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Showing posts from January, 2013

Software Development Pods

One of the key responsibilities of Director of Engineering or any sort of software manager is ensuring the continuity of business.   It just so happens that no matter what you do your engineers will need to move around inside and outside the company. When people leave you are stuck with a piece of software that is not supported for bug fixes and escalated configuration questions.

As a manager your internal and external customers generally come to you for answers, but with a sizable portfolio of say 10-12 products even a reasonably technical manager can’t possibly maintain the products that lose the engineering ownership.  More importantly when you are pulled into bug fixing you lose your ability to unblock and facilitate the team’s workflow.

Recently I decided to try forming “software pods”. Pods consist of two developers and a tester.  This ensures that I have three people who know how the product works and two people who can fix bugs or deal with hot escalations.

There has been anothe…

Node, Heroku and the joy of coding

Over the winter break I was working on one of the little projects that I use to try out cutting edge technologies.  This time I really wanted to get my deeper with Node.js, Express, Request and Heroku.

I have an old website, www.nationalvip.com,  that was basically a shopping cart for nightclub reservations. My interest in nightclubs waned and I really didn’t pay much attention to it for a while. The site still got visitors but it was developed in PHP by extending Magento.  Old code base and complicated modules killed any desire to touch that code.  I decided that I am going to change the direction of the service and make it totally informational based on open web services that are available from FourSquare, Twitter and other social services.

I am not going to spend any time talking about how to create an app using Express, Node.js and Heroku.  There are plenty of blog posts that help you get started with those technologies. I will spend some time talking about the difference in how…