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People or Resources? Let's Be Honest With Ourselves

I've never liked it when people get referred to as resources. Especially when it's thrown around in front of the people themselves. Chairs, tables, capital, and computing power. These are resources, not people.

Nevertheless, a change of language is a good place to start.
Recent posts

Scaling Agile with GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance)

In the 21st Century, software is at the forefront of our lives. Our insurance, money, communication is all done via software. As such, the importance of GRC is becoming ever more apparent as more and more sensitive information is being stored and viewed by a range of people. We as software practitioners have the responsibility to ensure we store data securely, encrypt communication, output data in a legal and compliant format, and make everything accessible to the general public. At the same time we want to be able to make changes to our platforms as quickly as possible to interact with market conditions.

GRC has always been something of an awkward conversation when it comes to agile delivery. There's no questioning the value of end-to-end delivery that includes the delivery of GRC related activities such as: security, accessibility, and financial reporting. GRC should be a function of delivery, not an afterthought. At the same time, the value in having independent auditing in are…

Book Review: Leading by Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson was Manchester United FC's manager for 27 years. During this time he managed the club to multiple titles while leading some of the most hard working, talented, and high performant players on the planet. I thought I'd give this book a shot to see what I can get out of it in my everyday life. Whether you like Alex (Or Manchester United FC) or not. It is clear that Alex was successful in his tenure at United and Aberdeen.What aspects of Alex's experience will I take into my software delivery life? And what aspects I won't?

Commerce, coffee, and value

According to Wikipedia, commerce is the exchange of goods and services that existed as part of the human story since prehistoric times. Before currency we used to barter, then we began to use currency backed by resources like gold, and now we use fiat money (currency backed by the issuing government).

As humans we've learnt that this is the way we exchange value. When I go to a particular coffee shop on a Saturday it's because I judge that the value in the coffee given to me is better than the shop next door. I may even be willing to pay a little extra depending on the value provided. In this case, the value is the extent to which my taste buds are excited from the coffee.

Tips to Automate Yourself Out of a Job

Providing tools, processes, and platforms that automate everything, including yourself out of a job should be the goal of everyone in IT. It's something people rant about on Twitter, speak about on YouTube, and attempt to inspire on LinkedIn. Everyone seems to be telling us we should automate our jobs, not many are telling us how. Today I have a few practical things you can do to actualise this goal.

Book Review: How We Got to Now by Steve Johnson

How We Got to Now is a book that I can't really put into any individual genre. It isn't a novel, isn't a collection of small stories, isn't purely educational, and isn't historical. It is a combination of all of these genres and that's what makes this book unique and enjoyable.

The book How We Got to Now describes, as suggested by its subtitle, "Six Innovations That Made the Modern World". In the introduction Steven Johnson describes evolution and the way one change can trigger a change throughout the course of all of evolution. He also explains various other casualty phenomena to create an overarching point of linkage throughout the whole book. The most notable of these examples is the butterfly effect.

Build and Release Pipeline for Your Own Custom VSTS Tasks

Anyone can create their own custom VSTS tasks and put them on the VSTS marketplace. There are tons of these custom tasks and they can be published publicly into the marketplace or privately into your own instance of VSTS. This blog post will demonstrate how to setup a build and release pipeline for these custom tasks (using custom VSTS tasks!).

There are many reasons to create your own tasks on an instance of VSTS. You could be part of a DevOps capability that wants to share common platforms, standardisation, or integrations. Generally though the reasoning is to avoid common steps that are duplicated across different build and release pipelines.