Waste in the Development Process

To sum up everything posted previously. Doing these “discovery” or project planning properly we are really just applying Lean on a larger workflow. The people deciding what should do into…

Run, Turkeys!

A handful of SEP’s engineers and husbands, wives, children headed out last weekend for the treacherous trails of Turkey Run State Park. The first fork in the road… how many…

Jeff Gilbert Receives Honor Alumni Award From RHIT

Jeff Gilbert, President and Founder of SEP, will be honored Saturday, October 2, 2010 with a Rose-Hulman Honor Alumni Award. The recipients are selected based on their (a) loyal, unselfish…

Configuration settings for .NET class libraries (DLLs)

It is fairly easy to specify configuration settings for .NET executables, by adding an app.config file to the project, that is built into a .exe.config file in the executable folder. …

Conversations in Outlook…

If you’re anything like me, you probably get a TON of email each and every day. In addition, you probably get emails that span a conversation over multiple days. Well,…

Never implement INotifyPropertyChanged again

I hate every time I am working on something and I have to implement INotifyPropertyChanged.  My DRY-dey sense tingles.  Not only am I forced to not use auto-properties (1st DRY…

Software Engineering Professionals Supports Agile Community

Annual Agile conference provides the industry’s most comprehensive exchange of ideas and best practices Carmel, IN July 14, 2010 – Software Engineering Professionals (SEP), an employee-owned company today announced its…

Story first, then design…

I had my first opportunity to apply some of my recent training on discovery and usability.   I had a very short stint on an internal project, where I got the chance…

Syntax highlighting for technical presentations

Ever wanted a quick/easy/automated way to get syntax highlighted code from your editor of choice into PowerPoint? EVERY time I do a technical presentation I need this.  Usually I resort…

Rocket Surgery really is easy

I just finished reading Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug (perhaps you know him from his other book Don’t Make Me Think).  Here’s what I thought. What’s the point?…

Book Review – The Toyota Way – Jeffrey Liker

What’s the point? This book focuses on Toyota’s manufacturing process and the Lean attributes. The book takes you through the philosophy and the bare bones implementation of the production models…

Book Review – Coaching for improved work performance – Ferdinand Fournies

What’s the point? This book focuses on the idea that you can get better performance out of employees through positive coaching. Rarely do negative actions result in anything other than…

Book Review – User Stories Applied For Agile Software Development – Mike Cohn

What’s the point? This book takes you through the formulation of user stories, from perspectives that should be considered (user, tester, manager, etc…) to some guidelines that should be applied…

Teaching StructureMap About C# 4.0 Optional Parameters and Default Values

This week I ran into wanting to use C# 4.0 optional parameters, but wanted StructureMap (my IoC tool of choice) to respect the default value specified for those optional parameters….

Book Club: ProGit

Book Club Foreword A couple years ago I brought up the idea of doing a book club here at SEP because I had participated in a couple before coming to…

IndyTechFest Recap

IndyTechFest is teh awesome! I was privileged enough to be a speaker alongside some other ridiculously awesome regional speakers (and even had a few of them IN my presentation!)… star…

Cool Resource for Software Engineers

Last year we got rid of our traditional annual review system and replaced it with sensible component parts (career guidance, skill assessments, etc.) It would take several posts to explain…

Lean and Kanban in Contracting Environment Video Posted

Last month, SEP was involved in planning the Lean Software and Systems Conference in Atlanta. One of the ways we were involved with the event was through the “Leaning Over…

Community: 2 Conferences Compared

It’s surprising how fast things are changing especially, in the development of electronic and online communities. What first looked like some teenage fad with Facebook and Myspace social media sites…

Default Value

In .NET we’ve got this cool little language construct called default, that’ll give you the default value for any given type.  That is, null, for any reference type, or zero/false/DateTime.Min/etc….

More bragging about SEP…

Okay, I don’t think it’s a secret that I REALLY enjoy working at SEP. However, I’m going to continue to brag about this company. Recently, SEP was awarded the #1 BEST…

Waste in the Software Development Process

There are different levels of waste in the software development process.

SEP Named #1 2010 ‘Best Places to Work in Indiana’

Yesterday, SEP received top honors as the best place to work in Indiana in the small to medium-sized company category.  The rest of the state now knows what I’ve always…

SEP Ranked #1 Best Place to Work in Indiana

Press Release May 6, 2010 (INDIANAPOLIS) — Companies with strong workplace practices – rooted in respect, teamwork and good communication – were recognized on May 6, 2010 at the Indiana…

happy Star Wars day!

May the 4th be with you.

Extending Discovery into Business Value

This post is a follow up from a previous post, is Software Development REALLY Expensive – part Two. To summarize, I will quote from the previous blog. Our industry often sets…

Thanks, User Experience Guys

An open letter to all you user experience people… Dear <state your name in full>, I started developing applications professionally in 1993. First Mac apps in the glorious 4D programming…

Is Developing Software REALLY expensive – Part Two

Software development value streams need to proactively widen in order to attack new areas of waste and to continue providing increased value. In an outsourced contract service model with hand-off points at organizational boundaries this can be a challenge.

Book Review – Beautiful Teams

I got beautiful teams a few months ago and tore into it hoping for lots of wonderful insights about how to help culture/foster/create functional and beautiful team environments. Instead, I…

Another Milestone for SEP

The Lean Software & Systems Conference started today. This is the most SEP has ever been involved in a conference in terms of sponsorship, speaking, and involvement. Kelly Wilson, our…

3Q Book Review: The Trusted Advisor

The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister, Robert Galford, and Charles Green What’s the point? A friend of my boss recommended this book as “the bible of the professional service…

3Q Book Review: The Logic of Failure

The Logic of Failure by Dietrich Dorner What’s the point? The premise of the book is that humans are notoriously bad at thinking through complex systems. We can’t plan or…

The file exists

Maybe I should title this post ‘How to write a better error message’ instead. I just went on a wild goose chase trying to find the solution to an error…

3Q Book Review: Linchpin

I really hate opening a blog post and seeing that it’s five pages long, 7 point font, dense text. Even if the author is awesome, it’s asking me to make…

Story Mapping – Quick Follow-up

In this post, I talked about ways our teams could get started using story mapping (and associated techniques) that we get trained up on by Jeff Patton. So anyway ……

Story Mapping – Getting Started

In our recent training, Jeff Patton presented a structured discovery process centered around the story map and personas, neatly packaged into about a week of time. Some people in the…

SEP is an ESOP! OMG!

I’ve known about this for a couple months, but it’s still pretty awesome now that it is happening. As of March 31, SEP now has an Employee Stock Ownership Plan….

Story Mapping

We recently completed several days of training with the fabulous Jeff Patton. At a 10,000 foot level, the techniques he talked about focus on getting the whole story on a…

Can it get any cooler over here???

Just had to brag about this company a little bit… http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=40993 The managers at this company care about their people, and this is just one more way they show it….

SEP Announced Launch of Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Carmel, IN, April 5, 2010 –Software Engineering Professionals™ (SEP) announced to its employees today that the owners have transferred 100% of SEP’s stock to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)…

Are UX/UI “standards” lacking???

Jared Spool has reported that only about 10% of the user interface design questions raised by developers over the course of a typical project can be answered by reference to…

Usability, and more…

Last week, we had 3 days of training.  Jeff Patton came in to talk to us about usability, and how to work with our clients to make sure we produce…

SEP Raises Funds for Red Cross

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January of this year, SEP decided to put together various fundraising efforts to help all those in need. “We…

“stand-up” meetings are more popular than I thought…

I recently came across a post about a “22 minute meeting”.   The claim seems to be that shorter meetings are more productive and efficient. Most of us here at…

A Simple Aid to Avoid Email Embarrassment

Yesterday, I was watching one of the podcasts I regularly view, and they mentioned that on gmail there is a feature that will notice if you’ve typed something like “I’ve…

Developers’ libraries…

Being that my background is primarily with embedded software (namely, C and C++ w/o the .NET framework), I have not had much experience with online libraries. They seem awesome in…

My Agile 2010 Sessions

I’ve submitted 2 proposals for sessions at the Agile 2010 conference. They can be previewed here: http://agile2010.agilealliance.org/node/6079 http://agile2010.agilealliance.org/node/6250 You have to create an account to view them. But, once you…

Managing Distractions

I’ve recently started to practice the pomodoro technique.  Holy F!  This super simple practice has uncovered how much time I completely waste in a workday (not to mention my non-work…

SEP Named a 2010 Best Place to Work

Monday, February 22, 2010 (INDIANAPOLIS) — A total of 70 Hoosier companies from throughout the state are being honored this year as a “Best Place to Work in Indiana” for…

My LSSC 2010 Presentation

In addition to chairing a track, I will also be speaking at the LSSC conference to be held April 21-23, 2010 in Atlanta GA.  My presentation on using Lean and…

Yet Another Pomodoro App

No, it isn’t called YAPA. Basically, I wanted a gentle introduction to the Pomodoro Technique, so I thought, what better way to introduce myself to it, than to build a…

Lean Software and Systems Conference 2010

The Lean Software and Systems Conference 2010 is the place to learn about "the next wave of process innovation": Lean, Pull Systems, and Kanban. If you are interested in applying…

Deconstructing “always” and “never”

How many times has a statement (requirement) like one of the following been given to you? (only to find out months later that there is an important exception that was…

To document…or not to document…

As an engineer, I tend to error on the side of “this should be documented”. However, I think that with the recent push of being agile and lean, the word…

Choose Your Own Adventure, SEP style…

Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? It was great because depending on what you wanted, you could change the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Sometimes…

designing for the fairer sex

I was reading this interesting design article in Fast Company a while back.  It’s pointing out a recent shift in some companies to specifically take into account the ways in…

bad interfaces

Scott Adams (the Dilbert guy) has an excellent post on bad interfaces of everyday things.  I do want to add that I have the same double-switch for lights and garbage…

Apprenticeship/Mentorship Success!

One of my apprentices from this past summer just accepted a job… at another company.  I’m totally pumped for him, but most of the people I brag to about it…

balsamiq mockups

We recently used Balsamiq Mockups to redesign a set of web pages.  I’ve done a lot of designs on paper, in HTML, using FrontPage and even Visio before, and now…

Summer Internship Opportunities at SEP

POST UPDATE: 3/1/10 SEP has filled all of our internships at this time. SEP will be traveling to Rose-Hulman (February 4th) and Purdue (February 11th) to interview students interested in…

Kanban Adoption at SEP – Video Posted

InfoQ recently posted a video of SEP’s Development Manager, Chris Shinkle presenting at the Agile 2009 Conference in Chicago last year. The video explores how Kanban teams at SEP matured…