Showing posts from March, 2011

Managing Programming Projects: Don't Lose Sight of Reality

If you're a project manager who came from a programming background it's amazingly helpful to dig back down into code for a day just to remind yourself of how the process really works. Regardless of the approach to project management (Agile, Waterfall, etc.), at the most basic level the development process remains an exercise in code / test / repeat. It's a very satisfying exercise, but it makes you appreciate that there is a lot of detail behind each feature or requirement. It's my belief that the greatest productivity gain for programmers individually is to have as rapid a code / test loop as possible. This is one of the biggest advantages of interpreted script languages (e.g. JavaScript) over compiled languages. There are obvious productivity benefits to being able to see your work quickly and there are psychological/motivation benefits as well.

Obtaining the PMP Credential

While between jobs Nov/Dec/Jan 2010/2011, I prepared for and passed the Project Management Professional exam to obtain the PMP credential (#1385079). One of the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide's (PMBOK Guide) best practices is writing up a "lessons learned" as part of closing a project or phase. What follows are some notes and lessons learned from my experience. I felt it would be valuable to obtain the PMP to broaden the number of positions that I could apply for and that has definitely panned out to be a benefit. The credential did not significantly enhance my earning potential, but for many project managers it may do so. I enjoyed the process as a review/capstone of the project management I've done over the years. NJ One-Stop Center Part of unemployment support in New Jersey at the present time includes possible retraining grants. There are evidently a bunch of different programs and the "One-Stop" counselors understand the details. I f

JibberJobber: Career Tool

If you're on a job search or looking for a tool to help manage all the bits and pieces of information you have related to your network of contacts check out . Spreadsheets can be used for tracking, but quickly become unwieldy after a month of intense networking around a job search. JibberJobber keeps information in Network (contacts), Companies, and Jobs and lets you interlink between them easily. It's SaaS, has good import/export capabilities, and a way to add log entries by copying to an email address. I also like that it has a free option so you can keep your information around between transitions.

Have you done Agile?

Have you done Agile is a common interview question these days if you're applying for a position related to software development. A few quick thoughts: When C++ came along many of its features formalized practices that skilled C programmers were using already. For example: encapsulation. Of course C++ introduced many new concepts. Similarly, Agile (however you define it) formalizes some practices that development groups had been using before the term Agile was coined and added more. For example, timeboxing of releases was a common practice at Dolphin (1984-2005). The concept of a daily build was in use at Microsoft as described in the book ShowStopper (Windows NT development). Zero defect milestones were described by Jim McCarthy in The Dynamics of Software Development . Pair programming was around before XP was coined. The point is that Agile builds on the past and many of us have done Pre-Agile in various forms and should use this experience to adapt to Agile in whatever form

NSBasic App Studio for HTML5 Prototyping

A great product for prototyping HTML5 apps. It's oriented around the Visual Basic metaphor and has an active development community. A fun way to experiment with HTML5 mobile development: The "ns" stands for "nice and simple". I've kept in touch with the product since I used it for an NCLEX exam prep Palm prototype project back at Dolphin.