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Ship Software OnTime The Blog That Helps You Ship Software February 2008 Entries
Rules for Being a Green Software Engineer
Recently, I got a link to The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard. This is an amazingly well done 20-minute video about how stuff is made, sold and disposed. She does a phenomenal job of putting the Story of Stuff together and selling the viewer on the importance of being Green. If you only have 20 minutes, I'd rather you watch her video than read this article, so go do that if you haven't already. Then I got to thinking, as software engineers, what's our responsibility for being green? I did a couple ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:46 AM

What's the Developer's Incentive to Ship?
The company always has a substantial incentive to ship. Usually, it's financial. If you don't ship the software, you can't sell it. If it's an internally used tool or a line of business application, then the company's incentive to ship is to increase user productivity (again a financial incentive). To the company, shipping the software affects the bottom line and the incentive to ship is clear. But what's the incentive to ship for the software developers? Those are the guys that control the real ......

Posted On Thursday, February 14, 2008 9:48 AM

You May Not Know the Business You Are In
Here is a simple question: What is the business of Seagate and Western Digital? If you confidently answered "Hard Drives!" you'd be wrong. Unfortunately, it's clear that both Seagate and Western Digital themselves define their business as the "hard drive" business. How short-sighted. It's highly unlikely that I will continue to own a hard drive within 3-5 years. Neither will you. Within 10 years, it's unlikely that anybody will be purchasing hard drives for any purpose. Why? Because there will be ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 13, 2008 12:26 PM

Outsourcing is for Dummies
Let's get one thing out of the way fast: There is no possible way to build and ship quality software on a tight schedule by outsourcing the development, period. If you are in the business of software, then be in the business of software and suck it up and build a team that can write the code. Outsourcing your primary application development is the equivalent of outsourcing the defense of a country. Here's the primary thing you are admitting when you outsource: By outsourcing the development of your ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 12, 2008 3:46 PM

Build Prototypes and Proofs of Concept Early
In any challenging software development project, there are always areas of special concern. These are generally areas that are new and unfamiliar to the team. It could be new AJAX techniques, a new Database backend, Web Services, Javascript, a new UI element, performance issues or a combination of all.But these areas of high risk are often treated just like any other part of the project for estimating and scheduling. Furthermore, the concerns then get shelved until a developer eventually gets to ......

Posted On Monday, February 11, 2008 2:29 PM

Building a Great Team
The centerpiece of any successful development project is the team that builds it. There is no other single most important contributing factor to building great products. No tools, no development methods, no amount of money and no amount of time can substitute for the importance of an exceptional team if you plan to create an exceptional product. Some in our industry operate under the assumption "with a good system and a fine-tuned set of processes, you can build anything with a group of average Joes." ......

Posted On Sunday, February 10, 2008 3:12 PM

Why Software Methodologies Don't Save Software Projects
According to Wikipedia, in Software Engineering, a Methodology is defined as: A codified set of practices (sometimes accompanied by training materials, formal educational programs, worksheets, and diagramming tools) that may be repeatably carried out to produce software. Unfortunately, that definition is believed by many, and it's dead wrong. If you believe it, your projects may be doomed to failure. Methodologies are systems for the creation of things. A system designed to manufacture cars at Ford ......

Posted On Friday, February 8, 2008 10:47 AM

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