Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

In a previous article, I wrote about the perils of software project planning using man hours and how story points solve the issue. More about it can be read here:

In this article, I’ll be describing the difficulty of moving from hour estimates to story points.

Story points are an set of increasing numbers based upon the complexity or difficulty of a problem to solve. It’s a scale that is uniquely created by the scrum team and different scrums teams do not need to share the same scale. Examples are:

  • Fibonacci numbers: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21
  • Linearly…

Image for post
Image for post
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The best way to recognize a disastrous sprint before it starts is by looking at the sprint goals. A successful sprint depends on many factors, but there are telltale signs that a sprint has a high risk of failure. Let’s start with an example of a problematic set of sprint goals and dissect why they increase the chance of not completing the sprint goals.

Sprint 1 Length 4 weeks Sprint Goals: * Create the product view [Sal] * Create the shopping cart [Jill] * Create the checkout [Jack, Bob] * Create seller product management view [Mina, Alice] * Create the…


Image for post
Image for post
Image by niekverlaan from Pixabay

Ten years ago, I graduated from college and landed my first job as a software development intern at a late-stage startup. Little did I know, I would stay for close to eight years and become an engineering director. However, it was time for me to leave my little pond and explore what else is out there. Interviewing as a seasoned engineer presented its own set of problems, in which I found myself in an awkward position where I was not qualified for jobs in demand. Here is what happened to me and some advice on how I overcame these difficulties.


Image for post
Image for post
Image by Marta Matyjas from Pixabay

Whenever someone asks me about how I got into software development, it would put on a big smile on my face because I would tell them a funny story about a naive twelve-year-old kid who followed his curiosity. In a way, it’s my own unique origin story that I look back upon a time that I plunged deep into my passion and chased my curiosity to achieve a dream. I hope this story inspires you to follow your curiosity.

If I can do it, you can too

My Software Developer Journey

Back in the late 1990s before online graphical games became immensely popular, there…


Image for post
Image for post
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What’s the secret sauce? It’s not a secret that happy and motivated employees are more productive at work. How do you keep employees engaged and motivated? There isn’t a one size fits all approach because each person is unique, has a diverse background, and are driven by different reasons to work. A leader must invest the time to learn the person’s work background, their personality, their passions, where they want to go in their career, and much more. Only after gaining this knowledge can an effective method to be tailored to motivate an individual by supporting their needs and career…


Image for post
Image for post
Image by Parveender Lamba from Pixabay

There are so many tech companies hiring, but why is it so hard to hire or find a job in the tech industry? The major problems are a computer science degree does not prepare people enough, the interview process is all over the place, and companies do not want to spend a significant amount of time for training. Being part of a hiring committee for four years, I have found that hiring a software engineer is a difficult task because it’s rare to see an ideal candidate or sometimes even a candidate that fulfills all of the minimum requirements.

With…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: rawpixel @ pixabay

Scrumfall [skruhm-fawl] noun
1. a mixture of scrum and waterfall software development
2. the speed of agile software development being chained down with waterfall software development

When I became the leader of a development team, the company I was working for used a mixture of waterfall software development and Scrum software development. This mixture coined “Scrumfall” was probably 30% Agile and 70% waterfall development. All the different roles were on the same development team working together in four-week sprints. The team did work in task-based assignments that had hour estimates. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo Credit: Christina Morillo @ Pexels

An onboarding experience is an important process that directly shows a new employee how the company functions and impacts how successful a new engineer is. The startup I joined had an onboarding process that wasn’t as terrible as other horror stories about people showing up to work without their equipment ordered. However, I thought the experience wasn’t an excellent experience either, so I set out to make some changes. There were a few rough spots that could be ironed over:

  • The welcome on the first day was a bit cold
  • A typical engineer spent the majority of their first week…

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Free-Photos-242387 @ Pixabay

“I can’t believe we just had that pointless meeting.” is a thought that everyone has encountered at least a dozen times in their lives. Nothing is worse than showing up to a meeting that ends up being re-scheduled because the required person is missing or the material wasn’t ready. The majority of meetings we have are low value, but not all meetings are terrible. Good meetings do happen, and they accomplish a propose. Let’s make meetings great again.

How to have Great Meetings

There are different types of meetings such as:

  • Status updates
  • Decision-making
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Problem-solving
  • Team bonding

All of these types have an…


Image for post
Image for post
Source: rawpixel.com

Good ideas and useful projects are often stuck on a back burner indefinitely because they require months to a year to complete. How does a software developer get a back burner project started when product management controls the vision and roadmap of the product? The first dreadful idea is creating a project proposal and gathering enough support. That’s a lot of time and effort invested in just trying to get a project unstuck. What if there’s another way? …

Steven Bui

Engineering leader. Software Developer. Problem solver. Failing forward.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store