Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review on StickyMinds.com

I have written a book review for Certified Function Point Specialist Examination Guide that has been published on StickyMinds.com. I have written several reviews for the site and thoroughly enjoy it. It provides me with motivation for reading at least 2 books a year. While I'm not an avid reader, I do find this a very effective method to focus my reading. I will have another review coming out sometime this year or early next year so stayed tune for that post.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

SQL Server Question of the Day (Part 3 or 4)

I have another SQL Server Central question of the day being published this week. It is scheduled to be posted on August 4, 2011. Check it out (Question of the Day) and let me know if you get it right.

Monday, July 25, 2011

SQL Server Question of the Day (Again)

In an effort to keep learning about SQL Server, I have submitted another question to the SQL Server Central question of the day. It will be published on Thursday, July 28th, 2011. It's a fairly simple question so you should be able to get it correct. Check it out on Thursday at Question of the Day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Book Review on StickyMinds

I wrote a book review for StickyMinds that was published a few weeks ago. Please take a look and let me know what you think. The review can be found at Robustness Development and Reliability Growth. It is on their website with a link to Amazon if you wish to purchase it. I have done several reviews for this site and enjoy the learning experience. I find this to be a good way to continue my personal development. As I am not an avid reader, this provides a mechanism for me to read and publish something at least a couple of times a year.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I'm Back

Hello all, I'm back in the blogging world. I started a new position with Paycor in July of 2010 and have been totally focused on that transition. I am now making a renewed effort to my personal growth and commitments, one of which includes monthly updates. Here are a couple of updates on what I'm doing in my new role.

I am a Software Development Team Lead responsible for the HR Performer product line. This is a SaaS based HRIS product targeted at companies with more than 50 employees. My team has responsibility for the entire application development lifecycle, product support, and maintenance. We are working hard to improve the features provided by the product.

Most of you know that I am a huge proponent of continuous learning. In support of that, we have started a certification study group within the team. We are preparing for the Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (70-515) exam. We have been meeting during lunch 1 day a week. I am going to challenge the team to complete the book and exam by June, 2011. The first one to get certified will get an MCP shirt.

That's all for now. Look for the next update no later than next month.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gung Ho, Friend

The team recently wrapped up its third book. This time we read Gung Ho even though there was some apprehension around it. I have to say it was an excellent book. It totally reinforced the ideology of our team. There are 3 main concepts in this book, and they now hang as posters within our workspace. Here is the content of each (minus the cheesy graphic I picked for each animal):

Spirit of the Squirrel:



Leading to shared goals


Way of the Beaver:


A playing field with clearly marked territory

Thoughts, feelings, needs, and dreams are respected, listened to, and acted upon

Able but challenged

Gift of the Goose:


Active or passive, congratulations must be TRUE

No score, no game, and cheer the progress

e=mc2 - Enthusiasm equals mission times cash and congratulations

If you are participating in a team book club (or even if you're not), I highly recommend putting this book on your reading list. It's an easy read and relatively short. We are now trying to determine what book to read next. Any suggestions/recommendations are greatly appreciated. Gung Ho, friend.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Book Club Update: Lean Software Development

The team has completed it's second book, Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit and continues to benefit. Over the course of roughly eight weeks, we discussed a chapter a week with each team member facilitating at least one chapter.

After the first chapter, entitle "Eliminate Waste", we implemented a change to our weekly team status meeting. That meeting consists of 8 people and traditionally lasted one hour. During our discussion on how to eliminate waste, we decided to utilize a SharePoint Meeting Workspace to maintain a running agenda and trim the meeting to half an hour. This produced a financial savings for the business and has made the team meeting more productive. We calculated the savings as follows:
8 people X 1/2 hour X 50 weeks X $70/hr (allocation rate)
for an annual savings of $14,000

We shared this information with our business sponsors and they
were very impressed with our initiative. They have attended one
of our meetings to see if they can replicate what we have done
throughout their teams. I am very impressed and proud of our
team for continually looking for ways to improve and learn.

Additionally, the team was so encouraged with the results from this book, that we've decided to continue. We will be reading Gung Ho! starting this month. I will provide an update upon completion. As I stated in a previous blog, I encourage every team to incorporate a mentality of continuous learning/improvement and start a book club.