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How to annoy your customer with usability problems

  1. You can’t download the software. you have to buy it and ship it on a CD set. You HAVE to buy it with headphones, and you HAVE to pay extra taxes for the shipping.
  2. During the installation process, multiple DOS windows pop up (netsh.exe and others) that look pretty scary to the uninitiated eye.
  3. You HAVE to install from the CD. to get around that you will have to MOUNT a cd or crack the program.
  4. if the software has an update, it downloads the whole software again in full and you need to go through the whole installation process.
  5. You CANNOT copy paste the activation key into the software. you have to type it by hand like an idiot.

Which software am I talking about?



Maybe all Microsoft developers need to watch this


Scrum vs. Kanban attitudes

If you’re wondering about choosing Kanban or Scrum for your team or organization, I’ve found this post to be very enlightening on the differences in attitude and change provocation between the two. I’ve also found that integrating them into a single process can be very healthy.


Exclude a team member – and you’re an idiot

Don’t exclude people in your team. It’s important that all people in your team are treated as equals and with respect. It may feel like a “duh” moment, but people get offended, deeply if they are left out of the loop.

Also, what kind of message does this send to the rest of the team?

“It’s OK – you can ignore or exclude that person too!”

If you have a team member that you find it hard to deal with, the last thing you want to do is exclude them from important discussions, team standup meetings, or even lunch.

You will only be making it worse.

Be brave and confront your fear of getting that person on board. Whatever your problem is with them, remember it is your problem with them. you  have to solve it, because no one will do it magically for you.

No, firing is almost never the right answer. Firing someone means you’ve given up on yourself about growing that person and making them the dev that you want  them to be. You get to fire people after at least 4 months of trying. Make that your hard line. Stick by it.

In those months – you will make that person part of the team, and teach them (if you need to) how to act as part of the team. You excluding them from the team activities (even one or two every once in a while) just helps them get more entrenched in their belief that they should be different and not act as part of the team.


Video – Code Leaders and Beautiful Teams

Here’s the video of a talk about team leadership and beautiful teams I gave at QCON London this year. You can download the slides for this presentation here.

This talk is mainly about the first stage (out of the three team stages) – where the team lead takes charge of guiding and coaching the team.

note: the original video for this presentation can be found at: