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Software is easy, humans are hard

Ben Stewart

Unhappy Developers, I’m Trying

Everyone at one point or another is unhappy at their workplace; it’s a fact of life. Everyone likes to complain. The main difference however is that due to the absurdity of how in demand great developers are, an unhappy developer can very quickly find somewhere and someone else who may be able to give them what they want. Easily. Like… within a day of posting their CV to a job site.

Recruiting, Don't Suck At It

One of the main reasons you have a job as a software development manager is to guide your team forward and trust them to deliver value to your customer; but how do you get that team in place? You hire them obviously; but todays question is quite simple. What is your hiring process? In 2014 I would say I have sat in easily 40–60 interviews, with easily double as many CVs (resumes) coming into my inbox.

Fuck Agile

… why does it have to be so hard to get across it’s sheer beauty? Lately I’ve been having a daily battle with members of my team and company as I try to push the Agile values to our daily efforts; this is not an easy task. Any Development Manager who takes the deep dive and begins a transition to Agile is a brave brave person… and with over 12 months of Agile working under our belts I have a few pointers to send out to anyone either looking to start such a process or who is in dire need of help during the process.

How Much Code Should I know?

I’m dealing with this question in my head basically every single day; I still don’t have a definitive answer. Being a Development Manager (DM from now on) means that you have to wear a large number of hats whenever you enter the workplace on a daily basis and I’m sure I will cover most of them in this blog at one point or another. One of the main jobs of a DM, obviously, is to make sure your team is shipping work; but how do you know it’s good work?

Introducing Code Reviews to an Org

Trying to introduce the subject of implementing Code Reviews can be a minefield. The members of your team will either love you or hate you; but then again how is that any different from any other decision you make? Every single programmer that I have ever come across, no matter the discipline, is precious about their work. Whereby questioning the placement of a For Loop might as well be calling them an idiot.

What's My Job?

To improve everyone else at theirs I often struggle with the duties of my role. Becoming a Development Manager (DM from now on) for a group of 20 or so was never really in my plans. Although to be honest when does anything ever go to plan? I suppose being a DM means being a jack of all trades and a master of none but since I took the role around four months ago I’ve started to try and give myself a sort of mission to follow.

Creating Culture and Value

Culture and team values that go with it are one of the key reasons why some companies are growing so rapidly. There isn’t a start-up, medium sized company or even Google/Facebook style giant which doesn’t think about their Company as a various set of soft rules which all colleagues abide by. But what is your company/team/department doesn’t have either of these? Well… you are in the same boat as me then.