I blog about engineering leadership, software design, and side projects.

What I learned creating 12inch.reviews, a mashup of Spotify and Pitchfork

I’m a huge music nerd. I’ve played in many bands in my teens 20s, and music is a big part of my life.. I’m also a big fan of Pitchfork music reviews. There was a mashup site I was using called Pitchify, which was no longer updating, and it eventually got taken down. So I did what any engineer would do and I created my own mashup! 12inch.reviews is a mashup of Pitchfork’s album reviews with Spotify’s web playback SDK. Read more...

The life-changing benefits of side projects

I am an avid side project-er. At any point in time I always have at least one “thing” going on in the background that feeds my appetite for playing with new tech and learning new stuff. Side projects can be liberating and super fun. They are great for your career overall and could lead to great opportunities. These side projects have had an amazing effect on my career, and they can help yours immensely as well! Read more...

How to deliver high-quality software

When it comes to software, the term “QA” itself is highly loaded. Because what is it, really? Is it just a thing at the end of the software delivery line, where quality gets lovingly sprayed on at the end, achieving a nice glossy sheen? Is it a separate department that bolts on quality, where the engineers don’t really need to worry about it after they throw it over the wall? Read more...

The importance of celebrating success with your team

“Ok, so we launched our new feature last night. However we have 30 customer emails from last night about bugs, and we need to hit those right away. Also the error rate is a little spikey, which probably means there’s more issues, and our response time is up a few ticks. Have a nice day!” What a bummer. This is unfortunately how things go during a standup meeting after just after shipping a successful feature. Read more...

What it really means to practice Agile

Individuals an interactions over processes and tools. Why? Because the first principle of the Agile Manifesto is so easy to break. We broke it big time, and we learned a lot when fixing it. Tools like Jira seduce you into building a mammoth process that is convoluted and hard to convey to your team. You get blinded by the allure of super-sweet metrics and charts. And so the thought goes: “We’ll know our burndown rate and velocity, and it will all be on this pretty graph, and we’ll put it up on the wall TV, and we shall revel in our newfound measurements! Read more...

Ditching scrum for Kanban - The best decision we've made as a team

The following is a story about how we matured as an engineering team. We went from an ad-hoc process to Scrum, and used Scrum for a whole year. Scrum leveled us up as a team in terms of structure and process. But it caused major morale issues. Then we found Kanban. We implemented it and have never looked back. From nothing to Scrum We started using Scrum after using a strange, ad-hoc system of developing software. Read more...
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