Better ROI from Software Development Podcast

Providing advice on how to get the best Return On Investment from your Software Development.

This series is targeted at those that fund software development in improving their return on investment.

Through a series of short weekly podcasts, we explore and explain why "traditional" management techniques will not only produce poor returns, but actively encourage it.

Latest Podcast

Latest episode:

#112: Security Briefing - The OWASP Top 10 - Part 2

Published: Wed, 08 Dec 2021 17:03:41 GMT

 Listen now

Or on your favourite podcast app:

Have an idea for a podcast topic?

If you have an idea for a podcast topic - or would simply like to see what episodes are coming up.

Episode Roadmap

Past Episodes


#111: Security Briefing - The OWASP Top 10 - Part 1


Published: Thu, 02 Dec 2021 08:21:24 GMT

The OWASP Top 10 is the most critical security concerns for web application security as defined by the Open Web Application Security Project®

In this episode, I introduce OWASP, their Top 10, why it matters and who it affects - as well as introducing the first three on the list.

 Listen now

#110: Security Briefing - Supply Chain Attacks


Published: Wed, 24 Nov 2021 17:19:35 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on security, I discuss Supply Chain Attacks.

No conversation on cyber-security in 2021 would be complete without talking about Supply Chain Attacks. They are on the increase, with many high profile examples - such as SolarWinds.

 Listen now

#109: Security Briefing - Paying to be hacked


Published: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 16:58:06 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on security, I discuss why you would paid to be hacked.

When you are spending so much time and money putting security in place, it seem counter-intuitive to then pay someone to try and break it. But without that, how will you know if your defenses work?

I also introduce three ways of validating those defenses - penetration testing, bug bounties and red team/ blue team exercises.

 Listen now

#108: Security Briefing - Social Engineering


Published: Wed, 10 Nov 2021 16:19:10 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on security, I introduce Social Engineering.

Social Engineering is a direct attempt to manipulate us into doing something that we otherwise would not. Its not a new technique, but the modern connected world gives social engineers more tools to work with.

 Listen now

#107: Security Briefing - Introducing Zero Trust


Published: Wed, 03 Nov 2021 17:10:23 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on security, I introduce Zero Trust.

The traditional approach of security at the border is not longer enough in the modern IT world. Unlike the good citizens of Troy, you should "never trust, always verify" - you should have Zero Trust.

 Listen now

#106: Security Briefing - Beyond Passwords


Published: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 14:43:02 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on security, I want to follow on from last week's episode, taking a look beyond passwords.

We are rapidly moving to additional forms of proving our identity - be it something we KNOW, something we HAVE or something we ARE - and, possible more importantly, using multiple when doing so (MFA/ 2FA).

 Listen now

#105: Security Briefing - Passwords


Published: Wed, 20 Oct 2021 15:58:50 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on security, I want to talk about passwords.

Passwords are historically our ubiquitous method of proving our identity. In the episode I talk about what happens when you lose control of those passwords ... and how prevalent it is.

 Listen now

#104: Security Briefing - Getting started


Published: Wed, 13 Oct 2021 16:17:48 GMT

If you're new to thinking about cyber security, in this episode I give you my top 5 recommendations to address in your organisation:

  • Patching
  • Backups
  • No shared credentials
  • Single Sign On (SSO)
  • Solution reviews

 Listen now

#103: Security Briefing - Why cyber security matters to you


Published: Wed, 06 Oct 2021 16:56:29 GMT

In this first of a mini-series on security, I look at why cyber security is so critical.

 Listen now

#102: The Theory of Constraints - Part 2


Published: Wed, 29 Sep 2021 15:29:41 GMT

In this episode, I discuss the Theory of Constraints as introduced in the book The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt.

Modern software development methodologies (Agile, Lean, DevOps) place a heavy focus on the flow of quality work through the development process - and the continual improvement of that flow.

The Theory of Constraints helps us to identify areas of improvement within that flow.

Note: I originally recorded this as one episode, but have subsequently split into two parts during the edit. Part 1, last week, introduces the ideas of flow and the Theory of Constraints using a simplified manufacturing line example. Part 2, this episode, applies those thoughts to our traditional software development practices and look at how we may traditional have tried, unsuccessfully, to resolve those constraints.

 Listen now

#101 - The Theory of Constraints - Part 1


Published: Wed, 22 Sep 2021 17:46:00 GMT

In this episode, I discuss the Theory of Constraints as introduced in the book The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt.

Modern software development methodologies (Agile, Lean, DevOps) place a heavy focus on the flow of quality work through the development process - and the continual improvement of that flow.

The Theory of Constraints helps us to identify areas of improvement within that flow.

Note: I originally recorded this as one episode, but have subsequently split into two parts during the edit. Part 1, this episode, introduces the ideas of flow and the Theory of Constraints using a simplified manufacturing line example. Part 2, next week, applies those thoughts to our traditional software development practices and look at how we may traditional have tried, unsuccessfully, to resolve those constraints.

 Listen now

#100: Project to Product by Mik Kersten


Published: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 16:15:08 GMT

Welcome to the 100th episode of the Better ROI from Software Development podcast.

In this episode, I introduce the second book that I would recommend to any non-technical CxO.

Project to Product by Mik Kersten joins War and Peace and IT by Mark Schwartz on the mandatory reading list for any business leader navigating the modern digital age.

 Listen now

#99: Value Streams and Value Stream Mappings


Published: Wed, 08 Sep 2021 16:34:22 GMT

In this episode, I introduce Value Streams and Value Stream Mapping.

Value Streams and Value Stream Mapping, I believe, are exceptionally useful tools to help us understand what we're doing, how we are doing it, and where we can find sources for improvement.

 Listen now

#98: Open Source - Licences


Published: Thu, 19 Aug 2021 14:07:40 GMT

Continuing the conversation on Open Source, in this episode I look at common licences.

There are a variety of licences in Open Source - covering legal use and commitments you must abide by. Like any legal contract, its important that you understand what you're committing too.

 Listen now

#97: Open Source - the motivation


Published: Wed, 11 Aug 2021 16:32:37 GMT

Continuing the conversation on Open Source, in this episode I look at the motivation behind why it exists.

Why would individuals, groups and even organisations give up their time, their work, and their intellectual property for free?

 Listen now

#96: Open Source - Is it really free?


Published: Wed, 04 Aug 2021 15:48:22 GMT

Open Source is everywhere - in our software, in our servers, and in the services we use every day - and its here to stay.

In this episode, I give an introduction to what Open Source is, why its incorrect to think of it as free, and why there needs to be governance to protect your organisation.

 Listen now

#95: Software Application Speed - the Content Delivery Network


Published: Wed, 28 Jul 2021 14:53:37 GMT

Continuing the conversation on Software Application Speed, I look at one of the means of improvement - using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

In this episode I introduce the Content Delivery Network (CDN); how it works, why you would consider it, and the concerns that may come with it.

 Listen now

#94: Software Application Speed - Caching


Published: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 16:04:32 GMT

Continuing the conversation on Software Application Speed, I look at one of the means of improvement - Caching.

In this episode I introduce Caching - how prevalent it is within modern computing, why we use it in software development, the pros and cons, the dangers of staleness, and why its an important business decision.

 Listen now

#93: Software Application Speed - Website Performance Optimisation


Published: Wed, 14 Jul 2021 16:38:54 GMT

Continuing the conversation on Software Application Speed, I look at one of the means of improvement - Website Performance Optimisation.

In this episode I introduce Website Performance Optimisation - what it is, why we do it and how to make a start.

 Listen now

#92: Software Application Speed - UX Design


Published: Wed, 07 Jul 2021 16:27:04 GMT

Continuing the conversation on Software Application Speed, I look at one of the means of improvement - User Experience Design.

In this episode I introduce User Experience Design, its subset User Interface Design and how they can help your users get things done easier, with less frustration, and greater efficiency.

 Listen now

#91: Software Application Speed - why its important


Published: Wed, 30 Jun 2021 15:53:19 GMT

Speed of our software applications is rarely considered until it becomes a problem. In this episode I talk about why speed it important in all of our software application - not just the consumer facing ones.

 Listen now

#90: Finding a Search Engine Optimisation Expert


Published: Wed, 23 Jun 2021 16:18:35 GMT

Following on from last week's introduction into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), I wanted to provide my advice how to avoid the bad and the ugly of the industry.

 Listen now

#89: Search Engine Optimization - SEO


Published: Wed, 16 Jun 2021 16:07:03 GMT

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is seen as highly desirable for driving traffic to your website.

In this episode I address the myth of SEO being "free traffic" and provide my thoughts on avoiding the bad and the ugly of SEO advice.

 Listen now

#88: Eventual Consistency and the CAP Theorem


Published: Wed, 09 Jun 2021 15:44:53 GMT

Have you ever come across a website or mobile app that occasionally takes time to reflect changes?

This maybe due to Eventual Consistency - a side-effect of decisions being made by technologists over the CAP Theorem.

Import decisions that the business must be, but often aren't, aware of.

 Listen now

#87: The value of Meeting Agendas - an episode 83 follow up


Published: Wed, 02 Jun 2021 16:40:50 GMT

In episode 83, I had a long chat with Trevor Ewen about how he provides software service to non-technical clients.

If you've not listened to it, it was an excellent interview full of wonderful insights.

So much so that I want to pull a number of topics from that podcast and look at them in more depth.

In this episode, I want to look at the value of meeting agendas.

 Listen now

#86: Using Video for Rapid Feedback - an episode 83 follow up


Published: Thu, 27 May 2021 07:35:54 GMT

In episode 83, I had a long chat with Trevor Ewen about how he provides software service to non-technical clients.

If you've not listened to it, it was an excellent interview full of wonderful insights.

So much so that I want to pull a number of topics from that podcast and look at them in more depth.

In this episode, I want to look at using Video for Rapid Feedback

 Listen now

#85: Regular software releases - an episode 83 follow up


Published: Wed, 19 May 2021 17:51:56 GMT

In episode 83, I had a long chat with Trevor Ewen about how he provides software service to non-technical clients.

If you've not listened to it, it was an excellent interview full of wonderful insights.

So much so that I want to pull a number of topics from that podcast and look at them in more depth.

In this episode, I want to look at the regular software releases.

 Listen now

#84: Service Level Agreements - an episode 83 follow up


Published: Wed, 12 May 2021 15:46:40 GMT

In episode 83, I had a long chat with Trevor Ewen about how he provides software service to non-technical clients.

If you've not listened to it, it was an excellent interview full of wonderful insights.

So much so that I want to pull a number of topics from that podcast and look at them in more depth.

In this episode, I want to look at the SLA

 Listen now

#83: The non-technical buyer with Trevor Ewen


Published: Wed, 05 May 2021 15:56:47 GMT

In this episode I talk to Trevor Ewen about providing software solutions to the non-technical buyer.

Trevor shares with us his experience on who a non-technical buyer is, why he enjoys working with them, how they differ from the technical buyer, along with advice on how to get the best out of the relationship.

 Listen now

#82: No, being furloughed should not influence recruitment


Published: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 16:01:31 GMT

This episode is based on LinkedIn poll which asked the question: "Will you be judging jobseekers on whether or not they were furloughed during the pandemic?"

I talk about my own response to the question and explore reasons why a "yes" response may be provided.

 Listen now

#81 - Scrum - The dangers of misunderstanding


Published: Thu, 08 Apr 2021 08:38:10 GMT

Completing my mini-series on the Scrum Framework, I wanted to talk about the dangers of misunderstanding Scrum.

Scrum is deceptively simple to understand - but difficult to implement. It can be too easy to misunderstand or mis-implement Scrum; only to be left wondering why it is so recommended.

 Listen now

#80: Scrum - Stopping a Sprint


Published: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 16:00:59 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on the Scrum Framework, I look at stopping a sprint.

Should you ever stop a sprint? And if you do, under what circumstances?

 Listen now

#79: Scrum - It will find your problems


Published: Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:51:58 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on the Scrum Framework, I look at Problems.

We commonly struggle to raise and discuss Problems in our Organisations; but in this episode, I talk about how Scrum drags those problems into the light and actively encourages us to resolved them.

 Listen now

#78: Scrum - The team is asking for more


Published: Wed, 17 Mar 2021 16:13:56 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on the Scrum Framework, I take a look at the potential warning flag of the team asking for more.

While the team asking for more maybe a good thing, it can also be a sign of a problem in the team - and maybe in the management team.

 Listen now

#77: Scrum - Conflict


Published: Wed, 10 Mar 2021 18:19:53 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on the Scrum Framework, I look at conflict.

We commonly have negative contentions about conflict; but in this episode, I talk about why healthy conflict is so important for our teams to produce the best work.

 Listen now

#76: Scrum - The Definition of Done


Published: Wed, 03 Mar 2021 17:20:33 GMT

Over the last few episodes, I've been talking about Scrum, an agile framework.

In this episode, I want to talk about the Definition of Done. The Definition of Done comes from the Increment description - the Increment being one of the Artifacts produced by Scrum.

The Definition of Done is a way of coordinating the team and the entire organisation on what completed work looks like.

 Listen now

#75: Scrum - Common Problems


Published: Wed, 24 Feb 2021 16:51:06 GMT

Continuing my mini-series on the Scrum Framework, I look at some of the common problems I see with its adoption.

I discuss problems with transitioning the traditional Project Manager and Business Analysis role into Scrum, and dangers of using pick 'n' mix Scrum.

 Listen now

#74 - Scrum - Theories and Values


Published: Thu, 18 Feb 2021 08:25:44 GMT

Following on from last week's primer of the Scrum, I take a look at some of the theories and values behind the Agile Framework.

 Listen now

#73: Scrum - A primer


Published: Wed, 10 Feb 2021 16:52:46 GMT

In this episode I introduce Scrum - an Agile Framework popular within Software Development.

This episode serves as a primer for future episodes - in which I will dig deeper.

 Listen now

#72: To bonus or not to bonus


Published: Wed, 03 Feb 2021 16:21:40 GMT

Is a bonus the best form of employee motivation?

In this podcast I talk about the dangers of a bonus culture and how to think about it differently.

 Listen now

#71: Meetings - the good, the bad and the ugly


Published: Wed, 27 Jan 2021 16:44:22 GMT

In this week's episode I talk about meetings as they relate to Software Development - I introduce you to the good, the bad and the ugly.

 Listen now

#70: Making time for focus


Published: Wed, 20 Jan 2021 16:45:40 GMT

In this episode I ask if we are making enough time for focused work.

Focused work is critical to us to allow us to solve problems and do the most valuable work.

Do we need to think about the time we are providing for ourselves, our teams, and our organisations?

 Listen now

#69: New Year's resolutions


Published: Wed, 13 Jan 2021 17:09:01 GMT

In this episode I talk about the similarities between our New Year resolutions and major business initiatives; why we set them, why they are attractive and why they often fail.

 Listen now

#68: 2021 Predictions


Published: Wed, 06 Jan 2021 21:57:29 GMT

Happy New Year and welcome to 2021.  In this episode I share my predictions for the year ahead. With Covid-19 doing more to drive technical disruption last year than any of the leadership team, I expect the trend to continue. Listen to hear my predication on becoming more people centric, more security, IR35 disruption, cloud, and Microsoft Blazor. 

 Listen now

#67: Bad for ROI - The Silver Bullet


Published: Wed, 16 Dec 2020 16:44:14 GMT

Today's marketing is full of the promise of miracle cures for our problems. Full of "Do this one thing to achieve amazing results". Full of Silver Bullets. In this episode, I talk about why there are no Silver Bullets in Software Development. Please note; I'll be taking some time off over the Christmas and New Year period.  Listen out for my next episode the second week of January.  Stay safe, Mark

 Listen now

#66: Practices applied - How I use them


Published: Wed, 09 Dec 2020 18:37:18 GMT

In this episode, I talk about a recent software project and how I've used many of the processes I have introduced in prior podcasts.

I talk about how I applied them.

And how they fit together to allow me to develop software with confidence - minimizing risk and maximizing the ability to adapt.

 Listen now

#65: Bad for ROI - 100% Utilisation


Published: Wed, 02 Dec 2020 16:32:58 GMT

Having your team working at 100% utilisation is a good thing for ROI, right?

Software Developers are expensive, surely maximizing their available time is the best way to achieve ROI?

In this episode, I discuss why maximizing time is not as important as value to the end customer - and that focus on 100% utilisation is bad for ROI.

 Listen now

#64: Bad for ROI - Big Bang


Published: Thu, 26 Nov 2020 08:13:43 GMT

Doing "Big Bang" releases may seem like an effective use of time and people. They may carry huge prestige and bragging rights for their leadership. But are they good for ROI?

In this episode, I talk about the dangers they bring - from dangerously high levels of risk to reduced agility to respond to market pressures.

 Listen now

#63: Bad for ROI - The Rockstar developer


Published: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 16:53:24 GMT

We think we want to employ the "Rockstar" developer. We want the superstar.

We actively recruit for it - we even put it into the job adverts.

But is the "Rockstar" good for ROI?

In this episode, I discuss why I believe they are actually the reverse - they are "Bad for ROI".


 Listen now

#62: Bad for ROI: The Gantt Chart


Published: Wed, 11 Nov 2020 16:54:40 GMT

Gantt Charts are a popular tool for visualising dependencies for complex activities.

In this episode I discuss why the use of Gantt Charts are bad for ROI in Software Development.

 Listen now

#61: The UK Executive's attitudes towards custom Software Development survey


Published: Wed, 04 Nov 2020 17:26:49 GMT

Through September I ran a survey to establish UK Executive's attitudes towards custom Software Development.

Unfortunately the survey failed to obtain enough respondents to be useful, but I want to share my experience.

So in this podcast, I largely cover how the survey was designed, how I promoted it and the lessons learnt.

 Listen now

#60: The Programmers Oath - I will never stop learning and improving my craft


Published: Wed, 14 Oct 2020 16:08:28 GMT

In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.

I take a look at the ninth oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:

"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will never stop learning and improving my craft.".

I also close out this mini-series looking at the Programmer's Oath with some final thoughts.

 Listen now

#59: The Programmers Oath - I will produce estimates that are honest both in magnitude and precision


Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2020 15:52:16 GMT

In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.

I take a look at the eighth oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:

"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will produce estimates that are honest both in magnitude and precision. I will not make promises without certainty."

 Listen now

#58: The Programmers Oath - I will continuously ensure that others can cover for me, and that I can cover for them


Published: Wed, 30 Sep 2020 15:31:44 GMT

In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.

I take the seventh oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:

"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will continuously ensure that others can cover for me, and that I can cover for them."

 Listen now

#57 - The Programmer's Oath - I will do all that I can to keep the productivity of myself, and others, as high as possible


Published: Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:55:06 GMT

During September, I'm running a short survey to understand UK Executive's attitudes to custom software development. Please take the time and have your say at: https://software-survey.red-folder.com/

In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.

I take the sixth oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:

"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will do all that I can to keep the productivity of myself, and others, as high as possible. I will do nothing that decreases that productivity."

 Listen now

#56 - The Programmer's Oath - I will fearlessly and relentlessly improve my creations at every opportunity


Published: Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:04:25 GMT

During September, I'm running a short survey to understand UK Executive's attitudes to custom software development. Please take the time and have your say at: https://software-survey.red-folder.com/

In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.

I take the fifth oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:

"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will fearlessly and relentlessly improve my creations at every opportunity. I will never degrade them."

 Listen now

#55: The Programmers Oath: I will make frequent, small, releases so that I do not impede the progress of others.


Published: Wed, 09 Sep 2020 15:57:41 GMT

During September, I'm running a short survey to understand UK Executive's attitudes to custom software development. Please take the time and have your say at: https://software-survey.red-folder.com/

In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.

I take the fourth oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:

"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will make frequent, small, releases so that I do not impede the progress of others."

 Listen now

#54: The Programmers Oath: I will produce, with each release, a quick, sure, and repeatable proof that every element of the code works as it should.


Published: Wed, 02 Sep 2020 16:07:56 GMT

During September, I'm running a short survey to understand UK Executive's attitudes to custom software development. Please take the time and have your say at: https://software-survey.red-folder.com/

In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.

I take the third oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:

"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will produce, with each release, a quick, sure, and repeatable proof that every element of the code works as it should."

 Listen now

#53: The Programmers Oath - The code that I produce will always be my best work


Published: Wed, 26 Aug 2020 16:12:05 GMT

In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.

I take the second oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:

"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: The code that I produce will always be my best work. I will not knowingly allow code that is defective either in behavior or structure to accumulate."

 Listen now

#52: The Programmers Oath - I will not produce harmful code


Published: Wed, 19 Aug 2020 15:46:12 GMT

In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.

I take the first oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in the last episode, to explore further:

I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will not produce harmful code.


 Listen now

#51: Professionalism in Software Development - The Programmers Oath


Published: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 16:03:16 GMT

In this episode I start to look at professionalism in software development.

Software development doesn't have the same level of professionalism & accountability found in Doctors, Lawyers or Architects.

In this episode I talk about why it is desirable, but unlikely to happen.

And I introduce the Programmers Oath - an attempt to start the conversation

 Listen now

#50: Series recap


Published: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 14:33:34 GMT

In this episode I provide a recap of the episodes since the last recap show (episode #25).

This episode is both a recap of the series since episode #25 and a good entry point for new listeners.

During this episode, I'll be summarising the key takeaways - and which episodes to listen to if you want more.

 Listen now

#49: Assuming another person's intent purely from their actions


Published: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:05:22 GMT

In this episode I want to discuss how dangerous it can be to assume another persons intent purely from their actions.

This is a message I am seeing come up quite a bit lately.

And the more I think about it, the more I see it in everyday business work.

Both in how we perceive our teams and how our teams perceive us.

 Listen now

#48: Its not just about building the right thing - its also about building the thing right


Published: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 15:36:55 GMT

Over the last few episodes I've talked about learning to improve our individuals, teams and entire organisations to handle change.

In this episode I want to explore why it is so important to that we are learning to build our Software right.

Often the focus of our teams is to build the right thing - which is certainly important. But we also need to think about building the thing right.

 Listen now

#47: Deliberate Practice, Code Katas and Game Days


Published: Wed, 08 Jul 2020 15:16:22 GMT

In this episode I wanted to continue the conversation on Learning.

In the last few episodes, I talked about;

  • Why learning is so important to me personally
  • Organisational Learning
  • And how to support and encourage individual learning.

In this episode I want to looks at how the Software Development team can learn through a number of deliberate practices.

 Listen now

#46: Helping our teams with Individuals Learning


Published: Wed, 01 Jul 2020 15:56:52 GMT

In this episode I wanted to continue the conversation on Learning.

In the last two episodes I talked about why Learning is so important to me personally and Organisational Learning.

In this episode, I want to move onto talking helping Individual Learning.

 Listen now

#45: Organisational Learning


Published: Wed, 17 Jun 2020 16:03:52 GMT

In this episode I wanted to continue the conversation on Learning.

In my last episode I talked about why Learning is so important to me personally.

In this episode, I want to move onto talking about Organisational Learning.

 Listen now

#44: Learning


Published: Wed, 10 Jun 2020 16:05:50 GMT

In this episode I wanted to start talking about learning. Learning is one of the singularly overlooked concepts in running a business.

I believe every business is a technology business. For a business to thrive in the modern world it must be able to adapt and change rapidly.

That ability for a business to adapt and change quickly, comes down to how well the organisation learns

And when I say organisation, I actually mean every part of that organisation - be that an individual right the way through the organisation as a whole.

So in this episode I'm going to talk abut why learning is so important to me.

 Listen now

#43: Containers, Docker, Kubernetes and Serverless - explaining Serverless


Published: Wed, 03 Jun 2020 19:03:27 GMT

Over the current few episodes I am introducing a number of technologies from modern Software Delivery.

These are:

  • Containers
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • And Serverless

There are "hot" technologies within Software Development at the moment.

They are helping Software Teams:

  • Get Better ROI when spending on Computer Servers
  • Improving the speed to market
  • Allowing for more complex and ambitious solutions

These are technologies that your Development Team may want to use or may even be using.

In episode 40, I explained Virtualisation; a technology that makes the other possible.

In episode 41, I introduced Containers and the Docker Container format - a technology that allow us to achieve greater ROI from our physical servers, improves our developer productivity and increase access to the tools they need.

In episode 42, I introduced Container Orchestrators and Kubernetes; a technology for running complex containers based solutions; helping us to:

  • Ensuring consistent load across our physical machines - giving better ROI through higher density usage
  • Starting and stopping containers based on load - again giving better density and being more resilience to inconsistent workloads
  • Self healing to avoid costly and embarrassing outages
  • Proving a platform to allow multiple containers to operate as single system
  • And automating many, previously, manual tasks

In this episode I will move onto the Serverless technology.

I will also close out this little series on "hot" technologies, by talking about them in the Cloud and the future of these technologies as I foresee it.

 Listen now

#42: Containers, Docker, Kubernetes and Serverless - explaining Container Orchestrators and Kubernetes


Published: Wed, 27 May 2020 12:40:43 GMT

Over the current few episodes I am introducing a number of technologies from modern Software Delivery.

These are:

  • Containers
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • And Serverless

There are "hot" technologies within Software Development at the moment.

They are helping Software Teams:

  • Get Better ROI when spending on Computer Servers
  • Improving the speed to market
  • Allowing for more complex and ambitious solutions

These are technologies that your Development Team may want to use or may even be using.

In episode 40, I explained Virtualisation; a technology that makes the other possible.

In episode 41, I introduced Containers and the Docker Container format - a technology that allow us to achieve greater ROI from our physical servers, improves our developer productivity and increase simplicity to access the tools they need,

Towards the end of that episode I talked about how containers and the Microservice architecture from episode 17 are logical bed fellows and are gaining huge industry adoption.

The downside to this however is a level of complexity brought by having so many small "parts" to manage.

While it is considerably easier to think about and develop at a small scale ... Linking them together correctly brings additional overheads to the big monolith on a single server setup.

To make this practical we need a Container Orchestrator - the subject of todays episode.

 Listen now

#41: Containers, Docker, Kubernetes and Serverless - explaining Containers and Docker


Published: Wed, 20 May 2020 15:13:06 GMT

Over the next few episodes I want to introduce a number of technologies from modern Software Delivery.

These are:

  • Containers
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • And Serverless

There are "hot" technologies within Software Development at the moment.

They are helping Software Teams:

  • Get Better ROI when spending on Computer Server resource
  • Improving the speed to market
  • Allowing for more complex and ambitious solutions

These are technologies that your Development Team may want to use or may even be using.

In the last episode I explained Virtualisation; a technology that makes the other possible.

In this episode I will introduce Containers and the Docker Container format - possibly one of the most useful advancements in recent years in providing repeatable and reliable software distribution.

 Listen now

#40: Containers, Docker, Kubernetes and Serverless - explaining virtualisation


Published: Wed, 13 May 2020 18:12:06 GMT

Over the next few episodes I want to introduce a number of technologies from modern Software Delivery.

These are:

  • Containers
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • And Serverless

There are "hot" technologies with Software Development at the moment.

They are helping Software Teams:

  • Get Better ROI when spending on Computer Server resource
  • Improving the speed to market
  • Allowing for more complex and ambitious solutions

These are technologies that your Development Team may want to use or may even be using.

Over the next few episodes I will be giving an overview of what the technology is, how they help with ROI and why your Development Team maybe trying to convince you that they are a good idea.

In this first episode, I want to explain Virtualisation.

A technology that makes those others possible.

 Listen now

#39: Improving predictability in Software Development by asking the team to do less


Published: Wed, 06 May 2020 16:06:22 GMT

I find that quite often business owners and leaders desire a level of predictability that isn't being achieved by their software development teams.

The want reliable costs and timelines for the delivery of software. But the software development teams fail to achieve them.

In this episode I will discuss that, to improve that predictability, you need to ask your teams to do less.

I will also question if that desire for predictability is even an appropriate goal when talking about getting better ROI from your software development.

 Listen now

#38: The Covid-19 episode - Helping our unexpected remote workers


Published: Wed, 22 Apr 2020 15:52:32 GMT

I'm recording this on Tuesday the 21st May 2020.

At this point, in the UK, we have been under lock down for 4 weeks.

UK rules discourage person to person interactions as much as possible.

While we are able to leave our homes for work, shopping and daily exercise, we are encourage to minimise this as much as possible.

Where they can, businesses are being encouraged to work from home.

In this episode I wanted to talk about helping your staff with phycological safety and motivation.

This episode will mostly focus on supporting those that have suddenly found themselves unexpectedly working from home.

Most of the of the advice however is universally.

 Listen now

#37: Avoiding over focus on the short term


Published: Wed, 15 Apr 2020 16:18:40 GMT

I find that many organisations have a myopic over focus on the immediate term.

This over focus drives poor return on investment over the longer term.

In this episode I revisit the analogy of technical debt and how this is related to an over focus on the immediate.

I will also pull from the three horizons example from the book The Alchemy of Growth on a way of avoiding that over focus.

 Listen now

#36: Recruitment - Bonus Episode 2 - Feedback


Published: Wed, 08 Apr 2020 18:10:17 GMT

Over the last 10 episodes I've been focused on recruitment.

I had originally planned to finish that mini-series two episodes back; but then I gave you a bonus episode last week on the best hire you can make.

I recently came across a question online, and it fitted so perfectly with the recruitment series that I couldn't resist adding another episode to the mini-series.

In this episode, I look at feedback.

 Listen now

#35: Recruitment - Bonus Episode - The best hire you can make


Published: Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:04:54 GMT

Last week I completed a mini-series of 9 episodes looking at various aspects of recruitment.

As I went through the series I decided I wanted to give you a bonus episode on recruitment.

I wanted to tell you about the best hire you can make.

 Listen now

#34: Recruitment - Getting the best and keeping them


Published: Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:18:49 GMT

This episode is the final part of a recruitment mini-series; where I have been focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I think many of these themes are universal, I have, of course, been focusing on software development.

In this episode, I will close out this recruitment mini-series, with a discussion on getting the most from your new employee and keeping them engaged.

 Listen now

#33: Recruitment - Act quickly


Published: Wed, 18 Mar 2020 17:02:33 GMT

This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I am focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment.

And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will, of course, be focusing on software development.

In this episode, I talk about the need to act quickly.

 Listen now

#32: Recruitment - Interviews


Published: Wed, 11 Mar 2020 17:05:41 GMT

This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will, of course, be focusing on software development.

In this episode, I talk about the actual interview.

Interviewing an individual to gauging future performance is far from a fool-proof means of recruitment.

Unfortunately, it is commonly the only option available to us.

I'll provide advice, from my personal experience, on what works well and a few things that don't.

 Listen now

#31: Recruitment - Working with agencies


Published: Wed, 04 Mar 2020 16:52:12 GMT

This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will, of course, be focusing on software development.

In this episode, I talk about working with recruitment agencies.

For better or worse, most software development recruitment is undertaken through agencies. While it is possible, and desirable, to attract potential employees directly, most organisations are not appropriately placed for this.

In this episode, I talk about how I engage with agencies for best effect - as well as touch on some longer-term activities that can help to reduce your reliance on them.

 Listen now

#30: Recruitment - Understanding worth


Published: Wed, 26 Feb 2020 16:36:25 GMT

This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development.

In this episode I talk about getting a good understanding of the market before you go into it.

Software Development remuneration has risen steadily for quite some time.

Dependent on the skills and experience your role requires, you may find that previous recruitment may not be an accurate guide to current market rates.

Blindly going into the market with a figure based on historical recruitment can quickly affect you ability to attract the best people.

Also, given that many organisations has a recruitment sign off process, having a eye on the market before getting any rates signed off can avoid recruitment stalling for lack of enough approved funds.

 Listen now

#29: Recruitment - Defining the role


Published: Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:48:07 GMT

This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development.

In this episode I talk about the importance of defining the role.

 Listen now

#28: Recruitment - Is a permanent employee the right thing for you?


Published: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 16:36:19 GMT

This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development.

In this episode I ask the question if traditional recruitment, a permanent employee, is the right thing for you?

While the first inclination maybe to advertise and recruit for a permanent employee, it may not be the right way of getting that extra help.

And with the rise of the gig-economy and a shortage of skilled software developers on the market, sometimes you may have to look at alternatives.

I'll also talk about the alternative options such as using contractors or outsourcing.

 Listen now

#27: Recruitment - Should you be recruiting at all?


Published: Wed, 05 Feb 2020 16:44:24 GMT

This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development.

Somewhat at odds with the title of the mini-series, I first ask the question: "should you be recruiting at all?"

I find many organisations are recruiting when they shouldn't be ... Along with more than a few that should be recruiting and aren't.

I believe our traditional management techniques would have us recruit to solve the wrong types of problems - which can often produce the opposite of the desired outcome.

In this episode, I will be looking at some of the reasons why recruitment may not be solving the right problem.

 Listen now

#26 Recruitment - A mini-series


Published: Wed, 29 Jan 2020 17:12:23 GMT

Over the coming episodes I'm going to take a deep dive into recruitment.

Recruitment is singularly one of the most important roles of management.

Our businesses are run and operated by people.

Yes processes, tools and a hundred other things can help, but ultimately it is the people that make the business.

So over the coming few episodes I want to talk about various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development.

In this episode, I will be summarising the themes that I plan to look at over the coming weeks.

 Listen now

#25: The series so far


Published: Wed, 22 Jan 2020 16:55:53 GMT

Welcome to the 25th episode.

I decide I wanted to use this episode as both a recap to the series so far and as a good entry point for new listeners.

During this episode, I'll be summarising the key takeaways so far - and which episodes to listen to if you want more.

 Listen now

#24: Mob Programming


Published: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:58:33 GMT

In last week's episode I introduced the idea of Pair Programming.

A software development practice that has two developers working on the same thing on the same computer. One acting as the driver - the other as a navigator - with regular role reversal.

I talked about, while there is an increase to the developer-hours spent on a problem, the benefits of faster delivery, better quality, knowledge sharing and better team communications soon outweighs the cost.

In this episode, I want to talk about a similar software development practice - but much more amped up - mob programming.

 Listen now

#23: Pair Programming


Published: Wed, 08 Jan 2020 17:14:38 GMT

In this weeks episode, I want to introduce the practise of Pair Programming.

At first, Pair Programming can seem completely at odds with achieving returns from your software development investment.

Though this episode, I will look at the common misconceptions and why this is a valuable practice for ROI.

 Listen now

#22: Handling incomplete work


Published: Wed, 18 Dec 2019 16:31:58 GMT

In the last few episodes I've started a mini-series introducing some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software and ultimately delivery of value to our customer.

In episode 18, I introduced Source Control, what it was, why your developers will be using it and the value it brings.

Following your development team saved their software code to the Source Control, I then introduced Continuous Integration in episode 19. I described how Continuous Integration allows us to find problems faster - allowing us to address them much more cost effectively and making Software Development much more productive.

In episode 20, I introduced Continuous Delivery. It builds on Continuous Integration and make the releasing of our of software as easy as a button press. Through automation we make our release process a repeatable, reliable, easy, non-event.

And then in the last episode I introduced Continuous Deployment which builds upon Continuous Delivery by removing the manual button press - automating the entire process from developer to customer many times a day.

In this, the final episode of this mini-series, I want to talk about how to handle incomplete work.

 Listen now

#21: Continuous Deployment


Published: Wed, 11 Dec 2019 15:35:45 GMT

In the last few episodes I've started a mini-series introducing some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software ... and ultimately delivery of value to our customer.

In episode 18, I introduced Source Control, what it was, why your developers will be using it and the value it brings.

Once your development team has saved their software code to the Source Control, I then introduced Continuous Integration in episode 19. I described how Continuous Integration allowed us to find problems faster - allowing us to address them much more cost effectively and making Software Development much more productive.

Then, in the last episode, I introduced Continuous Delivery. It builds on Continuous Integration and make the releasing of our of software as easy as a button press. Through automation we make our release process a repeatable, reliable, easy, non-event process.

In this episode, I introduce Continuous Deployment.

 Listen now

#20: Continuous Delivery


Published: Wed, 04 Dec 2019 17:00:33 GMT

In the last few episodes I've started a mini-series introducing some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software, and ultimately delivery of value to our customer.

In episode 18, I introduced Source Control, what it was, why your developers will be using it and the value it brings.

Once your development team has saved their software code to the Source Control, I then introduced Continuous Integration in the last episode, episode 19. I described how Continuous Integration allowed us to find problems faster - allowing us to address them much more cost effectively and making Software Development much more productive.

In this episode I introduce the next step in the process of getting that software into the hands of your customer - Continuous Delivery

 Listen now

#19: Continuous Integration


Published: Wed, 27 Nov 2019 16:38:28 GMT

UPDATE: I noticed after initial publish the order of the clips in this episode where very incorrect. I've now updated - apologies for any confusion.


In last week's episode I started a mini-series introducing some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software and ultimately delivery of value to our customer.

In that episode, I introduced Source Control, what it was, why your developers will be using it and the value it brings.

Once your development team has saved their software code to the Source Control, what happens next?

In this episode I introduce Continuous Integration.

 Listen now

#18: Source Control


Published: Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:13:22 GMT

In this episode, I want to talk about Source Control.

Source Control is a tool that should be available to your Software Development and at the heart of everything they do.

The aim of this episode is to introduce to you what it is, why they should be using it and ultimately why your are probably spending money on it.

This is part of a mini-series which takes us up to Christmas. I will introduce some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software and ultimately delivery of value to our customer.

We start with Source Control in this episode, then move through a number of closely related topics to getting our software investment in front of our customer as quickly as possible.

 Listen now

#17: Monoliths and Microservices


Published: Wed, 13 Nov 2019 17:02:38 GMT

In this weeks podcast, I wanted to talk about how the size and complexity of a deployable piece of software matters to the ability to deliver value to the customer - and thus ROI on our Software Development.

 Listen now

#16: Technical Debt


Published: Wed, 06 Nov 2019 16:50:40 GMT

In this episode I want to introduce the term Technical Debt.

The term Technical debt was coined in 1992 by Ward Cunningham to describe what happens when we fail to adequately maintain what he calls “immature” code.

I find technical debt a great way to express choices we make in prioritising our software development investment.

 Listen now

#15 - Monitoring


Published: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 16:46:22 GMT

In last weeks episode I talked about software testing - predominantly around automation to aid in flow of delivering value to your customer.

One point I touched on in the episode is that you cannot, and indeed should not, aim or expect to test everything.

While I can understand an expectation or a desire to test everything 100% - it simply isn't feasible.

Pre-release testing is to gain enough confidence to put it live.

The second half of that is post-release Monitoring.

And it is Monitoring that I want to cover in this episode.

 Listen now

#14: Software Testing


Published: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 15:21:17 GMT

In this episode I want to talk about testing, why it is important for ROI and what types of testing can be done.

 Listen now

#13: State of DevOps report 2019


Published: Tue, 15 Oct 2019 15:53:23 GMT

Back in episode 10, I briefly mentioned the State of DevOps reports as part of the introduction to DevOps.

In this episode I want to spend more time reviewing the 2019 report

 Listen now

#12: War and Peace and IT


Published: Wed, 09 Oct 2019 15:59:53 GMT

In this short episode, I want to introduce a book that I feel that every executive should read.

I started writing about how to get better ROI from Software Development back in 2016.

This was as a direct aim to educate the executive level on how to interact, with better results, with IT - and predominately software development.

Like many, I've felt that the relationship between IT and the Business had become dysfunctional - with neither party happy with what the other brings to the table. Both parties becoming frustrated with the other.

I've spent many years researching, writing and speaking on how to address this dysfunction.

And I really wish I'd had this book.

... To be honest, I wish I'd written this book.

I'm finding it a great companion piece to my own work and recommend it highly to any listener to this podcast.

 Listen now

#11: We need to talk about Culture


Published: Wed, 02 Oct 2019 15:45:57 GMT

In the last five episodes I've introduced a number of terms to help us move away from the traditional software development practices.

In episode 6, I introduced the Minimum Viable Product as a way to rethink our traditional ideas of waterfall style software projects. I recommend using MVP as a way to approach the traditional problems of unknown benefits, unknown costs and unknown risks.

In episode 7, I introduced Lean as a backup to the mind set behind Minimum Viable Product. Lean's strong manufacturing pedigree stands out as a proven method of reducing waste, delivering faster throughput and ultimately value to the customer.

In episode 8, I introduce Agile as a complementary mind set to back up Minimum Viable Product. I introduced the Agile Manifest; the commitment behind much of the work in the Agile movement since 2001. I showed how the manifestos recommendations aligned with Lean and MVP.

In episode 9, I introduced the Cloud as a key enabled to support the adoption of Minimum Viable Product, Lean and Agile. I talked about the value that the flexibility of the Cloud can provide - along with the potentially market changing opportunities made available by initiative services the Cloud makes available.

And in the last episode, episode 10, I introduced DevOps as a set of practices and process that build on a Lean & Agile heritage. I also introduced the State of DevOps report as providing evidence that DevOps is helping organisations meet and exceed their goals.

In this episode, I want to take a step back and address some of cultural issues that these episodes generate.

 Listen now

#10 - Introduction to DevOps


Published: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 16:25:41 GMT

Over the last couple of episodes;

I've introduced the concepts of Minimum Viable Product as a way to think about software development to improve your return on investment.

I've then introduced Lean and Agile to provide background and backup for why that Minimum Viable Product mind set works.

And in last weeks, I introduced the Cloud as an enabler to Minimum Viable Product in practice.

In this episode I want to introduce one last term in this set of episodes - DevOps

 Listen now

#9: Introduction to the Cloud


Published: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 16:08:05 GMT

In the last couple of episodes I've introduced the concepts of Minimum Viable Product, Lean and Agile.

I believe these help us to adjust our mind-set to one more conducive to getting Better ROI from Software Development.

In this episode, I introduce the Cloud; which I believe enables some core practicalities that our new mind-set requires.

 Listen now

#8: Introduction to Agile


Published: Wed, 11 Sep 2019 15:24:23 GMT

In the last couple of episodes I've introduced the concepts of Minimum Viable Product and Lean Software Development.

In this episode I want to introduce Agile.

Along with Minimum Viable Product & Lean Software Development - Agile - along with Cloud & DevOps which I'll pick up in the coming weeks - provides a great introduction on how to get the Better Return from your Software Development Investment.

 Listen now

#7 - Introduction to Lean Software Development


Published: Wed, 04 Sep 2019 16:04:29 GMT

In the last episode I introduced the Minimum Viable Product.

I personally see Minimum Viable Products being related to Lean Principals.

I'll give you an introduction to Lean in this podcast - and where appropriate, tie it back to the Minimum Viable Product.

 Listen now

#6: Introduction to the Minimum Viable Product


Published: Wed, 07 Aug 2019 15:44:27 GMT

In my last podcast I talked about how you should be considering investment in software development as volatile experiments – and that they should be managed as such.

In this podcast, I’ll introduce the concept of Minimal Viable Product (MVP) a tool that can help you manage that volatility in an experimental manner.

 Listen now

#5: Thinking about software development investment


Published: Wed, 31 Jul 2019 15:33:26 GMT

In this episode I want to talk about how to think about investing in software development.

I see too many people thinking that software development is an activity with one outcome – success.

And with that I see funding being made to that software development with the expectation that it will deliver specific anticipated benefits.

I want to take you through why I think that mindset is incorrect and how you should be thinking when investing in software development.

 Listen now

#4: Why is software development complex?


Published: Wed, 24 Jul 2019 15:33:24 GMT

Software Development is complex.

The problems it solves will always have a level of complexity.

In this podcast I talk about why.

 Listen now

#3: Projects are bad for return on investment


Published: Wed, 17 Jul 2019 15:48:44 GMT

Projects are not the best way to get great return on your software development.
And in this podcast I'll tell you why.

 Listen now

#2 - It's not about utilization


Published: Wed, 10 Jul 2019 15:32:28 GMT

In the last podcast I told you that focusing on 100% utilization is the wrong thing for return on investment.
But how can that be?
Are we not taught that utilization means productivity?
Are we not encourage to stretch our staff?
To get the most out of the staff salary?
Are we not even told its a good thing to sweat the asset?

 Listen now

#1 - Why is it difficult to get the best return on investment


Published: Tue, 02 Jul 2019 16:25:33 GMT

Why is it difficult to get great return on your software development investment?

Why is it that software development isn't keeping pace with your business?

You’ve tried to resolve it yourself; you’ve set targets, you’ve encouraged, you’ve cajoled, you’ve been driven half insane with techno-babble – but your tried and tested management techniques aren’t working – if anything they are producing negative effects.

So why is it so difficult?

 Listen now

Episode 0 - Why I'm doing this podcast


Published: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 07:37:52 GMT

Episode 0 - a brief summary of why I am creating this podcast series.

 Listen now