Lava pouring into ocean; forming new land while producing lots of billowing clouds
Lava pouring into ocean; forming new land while producing lots of billowing clouds
Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

I’m one of two engineering managers responsible for about 80 software engineers, business analysts, UX researchers and designers, divided over 7 multi-disciplinary teams.

Throughout the years we slowly moved away from management-driven team composition, looking for ways to have our colleagues actively participate in, or even lead the team forming process themselves. Our first self-forming event was about two years ago, which largely resulted in the current team composition.

Product Owners had to pitch “their” products, presenting what they were planning to do in the near future, and what kind of team members were needed. …

Or things I find myself repeating over and over with a modicum of success.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I don’t want to revisit ideas like “software is eating the world”. I feel we’re at a point that we can assume most enterprises got the message. Your core business is dramatically enhanced by software, if not made possible by it.

I don’t want to devolve too much into discussing the merits of in- or outsourcing Software Development either. If you are unable to create an engineering culture within your company it may be best to outsource the work, but it will cost you more than…

Spending a weekend on building code generators made me realize I was more hypocritical towards the Low-Code industry than I feel comfortable with. Here’s my current opinion on the matter, because it’s an opportunity to step up our game.

Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

Throughout my 20+ year career as a professional software developer I’ve always had mixed feelings about tools that allow non-developers to design and build software as capable or better as anything we could create. I loved thinking of ways to intuitively model data flows, dream up user friendly UIs to allow “power users” to drag-and-drop applications together, and in the process…

Building a mobile data sync when I should know better. May the Internet forgive me.

I’ve been using PouchDB/CouchDB for an offline-first VueJS app for a while now. Early on, our team decided that we should probably focus on getting features out the door and save ourselves the time needed to build a performant syncing solution. We heard CouchDB was pretty good at it (and that it was basically all it was good at, and that you really don’t want to build a syncing solution yourself), and designed our data layer around it.

Now we’re scaling up and we’re toying…

“Leadership is a choice” — Simon Sinek

Leading from below is essentially 100% authority-free leadership. It does have particular challenges that “authority” doesn’t have. But there are ways around that, as I will attempt to capture here.

The required range of skills are art forms that justify whole stacks of books by themselves which I’m not qualified to write. I’m not judging if you’re not prepared to do a deep-dive on these topics. What I offer here is food for thought that combines quite well with a glass of wine and pleasant conversation.

Why should you care

For some people, the term “leadership” is…

There’s a behavioral anti-pattern in software design I call “genius-driven design”, where someone (a “genius”) thinks really hard and comes up with a solution to a problem, which is then implemented as designed. Fire and forget. Never look back. And if people complain, they’re holding it wrong.

I’m not saying that this always leads to bad results. Obviously, some designers have amazing intuitions about what works and what doesn’t, but even if that’s the case I think the approach lacks humility, and success becomes a function of luck rather than diligence.

A UX-designer friend of mine, who’s an avid promotor…

Roy Willemse

Agile Leader, Software Engineer

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