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Showing posts from March, 2018

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.

Using SBAR in code reviews

After the end of a messy sprint everyone was excited and scared to attend the sprint retro. The topic we were dreading the most came up - pull requests. It had been a sprint where few pull requests went through smoothly and everyone was picking up issues with every pull request. Stylistic things came up, whole features needed to be redeveloped, people were clearly annoyed, and you could sense the tension in the room.

Then, a suggestion by our non-technical product owner (who was a nurse and who had never been a product owner before) Why don't you use something like the SBAR technique?

Transformation, reorganisation, and continuous improvement

It seems that almost everywhere I look, a big corporate is going through a 'transformation' or 'reorganisation'. Clearly someone within these organisation is making the decision that this is required because of problems occurring with existing software delivery practices.  That is, they want something improved.

Throughout 2016, I lost more than 20kgs of weight. I did this very slowly through dieting and returning back to my previous exercising habits. I've maintained this weight throughout 2017 and now. How I did I do this? Well, I took out the obvious cheap calories out first: sugary drinks and junk food. When the weight started slowing I then took out desert. When the weight started slowing again, I reduced my carb intake. When it started slowing again I cut out carbs. When it started slowing again, I began to count calories. I now have kept the weight off, feel reat, and habitually live a healthy lifestyle. I am also able to indulge every now and then. NB: I'…

Book Review of 'TED TALKS' and what I learnt

For those of us wanting to improve our public speaking, have been speaking for a while, or just starting out. This is a great book which was lent to me by my colleague Paul. Below is my review which covers 'how I read it', 'what were the main points', and 'what was missing'.