, Las Vegas
Paige Bailey
Seth Juarez

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#70 Ben Day, Dev Ops in the Microsoft World

Summary
Ben Day, Pluralsight author and consultant talks about dev ops in the Microsoft world and how to introduce it in your organization.

Details
Dev ops will solve everything. definition is hard to pin down. Three questions, 1) how long from checkin to deployment, 2) what are the steps to get code deployed, 3) how much time is spent on production support issues. Why do we need dev ops. Who takes on the role of dev ops. What Microsoft offers. All the way from local dev to release. Do dev teams get dev ops members. People don't like change. Dev ops "levels of awesomeness". Seeing it really work. Continuous release with Microsoft, Ben's Pluralsight course, how quickly can we move code from dev to production.

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#69 Rachel Roumeliotis, 2017 Technology Trends

Summary
Rachel Roumeliotis of O'Reilly Media spoke to me about technology and development trends for 2017.

Details
Who she is and what she does. Upcoming conferences, OSCON and Fluent. Rachel and I discuss tech trends for 2017: open source, the big players, can every company do it? Code is not the only value, customer lock-in. "All businesses are software businesses", how common is that perception, is dev over valued sometimes. "Infrastructure changes", very hard to keep up, big companies telling small companies that they are doing things wrong. "The year of AI" - again; AI silos, no overarching system. Keeping the customer in mind when working with tech.

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Links
OSCON, May 8th - 11th Austin, Texas.

Fluent, June 19th - 22nd, San Jose, California.

#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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