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Help for the new CTO: Getting to know your team

by Matthew Adams

As part of my series on guidance for CTOs, I discuss using the Office of the CTO (OCTO) approach to management, its strengths and limitations.


Salaries. What a nightmare! Hardly anyone likes talking about money. Technical people don’t like talking about money. Even a lot of sales people don’t like talking about money. When a CTO comes into an organization (even a brand new start-up) one of the first things you need to sort out is the salary quagmire. In this article we look at the strategies and pitfalls of introducing open, capability-based pay levels for a product development team.


Help for the new CTO: IR35 and hiring developers

by Matthew Adams

It has been a staple of IT projects to make liberal use of short-term contract staff. Upcoming changes in IR35 for medium to larger employers is seriously disrupting the IT recruitment market, and you should understand the impact bt


[This post is now obsolete – you should look at updating to later versions of SpecFlow] While you cannot yet use SpecFlow with netcore or netstandard projects, you can use new-style (dotnet) test projects that target net461, and reference netstandard projects-under-test from there. We like to use XUnit as the underlying test provider in this […]


The diversification of .NET technologies – from Windows Desktop Applications using WPF and WinForms, UWP, ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core, “portable” libraries, the various flavours of .NET Standard, .NET Core (and portable executables on MacOS and Linux) – have brought with them incompatibilities, and a huge problem with older (but well-used) libraries that aren’t built for […]


Azure Tech Selector – 2017 Edition

by Matthew Adams

A couple of years ago we put together the Azure Tech Selector – a handy poster which walks you through the technology choices you can make for common cloud workloads. Now, two years later, the number of services provided in the Azure ecosystem has multiplied (and the types of workload have become more sophisticated). Revisiting […]


Is JavaScript still dead?

by Matthew Adams

TLDR; Yes. But its successor is still called JavaScript, except when it isn’t. The long, slow death and resurrection of JavaScript Back in my 2015 programming languages post I observed that, while JavaScript had pushed its way back into the top 10 programming languages, over at TIOBE, it was still a dead language walking. My reasoning was […]


How to use Power BI Embedded with AspNetCore

by Matthew Adams

If you are looking to build an AspNetCore website, and take advantage of Power BI embedded, you’ve probably found that there isn’t any SDK support for basic report rendering (yet). While the underlying PowerBI.Core and PowerBI.Api assemblies work just fine, there is no equivalent to PowerBI.MVC, and PowerBI.Javascript fails to install correctly in the new […]


We’ve been running workshops and training sessions for a long time now, and one thing we’ve learned from that is that PEOPLE DO WORKSHOPS WRONG. From MBA classes, to design sessions, there seems to be a common problem: burn-out. We give you a survival guide for multi-day bootcamps and workshops, to get the most out of them, and take care of yourself in the process.


What makes a successful FinTech start-up?

by Matthew Adams

In this post we discuss the characteristics of a great FinTech startup, and the importance of the API Economy to innovation in Financial Services.


Why is blockchain revolutionising Financial Services?

by Matthew Adams

There is a lot of hype about the blockchain – usually wrapped up with talk about Bitcoin and crypto-currencies. In this article, we look at its impact on trust, and auditability in financial services, and why it may (or may not) be appropriate for your solutions.


Regulatory Compliance and Cloud Adoption

by Matthew Adams

In this post we review the FCA’s guidelines for the adoption of cloud services by FinTech businesses, and help you to understand their impact across the value chain.


FinTech Week and the Microsoft Cloud

by Matthew Adams

Today marks the start of the UK’s #fintechweek – a programme of events focused on innovation in financial services. Endjin have a busy week – much of which is FinTech related. To kick off, we’re speaking this afternoon at Microsoft’s TVP campus on Disruptive Innnovation in Financial Services. We did a version of this talk […]


SpecFlow 2.0, NUnit3, Visual Studio and TeamCity

by Matthew Adams

We have recently upgraded our build environment to use SpecFlow 2.0, and NUnit3. NUnit3 is supported by the latest build of TeamCity, and there is an NUnit3 Test Adapter for Visual Studio, but there are a few gotchas. The first is to do with the base directory set by the NUnit Test Adapter in Visual […]


We’re on the cusp of a new age – the era of the “modern browser”. As older IE versions are effectively mothballed by Microsoft (bar a few holdouts in the UK public sector and elsewhere, because they weren’t able to get their act together with 2 years’ notice), I thought we’d take one final snapshot […]


CucumberJS Visual Studio Test Runner

by Matthew Adams

We've built and open-sourced a Visual Studio Extension that provides basic support for discovering and running CucumberJS tests with Node.JS, in the Visual Studio Test Environment.


Chaos with a rhythm – controlling innovation

by Matthew Adams

Running a start-up or bootstrapping a new product within an established business can feel pretty chaotic. We talk about strategies for managing the time of a team, and ensuring that you become predictable.


Stop coding, start developing your product

by Matthew Adams

Technologists often get hung up on technology and forget about the customer (and the business!) We talk about a real-world example and some practical advice for getting your idea business-focused.


This is a quick guide to setting up cucumber JS in Visual Studio with grunt.


In the early days of a start up, the organizational structure is defined rather loosely, and typically by function. The technical founder has her domain, the sales & marketing founder his, and they work closely together to achieve their initial goals. As an organization grows, it is not possible to maintain that level of detailed personal control. How does a growing business structure itself for innovation? Or a larger organization pivot and allow an innovation culture to develop?


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