Welcome to programmer hell.

“Well, you see, here at Microsoft we have a bar, and you didn’t clear it.”

I’ll never forget my first technical interview experience. I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, freshly minted sophomore just beginning my journey into the world of computer science theory, and the career center at my college had scheduled an open interview call for students interested with an internship at Microsoft and other major tech firms. I submitted my resume and surprisingly was chosen to meet with a company representative! I was extremely excited.

…and then I got there. My name was called and I was escorted back…


Think it’s easy? Think again.

How can you, as a product owner, work with your engineering teams to produce better outcomes? I’m a software engineering coach who is often tasked with mediating between engineers and business interests, and as such I’ve seen a lot of the good, the bad, and the ugly — especially the ugly. I’m also a software engineer with nearly two decades of experience participating in and leading development teams, and there are plenty of practices that I’ve experienced throughout my career that were repeatedly responsible for inflicting ton of damage to product teams and relationships.

These perilous pitfalls can easily split…


Choose your path…

How do you determine where to invest your time when you begin to realize it’s no longer unlimited?

In gaming, progress is often measured and invested using the concept of a “skill tree”. As a player completes objectives in a game, they’re granted experience points that they can invest in particular skills, which then unlock additional skills, forming a large tree-shaped path with options spread across numerous branches with each requiring an additional investment of experience points. This gives the player choice to develop their character in a way that suits their style of play. Are they magic-focused? Attack-focused? Speedy…


A while ago pre-COVID I had the honor and privilege of presenting at DevOpsDays Tokyo, a conference hosting hundreds of Japanese engineers and technology professionals. The venue was incredible, the staff were professional and courteous, and the program hosted many talks from individuals both in Japan and around the world, all focused on sharing their methodologies — and stories — around the concept of DevOps. Tech is important, of course; but to me, it’s the stories that resonate most deeply.

My particular story in how I arrived as an eventual speaker at DevOpsDays Tokyo is a relatively unusual one. Growing…


This is most definitely not fine.

2020 was an odd year at best, and a catastrophic one at worst. As the countdown to 2021 draws ever closer, more and more folks will begin to post lists of individual accomplishments to social media platforms in an attempt to try and feel a little better and counter many of the world crises continually churning our newsfeeds day and night.

I don’t know how to feel about all of this. Despite having a relatively productive year myself, I’m still struggling all the time. I’ve lost a family member to COVID, had another contract long-term complications, and have seen still…


They mean well. I swear.

As coaches, we’ve all been there.

We‘ll be minding our own business, successfully kicking off a learning engagement or training course, when all of the sudden we hear someone blurt out from the back of the room, “This is a waste of my time!” Classroom activities specifically designed to force engineers of different experience levels to solve problems together go completely sideways as groups are dragged into the hypothetical weeds with someone balking that “My six-year-old knows this stuff!”, causing less experienced engineers to clam up and stop asking questions. …


Octocat works in mysterious ways.

In the realm of technology, leadership loves numbers. They’re comfortable. They’re understandable (hopefully). And, most alarmingly, they are used as a soft, warm, cuddly security blanket that seemingly communicates to leaders exactly how often their engineers are performing at peak proficiency at all times. I have a bad feeling about this…

In the search for ever increasing sources of productivity data, savvy managers have started tapping into source control statistics from GitHub and other sources as a way to condense down a developer’s engineering contributions to something easy to chart on a productivity graph. …


The ‘rona in all its terrible world-changing glory. Also, the harbinger of a new remote renaissance.

February, 2013. A massive shock reverberated around the telecommuting world when Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo, released a memo effectively banning remote work for its thousands of employees across the country in the name of productivity and innovation. Mayer deemed the shift necessary for the revival of the company, stating that “speed and quality are sacrificed” when working remotely.

In the wake of this news, other tech firms (and firms with strong technical leanings) both inside and outside of Silicon Valley immediately took notice and joined in the chorus of voices eulogizing remote work in the industry. From IBM


Hero? Perhaps…

What do you think of when you hear the word “hero”?

Many would think of a hero as a cape-wearing super-powered savior tasked with rescuing the world from certain doom, or someone who storms a castle, slays the dragon, and goes home to a glorious fanfare of victory.

We have “heroes” in software development too. If you’ve been on a team for any length of time, they’re easy to spot. They’re often the most knowledgeable member of the team, as they don’t tend to change teams very often. They’re also often the first ones to respond to problems that pop…

Michael "Miggs" Migliacio

Software Engineering Coach. Co-founder intropygames . Formerly redbullesports , EvilGeniuses & IGN . Family man. 日本語OK. Opinions? Mine.

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