T-4 Days Until …
12 April 11 02:20 PM | Joel Semeniuk | with no comments

I leave to go to India (Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, and Delhi) then on to Nepal (Kathmandu and the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang) .. I don’t get back until May 9th. 

You can read more about the Nepal trip here:


I’ll also try to use my SPOT device to track where I am every day.

If I can figure out how to use SPOT – you should be able to track me here: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0Uh4M55mgNMsNLUW3XsMAZA6rJShgNsDB

There is a risk that the device just won’t work in such a remote place of the earth.

If you are interested to know more about the region.. check out the following:


Why I Think Personas are Important to Software Requirements
14 January 11 05:27 PM | Joel Semeniuk | with no comments


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Managing Debt
30 December 10 02:42 PM | Joel Semeniuk | with no comments

Do you ever find yourself too busy “fighting fires” to do things “the right way”? Do you know that there are better ways of managing your project, but you find that you just need to get things done and can’t be bothered to fix underlying problems because it may slow you down? Ever find yourself wondering if you will ever have time to go back to a feature you released a year ago to make it better and move valuable to your users?

If so, you may be in debt.

Read more here: 


Let me know what you think..

Predictions for 2011
30 December 10 02:41 PM | Joel Semeniuk | with no comments

Last year I made 14 predictions on what I thought might transpire in the world of technology in 2010.


So, what do I think is in store for us in 2011? Here is goes…


I’d love to hear some of your predictions.. if you make some, post back so we can keep track of one another.

Quick Link to Estimation Files
11 March 10 11:30 AM | Joel Semeniuk | with no comments


New Car Experience
14 January 10 06:11 PM | Joel Semeniuk | with no comments

Hmm… my predictions coming true already?

Predictions for 2010
07 January 10 10:05 PM | Joel Semeniuk | 2 comment(s)

Last year I made 11 predictions http://weblogs.asp.net/jsemeniuk/archive/2008/12/30/predictions-for-2009.aspx, some of which (in my opinion) came true in 2009. 

Here are my predictions for 2010

1.  Tablet/Slate Form Factors will Finally Stick:  Apple’s tablet, combined with the Microsoft Courier, will mark 2010 as the year that the slate stuck.  I think one of the biggest reasons this will finally become reality is the fact that I think the industry has finally realized you can’t simply run Windows or OSx natively on a slate computer without completely revamping the user experience, embracing the fact we’ll be using fingers, not mice, to navigate.  Apple will be the primary catalyst behind this.

2.  Lean Software Engineering will become a first class citizen.  I actually think that Kanban will become the catalyst for this.  While the software community learns more about Kanban they will learn more of Lean in general through osmosis and realize “damn, why haven’t we been thinking this way from the start?”  The economic realities of the 09’s will also resonate through 2010 – and core Lean concepts such as “reduce waste” will resonate and promote Lean the same way it did during the 70’s economic crisis.

3.  User Experience Abounding:  After spending the last year working on pushing the way users interact with Internet based software, I believe this trend will increase dramatically.  Silverlight 4 is a huge step and I believe that businesses will now be considering it, rather than perhaps more traditional ASP.NET pages, to deliver a rich user experience both inside and outside of the organization.

4.  Windows Mobile will merge with XBox and Zune to better embrace the consumer market.  I used to be a die hard Windows Mobile user until the iPhone changed the way I use my phone.  I’m looking forward to using the new Google phone as well, and I expect that Microsoft will come out with guns blazing with their own phone that will have just a big an impact.

5.  AppStores Everywhere:  We have all realized that it is rarely a good idea to develop web solutions for mobile devices.  The solution, of course, are custom developed apps on each platform.  For example, for Facebook I can install an app for the iPhone and Android that best matches the form factor of the device.  The AppStore concept will spread from mobile devices, but to traditional hardware platforms as well.

6.  Travel Headaches will spark further collaboration technology:  Face it.. travelling sucks these days.  No carryons, full body scans, aggressive personal body searches, arriving 3 hours before your 2 hour flight.  Baggage claim nightmares.  AHHH.  From a business perspective, I know that I’ll be looking for a better way to collaborate with customers and teams without needing to fly.  LiveMeeting, GotoMeeting, Oovoo, Messenger, etc.. we’re not where we need to be yet, however, I believe in 2010 there will emerge a much more natural way to collaborate beyond what we have today (perhaps this is a want more than a prediction)

7.  SharePoint 2010 will have explosive adoption.  There are many reasons for this, however, primarily I think economic realities will drive most of the adoption.  From a platform perspective, 2010 is a healthy leap compared to 2007.  Organizations will look to this platform to build more and more line of business solutions – using the newer and more expressive views and methods of capturing and rendering data in 2010.  Instead of spending months developing .NET software, organizations will spend weeks producing similar solutions.  SharePoint 2010 will also drag adoption of Office 2010, simply due to the SharePoint Offline Client (about time!!)

8.  There will be a SharePoint AppStore:  I’m sure of it.  Dozens of small shops will start developing line of business apps that Microsoft will provide an online shopping experience for (yes, this is all speculation here).  You’re going to think to yourself “I need a SharePoint solution for managing HR reviews..” and there will be an app for it on the SharePoint AppStore – solutions will go for $99 on average.

9. 3D TV’s will be all the rage.  People will come out of Avatar and go “crap.. I now need a 3D TV so that I can buy the BlueRay version.”

10.  XBox Natal will be a huge hit.  Wax on, Wax off.  Look Mom, No hands.. this will happen around XMas, and Microsoft won’t be able to keep up with demands.  With Natal will come Natal Ripped, a new exercise game for the XBox to rival Wii fit – it will be marketed as “a more natural way to exercise.”

11.  Hardware will excite:  2010 will introduce a new wave of processing power that will significantly improve power consumption and performance.  Solid State storage will be everywhere.. by the end of the year we’ll be saying “remember when we had hard drives with things that spun inside them” – my children will be laughing at how old I am for even remembering that.  More optical technology will be introduced gradually into consumer products as well.   Hardware form factors will be diverse.  I don’t know about you.. but after watching Avatar, and the types of computers and user interfaces they were using in the future (well done by the way), I think we have a new set of standards to shoot for compared to the Star Trek future which we actually have, for the most part, today.

12.  Visual Studio Adoption will be rapid and begin in earnest by the end of the year.  Team Foundation Server will also have a huge degree of penetration.. the testing tools and modeling tools will be well accepted.  There will be a Silverlight 4.5 by the end of the year as well.  The ISV community will rally around this release with their own extensions, tools, and controls – and the ecosystem will be alive with innovation and competition. 

13.  In-Vehicle user experience will dramatically shift.  Today, Microsoft is really the only “big” vendor doing cool stuff inside of vehicles… I predict that this will increase this year – other vendors will want to get into the game – all realizing that there are millions of vehicles on the road the collectively make up a completely untapped market.  What will be really cool, is if older vehicles could easily be retrofitted with this new in-vehicle technology and user experience.

14.  EBooks will continue to grow in popularity – again, driven by a set of new hardware devices.  Of course, Apple wants into this game, and will be offering their own eBook store for their tablet.  I think reference books will be the most used eBook as these go out of date quickly, and are usually discarded anyway.  More popular books will still be paper – because the rights management for eBooks still isn’t mature, not to mention the kazillion file formats.

Files for Estimation Madness
14 December 09 04:49 AM | Joel Semeniuk | 1 comment(s)

Here are some sample estimation spreadsheets that I discuss in my Estimation Madness talk. 

Don’t Choose – Combine Your Practices
16 July 09 08:22 AM | Joel Semeniuk | with no comments

I have been “preaching” about why you should combine software engineering management practices for a long time (almost all of my presentations end with this as a call to action).  A lot of people get stuck in the religion of their current practice (or the practice that they see in the industry that holds the most promise).  Today Scrum is hot.  Kanban techniques are also gaining traction – especially in the blog/twitter spheres.  I’ve been a big proponent of Feature Driven Development in the past – and there are a barrage of other techniques stemming from eXtreme Programming, Test Driven Development, Behavior Driven Development … the list goes on.

These days, I have to admit I’m very happy to see more emphasis on Lean techniques, such as Kanban systems, in the management of software engineering teams.  Don’t get trapped in the Kanban religion though…it’s too easy.  I’m also a big fan of something I’ve called “Feature Driven Scrumban Development” – which demonstrates the merging of a few different mindsets.  I actually used to call it “eXtremely Lead Feature Driven Scrum Based Development” – however, that was just too much of a mouthful ;-)  I made it up to prove a point – what we need to be “without form” – similar to the end goal of a practitioner of martial arts – when it comes to applicability of team and project management techniques.

If you’re interested in some of these concepts go out and read this book:

Scrumban - Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development


The book is easier to read if you are already familiar with Scrum and FDD and even a lot of Lean concepts…

TechEd 09 – Agile an Excuse or a Process?
13 May 09 04:01 PM | Joel Semeniuk | with no comments

One of the panels I was on at TechEd in LA this year has been posted - http://www.msteched.com/online/view.aspx?tid=bacf64af-7c4e-4393-ac7f-5106a7745d9a


Check it out…

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