The results of the survey are ...

I ran a survey through September aimed as understanding UK Executive's attitudes towards custom Software Development.

I believe 3 things;

  1. Every business is a technology business.
  2. Businesses are becoming more reliant on custom software development to just keep pace.
  3. Traditional management techniques don't work with custom software development.

This survey was to test those beliefs.

Unfortunately I only managed to solicit a single respondent to the survey. Thus, to be honest, there are no results.

I'm obviously a little disappointed in this. I'd spent a considerable amount of time designing, building and promoting what I believe to be a good, simple, and quick survey.

I also invested a reasonable amount in paid advertising through LinkedIn.

And while I certainly learned from the experiencing, it does make me wonder how to approach that target market. Its very much the same idea of community I talked about in the last newsletter.

I plan to talk about the survey a bit more in podcast #61

Broken dependencies

I happened to notice earlier today that my website ( was offline.

It didn't take me long to establish that my website was failing due to a problem with - the service I used for my podcast distribution.

My website is dependent on for a number of things - and in this instance because was down, my website was completely down as well.

While technically, I need to make my website less reliant on, it does remind me how external dependencies can be such a problem.

The agile movement advocates cross-functional teams for precisely this reason. Every time that a team needs to reach outside of itself, it is taking an external dependency.

That external dependency maybe for a technical skill the team doesn't posses, or it maybe some form of approval that the team does not have the authority to make.

Every external dependency costs. Be it cost or financial. The more external dependencies a team has, the slower and less productive they will be.

We should always strive to eliminate external dependencies.

Thus the cross-functional team should contain all the skills and authority to get the just done.

And my website shouldn't break is an external dependency is unavailable (something for me to fix as a weekend project).

#59: The Programmers Oath - I will produce estimates that are honest both in magnitude and precision

I take the seventh eighth from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:

"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will produce estimates that are honest both in magnitude and precision. I will not make promises without certainty."

Listen here

About the author:

Mark Taylor is an experience IT Consultant passionate about helping his clients get better ROI from their Software Development.

He has over 20 years Software Development experience - over 15 of those leading teams. He has experience in a wide variety of technologies and holds certification in Microsoft Development and Scrum.

He operates through Red Folder Consultancy Ltd.