My name is Mike Norton and I run Technical Operations at PBS Digital. As a seasoned technologist, I have spent the last 20 years pursuing my passion for solving business problems with technology solutions and leading diverse and distributed teams in doing the same. This blog is a place for me to write about software development, operations, managing distributed teams, technology matters, books I’m reading and anything else I decide to spout off about.
Coding with Intent?
The name for this blog came to me several years ago – I had just read The Pragmatic Programmer and was energized anew about the craft of software development. It occurred to me that too much of what many of us in the software profession do (myself first and foremost) is reactive programming. It’s just way too easy to dive into a problem and write code that isn’t tested, isn’t well thought out, isn’t focused on a specific purpose. I resolved to myself that I was going to start taking the craft more seriously and the rest is history.
My Professional Passions
I love exploring the intersection of Development and Operations. Running an Ops team but coming from a Development background has given me a very different approach to solving problems than if I were a SysAdmin.
Waterfall by training, Agile by choice. 🙂
I am a firm believer in the tenets of the Agile Manifesto and believe that the various methodologies that embrace Agile tenets (Scrum, Kanban, Lean, etc) are the best way to do things.
After years of PHP and then Java/JEE development, I stumbled upon Groovy and heard Neal Ford speak about Polyglot Programming. I believe every good developer should be able to apply the correct language/paradigm to each new problem and that often that means combining multiple technologies/languages into a single application and running languages like JRuby, Groovy or Scala on the JVM. More recently I’ve been focused on using Python.
I have been using the Atlassian suite of tools (Confluence, JIRA, Bamboo, FishEye, Crucible, Bitbucket and yes, even Crowd) to manage the development process for years now. In early 2010 I decided to reach out to Atlassian and see about starting a user group in the DC Metro area – I was given the greenlight and I ran the DCAUG for almost 2 years before giving it up due to time commitments.
Software Development as a “Craft”
As I mentioned above in the section about the name of this blog, I view Software Development as a craft and one that must be honed, improved and focused on with intent in order to be good at it.
My Other Passions
While I absolutely eat, sleep and breath the things above, my primary passions in life are my God and my family. My lovely wife Annie and I have been married for 18 years and our five children are the light of our lives. I have been known to brew a pretty decent beer on occasion (and a mean hard cider) and I enjoy reading, shooting trap, tinkering on my iPhone and playing the occasional pickup flag football or ultimate frisbee game.
This is my personal blog and the opinions I express here are not representative of my employer, PBS.