Posts in “Community”
As the software industry in Michigan continues to blossom in 2010, Stout Systems in conjunction with Ann Arbor Women in Computing, is lucky to be able to bring one of the great leaders of the Lean Software Revolution to Ann Arbor, Mary Poppendieck.
Three time author, speaker and trainer, Mary Poppendieck has a long career helping companies produce great software. After retiring from 3M in 1998, Mary started helping software companies around the world adopt the lean patterns that have been so successfully applied in Manufacturing. In 2003 she published her first of now three books on Lean: “Lean Software: An Agile Toolkit.” Focusing on the process of developing software, not necessarily on the code itself, Mary gives teams the tools and techniques to analyze, understand and continuously improve their software delivery. In her third book “Leading Lean Software Development” (2010), Mary is teaching leaders how to continuously improve their organizations ability to consistently produce great software.
On Tuesday April 20th, Mary is going to lead a group of us in an interactive environment where we’ll work on real business problems. She’ll help us learn, apply, and practice some of the important techniques that have helped so many other software organizations achieve software success. If you’re involved in producing great software (and not necessarily a software developer), then please join us on April 20th from 2:30 – 5:30 pm.
When: 2:30 – 5:30 pm, April 20th, 2010.
Where: Marr Professional Development, 501 Avis Drive, Ann Arbor 48108
Who: Anyone who is involved in the software development process, from software executives to front line support.
Cost: $25.00 (All Proceeds go to Ann Arbor Women in Computing)
Signup: AWC Event Page
Okay, maybe I am overselling our upcoming presentation a little bit.
Brian Skory (Technical Staffing Specialist) and I (VP Operations) bump into the same issues over and over again when we are working with candidates for job and contract openings.
They fall into the following classes:
Class #1: Resume needs work. It’s too long, too short, not organized well, lacking in details, etc.
Class #2: Candidates want to pump us for ideas about how to find opportunities.
Class #3: Candidates make blunders in interviews because they aren’t well prepared, which probably comes from a lack of familiarity with current interviewing styles and conventions.
In truth, Brian and I answer the same questions, give the same advice, pull our hair out over the same issues pretty regularly.
So we decided to create a presentation that addresses a lot of the most common issues and questions.
Now what, you would rightly ask, are our bona fides?
Brian has been working directly with our clients and our candidates for several years. He gets feedback about why clients don’t like candidate resumes. He gets feedback about why clients are passing on candidates. And he fields a lot of candidate questions. He is a wealth of practical knowledge that comes from a wide variety of managers.
I have an interesting mix of experience. I am often a hiring manager myself, because I am read resumes and interview candidates for the software development projects that we are awarded as outsourced contracts. In addition, I still process the enormous influx of resumes we receive in response to job and contract postings when our regular recruiter, Ursula Kellman, is on vacation. Like I’m doing this week. When you read 50 resumes in a day, day in and day out, you start to develop a very good sense of what communicates and what does not.
So Brian and I have a nice mix of experience to give some very practical advice. But only for the high-tech workers (Web, Software, Embedded Systems, Network Engineers, Technical Managers, etc.). Accountants and teachers are not going to find our advice very useful. By the same token, listening to generalists is not very helpful to high-tech workers!
The presentation will be held on March 24th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Ann Arbor Spark. The registration page can be found on the Ann Arbor Chapter of the Association for Women in Computing’s Event Calendar.
Monday night the Ann Arbor City Council met to discuss the new Google Fiber, ultra high speed broadband network. It was a very big turnout, and you can see a number of the participants and their thoughts on YouTube. The current Google Proposal will increase both the reliability of our current networks and the speed by somewhere around 100 times, making a lot of applications and interactive products possible that aren’t currently viable.
This type of infrastructure would have profound positive impact on the region, greatly giving us the advantage in a number of areas. In our own field, I would expect this would facilitate the development of a number of new high speed Internet applications, built well ahead of the worldwide competition in this space.
The City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan are jointly working on a proposal to Google, which will be submitted before the deadline on March 26th. Community support is a major part of the proposal, so they are asking for lots of help from everyone. The organization A2 Fiber (@a2fiber) recommends a number of things you can do, including creating your own YouTube video.
It seems to me the most straightforward thing to do would be to write something, such as a tweet or a blog post about this, and then go up to the Google Fiber for Communities site and recommend Ann Arbor. As you’re filling out the form, you’ll see a place for a link to your tweet or blog post or heck, even your YouTube video.
If you’re reading this and your community is also trying to submit an RFI, then certainly get involved. If not, please consider supporting Ann Arbor’s bid. This is not just a good opportunity for Ann Arbor, it’s a good opportunity for the region as a whole.
We came to CodeMash with pretty high expectations, given our experience in 2009, but the CodeMash team just blew them all away. Thanks to everyone who put on CodeMash 2010. This was Stout’s fourth year and we’ll be back in 2011 with the Stout Software Smackdown 2011 – Cage Match, Last Programmer Standing event and a lot more.
Here’s some pictures of our great time at CodeMash 2010:
Yes, that smiling man is Stout’s own Brian P. Skory. Brian manned the booth at CodeMash 2010 almost all of the time (thanks Brian) while the rest of the team, John Stout and I, got to do the fun stuff.
One of the great things about CodeMash, and CodeMash 2010 was no exception, is how many fun tech conversations you can have. Here at our booth, Brian and I are talking with Jon Woodard of Inner Circle Media in Ann Arbor about an iPhone application we have been dreaming up.
Here I am getting in the way while Brian manages the crowd.
Here I’m getting ready to kick off the Stout Software Smackdown. This was our first year putting on the Smackdown. So many people at Stout worked overtime to put this together and it really paid off. We had a lot of fun and now we’re excited to do it all again next year at CodeMash 2011.
A set of pictures from what was obviously our favorite event at CodeMash 2010—The Stout Software Smackdown—23 minutes of pulse pounding software development. Action packed programming that has never been seen before.
And the winners of the Smackdown: Kevin Berridge, Benjamin Lee & Josh Schramm.
Stout’s Bill Heitzeg is one of the driving forces behind a new software development study group. The concept: meet for one hour a week, bring your laptop, learn more about some hot topic in one hour than you would normally learn in weeks of unstructured, unmentored self-study.
Why does it work? Because the instructor for each one-hour session has already waded through the subject and can pick out the key, key, key things you need to understand. From there, you can make good progress on self-study because you already understand the fundamentals.
Imagine if our iPhone developer spent one hour guiding you through the maze that is iPhone development? If you have heard any of the horror stories about an iPhone submission, you have an idea about how much time that could save you. And that’s just the submission process!
So here is my question: if we figure out a way to make these live, interactive Webinars, would you be more interested? less interested?
The study group meets in Ann Arbor on Tuesdays during dinner hour. With a Webinar, we could probably do lunchtime study group sessions, saving commute time and time away from family. The downside is that the networking aspect isn’t nearly as prominent.
I’d be very curious to know your thoughts. Please post!