Test First Programming – It is kind of like Martial Arts…

Test-Driven-Development/Design (TDD) has been a hot topic of conversation in our office recently (lots of external and internal training about TDD). I think the biggest “ah, ha” for me, throughout…

All I Want for Christmas

So… the blog battle topic is “All I Want for Christmas”. I’ll ignore all the obvious things (world peace, time with family, a straightened out financial system, etc). So what…

Motion is not Progress

When I first saw that the topic for this week’s SEP Blog Battle is “Motion is not Progress”, my mind immediately jumped back about 15 years to sophomore engineering classes…

“Motion != Progress” – Code moves in 5 different ways…

Week #4 of the SEP Blog Battle 2012. This week our title was “Motion is not Progress”.  If you are making changes to your source code, then clearly your are…

Ten Principles of Good Design

  I’m a big fan of Dieter Rams’ ten design principles. I try to follow them as much as possible when designing anything. 1. Good design is innovative 2. Good…

Gleaners and SEP Work Together to Feed Indiana’s Hungry

One in Six people in America are food insecure; unable to afford or access reliable sources of nourishment. No one organization is capable of meeting the food demands of an…

The Optimistic Interviewer

The 2012 SEP Blog Battle continues. The Optimistic Interviewer is a fool. Consider the likelihood of failure. If you’re interviewing, you’re looking for a job. If you’re hiring, you need…

The Optimistic Employee Owner

So we’re in the midst of a “blog-battle” here at SEP, and this week’s topic is “The Optimistic [insert role here]”. So I’m going to take a little liberty and…

Getting even more value from your daily standup…

Fill Out the Form to Download the Daily Standup Worksheet.

“Good Idea, Bad Idea” – I’ll have both please.

Week #2 of the SEP Blog Battle 2012. This week our title was “Good Idea, Bad Idea”. For me, this one is short and simple…I will have both! In our…

Good Idea, Bad Idea (for interviewing)

As part of the recruiting team here at SEP, I’ve seen quite a few candidates over the past few years. I figured I’d share some of the good and bad…

Pay It Forward…for Introverts

Sing it with me… It’s the most wonderful time of the year….it’s the hap-happiest season of all… Really Traci, Christmas songs already? No my friends, I’m talking about the season…

Good idea, bad idea…

Another installment in SEP’s 2012 Blog Battle. I’m lucky enough to work in a place that’s fertile ground for ideas. There’s freedom in the work and the work environment. People…

SEP Blog Battle: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Bad Ideas We all have them It’s true, as much as we hate to admit it. I’ve had my fair share, and I’m bound to have even more. That doesn’t…

SEP Spreads Cheer to Community with Pay-It-Forward

As we near the holiday season, we often find ourselves in the throes of never-ending shopping and stressful familial commitments. The desire to do something for others—those in need or…

“I don’t have time” – because I didn’t take it…

Week #1 of the SEP Blog Battle 2012. This week’s title is “I don’t have time”.  First off, it has been great to see, and read, all of the activity…

I don’t have time

Have you ever said “I don’t have time for XYZ”? If you said no you are liar or a very special person. I have said this many times, to myself,…

SEP Blog Battle: I Don’t Have Time

No really, I don’t… At Least Not Right Now Before we start, consider the below tidbits about myself: I have a huge backlog of side projects, books, blogs, podcasts, chores…

I don’t have time…

… to dust off this blog. Or do I? We’re having a little blog battle here at SEP, so chances are you’ll see me post a bit more than I…

I don’t have time

Blog Battle – SEP is currently having a blog battle between some of the employees. This weeks challenge is the title – I Don’t Have Time. I can’t imagine why,…

Client Project Disclosures

The Kano Model and how it impacts specifications and customer satisfaction is just one facet of the conversation. The area below Threshold could be content the development partner failed to…

Spec Driven Versus Client Satisfaction in Outsourcing

Chris Shinkle introduced us to the Kano model of customer satisfaction while internally presenting his Stop Doing Kanban, Start Learning lecture that he delivered at this year’s LSSC. The Kano…

SEP Congratulates Carmel For Being The Best Place to Live in America

SEP is proud to call Carmel, Indiana home and congratulates the city and its citizens for being named as The Best Place to Live in America as determined by Money…

Changing the Cost Discussion

Discussions with client representatives about hourly rates can be frustrating at times. The belief that an hour of any person’s (or supplier’s) time is exactly the same as any other…

Community Involvement Update

SEP launched our new Community Involvement Program this year.  We really do aim to make the world a better place…even if it’s one good deed at a time. We’re half…

Inside SEP’s Best Place to Work Award

Software Engineering Professionals (SEP) takes pride in its work environment. Through active engagement of employees in and out of the office atmosphere, SEP strives to ensure everyone at the Carmel-based…

Fitting SEP with a Quality System

SEP has had ISO-9001 Certification for nearly a decade. These credentials help support our work in FDA and FAA for clients. We’ve struggled with the notion of a quality system since…

How to Create & Support a Learning Focus as an Organization

In a previous article, I discussed learning as a core “Make or Break” (MOB) for SEP. By taking up this follow-up topic I must acknowledge the huge body of work…

Relationship Lifecycle

Our “relationship lifecycle” board is beginning to fill in and clusters are forming. I’ve participated in some short “standups”. The last one was only 5 minutes and we came up…

TDD Study Groups Week 3 – Mocks and Stubs

Last week in our TDD Study Groups was mocks and stubs and how to effectively utilize them along with TDD. Readings Test Double Patterns Mocks Aren’t Stubs Mock Roles, Not…

Why Perform Discovery (Envision) On the Front End of a Development Process?

The rapid evolution of technologies, users and markets has increased the pressure on the software industry to respond to industry criticisms. Some of these criticisms were well deserved and these…

SEP’s Vision: Are we There YET?

SEP’s Vision is: to be the preferred partner for software product development and a recognized industry leader in the application of software engineering practices. I like to say it this…

SEP Announces 25th Anniversary Trip to New Orleans

Buzz was building in anticipation of where SEP would go to celebrate its 25th anniversary. During yesterday’s status meeting SEP announced with beads and food from Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort…

SEP’s “Make or Break” (MOB)

A couple months ago, my Vistage CEO group hosted “Make or Break Execution – the Core to Success,” a presentation from Dan Barnett (Primavera). The “Make or Break” (MOB) of…

TDD Study Groups Week 2 – Refactoring

Two weeks ago, we discussed refactoring in our TDD study groups, and it’s time for some updates and statuses from what we’ve learned (from completing the stories) as well as…

TDD does not have to be a rigid process to have value

I like the idea of TDD, but some of the articles and blog posts I’ve read about it feel a little too much like they’re saying “Don’t question our cult!…

TDD and “todo” lists

As I continue to experiment with TDD, I find that I often need to make notes to myself so that I don’t forget to come back and do something later,…

TDD Study Group: Week 1

As you’ve no doubt heard from another blog post/email/coworker if your an employee here at SEP, we’re beginning some TDD Study Groups here at SEP. One of the goals of…

Stop Doing Kanban! Start Learning

This is a session from the Lean Software and Systems Conference 2012 (LSSC12). Learning is the new currency. Practices and processes will come and go; only the wise survive. If…

2012 Best Places to Work in Indiana Rankings Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 3, 2012 (INDIANAPOLIS) — Companies raising the bar with their  workplace practices were recognized tonight at the Indiana Roof Ballroom by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce….

This is What I Would Have Said

#4 Best Place to Work in Indiana!!  How fantastic is that?!? At the awards dinner every year, the top winner has to say a few words when they receive their…

Training using Study Groups

Since I have started working at SEP I have been invited to a number of training sessions where an outside trainer is brought in and we get a mix of…

Walking the Talk – Part 2

Back on the “trend” of applying Agile/Lean practices SEP learned from software development to “management” I submit another example. SEP is working on significant updates to its risk management, project…

How to be more confident in your changes – Test First…

I was tag-teaming a change with one of my teammates, Brian, and I didn’t even know where to begin.  I wasn’t nearly as confident with the scheduling logic as Brian…

Case Study: SEP Use of MadCap Flare

Leading Provider of Customized Software Solutions Uses MadCap Flare to  Synchronize Three Online Help Systems and Print Manual with New Software  Releases New case study from MadCap Software examines how …

One Small Step Toward TDD, One Small Leap for SEP

One small Step Toward TDD I have been reading about TDD and unit testing for about 7 years now and have not fully adopted TDD. It has a ton of…

Walking the Talk – Lean/Agile as a Way of Business

My management team implements a lot of really cool practices, techniques, etc. (“stuff”) here. There appears to be a trend developing that is really exciting. It guess it has to…

What is Envision? Understanding SEP’s Discovery Process

Envision is SEP’s unique collection of practices collected from different industries and approaches integrated powerfully together, designed to integrate with SEP’s collaborative development processes. The main goal of Envision is…

Android UI/X – don’t go overboard with your list views

The Android ListView is one of the simplest UI widgets to implement.  There are plenty of ListView tutorials and examples, so I’m not going to talk about how to implement…

Unwinding

Though this blog has focused on a means to improve one’s professional success, there are many other means by which life can be measured, and although I don’t feel my…

Android AsyncTasks, for updating your UI

Last time, I talked about how to use Android Handlers for handling a blocking task in the background.  While Handlers are very powerful, they can easily get too complicated for larger…

Which Is Worth More, Education or Skills?

In a previous post, I talked about what skills I look for in our new hires at Software Engineering Professionals. But what happens if you have all of those skills,…

How to improve your entire team – Practice Positive…

I recently watched a video from TED Talks about happiness and productivity.  If you haven’t seen the video “The Happy Secret to Better Work”, by Shawn Achor, then take 13…

Are Certifications Old News?

As people try to get recognized, certified, and prove their skills…it can still be difficult to convince your peers, potential employers, and fellow industry people that you can walk-the-walk. One…

On Recognizing Good People

As a leader, recognizing good people for their work and effort is both the most important and most difficult things that you can do. I learned this during my time…

SEP Ranked a 2012 Best Place to Work

News Release – February 21, 2012 Indianapolis, Ind. — A total of 70 companies have been designated a 2012 “Best Place to Work in Indiana” for creating a productive environment…

Skills that I Look for in a Software Engineer

I’ve been with Software Engineering Professionals for the past five years, starting right after I graduated from college. A few years ago I joined the recruiting team for SEP, and…

git – It’s Not So Scary After All — BrownBag

Well, better late than never, right? :-) This is my slide-deck from a BrownBag @_swanson and I gave late last year. [field name=iframe]   Recap of presentation: Lead with some…

SEP Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

Carmel, IN – January 19, 2012 – Software Engineering Professionals (SEP), a leader in custom software development, announced today the promotion of Traci L. Dossett to become their new Chief…

5 Benefits of Outsourcing Software Development

Outsourcing is the business practice where a company uses outside firms to do select projects and special work that might normally be performed within that company. Some examples of what…