Career and Productivity Learning

Advance your career by delivering more value to your organization.

For software developers and leaders.

  • Review: Udacity Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree Program
    I’ve been working my way through the Udacity Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree Program. Having completed it, I want to share my review. TLDR: Great content, ok exercises, zero validation
  • Delegation 101: Setting Clear Expectations
    Setting clear goals and expectations is going to be more important than ever to getting the results you want. This comes down to clear thinking and clear communication. Decide what you want to achieve and what help you need to achieve it. Communicate those expectations clearly. Get voluntary buy-in whenever possible, as you’ll receive more commitment and energy. Always follow-up. You will prevent short term oversights and people will be more likely to honour commitments when they know you won’t forget them yourself.
  • Keys to Iterative Software Development
    Nearly all Agile methodologies rely on iterative development. It would be difficult to do otherwise while valuing “Working software over comprehensive documentation”. However, iterative development can quickly devolve into cowboy coding or “waterfall in disguise”. Do you suspect your team might be guilty of this at times? Let’s discuss how to get the most out of iterative development.
  • Retrospectives for Success
    Retrospectives are the single most powerful practice for continuous team improvement. However, many teams fail to establish retrospectives as a practice. Learn the key elements of a retrospective, success factors, and pitfalls.
  • Continuous Improvement for Real Teams
    Almost everyone agrees that continuous improvement is a great idea, yet many teams have trouble putting this idea into practice. This article will discuss the motivation, method, and momentum of continuous improvement….Constantly seek small improvements and try them out; apply just enough rigour to be sure they really were improvements.
  • Get Results with Prototypes
    When is a prototype the right approach and when isn’t it? How can you get results fast? This article covers the fundamentals of effective prototyping.
  • Plan for the future, without coding for it
    There’s a fine balance between planning for the future and coding for it. This article discusses how to be ready for changes without over-committing now.
  • Only Attend Effective Meetings – Eight Strategies
    Developers and managers alike often spend too much time in meetings of questionable value. Do you? What can you do about it? Here are eight strategies that I’ve found effective for reclaiming time.
  • 4 Practices for Software Teams Working from Home During COVID
    Learn 4 uncommon practices to help your software team work more effectively from home during COVID.
  • Projects are a gamble, so know your odds
    Excel at executing projects in the face of uncertainty by quantifying confidence quickly and easily. Includes free Monte Carlo Simulation Spreadsheet.
  • Short: Evaluate New Rules Manually
    Small automation requests often fly under the radar, they get done quickly but don’t always work out. This post discusses how to get results quickly without wasting effort on bad or half-baked ideas.
  • Systematic Debugging
    Many experienced developers still don’t have an explicit algorithm for debugging. If you don’t have one, there are two great reasons to learn: consistent results and guiding others. This article will get you started and includes a cheat sheet.
  • In praise of the basics: Bits and Bytes
    When data costs start to affect the bottom line, you need a better approach. It’s time to go back to the basics.
  • Software Career Advancement: Become More Valuable
    The most common career question I hear from team members is “how do I get to the next level?” We will cover common mistakes people make, why they don’t work, and what does work.
  • Coming Soon!
    Development for Developers: Career development and productivity for software developers and leaders coming soon. While you’re waiting, here‘s an article I wrote on LinkedIn about the great culture at North (recently acquired by Google). Sign up below to receive an email when new content is posted. See you soon-Dan