6 Jul 2010

Gog is Watching

By |2017-04-03T11:53:13-06:00July 6th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Mindset and Motivation, Technology|

Once upon a time, you could do something silly or downright dumb. A few people might notice and someone might talk about it. Video cameras were huge and no one carried one in their pocket. Cameras had film and required having the pictures developed. Usually, only the major news companies could broadcast either to millions, let alone the entire planet. Fortunately, not enough people cared about the exploits of Bongo the town idiot to make it worth their while. So unless you were famous or important, you could be almost anonymous.

Today, everything you do in public can be caught on camera. Cameras […]

2 Jul 2010

Tracking Tools for Agile Software Development

By |2017-04-06T12:56:20-06:00July 2nd, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Software Development, Technology|

Further to my previous post, we decided to purchase Axosoft’s OnTime Enterprise Edition. The software will allow us to track:

  • Bugs and defects
  • Features
  • Tasks
  • Incidents

The cool part is the support for scrum/agile processes including a planning board, burn-down charts, reporting, release and sprint planning, etc.

It includes:

  • an SDK and API so we can extend it into our applications
  • a customer portal
  • incoming and outbound e-mail support
  • an iPhone application
  • integration with VIsual Studio and SVN
  • Desktop and Web versions
  • Etc.

To be honest, when evaluating products like these (it lists at $3995 US for a 10 […]

28 Jun 2010

Tuning Web Service Calls in .NET

By |2017-04-03T11:53:31-06:00June 28th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Software Development, Technology|

Troubleshooting a single applications is an art. Troubleshooting a single application with a database requires yet more skill.

When you get in a multi-tiered service oriented architecture you may have:

  • Multiple applications including web services,
  • A database server,
  • Multiple servers,
  • Third party or open source components,
  • Networking,
  • Firewalls,
  • Load balancing,
  • Web servers,
  • Operating systems,
  • Hardware, and
  • The .NET Framework

You need a very broad set of skills for this (or a team), access to a search engine and some luck.

If you are finding that your web application is calling external web services and seems to be under-performing, be sure to check your Machine.config default settings. Out of the box, IIS and .NET have […]

11 Jun 2010

Agile Project Management Tools

By |2017-04-03T11:54:13-06:00June 11th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Software Development, Technology|

We have a distributed workforce, lots of projects, remote clients, developers working on more than project at a time, and a large number of applications in support mode.

Whiteboards and sticky notes work well for a few projects and a local team. Excel and Google docs allow some remote sharing. Bug tracking software only is really useful for task and bug tracking.

So we are looking at finding one software package that can do product and release planning (stories or features), project management, Scrum/sprint management, bug tracking and also allows our clients to participate. It needs to integrate with our development environment (Visual Studio) and […]

28 Apr 2010

The 5 Stages of Evolution: People and Computing

By |2017-04-03T11:55:40-06:00April 28th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Technology|

I was thinking about the evolution in computing over the past few years. Computers have been used to make sense of information, find answers, for entertainment and to connect with other people. We used to find someone with perceived expertise in a subject and get advice from them.

Some things change and some things never really change. It turns out it is not really about the evolution of computers so much as it is about the evolution of people using computers.

The 5 Stages of Evolution: People and Computing

Clueless Computing

We all know someone who is just not computer savvy. Maybe you bought […]

14 Apr 2010

New Website – Less is Now, More is Later

By |2017-04-03T11:55:56-06:00April 14th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Marketing, Sales, Software Development, Technology|

The shoemaker's kids finally have new shoes. We've always been so busy doing the technical stuff for our clients, we've been ignoring our own marketing. Well that is changing.

Today we launched version 3 of our corporate website. It is using a Content Management System (CMS) behind the scenes so we can keep the site current.

I was inspired recently by several good books. Essentially, the message was pick a date, set a budget and vary the scope. This avoids it is never good enough syndrome and allows you to ship; on time and on budget.

This also follows the agile principle […]

12 Apr 2010

“They” Are Right

By |2017-04-03T11:55:59-06:00April 12th, 2010|Categories: Business Strategy, Doug's Blog, Marketing, Sales, Technology|

They are the people who can be used to explain everything or cinch any argument.

"They say you should eat right and exercise."

"They say you should look out for yourself because everyone is out to get you."

"They say you should look out for others, especially those who are less fortunate."

They are not always right. They are just a convenient way to prove a point. The best part is that no further proof is required if you use "they".

"They say we need to refresh our corporate website."

On the last point, THEY are quite right this time.

And it is time to do […]

12 Feb 2010

Hiring Developers in 2010

By |2017-04-03T11:58:19-06:00February 12th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Dream Teams, Software Development, Technology|

It looks like Sunwapta Solutions will be hiring in 2010 to support our current clients and our growth plans. This likely includes:

  • Marketing and Sales
  • Software Developers
  • Product Manager

The first hire will be a developer. The position has not been fully defined or posted yet, but if you know of a great intermediate to senior developer in Calgary with all or a bunch of the following skills please pass them on:

  • Strong object oriented design and development skills,
  • Current to leading edge C# and .NET framework,
  • Very strong in user interface (HTML, CSS, AJAX, Silverlight,WPF, etc.) design and development. You can make things happen on the user […]
12 Jan 2010

Development and Business Optimization

By |2017-04-03T12:18:53-06:00January 12th, 2010|Categories: Business Strategy, Doug's Blog, Software Development, Technology|

The other day a developer asked me what we really know about business optimization; after all, developers build software not run businesses.

I would suggest that the right kinds of developers are exactly the right people to help with business optimization. I say help because no one person should be responsible for business optimization; it should be something done by everyone in your business and any external advisers as a team. No one person has all the answers and every business is different.

So if you are great developer what talents and skills can you bring to the table? Great developers:

23 Dec 2009

Twittering in the Social New Year

By |2017-04-06T12:45:18-06:00December 23rd, 2009|Categories: Doug's Blog, Marketing, Technology|

I have been blogging for the past 18 months and have posted slightly over 200 articles. I also regularly comment on other people’s sites and do trackbacks. Guess that makes me a blogger.

One of my pet peeves is people who accept comments or trackbacks and don’t actually publish them (assuming of course that you aren’t spamming, slashing or flaming).

I recently posted a link to another article on how smart phones are time wasters. Hard to argue too much when you look at how slow and ineffective a medium texting is for anything other then very quick conversations.

I am already a […]