Skills Analysis for Teams

When I spoke at PHPNW10 in October, I talked about teams, skills and the importance of benchmarking things in order to illustrate improvements. If you didn't see the talk, the video and slides are linked off the conference site. In particular I talked about the importance of analysing skills in a team, then improving them, then analysing again to see how things had changed. This post is about that process, some techniques that might apply, and what to do with the results when you get them.

Continue reading

Return on Investment: Example

I gave a talk at the weekend which talked in outline terms about Return on Investment or ROI. It was a keynote so I skated over the details, but I wanted to include a specific example to illustrate what I meant.

Imagine the scenario where, given 3 days to work on it, a developer can get the deployment time for their code down from 3 hours to 20 minutes. This company does, on average, 42 deployments per year (you can guess these numbers are totally imaginary).

So 3 days at 7.5 hours per day means we are investing 22.5 hours on this.

The return is the difference between the deployments, multiplied by the number of deployments that are needed. So 3 hours is 180 minutes - so we save (180 - 20) = 160 minutes with each deploy. We do that 42 times in a year so we've saved 6720 minutes (per year) which is 112 hours or 14.9 days.

Project managers might not like to lose 3 days from their schedule but how do they feel about having a spare 3 weeks each year?

PHPNW10: Teach a Man to Fish

Last weekend I gave a talk at PHPNW10 in Manchester, entitled "Teach a Man to Fish". This is a keynote about teams and how to use the resources around you to create a team where individuals and the whole team continues to learn and develop. The slides are not very detailed, but I'll be blogging some of the items I mentioned (requests welcome, if you saw it and would like to see any of it written down then just leave me a comment!). Slides:

Keynoting at PHPNW10

I'm slightly surprised but mostly wildly excited to announce that I'll be the keynote speaker at the PHP North West Conference in October. It is held in Manchester in the UK, which is about an hour from where I live in Leeds, so it is definitely my "home" conference, and this makes me even more excited since I know I'll be in such great company!

The talk is Teach A Man To Fish: Coaching Development Teams and really it's about how a little investment of time or effort can build your existing team into something better - and how that team can then sustain its improvements and continue to raise its performance and the game of the individual team members. All in all I am pretty excited about this talk - as with most of my conference talks, it started life as a rant in a bar, and I'm now excited to be preparing it for a more formal setting!

The event itself is a must-see for anyone doing PHP or allied technologies that can get there (Manchester is pretty central and pretty cheap - if you're in the UK, you have no excuses!). It's a Saturday event, 9th October 2010 and tickets are on sale - the Early Bird prices are still available and we've held the prices as low as possible again, we don't need frills, we just want lots of people to be able to join in! I hope to see quite a few of you there, let me know if you're coming :)

PHPNW10: Call for Papers

It's official, PHP North West 2010 is definitely happening ... and for that we'll need some people to pop along and give a talk! As in previous years, we'll first of all deal with selecting the papers for our main conference day, 9th October. Talks can be 60 minutes or 30 minutes, can be on any subject if you can persuade us it's relevant to PHP developers, and speakers anywhere on the spectrum from expert to newbie are welcome.

So what are you waiting for? Go submit your talk at our call for papers page. If you need more assistance then you should check out these resources (and yes, some of them are mine but I feel strongly about this topic and want all you interesting and hesitant people to start speaking!)

Are you submitting? What tips would you offer to those thinking of doing so? Already we're at over 50 submissions, more than last year, so competition is tough but oh my goodness, I'm so excited :)