Contributed by Boon Lee, Director of KC Dev Con & Dev Manager Extraordinaire
What’s better than chatting with a multi-talented, hugely respected development manager like Boon Lee? Seeing his kids’ heads pop up in the video interview. Mini Boon Lee clones. This, my friends, is how we’ll take over the world…Mwahahahaha!!!
Anywho. We’re excited to have Boon share some of the tools he uses to keep track of and manage HUGE development teams worldwide. So welcome Boon Lee (our hometown hero) to the hot seat.
Best and Worst Advice
The best advice came from Lee Brandt, one of Lee’s partners in organizing the Kansas City Developer Conference (KCDC).
“This was, in fact, the first time I ever met him,” says Lee. “He said, ‘to become a good developer you have to have a thick skin. You write your code, throw it out into the world and let people rip you apart. Yes, you’ll have people that say your code sucks, but there are
others that help you make it better. As a developer, you’ll grow that way.’ ”
Growth is in the Air
As Kansas City continues to grow into the name, “Silicon Prairie,” Lee says there are some interesting startup companies to watch, including Stackify. One outgrowth of the tech boom has been the explosive growth of KCDC, from 150 attendees eight years ago to 1,602 attendees at the most recent conference.
Boon’s Dev (Mgr) Toolbox
Tools should: Get. The. Job. Done.
1. Visual Studio Team Services: “I use it on a daily basis, not from a source code management standpoint, just keeping up-to-date. It’s easy to use and provides all the data that I need to do my job and understand where things are from a project perspective.”
2. Balsamiq: Balsamiq is a tool Lee uses to convey what he wants the site or application to look like. “It’s a very easy-to-use tool,” he explains. “At the end of the day it almost looks like you just took a paper napkin and a pen and you draw on it. It’s not fancy, but it gets the point across: this is where the button goes, this is where the dropdown goes, this is the label, this is what you need to label.”
3. Evernote: Another tool that Lee uses is Evernote, which he considers his “brain dump” with notes that help him remember things. Whether that’s from a one-on-one conversation with his employees or with his manager, he relies on it on a daily basis. [laughing] “I don’t remember things like I used to, so this tool is very helpful for me.”
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