Howto

Git Flow Simple


Gitflow is a great workflow to ensure you maintain constant ever increasing version numbers with enough room to fix mistakes. The downside is the slowness of deploying new features. GitFlowSimple is a simplified version which can be expanded to standard GitFlow when needed, but is less effort when deploying new features.

Story Points Done Wrong


  • “How many hours per Point?”
  • “How many days is a 3 point story?”
  • “Why can’t we just use hours?”

Ever said or heard something like that? If so…

To be honest Story Points are probably the trickiest part of Scrum largely because everyone “wants” them to be something that they are not. But once you understand them they are far more useful and accurate then any other form of estimation (that I have seen).

Hugo Blog Deployment


Hugo does a great job of separating out configuration, content, themes, and local overrides. Each getting their own file or directory. But it provides no deployment scripts.

For comparison, Octopress/Jekyll leaves it as an exercise for the developer to separate configuration, content, themes, and local overrides, but it provides a deployment script.

Using GitHub pages and a little bit of git wizardry and the deployment process is pretty easy.

Emacs Tabs and Tab Groups


From other editors I am used to having Tabbars. Switching to Emacs I miss that behavior. Emacs does have a tabbar plugin, but it isn’t quite what I want.

Emacs Full-screen


On a Mac the short cut to put a window into full-screen mode is ctrl + cmd + f. Unfortunately this does not work directly for emacs. Here I will explain how I made it work.

Note: This is only applicable to windowed versions of Emacs!

Emacs Key Bindings


I recently switched to Emacs as my editor of choice. It has taken a bit of work to get it to where I like it. My full settings are on github here.

In this post I will share how I added a key binding to only a single mode.

Rake Publish


Octoblog (the engine behind this blog) uses Jekyll. As such, it also supports the publish flag. I a previous post I detailed how I added this feature back to Octopress. Here I will show you a little rake task to easily publish an unpublished post.

Google Query Language


A while back, my wife and I started keeping a budget. We need something very easy that shows us where we are every moment. Also, to ensure that it is not something we “forget” it must be something that we manually enter.

I created a Google Form in order to allow us to capture the receipts. The form dumps into a Google Spreadsheet. I then use a Pivot Table and the Google Query Lanauage to create a Chart. In this post I will cover the entire process.

Dealing with Email overload


This isn’t strictly software related, but a lot of us have to deal with the horror that is email. Email is not a good solution to any problem, but it is ubiquitous so it is used for all things: personal correspondence, commit tracking, defect notification, task notification, etc… Email is all to often used as a mechanism to pass-the-buck.

The only way to deal with this email overload is to set boundaries on email usage. A lot of people will find these boundaries annoying, if not unworkable. Just stick with it and lead by example. Eventually, in a time of high stress, you will be able to get to important messages fast and they will be left floundering.

How to be a bad boss


Being a boss is a complicated thing. It is your job to get people to do things, sometimes things they do not want to do. And it is especially complicated in the software industry, where it is like herding cats.

I see a lot of posts on how to be a good boss, but the problem there is that they often forget to mention the things that can and will immediately erode any success you might have had. I am going to assume that as a reader you strive to be a person who others are willing to follow.

Nobody is perfect, so you will probably have done at least one of these things in the past. Or you do then without even knowing. Now is your chance to stop, and be a constructive boss who people want to work for.