Lead with Software
Make sure your software is ready to scale as your company grows. Leading companies lead with all aspects of their software, from strategy to process, architecture, and team. Our insight & experience in scaling software helps you get ahead.
What – Our Services
We help you drive a competitive software strategy with a solid execution. Define smart strategies and architecture to not have to reinvent the wheel. Select the right tools and technologies for the job to be done. We let you build and maintain a team of top developers, with a process geared for productivity and high-quality.
software HEALTH CHECK
Due diligence on your software strategy, architecture, process, and team. Assess if your software strategy and architectural choices can withstand the stress of scaling up. Compare all aspects of your software development against industry best practices.
software strategy & roadmap
No one should expect building a new high-growth, software-powered company in an established industry to be easy.
It’s brutally difficult.
How – Our Role
We help you define a competitive software strategy with professional execution to drive innovation in your market. We do that in the role of advisor to your executive team, sparring partner, or as extra hands to get things done.
Coaching and no-nonsense advice in software-driven innovation to CEOs, VC funds, and senior R&D directors.
Act as your in-house CTO for software-driven innovation.
Support your current CTO
in software strategy & realization.
Provide senior interim management to define and realize your software strategy.
Why – Scaling Demands Strategy
- Do all new candidates code during interviews?
- Do new hires deploy relevant code changes on their first day?
- Can you build & test and deploy test in one step?
- Do you run (at least) daily builds and tests?
- Does all new development have a spec?
- Is everyone welcome to change any code, governed by test and type coverage?
- Are changes that don’t adhere to the coding standard auto rejected?
- Is all critical code reviewed or pair programmed?
- Do developers use the best tools money can buy?
- Is there an up to date schedule accessible and known to all?
- Do developers fix bugs & add tests for each bug before writing new code?
- Are all UIs Hallway Usability tested before delivery?
Test for Professional Software
In 2000, the founder of Trello and Stack Overflow published his Spolsky Test. 12 simple steps to check if your software process is up to professional standards.
We have updated the test with our insights, reflecting today’s requirements to scale-up software.
How many can you answer with yes?
Especially fast-growing teams often struggle to keep a high score on this test. Thereby missing out on productivity and quality. A low score is disastrous in being able to hire and maintain good developers. Beware that candidates often have these steps in mind to judge if they want to join your team.
“A score of 12 is perfect, 11 is tolerable, but 10 or lower and you’ve got serious problems. The truth is that most software organizations are running with a score of 2 or 3, and they need serious help, because companies like Microsoft run at 12 full-time.”
Software Scaling Challenges
A scalable product goes beyond the initial proof of concept. Scaling the development team has its own set of challenges. And how to deal with new technologies that may disrupt your business?
Scaling up your software requires a revisit of the approach to architecture, requirements capture, quality, and deployment. We show common issues we find, from security concerns to dealing with engineering delight. We help to map where you are, what is needed, and help you get there.
Scaling the development team
Strong developers may be 10x more productive than average. How to find and keep the right developers? How to scale across multiple sites? How do you keep a consistent architecture and process with multiple sites involved? We help with best practices in managing multi-site development and keeping quality & team culture in check.
Digital transformation & technology Adoption
Digital transformation? Riding on the big data and AI train? How can you incrementally build more business from the data you have? Getting started is easy, but scaling is proven to be hard. We help you define a solid strategy.
The same holds for new technology, such as blockchain and DLT. The market is tired of just doing proof of concepts. At the same time, large corporations are actively setting up blockchain consortia. How can you take advantage of new technology in your business? Rely on our extensive experience in the blockchain space. We help create a technology roadmap that is rooted in business.
A monolith architecture can be a showstopper to scale. On the other hand, microservices have their own challenges. How do you incrementally go to a more performing architecture without losing customers or market timing?
Security & privacy concerns?
Reputation falls very quickly when clients uncover a security of privacy issue. GDPR constraints cross-cut through the whole product. How do you make sure your product is safe?
Customer bug fest?
Cowboy-coding may have got you to market fast. A product that does not aggravate customers requires a more solid development approach. What is the right process to introduce quality?
Unusable developer UX?
Who hasn’t seen user interfaces that are clearly created by developers? Creating a good user experience is a process in itself, from gathering requirements and feedback to a clear and consistent hand-over to developers. How do you build a UX process and team?
Code that is deeply intertwined and lacking a modular structure can quickly block new product development. Software that originated from different teams, using different languages and frameworks, may have become a Tower of Babel. Engineers not having a common language and understanding to base new development on. You may lose your market window if you are forced to rewrite your product from the ground up in a consistent and modular structure. How do you make sure you don’t end up in this situation?
Windows 3.11 syndrome?
Especially in the SaaS space, software libraries, frameworks, and languages move very fast. Developers strongly prefer to work with the best tools to be productive and not be stuck with Archaic tools. At the same time, you are wary of the pitfall of engineering delight. You may have trouble in sourcing good developers, with your top developers leaving for more modern environments. How to make the right trade-off between engineering delight and productivity?
Pragmatic visual to judge startup technology
How do you judge a new technology on its potential in the market? We often had to judge technology for its merits, from research projects to startup investor readiness and corporate innovation propositions. Over the years, this culminated into a simple visual that you can sketch on a napkin whenever needed. A quadrant. The “Pragmatic Startup Technology Quadrant”.
Why a quadrant? The power lies in its simplicity. Once you put your own startup or project top-right, the choice of axes is paramount. How deep was the technology exposed to the harsh reality of the market? Versus how fancy, sexy, or complex is the solution?
While seemingly obvious, We have witnessed that plotting awarded research and heralded proof-of-concepts in the bottom right is a true eye-opener to their respective owners.
Software patent eligibility 101
Can I patent software? What aspects should I consider in writing a software patent? The European patent office demands a “technical effect”. The US patent office talks about Mayo, Alice, Enfish, and many other court cases to make up their mind if software is patent eligible or just an “abstract” idea.
The fact that it is run by a computer does not make it an invention. Yet, the recent outbreak of blockchain patents show you can get away with a so-called “computer-implemented method”. If you dive into software (and blockchain) patents, you see how the professionals deploy their bag of patent filing tricks.