Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

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  • How to Prevent and Repay Technical Debt: What Teams, Tech Leads and Managers Can Do

    Tech leads, project managers, and managers can prevent technical debt by giving software developers more time; in addition, they can plan for spare time and refactoring sprints to allow teams to improve code. To prioritise technical debt, development teams can show how much time we can save if we invest, and how complicated the software will become in the future if we don’t repay technical debt.

  • Skills and Insights for First-Time Managers

    The skills and capabilities required to be an effective first-time engineering manager are often orthogonal to those of an IC. These range from people management through to delivery of projects. We report on recent podcasts featuring Ben Greenberg, Matt Stratton and Shopify's James Stanier as they share practical management patterns for prospective, new and seasoned engineering managers.

  • How to Develop a Culture of Quality in Software Organizations

    According to Erika Chestnut, software organizations can develop a culture of quality with a clear commitment from leadership, not only to endorse quality efforts in software teams, but also to actively champion them. This commitment and advocacy should manifest in data-driven decision-making that strikes a balance between innovation and quality, ensuring that we maintain the highest quality.

  • Why Stable Software Teams Aren't Always Best: Self-Selection Reteaming at Redgate

    There are advantages to having the same group of people stay together, especially in achieving a time-bound software development project. However, in a world where we increasingly see product or stream-aligned teams who own long-living software from creation through to delivery, operation, and ongoing improvements, then optimising for very stable teams is not the best idea, Chris Smith argues.

  • Why Leading without Blame Matters to Leaders and Teams

    According to Diana Larsen, a culture of blame is a waste of human potential. People cannot achieve their best and most creative work when their energy goes into avoiding shame and blame. To lead without blame requires a shift toward learning and curiosity, she argues. It begins by building or restoring a relationship of trust and trustworthiness with the people.

  • How Growing Tech Engineers Enables Growing Yourself as a Leader

    It’s challenging to grow into a new role when you are still holding on to what you have been good at and really love, and what you’ve been doing in your previous role. By attaching to everything you used to do, you are also depriving the people around you of an opportunity to grow and learn to master those skills and take on those responsibilities too.

  • How Big Tech Lost its Way - Accountability and Leadership

    Accountability in big tech companies seems to be lacking; it’s rare for people in senior positions to be held accountable. Engineers should be conscious of the culture they want to work in and watch out for their well-being, whereas companies should invest in their leaders to support people’s best work. Andy Walker gave a talk about how big tech lost its way at QCon London 2023.

  • Building a Lifelong Technical Career in Software Development

    Technical experience matters because it adds to the value chain. In engineering companies, the technical knowledge accumulated by people over many years can provide the basis for the next generation of products and projects. Sven Reimers spoke about building a lifelong technical career in software development at QCon London 2023.

  • Challenges and Skills for Staff+ Engineering, Learnings from QCon New York

    The QCon New York 2023 track Staff+ Engineering: New Skills, New Challenges comprised four talks that went into decisions with buy-in, growing people, the art of staff+, and deciding between individual contributions and leading people.

  • How Big Tech Lost Its Way - Regulation and Freedom

    Technology plays an ever increasing part in our lives, yet big tech seems to be running out of control, showing behavior that is at odds with its principles. Regulation is starting to develop, but laws are rarely applied. The leaders of big tech companies should realise their job is culture. At QCon London 2023, Andy Walker gave a talk about how big tech lost its way.

  • Adopting Artificial Intelligence: Things Leaders Need to Know

    Artificial intelligence (AI) can help companies identify new opportunities and products, and stay ahead of the competition. Senior software managers should understand the basics of how this new technology works, why agility is important in developing AI products, and how to hire or train people for new roles.

  • Leading in Hybrid and Remote Environments: Skills to Develop and Tools That Can Help

    Leading in hybrid and remote environments requires that managers develop new skills like coaching, facilitation, and being able to do difficult conversations remotely. With digital tools, we can include less dominant and more reflective people to get wider reflections from different brains and personalities. This can result in more diverse and inclusive working environments.

  • How the Hybrid and Remote Working Revolution Impacts Maintaining Mental Health

    Whether working remotely or in a hybrid environment, the way in which we work with one another is changing, and can impact mental health and well-being. Personality characteristics can influence how we respond to remote or hybrid working environments. Organizations can foster psychological safety by focusing on culture, transparency, clarity, learning from failure, and supportive leadership.

  • How to Lead and Manage in This Brave New Remote and Hybrid World

    Hybrid working is a mindset of trusting people and providing opportunities to get the best from everyone regardless of place and time. Managers have the opportunity to make people feel empowered, motivated, and productive. Alternatively, they can squash creativity, fun and psychological safety.

  • Test Automation Requires a Strategy and Clean Code

    Having a good strategy for test automation can make it easier to implement test automation and reduce test maintenance costs. The test automation pyramid and automation test wheel can be of help when formulating a test automation strategy and plan. Test automation code should be clean code, and treated similarly to production code.