Livescribe 3 SmartPen

I’ve found I use the pen a fair amount to capture a quick scribble, an image or perhaps a mindmap; sometimes a page of notes in an environment where I don’t feel comfortable sitting bashing away at my laptop keyboard. I think if you’re a big pen-based note taker this pen could genuinely change your world, but for me it’s supplementary.

QCon NYC Day Two: Skills To Pay The Bills

[This is a slightly modified version of an internal travel blog post I wrote for the Vend crew] It’s a dreary Thursday in downtown Brooklyn, low cloud, muggy – but at least I got some good sleep. The F-Train was packed this morning. TL;DR: Embrace imperfection and change. Still no one doing transactional microservices. Tweet […]

QCon NYC Day One: No Sleep Til Brooklyn

[This is a slightly modified version of an internal travel blog post I wrote for the Vend crew] After a couple of nights of 4-hour jet lagged sleeps, I caught the F-train subway from my sister’s house (near Prospect Park) to Downtown Brooklyn. Turns out that the inside of the Brooklyn Marriot is the same […]

Where are the Developers?

The amazing recruiting team at Vend have hired a few awesome software developers to add to our already incredible team. But it is hard work. Really, really bloody hard. So hard that I sometimes wonder what we’re doing wrong. Are we looking for the right people? Are we sending the right messages to attract those people? I’ve been thinking […]

Politics and Social Media

I’m hoping for a change of government in New Zealand come September, but not for the reason you may assume. Back in 2008 when John Key came to power, Twitter was barely kicking off and Granny Herald had about 40 or 50 thousand more subscribers than today. I genuinely can’t remember being involved in any real-time […]

Sphero 2: Not just a toy

I saw my first Sphero at Microsoft’s BUILD conference in 2013. Sphero wasn’t new at the time, but after seeing it in action I just had to have one. Who wouldn’t want a silly robotic ball that you can control with your smartphone? Fast-forward 12 months and the revised Sphero 2 is on my desk. […]

Trust

Here’s the thing: the problems you need to solve as a technical manager are by definition non-technical. You need to create an environment in which the engineering team can execute to their potential, and otherwise get out of the way. The last thing you need is technical authority

Responsibility

Having spent a fair bit of time as a manager of developers, there’s one really simple sign (for me personally) that developers are growing: smiles. Those little smiles that I get when I’m hopping in my car after a day at work, or reading an email, or watching an interaction. Those little “wow, yeah, that’s the behaviour I’m looking for” moments.

Focus

Without focus a software engineering team can look and feel like they’re doing great, but not make headway. You can have all the right pieces set up just the right way, but all for naught. No amount of engineering talent, no fantastic working environment, nor great team culture can make up for a lack of focus. It’s that important.

We Are Treating it Very Seriously

After reading Lance’s latest post, I remembered an interview I heard on the radio this morning. It was about a serious workplace accident, at a company that has had two recent workplace deaths. The man being interviewed said: “We are treating this very seriously” I’m going to come right out and say no, you are […]