About

My Beliefs

  • I believe in level playing fields, whereby everyone has an equal chance of success, but that success is not guaranteed.
  • I believe the fairest environment is a meritocracy where people are judged on what they can do rather than their attributes.
  • I am a realist firmly grounded in reality, which is a position that is neither pessimistic nor optimistic.
  • I believe that every individual is different and should not be treated as a small, fungible cog in a big machine.
  • I believe the best teams are made up of individuals each having a unique strength, and whose weaknesses are balanced with the strengths of their teammates.
  • I believe that problems should be defined before an attempt is made to solve them.
  • I believe your choice of tool should be made after knowing the problem you have to solve.
  • I believe in knowing all of your options before you make a decision, with the first option always being to do nothing.
  • I believe that in the face of new information, we can and should change our minds.
  • I believe that the majority of issues found on a team can be dealt with if an emphasis is placed on respect and trust rather than process and procedure.
  • I believe that when you fix the people problems, the process will take care of itself.

My Archetypes

  • I have been The Extreme Underestimator, coming in many times over my original estimate on more than one occasion.
  • At various points in my career I’m sure my managers considered me The Diva, whether I deserved the label or not.
  • Mid-career I was desperate to be placed in a managerial role, and while I was working to get promoted I was The Aspiring Manager.
  • Once I realized that I preferred technical leadership over management I became The Wants-to-be-Technical Development Manager.
  • After I had transitioned out of management, for about a year I was The Incompetent.
  • I have always struggled against being The Idealist, which has caused me no end of troubles when I found myself in the wrong work environment.
  • I have been The Hostage Taker when I was trying to mature a framework prior to handing it off to other developers, and while it wasn’t my intention I was indispensable during those periods.
  • I am a Ghost, and am notorious for disappearing for days or weeks at a time only to emerge with entire systems designed, implemented, integrated, tested, and ready for deployment.
  • I am a Healer and have no problem – as a former colleague once put it – nuking a codebase from orbit if I have to.
  • I am a Mechanic specifically around building low-code platforms for other developers.
  • I am a Sage who has coached a lot of software developers, trained managers, and advised executives on every aspect of being a part of and running a software development organization.
  • I am a Rogue, which has lead me to start three companies on my own, as well as lead multiple initiatives while working for enterprises.

My Email

You can reach me at neil@neilonsoftware.com.