Improving software delivery in every organisation

Made Tech Blog

Writings on building software delivery capabilities, delivering digital & technology, and running live services for ambitious organisations.

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When to fold ’em – how to avoid the sunk cost fallacy

Some years ago, I worked as part of a development team on a project to upgrade a tangled legacy system managing a company’s payment systems. Two months in, and we had very little to show for it – pages of diagrams that looked like spiderwebs, a few outages caused by failed attempts to untangle the pile, and a rising level of frustration.

Welcome to the Skills Matrix

Made Tech is where we are because of our people. We see the importance and value in progress and self-improvement and encourage a culture of openness and sharing because it creates an enjoyable and productive environment. With learning at the crux of everything we do, we wanted to improve software delivery within our own organisation first and create capable mentors to help everyone in the team progress.
We therefore decided a new approach to employee development was needed. The idea was to provide clear paths for improving ability both internally and in customer teams. While reviews and continuous feedback systems work on a general level, we wanted to find the most effective way of increasing skill parity across a company, so we trialled a skills matrix.

A tale in adopting Alpine Linux for Docker – problems we faced with RSpec testing

If you read Wikipedia you will find that Alpine is a Linux distribution that is based on musl (more on this later) and BusyBox.

What’s green on the outside but red on the inside? Hopefully not your project.

The skin of a watermelon presents a paradox or simultaneous reality of its core; both perfectly ripe and disappointingly mushy, but you won’t know which until it’s cut open. So you just leave it be; looking green and fine until it’s too late and… disintegrates.

3 Ways to Improve Your Microsoft Dynamics NAV User Experience

We’ve worked with a number of organisations who make use of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV suite as their Enterprise Resource Planner (ERP). As is common with similar off the shelf tools such as SAP and FinancialForce for Salesforce, it can be hard to provide a productive and enjoyable user experience, often requiring a number of unituitive steps on several screens to perform basic tasks such as logging a sick day.

Made Tech Awarded 3 Government Publishing Tenders

We’re excited to announce that we’ve been chosen to deliver three projects on the GOV.UK platform. Over the next few months, we’ll be working closely with the GDS teams to deliver:

What Does a Modern Retail Technology Platform Look Like?

Far from technology star gazing, we explore what a modern retail technology platform could look like. Established retailers are typically encumbered by a number of legacy technology choices that are deeply embedded in their business – from a creaking SAP rollout, to proprietary Warehouse Management Systems that are resistant to integration.

How we accidentally became cloud migrators

When coming up with an explanation of our cloud migration heritage for my talk at Red Hat Forum the phrase “accidental cloud migrators” came to mind. You see we didn’t set out to help organisations move workloads to the cloud but nevertheless we’ve found ourselves helping organisations modernise and migrate. On reflection, I think accidental cloud migrations are the best kind of migration, let me explain why.

The Agile Path to the Cloud

Cloud is good for us. So too are practices like DevOps and Continuous Delivery. It’s easy on the surface to read a few articles and think, “yeah, that’s a good idea,” but putting them into practice on the other hand isn’t so easy.

No Uncle of Mine

In August, one topic sparked a lot of debate on the internet in general, and in the Tech industry in particular: the so-called “Manifesto”, written by James Damore, then engineer at Google. While this blog post won’t be about the manifesto, some events that occurred after it came out prompted me to write this. But before looking into it, let’s go over some of what has been said and written since then.