Go Radiator / Books / Presentations and Manchester Limited WIP

It’s been a while since I last posted a blog. So I thought I’d give you an update on what I’ve been up to over the last few months! It’s been a really busy time for me.

I’m currently working on a large project in work (probably not that large to very one but to me it is!). I started off as being one of the Tech Lead looking after one of the new technology areas (for which there are 6 or 7 we’ve had to pick over the last 6 months) and overseeing our continuous delivery / technical testing approach using tools like ThoughtWorks GO, Ruby Cucumber and Grinder (I do need to learn more about this one!). It’s been a challenge but one I’ve enjoyed.

But for the last month or so I’ve moved to more of a Iteration Manager/Delivery Manager (what ever your company calls it) role. It’s been something I’ve know I want to do for a long time and I’ve been building my soft skills up to do this role especially over the last 18 months so.

The challenges I’ve faced here have been just as interesting as the coding ones I’m used too (this is where I’m lying a bit I’ve been sticking my ore in management task/area’s for a long time persuading my bosses to try something new, managing the team incidents or small change tasks and organising a weekly continuous delivery huddle to improve cross team collaboration with the aim of continuously improving delivery process and techniques to name but a few!) but never the less these new challenges have made me question my beliefs and understanding in a good way.

The skills that are getting me through (other than blind faith lol) is influencing and coaching skills I’ve been reading a book recommended to me by my old boss Steve Briggs “The Leader’s Guide to INFLUENCE” it’s about £8 on amazon it brilliant it’s making me work on skills I had already but refining them and making best use of them. Because now my main role isn’t to program/build software it’s to program/build teams, I mean that in a loose sense I’m not here to manipulate the team just help them see ways to improve or help solve issues with external parties within or outside the company. Another book I’ve been recommended but I’ve only just started reading in Influencer but it’s been recommend by “Mike Burrows” who I sore speak at Limited WIP Manchester the a few months back.

There’s been so many good video’s and blog’s I’ve read over the last few months I just can’t remember or list them all but here’s a few links its worth checking out:
CoffeScript – looks really promising something I want to learn this year!
HTML5 performance working group but the best part of this video is about how website performance has been linked directly to revenue, plus you can make massive hardware savings but don’t take my word for it watch the video
David J Anderson (Mr Kanban) this presentation is must watch for any agile/lean project manager

Finally I wanted to tell the work about my new GO Radiator project. It’s very simple Roy Morgan wrote a .Net app to read the CCTray out put form GO which works brilliantly but! and there is a but it’s design gives some short coming firstly because it’s a windows app every monitor that we want to display a GO Radiator on has to have computer and GO login account associated with it. The way you add pipelines to display isn’t brilliant and can get difficult to manage so I started the new Ruby / Sinatra / Haml version to solve some of these problem and move the idea forward.

In summary the new architecture is very simple there’s a Sinatra web service that can return JSON or a HTML view of the pipelines. The login code is separate and I’m thinking of making that a separate project or even Gem. Now this is about as fare as I’ve got at the moment. The next feature that need to be implemented are:
– Error handling on Ajax requests
– Build breaker name
– Profile creation (e.g. profile a has pipelines a, c and f to display)
– GO Error display
– ….

Here’s the code if anybody wants to help feel free to fork it.

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