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Knowing when a departing developer is a FAILURE of management

So... This is probably an idea worthy of a very long post, and I may flesh it out in the future. But for now, i want to make just this one point.

That "difficult" developer that you never seemed to incorporate into your team.

That developer that was always pointing out areas to improve and make better code.

That developer that didn't mesh well with "others on the team"...

Don't congratulate yourself on their departure. Or worse, on choosing to ask them to leave. Not right away!

Wait... Watch where they land. Look at what they accomplish at that new place, with that new team.

If they thrive and making amazing things... you LOST. You failed to retain a valuable and effective contributor. And you should deeply and seriously question your team, your culture and your organization.

Sure... maybe they just needed that new setting. Maybe it was just "a matter of fit." But no. Don't let yourself off that easily! Use that moment to really consider your culture and why this brilliant mind went elsewhere to make their excellent contribution.



Apple is launching search engine to destroy Google | Jason Calacanis | LinkedIn

Definitely read the article. :) My take has always been, watch for what serves USERS. In Every. Single. Case. where you veer away from that, beware; you're going to lose the user eventually. In his article, Jason makes that clear. Google, in serving advertisers more and more often at the expense of users, is poised to lose the search market to Apple. Just as sites with an overabundance of ad and promotional content is losing the content war to simpler presentation more focused one why they came. What do you think?



Mentoring Startups

Some of my greatest joys in my business life started out easily and naturally. Mentoring entrepreneurs.

As a coder I've often found myself answering questions from startup founders. They want to know if their idea is feasible. What it would cost. All these initial worries. But often, the more important issues are about the idea itself, the market's need, and the competitive landscape. And so much more. So, if you're looking for insights about your startup idea, my initial consult has always been available for the cost of a meal. I'd sit and chat and give the best advice I could. From that initial advice has sprung many relationships and a good number of startups.

Here's a GREAT article from some entrepreneurs describing how mentor updates saved their company. Who are you talking to?



What is an Agile Coach?

As I talk with various groups about what I can offer, what I want to do in my next gig (do we ever stop answering the "what do you want to be when you grow up" question?), I find myself explaining this ALL the time:

I think Barry Hawkins answers it very well.  :)

And it describes me pretty much to a 'T'.  Many many teams, projects and a variety of startups in a variety of industries.  All of which leads to a significant humility and an aversion to dogma.  :)  Give it a read.  I think you'll enjoy!