I’ve spent the last year as a software engineering manager for teams building a new product. Our tribe (the group of teams) is part of a larger organisation. Here are 14 things I learned:


Photo from News24

I often see situations like this in software teams:

Alice: “We can’t begin testing because we’re still waiting to hear from Bob about when the RC will be ready. He will let us all know in the official Slack channel. Stand by.”
Bob: “I know you’re all waiting for the RC…


Tools image via Shutterstock

I recently read an article about how scrum disempowers developers due to its focus on value rather than technical excellence. …


Something I realised recently (which I knew in theory but ignored in practice) is that reminding teams that they are the ones responsible for quality (through incrementally developing their Definition of Done) is crucial.

Entropy is inevitable. Technical debt will accumulate as time goes along. At some point, technical debt…


In April, Roland and I presented a workshop on systems thinking at the MiXiT conference in Lyon. Check out the presentation and case study we used. Also check out this list of systems thinking resources.


Me and two friends started Glio in September 2012. By day Glio was a consultancy, offering website development (mainly with WordPress on LAMP) and graphic design services. …


Many software projects take on the form of a transaction between vendor and customer. A transaction is an exchange of value. The vendor supplies software to the customer that solves some problem (scope), costs a certain amount (budget), by some date (schedule). The customer (hopefully) pays the vendor.

In any…


There is a certain narrative that is prevalent in contemporary startup cultures. Its story goes something along the lines of “failure is good so long as you’re learning from it”. On the surface it suggests speed and adaptiveness: fast-moving iterations driven by a tight feedback loop calibrated to avoid waste…


I’ve recently learned a lot about Ruby, and I’m also quite interested in R, a programming language for statistical computing. The book Exploring Everyday Things with R and Ruby naturally piqued my interest.

Overview of the book

The first two chapters does a quick primer on Ruby and R respectively…

Emile Silvis

I help awesome people create the banking platform of the future at http://www.backbase.com . Views here are my own.

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