Category Archives: Uncategorized

Time to Move On

For the last 9 months I have been a part-time entrepreneur. From 1st January it’ll be full-time.

I have now worked at the same software company for 10 years. I started as a developer and worked my way up to become the Development Director. Over the past 2 years I have transformed the company’s development department with changes that will continue to help it deliver working software long after my departure. I moved us from a classic waterfall model, with manual deployment, to an Agile process (Scrum) incorporating SOLID principles, unit tests, continuous integration & build servers and, nearly, fully automated deployment of a dozen commercial websites. I am very proud of the changes I have made and I leave a company which now scores 9/12 on the Joel Test.

I’m giving all that up.

My own, personal, transformation didn’t stop there though. Over the last year I have become more and more excited by the business side of software development. I spent countless evenings and weekends consuming all I could find from such luminaries as Dharmesh Shah, Seth Godin, Geoffrey A. Moore, Eric Ries etc. The possibility that a ‘simple developer’ could expand his horizons and create something more than just an application was exhilarating. During 2010 I had, and still have, a hat-full of ideas; one of which bubbled to the top of the stack quite effortlessly. After the creation of an MVP, a few public demos & pitches and some incredible user feedback I’m now ready to go for it. I’ve learnt all I can without taking that final step off the cliff.

In 2011 I’ll be looking for more people to come join me in helping change the way people interact with social media – starting with TweetPivot. If you want to know what that involves you’ll have to follow me on twitter or even just come talk with me!

Finally, I’d like to thank some local groups (e.g. Pitch and Mix), some global groups (e.g. Microsoft’s BizSpark program) and an innumerable number of individuals who have supported and encouraged me thus far. Almost any hour of the day can feel like a lonely 3am when you’re an entrepreneur and having people that can help you refocus is priceless.

So, wish me luck. 2011 is going to be scary-as-hell but, wow, what a sweet looking ride!



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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Annual Company Review

We have just had our annual Company Meeting today – accompanied by some stellar Italian food. Part of my presentation was to review our development achievements over the past 12 months. In December 2008 we were using Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Source Safe – and that was pretty much it. Today, just 12 months later we have implemented the following:

  • Visual Studio 2008 Developer + Database Editions
  • Team Foundation Server 2008
  • TFS Source Control
  • Continuous Integration Server
  • Nightly Builds
  • Fully automated build and deploy to test servers
  • Unit Tests (20% Code Coverage so far)
  • Code Reviews
  • 2 projects using Scrum
We now score 10 / 12 on the Joel Test.
Wow, what a difference a year makes!
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Posted by on December 8, 2009 in Uncategorized


Current Reading List

These are the books I currently have open (on my desk, on my floor, on the window sill – you get the picture)…

Not enough hours in the day!
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Posted by on July 8, 2009 in Uncategorized



Acronyms and Abbreviations

Just a list of the common acronyms I’ll be using in posts.

Other References:
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Posted by on February 19, 2009 in Uncategorized



Hi, I’m Chris and I’m the Development Director for a small UK-based, distributed software house.

We have a suite of software products, all of which are doing very well – but there’s something missing.
I have decided to write this blog to learn, in public, a variety of subjects and disciplines that I am attempting to implement in my company. The aims of the blog are:
  1. Share my experiences with other people that might be in similar positions.
  2. Learn from others who have already made this journey via comments and contributions.
  3. Improve my own learning experience by writing about it.
Point 3 is also there in case no-one ever reads this!
So, what am I trying to do? Two things: Good Coffee and Good Code. Having made the, long overdue, move away from instance coffee to espresso and cappuccino it’s now time to make the move to better code! In order to do the latter I am implementing a number of technologies, products and methodologies with help from the following…
Hopefullly, I will be able to share the good points but also the problems and difficulties that we experience in implenting these in a small, distributed company.
I will also be taking the opportunity to rant about anything related to the two main topics.
I hope you enjoy my stream of consciousness!
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Posted by on February 15, 2009 in Uncategorized