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  4.    <title>Colin Bowern</title>
  5.    <link></link>
  6.    <description>I&#39;m passionate about product, delivery, and engineering of modern apps and services.</description>
  7.    <language>en</language>
  8.    <copyright></copyright>
  9.    <managingEditor>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</managingEditor>
  10.    <webMaster>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</webMaster>
  11.    <pubDate>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>
  12.    <lastBuildDate>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000</lastBuildDate>
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  15.      <title>Colin Bowern</title>
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  22.        <title>Finding Your Community</title>
  23.        <link></link>
  24.        <description>
  26. &lt;p&gt;This week in San Francisco was the Mind the Product conference. Product folks from across North America and beyond converged to &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;share their successes, struggles, and ah-ha moments&lt;/a&gt;. It is an opportunity step away from the daily grind for a dose of inspiration and to meet others.&lt;/p&gt;
  28. &lt;p&gt;With imposter syndrome getting more attention these days we are acknowledging that success is not a simple formula. Creating space to talk about the journey we are on, especially the tough bits, is therapeutic. Knowing that others have been at the same crossroads helps us avoid despair when things are hard. It creates channels to ask for advice and seek inspiration on next steps. For me, community has been invaluable in my personal growth by making me feel less alone. If you are looking to take your first steps into the community it could be right around the corner too. Local meet-ups, conferences, and online communities are wonderful places to learn and connect with others.&lt;/p&gt;
  30. &lt;h1 id=&#34;it-s-for-sharing-your-journey-too&#34;&gt;It&amp;rsquo;s for sharing your journey too!&lt;/h1&gt;
  32. &lt;p&gt;Early in the .NET era I was fortunate enough to get involved as a speaker at, then organizer of the Metro Toronto .NET user group. For me, however, the seed was planted early on as a pre-teen doing speaking on Qmodem at the Halton Peel Computer Club or my latest Turbo Pascal learnings at the Toronto Borland User Group (thanks Mom &amp;amp; Dad for encouraging me!). Over the years I have noticed the talks that are highest rated are people telling their story - warts and all. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to share your work is critical for learning. We want to find reference points of theory in practice.&lt;/p&gt;
  34. &lt;p&gt;Today I support the &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Product Management Auckland&lt;/a&gt; meet-up. As the schedule of sessions comes together, we are always interested in having people share their story. We encourage everyone to speak, and I have an open invite to support anyone in their first talk (please reach out to connect!).&lt;/p&gt;
  36. &lt;h1 id=&#34;find-your-local-community&#34;&gt;Find your local community&lt;/h1&gt;
  38. &lt;p&gt;If you are looking to boost your learning the first step is to look for a local community to get involved with.  For product folks, I recommend a few places to start:&lt;/p&gt;
  40. &lt;ul&gt;
  41. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Product Tank Meet-ups&lt;/a&gt; - branding used by local meet-up groups across the world&lt;/li&gt;
  42. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;ProductManager HQ Slack Community&lt;/a&gt; - one of the more active online Slack communities for product folks&lt;/li&gt;
  43. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Women in Product Slack Community&lt;/a&gt; - connect here with other Women in Product&lt;/li&gt;
  44. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Mind the Product Conference&lt;/a&gt; - one of the more popular northern hemisphere conference for product folks which happens in the UK and US&lt;/li&gt;
  45. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Leading the Product Conference&lt;/a&gt; - one of the more popular southern hemisphere conferences for product folks which happens in AU&lt;/li&gt;
  46. &lt;/ul&gt;
  48. &lt;p&gt;There are many product folks on Twitter as well. I have been &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;building list of them&lt;/a&gt;, but credit for most of it comes from &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Alicia Dixon&lt;/a&gt; who has been curating &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;a running list of product folks around the globe&lt;/a&gt;. Start by following her, then go from from there!&lt;/p&gt;
  49. </description>
  50.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  51.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  52.        <pubDate>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
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  55.      <item>
  56.        <title>Interesting Reads - May 22, 2017</title>
  57.        <link></link>
  58.        <description>
  60. &lt;p&gt;Every week I scan a curated list of feeds and watch Twitter for pieces that ask interesting questions, frame problems in new ways, and help me learn how others tackle the tough stuff of everyday life. This week I came across interesting reads about customer discovery, look through the lens of outcomes, OKRs in action, thoughts on tools and culture, and a new book on application security. Check out the interesting reads below along with my takeaway:&lt;/p&gt;
  62. &lt;h1 id=&#34;customer-discovery&#34;&gt;Customer Discovery&lt;/h1&gt;
  64. &lt;p&gt;Last week I began my customer discovery journey in my new role at &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Gentrack&lt;/a&gt;. I am reaching out to customers to learn about the motivations behind their strategic decisions, where they are aiming to be, and what keeps them up at night. These three reads were a great input into my planning for this process.&lt;/p&gt;
  66. &lt;div class=&#34;list-thumbnail&#34;&gt;
  67.   &lt;ul&gt;
  68. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Paul Adams @ Intercom: Great PMs Don&amp;rsquo;t Spent Time on Solutions&lt;/a&gt; - Paul talks about the often underinvested part f product where spending time with customers, understanding their world, and how they reach the point is how you uncover the right opportunity or need. It is not glamours work, but it will give you perspective when you hit the solution side to make choices based on a better understanding of what you are up against. All too often we see features that ship that seems like great solutions, but without that link to the problem they are left on the shelf.&lt;/li&gt;
  69. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;;amp;tag=colinbowern0a-20&amp;amp;camp=1789&amp;amp;creative=9325&amp;amp;linkCode=as2&amp;amp;creativeASIN=1492180742&amp;amp;linkId=627833002c2e611438fcbfcf79e7cdc5&#34; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;amp;tag=colinbowern0a-20&amp;amp;camp=1789&amp;amp;creative=9325&amp;amp;linkCode=as2&amp;amp;creativeASIN=1492180742&amp;amp;linkId=627833002c2e611438fcbfcf79e7cdc5&#34;&gt;Rob Fitzpatrick: The Mom Test&lt;/a&gt; - Before I ventured out into customer land I spent time to plan my approach. I made a list of topics I wanted to know more about, what the opening question should be, and what follow-up questions I might use. Rob&amp;rsquo;s book, The Mom Test, is a quick read that reminds you to build raport, focus on open questions, and allow the conversation to inform the path which you chose to follow.&lt;/li&gt;
  70. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;SVPG: Product Discovery: Pitfalls and Anti-Patterns&lt;/a&gt; - Discovery is an art as much as it is a science. We go into an uncertain situation with customers to learn about them. We check our biases at the door, and we prepare ourselves for possibly hearing that the idea in our minds is completely wrong. SVPG notes that it is not easy, but it is critical to do it ourselves and do it often to get the richest results.&lt;/li&gt;
  71. &lt;/ul&gt;
  73. &lt;/div&gt;
  75. &lt;h1 id=&#34;validated-outcomes&#34;&gt;Validated Outcomes&lt;/h1&gt;
  77. &lt;p&gt;Many people use the agile crutch as a way to jump right into code without understanding why they are doing the problem. Yes the user story format captures a &amp;ldquo;benefit to a user&amp;rdquo;, but once we ship it, did we make it? The long tail of feature development is that validation which is where real learning begins. Activity measures are worthless if we are not making an impact with our effort, and learning what of our feature hypothesis made it out the other side.&lt;/p&gt;
  79. &lt;p&gt;&lt;div class=&#34;list-thumbnail&#34;&gt;
  80.   &lt;ul&gt;
  81. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;John Cutler: What is &amp;ldquo;done&amp;rdquo;&lt;/a&gt; - John points out that a the final part of flow needs to include validation - without that, our feature&amp;rsquo;s hypothesis remains untested.&lt;/li&gt;
  82. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Jeff Patton: Output vs. Outcome &amp;amp; Impact&lt;/a&gt; - Jeff talks about the importance of outcome and impact as the primary motivation for our work. Activity measures such as points per sprint are often used as a proxy for delivering value, but they are a poor representation at best.&lt;/li&gt;
  83. &lt;/ul&gt;
  85. &lt;/div&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  87. &lt;h1 id=&#34;okrs-are-alignment&#34;&gt;OKRs are Alignment&lt;/h1&gt;
  89. &lt;p&gt;As organizations grow, the alignment around the purpose and focus become the difference between a rowing team working together to win the race, or a canoer trying to paddle at different rates and timing. OKRs were touted as the next big thing in organizational management. I have seen a few organizations use it for performance management and struggle when they were unable to map the examples to success. In the rush for the next silver bullet did we miss what it was about? Did anyone actually make it work?&lt;/p&gt;
  91. &lt;div class=&#34;list-thumbnail&#34;&gt;
  92.   &lt;ul&gt;
  93. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Dan North: Applying OKRs&lt;/a&gt; - Finally someone shares real life experience! Too many organizations stick with the &amp;ldquo;out of box&amp;rdquo; examples which are hard to understand in the varying contexts of different organization structures. Most importantly Dan points out that the real benefit of OKRs is designed around aligning the organization - not measuring individual or team performance.&lt;/li&gt;
  94. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;;amp;camp=1789&amp;amp;creative=9325&amp;amp;creativeASIN=B006ORWT3Y&amp;amp;linkCode=as2&amp;amp;tag=colinbowern0a-20&amp;amp;linkId=dd92704a7ffc788c98c2390d77cb3ea9&#34; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;amp;camp=1789&amp;amp;creative=9325&amp;amp;creativeASIN=B006ORWT3Y&amp;amp;linkCode=as2&amp;amp;tag=colinbowern0a-20&amp;amp;linkId=dd92704a7ffc788c98c2390d77cb3ea9&#34;&gt;Patrick Lencioni: The Advantage&lt;/a&gt; - In the same light I thought it was worth bringing to the table a book that Chris Heaslip recommended to me and the rest of the crew at Pushpay. It was an exercise that we went through across the company to drive alignment in why we existed, where we were going, and what is the most important thing right now. I would recommend taking the six questions from this book and asking a few different people in your organization to see what their understanding is, and where gaps exist in alignment.&lt;/li&gt;
  95. &lt;/ul&gt;
  97. &lt;/div&gt;
  99. &lt;h1 id=&#34;tools-vs-culture&#34;&gt;Tools vs. Culture&lt;/h1&gt;
  101. &lt;p&gt;Just because you can, does not mean you should. Often technology organizations are tempted to fill a small gap by creating their own tooling. Years later they find themselves way behind where there competitors are with the tool becoming the poor stepchild of their efforts.&lt;/p&gt;
  103. &lt;div class=&#34;list-thumbnail&#34;&gt;
  104.   &lt;ul&gt;
  105. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Rich Mironov: The DIY Illusion&lt;/a&gt; - If you can find a commercial solution to your problem and how you solve that problem is neither unique or differentiating from your competition then chances are you should buy it not build it. Rich reminds us that the opportunity cost of DIY tooling over time far outstrips the cost of most commercial off-the-shelf tooling.&lt;/li&gt;
  106. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Bill Higgins: Tools as a Catalyst for Culture Change&lt;/a&gt; - The modern enterprise is evolving quickly. Slack is showing up everywhere, companies are moving away from monolithic all-in-one ERPs, and want to move fast. But new tools dropped into the laps of people will suffer from the same problems the old tools did. Not many people uncovered the power of the Pivot Table in Excel. Many were just scratching the surface of what they had. So before we drop new and better tools, think a bit about how to drive uptake.&lt;/li&gt;
  107. &lt;/ul&gt;
  109. &lt;/div&gt;
  111. &lt;h1 id=&#34;new-zealand-s-security-minds&#34;&gt;New Zealand&amp;rsquo;s Security Minds&lt;/h1&gt;
  113. &lt;p&gt;Finally kudos to &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Laura Bell&lt;/a&gt; from &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;SafeStack&lt;/a&gt; and her fellow authors for getting to done on their book. I had the fortune of seeing her in action at Pushpay. I was thoroughly impressed by how she balanced a topic that can evoke a overwhelming response to fear and uncertainty with practical steps. If you have a team that is looking for security consulting, or developer training I can highly recommend SafeStack.&lt;/p&gt;
  115. &lt;div class=&#34;list-thumbnail&#34;&gt;
  116.   &lt;ul&gt;
  117. &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&#34;; class=&#34;link-thumbnail&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;; &gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Laura Bell et al: Agile Application Security&lt;/a&gt; - While we awaite the final release, this is one book I look forward to reading to continue to highlight how to approach security in pragmatic ways.&lt;/li&gt;
  118. &lt;/ul&gt;
  120. &lt;/div&gt;
  121. </description>
  122.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  123.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  124.        <pubDate>Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  125.      </item>
  127.      <item>
  128.        <title>Leaders as Influencers: On Meetings and Culture</title>
  129.        <link></link>
  130.        <description>&lt;p&gt;We are about to check point on an experiment to create more mindfulness around meetings. Originally billed as an exercise of going on a &amp;ldquo;meeting diet&amp;rdquo; through a defined blackout period, it morphed into a company wide introspection on the use of people&amp;rsquo;s time. It had a profound effect on the meetings I facilitated and attended. The immediate value was explicit permission to question agendas and decline meetings where I did not add value or find them helpful.&lt;/p&gt;
  132. &lt;p&gt;In the survey I came to the question &amp;ldquo;What would need to be put in place, or need to happen, in order to continue to benefit from this?&amp;rdquo;. As I wrote my response I could tell the book Reinventing Organzations has had an impact on how I think about leading by example in all aspects of the organization:&lt;/p&gt;
  134. &lt;blockquote&gt;
  135. &lt;p&gt;As leaders the way you show up and engage, how you facilitate what good meetings look like will determine to a large extent how others continue this practice of mindful meetings. For better or worse, Jeff Bezos sets the tone at Amazon, Bill Gates did the same at Microsoft, and I suspect Steve Jobs did as well at Apple. Leaders determine the boundaries of culture for the organization underneath them.&lt;/p&gt;
  137. &lt;p&gt;If you choose to continue to be mindful of your own meeting habits by:&lt;/p&gt;
  139. &lt;ol&gt;
  140. &lt;li&gt;accepting the meeting only when there is a clear purpose,&lt;/li&gt;
  141. &lt;li&gt;ensuring that purpose plays out with an agenda,&lt;/li&gt;
  142. &lt;li&gt;arming people with structured decision making techniques to bias us towards learning and action through experimentation and feedback,&lt;/li&gt;
  143. &lt;li&gt;respecting your own time and space as well as others,&lt;/li&gt;
  144. &lt;li&gt;helping others check their ego at the door, and&lt;/li&gt;
  145. &lt;li&gt;being the change you want to see&lt;/li&gt;
  146. &lt;/ol&gt;
  148. &lt;p&gt;Then we will continue to benefit by being an organization who gets stuff done, not being overly focused on talking about what could be done. Talk is cheap, the market pays the big dollars for outcomes.&lt;/p&gt;
  149. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  151. &lt;p&gt;I am pretty excited about these types of activities. Active experimentation that shape our future helps us reach the next level of awesomeness. They will not always bear fruit, but when they do they can pay off in spades.&lt;/p&gt;
  152. </description>
  153.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  154.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  155.        <pubDate>Thu, 01 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  156.      </item>
  158.      <item>
  159.        <title>Model Teams with Job Titles, Build Teams around Job Roles</title>
  160.        <link></link>
  161.        <description>
  163. &lt;p&gt;In the beginning there was one creator who started it all:&lt;/p&gt;
  165. &lt;img src=&#34;;  &gt;
  167. &lt;p&gt;Over time the creation becomes too large for one person to manage, and so the team of one starts a journey to scale up to a cast of tens, maybe even hundreds, and in some cases thousands. The first step is dividing responsibility and/or expanding capacity in key skill sets. Knowing what you need to do to advance the product mission will drive the direction you take in expanding the team. The first few steps for many teams is bringing on board smart people who can get stuff done. Job titles express the types of skills needed but not a focal point for the first few people who join the team.&lt;/p&gt;
  169. &lt;p&gt;As the team grows, or if it incubates in a larger organization, you will likely reach a point where the job title starts to hold more explicit value. Levels are introduced to differentiate depth of expertise - Junior, Intermediate, Senior, and Principal.  People use the combination of level and title to:&lt;/p&gt;
  171. &lt;ul&gt;
  172. &lt;li&gt;negotiate pay levels&lt;/li&gt;
  173. &lt;li&gt;gain recognition towards the depth of expertise they have&lt;/li&gt;
  174. &lt;li&gt;a measure of progress for their career&lt;/li&gt;
  175. &lt;/ul&gt;
  177. &lt;p&gt;As with any tool job title have drawbacks as well. For one, people rarely fit into a single a box. A title can make you feel pigeon holed into one area where in reality your interests can go well beyond the title. By limiting the recognized contribution scope the organization may not be realizing the full potential of the teams they create.&lt;/p&gt;
  179. &lt;p&gt;When an organization creates and governs a career ladder they make significant effort to standardize definitions. Where it is not granular enough it can create a question of fairness. When it is too detailed it can self-limiting with fear of inadequacy or failure in reaching up to the next level.&lt;/p&gt;
  181. &lt;h1 id=&#34;plan-the-future-and-recognize-limits&#34;&gt;Plan the Future and Recognize Limits&lt;/h1&gt;
  183. &lt;p&gt;Using the job title as a tool to plan the growth of an organization is useful, even with its imperfections in mind. While I seek to &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;build cross-function teams of smart people who get stuff done&lt;/a&gt;, the title and scale of the job helps me to model how teams might grow to tackle the mission in front of them. I think about titles and scale in a product development team using several axis:&lt;/p&gt;
  185. &lt;img src=&#34;;  &gt;
  187. &lt;p&gt;Models are also useful in signaling when the structure and people are not optimal:&lt;/p&gt;
  189. &lt;ul&gt;
  190. &lt;li&gt;titles becoming unclear and awkward&lt;/li&gt;
  191. &lt;li&gt;structure is not easily understood by new team members and stakeholders&lt;/li&gt;
  192. &lt;li&gt;people struggle with what success means for them&lt;/li&gt;
  193. &lt;li&gt;responsibility being passed around; no one feels like they can own the challenge&lt;/li&gt;
  194. &lt;/ul&gt;
  196. &lt;h1 id=&#34;reshape-job-roles-with-the-team&#34;&gt;Reshape Job Roles with the Team&lt;/h1&gt;
  198. &lt;p&gt;Teams that regularly &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;inspect and adapt&lt;/a&gt; how they work stand the best chance of keeping pace with the changing world. Before looking at team roles check up on the mission. If the team’s mission is not something that they truly understand, can own and deliver on, then it must be addressed first. Without a clear and achievable mission there is little point in discussing how people contribute towards it.&lt;/p&gt;
  200. &lt;p&gt;Beginning with an open discussion about the mission, the team should be front and center in the discussion on roles. Make it a safe discussion that allows them to switch into the &lt;a href=&#34;;s_stages_of_group_development&#34;&gt;forming stage of development&lt;/a&gt;, especially if they have worked side-by-side for a long time. With the stage set you can identify the common behaviors that is expected from each other in the form of a &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;social contract&lt;/a&gt;. Next inventory the types of activities needed to achieve the mission. Use individual tools like &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;personality tests&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;role type models&lt;/a&gt; to understand the boundaries and comfort zones of individuals. Enable people to practice their primary role and sign up to other roles needed by the team. The end state is each person has a list of the one or more roles they play in achieving the mission. With the definition of roles in hand, teams can begin to build their bond with peer commitment at the center. If you are the leader, your job goes beyond this facilitating this activity to:&lt;/p&gt;
  202. &lt;ul&gt;
  203. &lt;li&gt;supporting the individuals in mastering the roles&lt;/li&gt;
  204. &lt;li&gt;recognizing when the role is no longer required, or adapting when it has principally changed&lt;/li&gt;
  205. &lt;li&gt;taking on board new roles when needed to achieve the team mission&lt;/li&gt;
  206. &lt;/ul&gt;
  208. &lt;p&gt;The world is constantly changing, and the team is no exception being a complex, living system. Team comes together to live the story, characters come and go, plots can take an unexpected turn. When the story is done, &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;roll the credits&lt;/a&gt;, and get ready for the next adventure.&lt;/p&gt;
  209. </description>
  210.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  211.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  212.        <pubDate>Tue, 29 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  213.      </item>
  215.      <item>
  216.        <title>Finding the Right Communication Channels</title>
  217.        <link></link>
  218.        <description>&lt;p&gt;Just about every organization I have worked with complains of email fatigue. Email queues up in the inbox beyond what is reasonable to maintain, delayed decisions, information stuck in people&amp;rsquo;s head, meetings, meetings and more meetings as a symptom of information flow issues. Implementation of new tools in an attempt to fix this. In this era of cloud apps it is easy to spin up Slack, Yammer, SharePoint, Confluence and others. Some turn to process and organization changes to deal with information flow. As with any change the key piece to tools or structural changes is ensuring that all participants are bought into the change. When dealing with breakdowns in communication I find it useful to get all of the parties into a room, in person if possible, to come to a decision on the appropriate use of various communication channels. The agenda for these discussions usually fits alongs these lines:&lt;/p&gt;
  220. &lt;ol&gt;
  221. &lt;li&gt;Identify the types of things we communicate about today - prioritization decisions, build status, release status, instructions, design information, etc.&lt;/li&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
  222. &lt;li&gt;Place the communication types into a quadrant
  224. &lt;ul&gt;
  225. &lt;li&gt;targeted - I need to make a decision, take an action&lt;/li&gt;
  226. &lt;li&gt;broad - I need to be aware, or I may contribute&lt;/li&gt;
  227. &lt;li&gt;active - I need to take action right now&lt;/li&gt;
  228. &lt;li&gt;passive - I can participate when it suits me&lt;/li&gt;
  229. &lt;/ul&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
  230. &lt;li&gt;Identify types of communcation channels - instant messaging, group chat, mailing lists, email, wiki, product backlog, source control, etc.&lt;/li&gt;
  231. &lt;li&gt;Map the types of communication to the channels that are best suited towards them for your team&lt;/li&gt;
  232. &lt;li&gt;Identify tools for the communication channel - Wiki &amp;gt; Confluence, Structured Data &amp;gt; SharePoint Lists, Product Backlog &amp;gt; TargetProcess, Release Roadmap &amp;gt; TargetProcess Timeline View, etc.&lt;/li&gt;
  233. &lt;/ol&gt;
  235. &lt;p&gt;Leaving tools to the end allows you to be in a position to consider whether the tool is best suited for the job. There will always be a &amp;ldquo;next big thing&amp;rdquo; in this era of hype cycles. Slack has been the darling over the past few months as an example of hype. The right tool considers the factors most important to your team and organization (usability, privacy, security). In the same light as a tool&amp;rsquo;s level of friction surpasses the value they provide, we should allow ourselves to consider alternatives even if they are not considered &amp;ldquo;the corporate standard&amp;rdquo;.&lt;/p&gt;
  237. &lt;p&gt;As you go through the tool selection exercise be mindful of ways to reduce interruptions. This could mean advising people to configure or disable toast notifications. We want people to find focus in their day and while some tools are appropriate for the communication task, they can also be quite aggressive in wanting to be noticed.&lt;/p&gt;
  239. &lt;p&gt;The result of your discussions should be made available in a public manner so new people joining the team, infrequent contributors, and stakeholders can find the best channel to work with. When people engage the wrong channel they can be referred to this page to understand the best options in the future.&lt;/p&gt;
  241. &lt;p&gt;I have &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;an example of what that page might look like&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  242. </description>
  243.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  244.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  245.        <pubDate>Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  246.      </item>
  248.      <item>
  249.        <title>Modifying Active Directory Objects Exported Using CSVDE</title>
  250.        <link></link>
  251.        <description>&lt;p&gt;PowerShell to the rescue to fill in the gaps left behind by the older Active Directory tools. On an older domain recently that did not have the benefit of the latest Active Directory Domain Services PowerShell support I needed to do a bulk import of user attribute modifications.  Exporting out the starting list using CSVDE is easy, but the tool is unable to re-import changes to those objects. Here is a quick and simple PowerShell script to help you modify existing objects.&lt;/p&gt;
  253. &lt;script src=&#34;;&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
  254. </description>
  255.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  256.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  257.        <pubDate>Fri, 23 Aug 2013 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  258.      </item>
  260.      <item>
  261.        <title>Overcoming Double Hop Issues with PowerShell Remoting</title>
  262.        <link></link>
  263.        <description>
  265. &lt;p&gt;While working in an environment that does not have Kerberos delegation configured I hit the classic &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;double hop authentication problem&lt;/a&gt;. This time it reared its ugly head while trying to use the &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Windows PowerShell Extensions for Microsoft SQL Server 2012&lt;/a&gt; (not to be confused with the community driven &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;SQL Server PowerShell Extensions&lt;/a&gt;). When executing Backup-SqlDatabase on a management console via PowerShell Remoting as part of a build process managed by TeamCity I hit the following error:&lt;/p&gt;
  267. &lt;pre&gt;&lt;code&gt;Backup-SqlDatabase : Failed to connect to server FOOBAR
  268. &lt;/code&gt;&lt;/pre&gt;
  270. &lt;p&gt;To troubleshoot I ran the cmdlet on the management console via RDP and it worked great. Next I tried to run it the management console through a PowerShell remoting session and that is when I received the same error as my build process. Using the -Debug parameter I was able to see that under the covers that the command constructs a connection string that is used to create a SQL connection using the same Windows authentication method that you would see in an application like SQL Management Studio. Stepping back from the problem it became clear that I was double hopping:&lt;/p&gt;
  272. &lt;img src=&#34;;  &gt;
  274. &lt;p&gt;I needed a way to get around this without waiting in line for the system and database administrators to configure Kerberos correctly. After a bit of searching the answer appeared - &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;CredSSP&lt;/a&gt;. Luckily the Windows Management Framework team is all over this by implementing CredSSP through the WS-Management service. Designed to solve problems associated with Terminal Services where everything could be a double hop it allows you to delegate the token to specific computers. Before you rush into it there are two configuration steps - enable the server, configure the trusted computers on the client.&lt;/p&gt;
  276. &lt;h1 id=&#34;enabling-remote-server-to-use-delegated-credentials&#34;&gt;Enabling Remote Server to use Delegated Credentials&lt;/h1&gt;
  278. &lt;p&gt;Setting up the server to accept delegated credentials is straight forward. From an elevated PowerShell session use the following command:&lt;/p&gt;
  280. &lt;pre&gt;&lt;code&gt;Enable-WSManCredSSP -Role Server
  281. &lt;/code&gt;&lt;/pre&gt;
  283. &lt;p&gt;That is all you need to do on that end.&lt;/p&gt;
  285. &lt;h1 id=&#34;configuring-clients-to-delegate-credentials-to-trusted-hosts&#34;&gt;Configuring Clients to Delegate Credentials to Trusted Hosts&lt;/h1&gt;
  287. &lt;p&gt;The client side configuration is a bit more involved in that you need to specify which computers are trusted for delegation. From an elevated PowerShell session use the following command:&lt;/p&gt;
  289. &lt;pre&gt;&lt;code&gt;Enable-WSManCredSSP -Role Client -DelegateComputer
  290. &lt;/code&gt;&lt;/pre&gt;
  292. &lt;p&gt;You can also use a wildcard to specify a range of computers, for example * for all computers in or * for all computers.&lt;/p&gt;
  294. &lt;h1 id=&#34;making-the-first-hop-with-credssp&#34;&gt;Making the First Hop with CredSSP&lt;/h1&gt;
  296. &lt;p&gt;Once you are configured on both sides for CredSSP it is time to initiate the PowerShell remote session:&lt;/p&gt;
  298. &lt;pre&gt;&lt;code&gt;$Username = &amp;quot;DOMAIN\BuildAgent&amp;quot;    
  299. $SecurePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force -String [email protected]
  300. $RemoteCredential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($Username,$SecurePassword)
  301. $RemoteSession = New-PSSession MANAGEMENTCONSOLE -Credential $RemoteCredential -Authentication CredSSP
  302. Invoke-Command -ScriptBlock { ... } -Session $RemoteSession
  303. &lt;/code&gt;&lt;/pre&gt;
  305. &lt;p&gt;Before you get all concerned about the clear text password there are, of course, &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;better ways to manage secure string which I would recommend&lt;/a&gt;. There is also a suggestion open on the PowerShell feedback site to &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;ask the product group to make it possible to use the current user credentials rather than managing an encrypted password&lt;/a&gt;- I would encourage you to upvote it. Once connected you are able to run all of the necessary commands as if you were directly connected on the  machine.&lt;/p&gt;
  306. </description>
  307.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  308.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  309.        <pubDate>Wed, 10 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  310.      </item>
  312.      <item>
  313.        <title>Visual Studio Licensing in a Nutshell</title>
  314.        <link></link>
  315.        <description>
  317. &lt;p&gt;Enterprise licensing programs can be a challenge at the best of times. For companies like Microsoft it&amp;rsquo;s a balance between trying to meet the needs of a spectrum of audiences with making enough money to fund future development. If your team is in the middle of figuring out how to get the best deal for Visual Studio licensing hopefully the notes below will help put some of the choices in perspective.&lt;/p&gt;
  319. &lt;img src=&#34;;  &gt;
  321. &lt;p&gt;Ensuring development teams have the right tools for the job is part of what I do when coaching teams to reach the next level of awesomeness.  As I work with managers it becomes clear that there is little awareness of Visual Studio licensing options. As a result I see a lot of teams investing in retail licenses which are not only the most expensive but they miss an important part of the offering - continued access to an MSDN subscription. MSDN delivers &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;more than just the latest software these days&lt;/a&gt; - you get all kinds of awesome things like:&lt;/p&gt;
  323. &lt;ul&gt;
  324. &lt;li&gt;Team Foundation Service access&lt;/li&gt;
  325. &lt;li&gt;Office 365 developer account&lt;/li&gt;
  326. &lt;li&gt;Windows and Windows Phone store developer accounts&lt;/li&gt;
  327. &lt;li&gt;Microsoft e-Learning resources&lt;/li&gt;
  328. &lt;li&gt;Free development and test environment licensing (assuming all users are MSDN subscribers)&lt;/li&gt;
  329. &lt;li&gt;&amp;hellip; and more.&lt;/li&gt;
  330. &lt;/ul&gt;
  332. &lt;p&gt;Software is always changing and having access to the latest software through the combination of Visual Studio and MSDN gives you the tools you need to get the job done.&lt;/p&gt;
  334. &lt;p&gt;When looking into license programs Microsoft has three licensing options available to the average small to mid-sized business - Open License, Open Value and Open Value Subscription. If your organization is large enough you may also have an Enterprise Agreement which is a slightly different approach not covered in this post. For the rest of us the license programs boil down to this:&lt;/p&gt;
  336. &lt;table&gt;
  337. &lt;thead&gt;
  338. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;th&gt;&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Retail&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Open License&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Open Value&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Open Value Subscription&lt;/th&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  339. &lt;/thead&gt;
  340. &lt;tbody&gt;
  341. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;License Type&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Perpetual&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Perpetual&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Perpetual&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Subscription&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  342. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;Term&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;1 Year&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;2 Year&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3 Year&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3 Year&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  343. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;Payment&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Upfront&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Upfront&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Upfront or Annual&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Annual&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  344. &lt;/tbody&gt;
  345. &lt;/table&gt;
  347. &lt;p&gt;Each program is designed for different needs - the right one will depend on your specific situation. The one caveat to be aware of with the Open Value Subscription program is that your organization must also license Windows and Office using the same method. Using Visual Studio Premium with MSDN as the example we can explore the TCO of each program on a three year basis:&lt;/p&gt;
  349. &lt;h2 id=&#34;retail&#34;&gt;Retail&lt;/h2&gt;
  351. &lt;table&gt;
  352. &lt;thead&gt;
  353. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;th&gt;SKU&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Description&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 1&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 2&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 3&lt;/th&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  354. &lt;/thead&gt;
  355. &lt;tbody&gt;
  356. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;9GD-00001&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Retail 1 Year Term, Upfront Payment&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;8,176&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  357. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;9GD-00002&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Retail 1 Year Term, Renewal&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3,433&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3,433&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  358. &lt;/tbody&gt;
  359. &lt;tfoot&gt;
  360. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td colspan=&#34;2&#34;&gt;Retail TCO&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;8,176&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;11,609&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;15,042&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  361. &lt;/tfoot&gt;
  362. &lt;/table&gt;
  364. &lt;h2 id=&#34;open-license&#34;&gt;Open License&lt;/h2&gt;
  366. &lt;table&gt;
  367. &lt;thead&gt;
  368. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;th&gt;SKU&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Description&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 1&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 2&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 3&lt;/th&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  369. &lt;/thead&gt;
  370. &lt;tbody&gt;
  371. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;9GD-00001&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Open License 2 Year Term, Upfront Payment&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;9,545&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  372. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;9GD-00002&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Open License 1 Year Term, Renewal&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;13,049&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  373. &lt;/tbody&gt;
  374. &lt;tfoot&gt;
  375. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td colspan=&#34;2&#34;&gt;Open License TCO&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;9,545&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;9,545&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;13,049&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  376. &lt;/tfoot&gt;
  377. &lt;/table&gt;
  379. &lt;h2 id=&#34;open-value-annual&#34;&gt;Open Value - Annual&lt;/h2&gt;
  381. &lt;table&gt;
  382. &lt;thead&gt;
  383. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;th&gt;SKU&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Description&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 1&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 2&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 3&lt;/th&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  384. &lt;/thead&gt;
  385. &lt;tbody&gt;
  386. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;9GD-00001&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Open Value Annual 3 Year Term, Year One&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3,781&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  387. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;9GD-00002&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Open Value Annual 3 Year Term, Year Two&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;4,791&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  388. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;9GD-00002&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Open Value Annual 3 Year Term, Year Three&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;7,823&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  389. &lt;/tbody&gt;
  390. &lt;tfoot&gt;
  391. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td colspan=&#34;2&#34;&gt;Open Value Annual TCO&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3,781&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;8,572&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;16,395&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  392. &lt;/tfoot&gt;
  393. &lt;/table&gt;
  395. &lt;h2 id=&#34;open-value-upfront&#34;&gt;Open Value - Upfront&lt;/h2&gt;
  397. &lt;table&gt;
  398. &lt;thead&gt;
  399. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;th&gt;SKU&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Description&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 1&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 2&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 3&lt;/th&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  400. &lt;/thead&gt;
  401. &lt;tbody&gt;
  402. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;9GD-00001&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Open Value 3 Year Term, Upfront Payment&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;11,343&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  403. &lt;/tbody&gt;
  404. &lt;tfoot&gt;
  405. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td colspan=&#34;2&#34;&gt;Open Value Upfront TCO&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;11,343&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;11,343&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;11,343&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  406. &lt;/tfoot&gt;
  407. &lt;/table&gt;
  409. &lt;h2 id=&#34;open-value-subscription&#34;&gt;Open Value - Subscription&lt;/h2&gt;
  411. &lt;table&gt;
  412. &lt;thead&gt;
  413. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;th&gt;SKU&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Description&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 1&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 2&lt;/th&gt;&lt;th&gt;Year 3&lt;/th&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  414. &lt;/thead&gt;
  415. &lt;tbody&gt;
  416. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td&gt;9ED-00079&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;Open Value Subscription 3 Year Term, Annual Payment&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3,078&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3,078&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3,078&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  417. &lt;/tbody&gt;
  418. &lt;tfoot&gt;
  419. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td colspan=&#34;2&#34;&gt;Open Value Subscription TCO&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;3,078&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;6,156&lt;/td&gt;&lt;td&gt;9,234&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  420. &lt;/tfoot&gt;
  421. &lt;/table&gt;
  423. &lt;p&gt;For the graphical types here is the TCO visualized:&lt;/p&gt;
  425. &lt;img src=&#34;;  &gt;
  427. &lt;p&gt;As you can see the Open Value Subscription offering is quite appealing as long as you have Windows and Office under the same arrangement. No matter which program you select be sure to keep an eye on invoices at renewal time. Even the largest license resellers here in Canada seem to have a difficult time quoting the proper renewal SKU.&lt;/p&gt;
  429. &lt;p&gt;The prices above are in Canadian dollars and will differ depending on your region. Unlike retail software, resellers are not permitted to sell licenses out of the region they are intended for. This helps Microsoft to offer products and services in countries where the cost of living is drastically different.&lt;/p&gt;
  430. </description>
  431.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  432.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  433.        <pubDate>Thu, 04 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  434.      </item>
  436.      <item>
  437.        <title>Verifying Entity Mapping using Linq-to-SQL</title>
  438.        <link></link>
  439.        <description>&lt;p&gt;One of the things I enjoy about using FluentNHibernate is the PersistenceSpecification class VerifyMapping method which allows me to verify that my database schema, mapping and domain are in sync. When using other ORMs I tend to recreate this feature. Working with one client recently who uses Linq-to-SQL I did it again and decided it is time to share it:&lt;/p&gt;
  441. &lt;script src=&#34;;&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
  443. &lt;p&gt;If you have an base class or interface for entities that defines a common identifier then you can cut out the identity expression. In the code base I was working on the entities did not have any common identifier property so it was something I needed to pass in as part of the check.&lt;/p&gt;
  444. </description>
  445.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  446.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  447.        <pubDate>Fri, 10 May 2013 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  448.      </item>
  450.      <item>
  451.        <title>What&#39;s in Your Build Pipeline?</title>
  452.        <link></link>
  453.        <description>
  455. &lt;p&gt;I enjoy sharing practices amongst various teams. The discussion about what works well, what could be done better and actions that others have taken help us all reduce friction. One piece I wanted to share, with hopes of inspiring others to do the same, is what we are doing with our continuous integration pipeline for one of the projects I&amp;rsquo;m working on. We use &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;JetBrains TeamCity&lt;/a&gt; to manage the delivery pipeline, but more important than what tool you use is how you view its responsiblility. The role of a CI server, in my view, is to coordinate the stages in the pipeline and check for success before proceeding to the next stage. The details behind the activities are kept separate from the CI server in a make file that is checked in with the code. This enables team members to run the steps locally to troubleshoot or replicate issues happening on the build agent.&lt;/p&gt;
  457. &lt;p&gt;The basic pipeline we use looks like this:&lt;/p&gt;
  459. &lt;img src=&#34;;  &gt;
  461. &lt;p&gt;The CI server supplies the version number to build, path to the source control repository, and the TargetProcess release name to add the build under.  The rest of the details are stored within the build script itself.&lt;/p&gt;
  463. &lt;h1 id=&#34;branches-and-builds&#34;&gt;Branches and Builds&lt;/h1&gt;
  465. &lt;p&gt;The team I am working with uses Subversion at the moment with an eye towards Git for the latter half of the year. The web application is deployed into a managed environment and so we need only to focus on what we are building next and the last deployed version.  Our typical branch structure looks like:&lt;/p&gt;
  467. &lt;ul&gt;
  468. &lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;branches/1.x&lt;/strong&gt; - current production release&lt;/li&gt;
  469. &lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;tags&lt;/strong&gt; - point in time references to previous releases&lt;/li&gt;
  470. &lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;trunk&lt;/strong&gt; - next release&lt;/li&gt;
  471. &lt;/ul&gt;
  473. &lt;p&gt;When we promote the 2.x release stream to production we&amp;rsquo;ll have a 2.x branch that will maintain the  current 2.x release code and remove the 1.x branch.  We don&amp;rsquo;t rename the branch for every minor or hotfix release to reduce the amount of devops works.  This translates into the build configurations being duplicated for each branch (which is easy right now):&lt;/p&gt;
  475. &lt;ul&gt;
  476. &lt;li&gt;1.x-Commit&lt;/li&gt;
  477. &lt;li&gt;1.x-Integration Test&lt;/li&gt;
  478. &lt;li&gt;1.x-Deploy To Test&lt;/li&gt;
  479. &lt;li&gt;1.x-System Test&lt;/li&gt;
  480. &lt;li&gt;trunk-Commit&lt;/li&gt;
  481. &lt;li&gt;trunk-Integration Test&lt;/li&gt;
  482. &lt;li&gt;trunk-Deploy To Test&lt;/li&gt;
  483. &lt;li&gt;trunk-System Test&lt;/li&gt;
  484. &lt;/ul&gt;
  486. &lt;h1 id=&#34;what-does-your-team-do&#34;&gt;What Does Your Team Do?&lt;/h1&gt;
  488. &lt;p&gt;While I am most interested in TeamCity, but if you use Team Foundation Server, Go, CruiseControl, Jenkins I would be equally interested in hearing how you structure your build pipeline.&lt;/p&gt;
  489. </description>
  490.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  491.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  492.        <pubDate>Thu, 21 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  493.      </item>
  495.      <item>
  496.        <title>Driving Smart in the Cold with an Electric Vehicle</title>
  497.        <link></link>
  498.        <description>&lt;p&gt;While my fellow Tesla Model S owners in Manitoba and Alberta will likely have further thoughts on cold weather driving I found the premise behind &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;John Broder&amp;rsquo;s recent article in the New York Times&lt;/a&gt; disturbing. In his follow-up post he mentions:&lt;/p&gt;
  500. &lt;blockquote&gt;
  501. &lt;p&gt;Virtually everyone says that I should have plugged in the car overnight in Connecticut, particularly given the cold temperature. But the test that Tesla offered was of the Supercharger, not of the Model S, which we already know is a much-praised car. This evaluation was intended to demonstrate its practicality as a “normal use,” no-compromise car, as Tesla markets it. Now that Tesla is striving to be a mass-market automaker, it cannot realistically expect all 20,000 buyers a year (the Model S sales goal) to be electric-car acolytes who will plug in at every Walmart stop.
  502. &lt;cite&gt;&amp;ndash; Broder, John M. &amp;ldquo;&lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;The Charges Are Flying Over a Test of Tesla’s Charging Network&lt;/a&gt;,&amp;rdquo; New York Times, February 15, 2013.&lt;/cite&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  503. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  505. &lt;p&gt;Taking the position that an electric vehicle (EV) should behave exactly the same as an internal combustion engine (ICE) car, especially in sub-zero temperatures was a big mistake on his part. You do not need to be a chemist to know that the differences in fuel source will mean that the car will respond differently in certain conditions and that it is wise to take the appropriate measures to learn how it behaves before you push its limits.&lt;/p&gt;
  507. &lt;img src=&#34;;  &gt;
  509. &lt;p&gt;Before my wife and I took our Model S on the longest sub-zero temperature trip I took note of the  impacts of cold weather during my 110km daily commute. During an eight hour period of being unplugged in sub-zero temperatures, for example, I would notice a drop off in range of between 25-50km when I started out. What I have not watched closely for is how much I gain back during the initial few minutes of driving when the battery warmed up. While driving I do, however, pay attention to the average Watt Hours per Kilometer so I would be aware of when the car was drawing more energy so I could adjust my range expectations accordingly. Factors that affected the draw included excessive use of cabin heat (when my wife was in the car especially ;)), driving up hill and sub-zero temperatures as the car worked a bit harder to keep the battery warm. When we set out our coldest weather trip yet to a winter driving course in -15C to -20C conditions we planned accordingly:&lt;/p&gt;
  511. &lt;ul&gt;
  512. &lt;li&gt;Spend the night at a hotel within 100km of the course that had a 70A charging station&lt;/li&gt;
  513. &lt;li&gt;Charge the car overnight at the hotal with a maximum range charge&lt;/li&gt;
  514. &lt;li&gt;Expect a signicant draw as the car sat while we were in the classroom between driving sessions&lt;/li&gt;
  515. &lt;li&gt;Use a 110V/12A outlet at the community centre where classes were being held to allow the car to draw a charge to keep the battery as warm as possible&lt;/li&gt;
  516. &lt;/ul&gt;
  518. &lt;p&gt;We monitored the range throughout the day to ensure we had enough remaining to return to the hotel for the evening. When we wrapped up we left with 110km of rated range for an 88km drive. We decided to play it safe by using the heated seats to minimize the use of cabin heat while driving at a steady 65 km/hr. We arrived at the hotel with 20km of rated range remaining. Neither of us paniced about the range instead focused on practical choices based on what we had learned from my daily commute and the energy usage throughout the day at our course. We also had discussed that if we had come within 10km of the rated range being exhausted that we would find a safe place to pull over and call for a tow back to the hotel. This is type of planning would have been the same if we had a limited amount of fuel left in an ICE car and were driving a route where we did not know whether we would come across any gas stations.&lt;/p&gt;
  520. &lt;p&gt;When you get a new vehicle, especially one that is powered by a different fuel source, it is the responsibility of the driver to learn how their vehicle responds under various conditions. This applies not only to the drive systems but also safety and handling of the vehicle. The way that you choose to drive an EV cannot be the same as ICE car. We are still learning collectively about the considerations that one must take when driving an EV. I am encouraged that Tesla is building upon the Roadster and Model S experiences using real data to refine the technology and develop more specific guidance of EV behaviour under various conditions. If Tesla and other EV manufacturers can learn from each other, and drivers can learn from each other, then we can identify the limits of this technology then collectively seek to innovate to push those limits to the next level.&lt;/p&gt;
  521. </description>
  522.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  523.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  524.        <pubDate>Fri, 15 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  525.      </item>
  527.      <item>
  528.        <title>5,000 Electric Kilometers and Counting</title>
  529.        <link></link>
  530.        <description>&lt;p&gt;This week, after just over a month of driving, I hit the 5,000km mark on my &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Tesla Model S&lt;/a&gt;. As the saying goes, time flies when you are having fun and this is one fun ride! In the last several weeks I have given numerous test drives to family, friends, and colleagues. With each test drive I hope that people walk away in awe of how great an electric car can be. The decision to purchase a Tesla is about more than electric cars &amp;ndash; it is about challenging the industry norms. Tesla is rethinking how to engineer, sell and service cars that should cause the old guard to take note. I hope that they can keep up their innovative business model as they scale out to the Model E (Bluestar, Gen III) which is due out in a few years at a $30-40k price point. The economics of an EV add up when you consider electricity vs gasoline. For 5,000km I paid approximately $100 in hydro versus $550 for the same range in my previous car (estimated, no detailed logs were kept).&lt;/p&gt;
  532. &lt;img src=&#34;;  &gt;
  534. &lt;p&gt;What I like about it:&lt;/p&gt;
  536. &lt;ul&gt;
  537. &lt;li&gt;Smooth and quiet drive makes my daily commute (approx. 80km one-way) more tolerable&lt;/li&gt;
  538. &lt;li&gt;Battery size is sufficient for inter-city commuting without any sort of range anxiety&lt;/li&gt;
  539. &lt;li&gt;Energy usage feedback and regenerative breaking encourages efficient driving habits by rewarding smooth acceleration/breaking&lt;/li&gt;
  540. &lt;li&gt;Instant torque makes it easy to merge quickly, especially on short highway on-ramps&lt;/li&gt;
  541. &lt;li&gt;Styling of the car interior and exterior is modern without being overstated, even with high tech touches (retracting door handles!)&lt;/li&gt;
  542. &lt;li&gt;Plenty of storage in the front and rear trunks&lt;/li&gt;
  543. &lt;li&gt;Headlights look fantastic while not overwhelming other drivers like those found in other luxury cars&lt;/li&gt;
  544. &lt;li&gt;Instant heat and powerful heated seats is cherished on the cold winter days&lt;/li&gt;
  545. &lt;li&gt;Driver profiles remember seat, mirror position and temperature preferences so my wife and I can both use the car without having to adjust all the time&lt;/li&gt;
  546. &lt;li&gt;Touchscreen-based feature access is simple and looks great&lt;/li&gt;
  547. &lt;li&gt;Sales process did not require haggling on price while allowing me to select my features at my own pace&lt;/li&gt;
  548. &lt;li&gt;Technical support is provided in traditional service centers as well as a 24x7 technician-staffed phone support and roadside assistance&lt;/li&gt;
  549. &lt;li&gt;Never having to stop at a gas station or worry about the latest gas price hike&lt;/li&gt;
  550. &lt;/ul&gt;
  552. &lt;p&gt;To make it perfect:&lt;/p&gt;
  554. &lt;ul&gt;
  555. &lt;li&gt;More detailed communication in the delivery processes including document requirements to allow customers time to get the pieces together&lt;/li&gt;
  556. &lt;li&gt;Add side window vents to reduce side window fogging / frosting&lt;/li&gt;
  557. &lt;li&gt;Add rear seat cup holders and storage pockets (useful when you have kids!)&lt;/li&gt;
  558. &lt;li&gt;Adjust placement of rear roof support for more rear window visibility&lt;/li&gt;
  559. &lt;li&gt;Create a key fob that supports a conventional key ring&lt;/li&gt;
  560. &lt;li&gt;Increase windscreen height on the sunroof to stop the wind noise&lt;/li&gt;
  561. &lt;li&gt;Offer decent winter mats that are suitable to Canadian winter slush&lt;/li&gt;
  562. &lt;li&gt;Offer parking sensors for the front of the car&lt;/li&gt;
  563. &lt;li&gt;Offer second power cable so I can leave one at home and one in the car&lt;/li&gt;
  564. &lt;li&gt;Expose historical usage tracking to enable analysis of power usage along specific routes and over the lifetime of the car&lt;/li&gt;
  565. &lt;li&gt;Deeper support for Bluetooth Audio/Video Remote Control Profile features to allow the music app to access the media catalog on my Windows Phone&lt;/li&gt;
  566. &lt;li&gt;Expand driver profiles to include rearview mirror position and radio favorites&lt;/li&gt;
  567. &lt;li&gt;Enable alternate routes or route algorithm selection (fastest, shortest) for navigation system&lt;/li&gt;
  568. &lt;li&gt;Plot charging stations on the map using feed from various charging station databases&lt;/li&gt;
  569. &lt;li&gt;Add a winter traction control mode so I never have to panic while driving up an unploughed hill again :)&lt;/li&gt;
  570. &lt;li&gt;Offer additional music application choices (Xbox music, Rdio, Pandora)&lt;/li&gt;
  571. &lt;li&gt;Move &amp;ldquo;Jack&amp;rdquo; button to a &amp;ldquo;Disable Active Air Suspension&amp;rdquo; option&lt;/li&gt;
  572. &lt;li&gt;Enable remote warm-up while plugged in so we avoid using a lot of battery in the first 10km to do the same&lt;/li&gt;
  573. &lt;li&gt;Provide guidance on maximizing range and explain the basis for rated range calculation&lt;/li&gt;
  574. &lt;/ul&gt;
  576. &lt;p&gt;The good news is a number of the suggested enhancements are small retrofits or software changes. With Tesla&amp;rsquo;s historical approach of offering retrofits on the Roadster, where it makes sense, I am encouraged these usability issues and enhancement opportunities could indeed make it into the car.&lt;/p&gt;
  578. &lt;img src=&#34;;  &gt;
  580. &lt;p&gt;From a range perspective there has not been any issue finding charging stations in the greater Toronto area while other owners have made cross country trips with their cars. The government does need to work with charging station operators to make them as visible as gas stations. Adding charging stations to every arena and community center would be a good move as most have sufficient service to support them.&lt;/p&gt;
  582. &lt;p&gt;The closest we have come to running out of energy was on our return from a day of winter driving school in Minden, Ontario. The folks at the &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Car Control School&lt;/a&gt; gave us guidance and access to a course where we could learn how to handle the car on ice. Through out the day we had the car sipping on a 110V/12A outlet. The -17C temperatures ate away our 200km starting position down to 110km when we left after about 30km of driving (approx 60km range loss). With a 90km trip back to Orillia on 110km rated range it was going to be tight. We made it with 20km of rated range left after turning off the cabin heat in favour of heated seats and driving a steady 65km/hr back. It was certainly nervous given the temperature but we learned that giving up a few creature comforts and driving at a slow, steady speed allowed us to push on through despite the range lost due to the cold. On the other end of the drive a 240V/70A charging station waited for us at the Best Western thanks to the folks at &lt;a href=&#34;;&gt;Sun Country Highway&lt;/a&gt;. In hindsight we should have better planned our route to Minden instead of blindly relying on the navigation system. If we had paid attention then we would have had another 30-40km in the battery to more comfortably get us to the hotel.&lt;/p&gt;
  584. &lt;p&gt;I would certainly recommend to anyone, especially a two car family, to consider an electric vehicle if they are looking for a new car in the next three to five years. Make sure to get out and visit a Tesla store before you buy your next car &amp;ndash; EVs are cool, capable, and tons of fun!&lt;/p&gt;
  585. </description>
  586.        <author>[email protected] (Colin Bowern)</author>
  587.        <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  588.        <pubDate>Sun, 03 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000</pubDate>        
  589.      </item>
  591.  </channel>
  592. </rss>

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