The year was 2004. I was on stage at the yearly Java One conference in the Moscone Center in San Francisco. My friends, Karthik and Selva, and I were terrified as we looked out at the full room of over 1,000 attendees there to watch our talk on “You are Hacked — Ten Secrets to Secure Your Enterprise Java Web Applications.” We didn’t realize there was an overflow room with another 500 folks watching. The good news is when our talk started, the spotlights were so bright we couldn’t really see anything other than bright lights, so we were all…


In my estimation, I have given over 2,500 interviews in my career, the bulk of them for Software Engineer positions. I have been interviewing Software Engineers for over 25 years and in my current role as CEO of Solution Street, I conduct, on average, two interviews a week. Solution Street has been evolving its interview process for over 18 years, and we feel like we offer a pretty robust and fair process. In this article, I will give you the tips you need to put your best foot forward and succeed in your next technical interview.

Do’s for a Software Engineer Job Interview

First, let’s talk about…


The year was 1994. I was working full time as a software engineer and going to graduate school part time to get my master’s degree. One of my professors told us that within the next five years, we will not be writing software with code anymore. Fourth Generation Languages (4GL) will make it so anyone can build software and visual drag-and-drop tools will let us build anything. Fast forward 26 years, and we are still writing code. Even in 2020 recent articles predict the end of custom software development. Coming soon, robots will be writing code for us using GPT-3.


Throughout my career, I have heard people say things like “He has a knack for fixing difficult bugs,” or “She has a knack for getting Ruby to work with OpenSSH.” The definition of “knack” according to the Oxford English Dictionary is “an acquired or natural skill at performing a task.” What we are really talking about here is the skill of “problem solving.” I tend to believe that in our industry it’s almost always an “acquired” skill. If you agree with this, then how and when was it acquired? Why are some of us exponentially better than others at problem…


It is now a four-year tradition at Solution Street to invite the young and brightest to join us for a summer of hands-on web development and consulting experience. Our interns have released a variety of applications for different businesses from basketball training and timesheets to content management and catering. We pride ourselves on helping them grow from rookies to budding full-stack developers following industry standards not only as coders, but also as team members and consultants.

Historically, this has all been incredibly hands-on and in person, with intern supervisors and team leads as well as Solution Street employees popping in…


In my last newsletter article I talked about team communication and how having a team communication contract can increase productivity and happiness across the team. One of the communication options for teams that is experiencing significant growth is “chat.” You have probably heard software teams raving about HipChat (now part of Slack) or Slack and said to yourself, “What is the big deal? How is this better than Skype?” The significant growth area seems to be in and around the area of “ChatOps” and how folks are leveraging these tools and others to accomplish ChatOps.

So what is ChatOps? According…


One of the fundamental misconceptions of software construction is that it is an “assembly line” or “mass production” problem. Management in many companies looks at software construction like building cars. Where can I go to find the lowest-cost workers and get them to assemble my software? This assumption is fundamentally flawed; constructing software is more like coming up with a new car design. There are thousands of considerations that come into play when coming up with that new design, and the designers need to work very closely with all the people marketing and selling the software (or car). …


Does your team have a communication contract?

Recently I was having drinks with a former manager of mine and he was relaying a story I had completely forgotten. He used to send me at least a half dozen emails a day with various thoughts, ideas and actions for me to address. He said that one day I told him he was driving me nuts with all the emails. When he asked why, I said because I needed to stop what I was doing, read each email, and reply to it. This was causing interruptions in my thoughts and actions during…


Arguably the biggest news of the NFL offseason was the retirement of star quarterback, Andrew Luck, of the Indianapolis Colts. Luck was a great player but suffered numerous injuries in his career, and decided he no longer wanted to suffer the cycle of injury, pain, rehabilitation and performance that came with a career in professional football. The Colts organization heard about Luck’s decision just two weeks before the start of the 2019 NFL season. They needed to adjust.

All organizations, at some time or another, need to deal with the departure of a key resource. Software development projects are no…


Last week a few of my very senior colleagues and myself were remarking about how many new DevOps tools are emerging and how it’s getting harder and harder every day to keep track of them and where they fit into the world. I asked several of them where these tools, Ansible, Terraform, Salt, Chef, Bamboo, CloudFormation, fit in. Why would I use one vs. the other? Are they even the same thing? Am I missing a major player? I got back the same blank stares/questions that I had. …

Joel Nylund

CEO at Solution Street — www.solutionstreet.com. I have always loved solving problems and making things better. It is what drives me and it is my passion.

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