Benefits of Continuous Integration
May 7th, 2019
Over the past two decades of working in tech, the use of Continuous Integration (or CI) has become a mainstream approach to product development. Randy and Don discuss the systems they used before (or lack thereof), what …
Business Metrics and the Lack of Context
April 23rd, 2019
We discuss business metrics, reporting, statistics, and how many of the numbers, without context, lack much value. Can your business deliver the Five Nines? Does it even need to? What kind of performance can you …
Writing a Job Description for a Non-specific Job
April 9th, 2019
Don's firm is looking to hire a non-senior Python developer to help spread the workload of the engineering team. We discuss how he's writing up the …
Customer Perspectives and Managing Expectations
March 26th, 2019
A customer claims the service provided didn't meet expectations despite them choosing the more “economical” solution. Another client’s manager felt a …
Hiring Good Consultants
March 12th, 2019
This week we talk about how we’ve hired consultants in the past, where we’ve failed, and the perspective of consultants that might help tech leaders …
CTO, CIO, CDO, WTH?
February 26th, 2019
This week we discuss the various C-Level titles in the tech world: CTO vs CIO vs CDO vs others. What do folks with those titles tend to do and do the …
When a Third-Party Service Fails
February 12th, 2019
Don's company ran into problems when their email provider, Mandrill, suffered a significant outage. Randy and Don discuss how they handle outages, prepare for switching to other providers (before or after failures), and …
Setting Goals for your Team
January 15th, 2019
Don is setting up goals for AspirEdu for 2019, which takes us into a discussion about how to set up big projects and campaigns for small firms that have lots of small tasks to get done at the same time. How do you get …
Review of the State of JS Survey
December 4th, 2018
Should We Open Source This Code?
November 7th, 2018
Don and his company, AspirEDU, decided to open source a small bit of code for the first time for the Django community. We discuss the various considerations--across proprietary, support, and licensing questions--the …
Adventures in Interviewing
October 23rd, 2018
Randy is moving to Kansas City and exploring new job opportunities both local and remote, which has him in the thick of a variety of interviewing processes. Don and Randy discuss the good and bad about some of the …
Build vs Buy and Disrupting Processes
October 9th, 2018
We're back after a couple-week break! Don and Randy discuss the ever-debated strategy of building versus buying your software solutions. But they up …
Handling Critical Feature Updates
September 11th, 2018
Don's firm recently underwent its first major platform upgrade and we discuss the various ways they prepared, tested, and worked through the changes, all the way up to the dreaded "point of no return."
When People Don't Listen to You
July 17th, 2018
We discuss the inevitable issue of bosses, owners, managers, and clients not listening to every bit of advice we offer up. From ignoring the …
When Everything's Going Wrong
July 3rd, 2018
How do you get things back on track when everything from the engine to the caboose is falling off? We discuss steps to take when everything and anything is spiraling downward on a tech project.
Stakeholder Types and Working With Them
June 26th, 2018
We discuss the various types of stakeholders that a technology leader may need to deal as being part of a company or a particular product. We discuss …
Thinking About Dependencies
June 12th, 2018
April 10th, 2018
- We've started a new podcast! Check out This Old App and subscribe!
- This Old App is more of a grab-bag of in-depth technical discussion, more …
Don't Be Evil-ish?
April 3rd, 2018
- At a company, ethical behavior starts at the top
- Being ethical at the beginning of a firm is easy compared to the grey areas that show up as …
Non-Disclosures, Non-Competes, No Way?
March 27th, 2018
- We aren't attorneys and any statements related to the legal side of the NDA/NCA debate should be discussed with one.
- The algorithm a firm uses …
You're so vain, you think in-office work is about you
March 20th, 2018
- Apologies to Carly Simon for this episode's title.
- Don's history is that starting in 2001 he began remote work with IBM, working for Disney.
Fostering a learning environment with Mark Thompson of Trilogy
March 14th, 2018
- Mark Thompson is both a developer of apps and teacher of coding bootcamps, and now he's working for Trilogy Education as Director of Academic …
Communicating on a roller coaster of uptime and downtime
March 7th, 2018
- Randy and Don were stranded on the Expedition Everest roller coaster mid-ride due to mechanical failure.
- For the first 10 to 15 minutes, there …
Are code challenges a lazy or legitimate method for hiring developers?
February 25th, 2018
- Randy is frank: taking a code quiz for a leadership or senior tech role is beneath his experience and skill-level
- A developer's body of work …
Skills for a career in tech leadership
February 18th, 2018
- Don is working on a communications tool for Construction Specialties & Design
- Randy was recently hired as a Fractional CTO for a startup
- A …
Developer focus is an excuse not to talk, right?
February 10th, 2018
- Randy has a potential client for Fractional CTO work, meaning a consultant working in a part-time CTO role for their startup
- Don discusses the …
Your hosting strategy - Choosing from self, managed, cloud, or serverless
February 3rd, 2018
- Don is headed to Gainesville for the Gator 100 ceremonies where both of his firms are being recognized as top 100 firms for growth by …
January 27th, 2018
- We've launched a Patreon campaign to raise funds for per-episode transcripts.
- Some people feel the need to adhere to a strict 9-to-5.
- The …
Does a tech manager need to code to be effective?
January 18th, 2018
- Thanks to our first patron, Matthew Bivins, for contributing to the production of the full transcript for this episode.
- We've launched a …
Antifragile and TDD - What's the value?
January 12th, 2018
- Antifragile represents a system that improves under chaos
- In a well-tuned org, with test cases and adaptive practives, software systems can …
Risk and Exploits - Dealing with Meltdown and Spectre
January 5th, 2018
- Ripped from the headlines: Part of Randy and Don's week was dealing with Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.
- What is a CTO or technical …
Managing tech debt - When best to work on it?
January 2nd, 2018
- Randy discusses his explosion of three side projects: An app for HOA board members, an open source project named CaptionPoint, and a marketing …
Hiring developers - Who should I hire to build an app?
December 28th, 2017
- Don talks about AspirEDU being in a refactoring phase
- Don's gigs, AspirEDU Construction Specialties & Design were awarded as "100 Fastest …
Introducing CTO Think
December 23rd, 2017
- Don is a University of Florida grad, Bachelors and MBA
- Don is CTO of AspirEDU, educational analytics company
- Don is Managing Member of …