• From the Toolbox: Everything needs a check-in

     

    Just as with a retrospective, your mentoring sessions and meetings will leave people more satisfied if you check-in with them first. If you allocate time to find out where people are coming from and consider how they like to learn, you’ll find that it benefits everyone in the room and lets your work relationships bloom. more...

  • expect-redux: better interaction tests with redux

     

    expect-redux solves a big problem I kept running into when I started developing JavaScript apps with React and Redux: Getting a proper and readable Given-When-Then test structure working for feature and interaction tests, no matter which side-effect library the project is using. In this post I want to show you a couple of different approaches towards testing redux apps and explain why I think expect-redux is useful for everyone working with react and redux. more...

  • Coffee Kanban & the case for Stopping The Line

     

    At multiple occasions this year, I ran a workshop that combined two of my dearest topics: Coffee and Kanban. I got consultants, developers, testers and product managers to work together to optimize the flow of coffee. My most interesting insight? In any flurry of activity, you should make people feel comfortable enough to Stop The Line. more...

  • From the Toolbox: Everything needs a retrospective

     

    We spend most of our time at work collaborating with people. Everything, from mentoring someone, to co-creating great products and engineering cultures involves more than just a single individual. But, when reflecting on how we can continuously improve, understanding exactly what works and what doesn’t can be tricky. That’s why, in each collaboration, I strive to hold a retrospective right at the end to transform the way we relate to each other and to improve our ways of working together. more...

  • From the Toolbox: Never let someone speak for everyone

    Here’s an easy one: You’re asking around whether anyone has any questions, somebody responds with “no” and you - caught in the moment - move on.
    The conversation evolves and nobody bats an eyelid. But hang on, somebody might have been left behind today because of your willingness to take one reply for many. more...

  • From the Toolbox: Count to 10 before moving on

     

    In a virtual meeting, both psychological and technical barriers are in play that can keep people from contributing to the conversation. You can fix this by introducing a little structure and by counting to 10. more...

  • From the Toolbox: Why you should never ask "Who doesn't know $YYY"

    If you really want to understand what people know, never ask them to expose their ignorance in public. You won’t get an honest answer and here’s why. more...

  • From the Toolbox: A decent facilitation setup

     

    A good set of pens and paper makes facilitation and drawing much more fun. In this post I list all the pens, Post-Its and other workshop materials that always have to be in my toolbox, no matter if I’m facilitating a coderetreat or a retrospective, or just happen to be out to meet with some friends… more...

  • Blind reviews on coding exercises

    A coding assignment can give you lots of valuable insights into how a candidate approaches a problem, their thought processes and how they document their changes. There’s only one thing I want to avoid, though: Unconscious bias. This is why I mask the original committer and then ask a colleague to review the assignment. more...

  • Awesome Technical Interviews #2: Conducting the interview

     

    Think about it - there are only a few occasions in your professional life that are as exceptional and stressful as interviewing for a new job. The power balances lined up against you, the unknown ahead of you. As an interviewer, it is now your task to mitigate all that. more...

  • Awesome Technical Interviews #1: Preparing the interview

     

    From managing expectations throughout the company to writing the invitation mail, preparing an interview takes a considerable amount of time—rightfully so, because it’s the most important meeting you’ll be having this week. more...

  • Awesome Technical Interviews

     

    Confession time: I used to quiz people on FizzBuzz on their job interview when I started interviewing people for my own company five years ago. I no longer do that—instead, I try to create an environment where people can strive and show their best: on production code, on their machine, with me navigating. more...

  • What makes a good README?

    Have a look at the README in your current project. How easy is it for anyone to get your project up and running from scratch? What does someone need to know about making changes to the codebase? Chances are, if your README is not providing definite and up to date answers to these questions, you’re making it harder than necessary for people to contribute and experiment. more...

  • The Agile Coach Camp 2017 and Retreating Into Competence

     

    I had a great time as a first-timer at the Agile Coach Camp Germany, but sometimes, learning new things can get very overwhelming. more...

  • Where we're going, we don't need headphones!

     

    If there is one single complaint about work I hear most often from clients and friends, it’s that they have a hard time focusing in their office. No matter if you’re pairing with someone or need some quiet time - if you can’t escape the background noise, you’ll have a hard time getting any work done.
    Let me share with you how I try to have people happily leave their headphones in their backpack. more...

  • Continuing my journey as a Freelance Software Crafter

     

    After spending the last two years at vaamo, working on a lot of very interesting and most diverse projects with an awesome team, I decided that it is time for me to continue my journey as a freelance software craftsperson, so now I’m looking for teams and projects to work with in order to create awesome products and to help them shape their culture. more...