Sunday, 23 June 2013

Programmer or Analyst Developer?

I know these terms to mean different things in different countries or even different organisations so I'll explain.

  • A Programmer is a person who is given a task and codes that task as it is described. Usually this task is described by a Business Analyst in the form of a Requirements Document or a User Story.
  • An Analyst Developer will speak to the users to help define what their need is, then code that need.

I had an interesting talk the other day with a Software Development Manager who was looking at the whole idea of the Business Analyst that so prevails our thinking around software development. A number of years ago there was a push never to allow the programmers to talk to the users. The huge push for Business Analysts was on and the Analyst Developer idea disappeared from our vocabulary.

What this person was suggesting was to reintroduce that idea. He recognised that not every programmer was an analyst developer and there was still room for the programmer in the teams, but that instead of having a number of business analyst producing streams of paper and diagrams, this function was sometimes better produced by an analyst developer.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Version 6 of Jira has been released

Atlassian has released Version 6 of its great Jira tool. I must admit to being a big fan of Jira from its infancy and have installed Jira in a number of organisations in New Zealand, the UK, Australia, and Germany.

See my previous post on a much earlier version of Jira - Tools for the Development Team - JIRA.

Atlassian has released a number of versions since that early review and its long overdue to do another review, but that's for another article.

So what's so different about Version 6?

There's a new user interface. Atlassian have recognised that while its second nature for long time users to make their way around Jira, it can sometimes be a learning curve for new users. This new user interface is designed to allow new users to get to know and use Jira that much faster and easier.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Delphi, why won't it just die?

Over the years, I've programmed in a lot of different languages. Along the way, languages have come and gone in typical "Flavour of the Month" style, while others that have been predicted to be flavour of the month, have become very mainstream;  Java being one of them.

I used to do a lot of work in FoxPro and it was used extensively in almost every company and government department in New Zealand, but then Microsoft bought it and firmly placed its boot over its head knee deep in water and it slowly, desperately, died.  Even then it was flailing about so hard that Microsoft was forced to simply state, "No More FoxPro! Last version ever!"  in about 2007 despite having millions of followers.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

New Post in

Come over to to see new posts. talks about the five skills you will need as a new Team Leader of technical teams. recognises that many technical experts are promoted into a position of leadership, often on little more than their technical abilities. This is a place where all team leaders can come for advice and to learn from each other.

Please contact me if you would like to contribute with your own post. I would like to be a community of technical leaders.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

New Blog Leading Technical Teams

Good day to all readers. I have been pleasantly surprised to see that this blog has a readership that is still quite large despite the length of time since I last posted. 

I've also noted that the blog, and the people searching for answers here, have been towards posts that relate to team leadership. 

I realised that I do like writing and learning and the interaction that a blog can give to me and others. To this end, realising that the current blog is a little more technical focussed, I have started a new blog. is designed to be a place where everyone can come and learn and contribute. I'm working on a suitable forums section as well. 

It is my real hope that some of you can also contribute with posts of your own and questions and answers. 

I know the difficulties that a team leader faces, often put there due to little more than being the best technician. Leadership is a different skill that needs to be learned. Much more often than not the team leader is also not really a team member and suddenly finds they have no one to discuss and get advice from. 

Join me at and contact me. Lets make it a place we can contribute to and learn from, and where we can find that we are not alone.

I welcome you to my new blog at