All Posts By Roger Jacques

Roger Jacques is a long time technologist and consultant, currently serving as COO of Tek-Connect, Inc. Tek-Connect (http://www.tek-connect.com) is a Silicon Valley-based software development firm that specializes in custom apps and web technologies.

Roger Jacques
Managing

Managing Remote Employees

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At Tek-Connect, we’ve fully embraced the trend to hire remote workers. In fact, we don’t have any more than two people in any given location. In this post, we’ll explore various aspects of making remote working relationships work well. In software development, communication is equally important to coding. Misses on communication at any point in the process virtually guarantee issues down the line. Our first criteria for successful remote workers, therefore, is high availability and responsiveness. A remote worker must be at her desk during our regular business hours, and be willing and able to respond to ad hoc communications promptly. Our project managers do try to limit ad hoc pings by following our workflow process and by following project management procedures. However, a remote worker that is difficult to reach is a nonstarter for us, given the nature of what we do. The other qualifying issue for remote employees is the time zone that they live and work in. We find that it simply doesn’t work well to use people in far away time zones. Promises to work on our schedule by folks that live in very different time zones don’t ever seem to turn out very well. A […]

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Roger Jacques
Doing

Building Quality into Software Development

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Software quality assurance is often thought of as QA testers finding bugs, and coders then fixing those bugs. This is very much part of our work at Tek-Connect, but we take the involvement of QA staff further than that. One of the cornerstones of our process to is to involve QA very early in the process of developing an app or a feature. There are multiple benefits to this approach. The first benefit of bringing QA into the process at the beginning is the avoidance of surprises during development. We’re talking specifically about surprises or gaps in requirements. For a seasoned software developer, bugs that are caused by typos are neither surprising nor difficult to manage. However, gaps or problems with requirements can wreak havoc on the process, resulting in budget or schedule overruns, and/or unhappy clients. At Tek-Connect, we have QA review feature tickets before the coders estimate the work. Having an extra pair of detail-oriented eyes on the requirements surfaces gaps in use cases, and helps to identify possible side effects with other functionality. Under normal conditions, QA will also write the test plan in advance of coders coding the feature. The second benefit of having QA involved […]

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