Bad Team Leads and Responsible Adults

Does a team need a team lead? I've been thinking quite a bit about flat team structures over the past couple of weeks. As is often the case, it's recruitment-driven. I'm going to be blunt here: I've been really disappointed by the prospective tech leads I've been interviewing. This is »

What is a Technical Architect anyway?

I spent a fair chunk of my career being a technical architect, most of which I also spent dreading the inevitable, "so what do you do for a living?" question at parties. Mostly I settled on answering, "I don't know" and quietly sobbing in a corner, because at least that »


Firefighting is one of the biggest and most common causes of lost productivity and morale in software development. It usually manifests as developers being pulled off their project to urgently fix something - the live site is spewing 500 errors, there's a button in the wrong place, or a senior »

Agile transformation: The Low

A few months into any company's journey towards agile development I often see a point which I call the Low. This is where you've brought in a few experts, and done a few of the things they've said... but nothing seems to have improved and now people are wandering round »


What's the difference between a merely good Scrum organisation and a great one? The answer is waste. Waste in a Scrum context is loosely defined as any activity which does not result in something the customer uses. At its most obvious we're talking things like TPS reports and bikeshedding, but »