Development Team Leadership : First Steps Part 7

Honesty

Honesty is the best policy…

…unequivocally.  Trying to cover something up simply doesn’t work.  Everyone makes mistakes, even your boss, and if they’re worth working for, they’ll know that.

As the lead you should be the first to admit when you:

  • are not going to make a deadline;
  • did something silly that broke the build;
  • are wrong;
  • simply don’t know the answer to a question.

The last one is really important.

Continue reading “Development Team Leadership : First Steps Part 7”

Review : Write Modern Web Apps with the MEAN Stack by Jeff Dickey

I recently decided to push myself and delve into a new stack to broaden my horizons, having heard a lot from friends about how great JavaScript is and how it’s taking over the world, I decided it was finally time to get to grips with it, and an opportunity to have a play with Visual Studio Code at the same time.  I picked the MEAN stack to look into, for anyone not in the know, MEAN stands for :

  • MongoDB
  • Express
  • Angular
  • Node

Coming predominantly from a .NET background (as you may have guessed) this was obviously quite a shift. Continue reading “Review : Write Modern Web Apps with the MEAN Stack by Jeff Dickey”

Development Team Leadership : First Steps Part 6

Pragmatism – Take your time

I’m sure you’ll have heard the saying :

Rome wasn’t built in a day…

…and it’s fair to say that 99% of the time, neither will your app be.  Be realistic regarding what you can achieve and by when.  Everything about the Agile methodology points to being able to work sustainably, and getting better at doing so along the way.  There’s many articles about picking a vertical stripe or horizontal stripes through your architecture and delivering a concise set of functionality.  My advice would be, don’t let your chosen stripe get too fat.  If you can’t hit an imposed deadline, be honest and say ‘no’.

Continue reading “Development Team Leadership : First Steps Part 6”

Development Team Leadership : First Steps Part 5

Saying No

One of the most important skills in leadership, is knowing how and when to say ‘no’.  It might sound trivial but it’s really far from it.  There’s an excellent chapter in The Clean Coder by Uncle Bob Martin.  I was fortunate enough to read this prior to having been put in a situation where I needed to say no and I found it  invaluable in hindsight, would highly recommend.

As a fresh Lead you will no doubt have a number of challenges in managing client expectations, and at points they will inevitably ask too much of both you and your team.  It’s times like these when you will gain the respect of the client for your honesty and integrity and the gratitude of your team for not putting them in awkward situations.

It’s easy to say yes, don’t fall into that trap, but just remember there’s a right way to do it. Continue reading “Development Team Leadership : First Steps Part 5”

Morse Coder Part 8 : Windows 10 Migration

I’m sure you’re probably all aware that Windows 10 is out, (if not in the news then the nagging to upgrade), I recently took the plunge and upgraded my PC and tablet and have to say I’m rather impressed.  Along with the Operating System I also upgraded my development environment to Visual Studio 2015 Community to start taking a look at Windows 10 Apps, (and maybe start dabbling in Xamarin now that it’s so accessible).  In light of this, now seems as good a time as any to start looking at implementing our Morse Coder App as a Windows 10 Universal App.

Outcome

Windows 10 Universal Apps differ from Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 apps in that they require only a single Project for the UI, where the 8.1 apps would have had Windows, Windows Phone, and a Shared Project; Windows 10 requires only a single project.  By the end of this post we should have a functioning Windows 10 app, with all the current functionality from the existing Desktop Version, running on both the Phone Emulator and the Desktop (and everything in between).

Continue reading “Morse Coder Part 8 : Windows 10 Migration”

Motor Manager Now Available

Today I published a new app on the Windows Phone Store.  It’s written as a Universal App as I’m intending to extend it to publish on the Windows Store.

For those viewing on a Windows Phone, check it out, and everyone else.

It feels good getting a new app on the store as it’s been quite a while since I got round to finishing something new, the process has changed a bit since last time so it took a little while to get my head around it!

Continue reading “Motor Manager Now Available”

Morse Coder Part 1 : Universal Apps with MVVM Light

This is the first in a series of blog posts detailing the process of creating a new Universal App targeting Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, from creation of the solution to publication to the store. The goal of the application is to translate between Morse Code and the standard Alphabet and vice-versa.

Background

MVVM Light is an excellent MVVM toolkit by Laurent Bugnion that I’ve used on a number of apps currently published on the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Universal Apps (can, and do by default) use a shared code project in order to share code between platform specific Projects at compile time.

Continue reading “Morse Coder Part 1 : Universal Apps with MVVM Light”