Software Delivery Club

22 Episodes

By: Richard Bown

What does it takes to deliver brilliant software solutions to your customers? Whether they be internal or external. Whether you see your product as a cost centre or a profit centre. Every time I talk about a subject on the the ways and whys of software delivery. How it is built, tested, deployed, made available for our users and supported. The complete lifecycle not just of our software, but the systems and tools and processes and ways of working that we need in order to make it happen. How do you improve your software product, while still supporting customers and...

The Power of Test Driven Development (TDD)

Before I read the book by Kent Beck I was just thinking - pesky tests what are they good for apart from getting in the way?  What’s so good about Test Driven Development?

But writing tests isn’t what test-driven development is about. It's actually about designing your code in a way that matches your expectations. It's a powerful technique that, when understood, will transform the way you write code and design software.


Kent Beck - Test Driven Development By Example:


Legacy Code: Sunk Cost or Opportunity?

Why do we love to build new code when we have plenty of good software that already works? Is the platform language or framework legacy? Is it because we want to learn a new skill? Is it because we are just bored of supporting the old software? 

I aim to persuade you that before you decide to rewrite even part of your application in a new language or framework, you can profit by making your existing code and existing deployments better and your organisation stronger.

In this episode I equate Legacy and Tech Debt - t...

Does Continuous Delivery Have an Image Problem?

Sparked by a short Twitter exchange, this time I investigate why a lot of CD implementations (that I've come across) often appear to be half-complete or just fail to achieve CD. What are the root drivers behind achieving CD and why do so many implementations fall short? Is it just ME?

It's a hard subject and one that I've debated with quite a few people. This episode is an exploration of a few themes and perhaps can offer some insights or perhaps is still a work in progress. I certainly have a few more avenues to explore...

Is Legacy Scary? Or Is Building A New Software Product Scarier?

What is legacy? What does it have to do with building new software? Why does it annoy us as software developers? Why does it worry us as business owners or product managers? Why do we ignore it as forward-lookers?  What’s so great about technology anyway that makes us do this?

What exactly is legacy?  I believe that legacy software is not always the evil, boring thing that we believe it to be - and that before you decide on building a new software platform or product you should go through a process to define and refine your...

A Manifesto for Better Software Delivery

An increasing number of businesses are now actually (at least partially) also software businesses. Energy companies, financial giants, insurers, and retailers – all of them have significant in-house developer populations numbering in the thousands or tens of thousands. These companies commission, buy and even build their own software. And these are not small or insignificant efforts. They are huge in many ways, interconnected through corporate IT as global IT infrastructure. It is hard to run and support all of this software using existing techniques.

Tools and techniques are often fighting against what it means to be a software de...

Making Software More Sustainable with Tom Kennes

I talk to Tom Kennes, sustainable cloud consultant and ambassador for the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA). We discuss how IT and software delivery can be more sustainable and what happens when Ronaldo uses Instagram. We also talked about the impact of programming language choice on carbon footprint, the amount of energy used when watching Netflix and how to right-size your cloud infrastructure. Lots to dive into for the techies with tools that are available to measure the impact of the software you build and deliver. The emphasis is very much on making small changes that add up to...

Putting the Product back in the MVP

When was the last time you did a Minimal Viable Product that was actually minimal? How often do we get it right and truly focus on delivering something of value to the customer?

On this week's podcast, I riff on the idea of how to get a true MVP, not only past the idea stage, but into production no matter what type of company you are. By looking at the constraints that we have in play at any one time, we can determine before we get started with an MVP how it might be rolled out.


Between Product and Engineering

In this episode we explore the way that technology, tools and architecture can affect the product that you are building. As engineers do we need to think more about product side? As product marketers what can we do to understand how the technology choice informs or limits our product possibilities? How do we deliver software in an open source project vs how do we deliver software in a corporate banking environment? What are the constraints that we need to be aware of in our decisions and how the customer need informs that. How we need to enjoy what we’re...

Getting your Evenings and Weekends Back

Making software is fun. Running software can be less fun. How do you do both and not go insane? How do you make sure you're not working all the time to keep your (virtual) baby up in the air?

The same rules apply whether you're a startup, a scale-up, a corporate, an individual, an open source project contributor. You're part of your own support problem.

This time I discuss what it's like to be a coder who wants to have it all - the good times and the bad times - but wants to limit...

Welcome to Software Delivery Club - The Reboot

Welcome to the Software Delivery Club.

Every week, we explore different aspects of the business of delivering software into production. Talking to industry experts about how they get to keep their production software running, whether you build or buy, how they cope with new features and product changes, how they keep their customers satisfied while also keeping themselves and their engineers happy, what tools like they like and which ones they don’t as well as tales from the front line when it comes to delivering and supporting production grade software.


This is...

Thinking in Systems & Change Management

How do we manage change? Assessing urgency and what does it mean when no-one is owning a (technical) systems problem? I talk about this common problem with projects and systems and how we can resolve it, touching on Incident Management and Product Ownership.

Secondly, I spend a few minutes talking about the book “Thinking in Systems: A Primer”. This is a classic text which describes in simple terms how interactions between systems can get so complicated. Great for those who've not thought about systems interactions before and need a basis for understanding how complexity can appear very quic...

Positioning Your Business Through Better Systems


This week I talk about how to position your business through better systems. How to understand how important you are at the core of the message to your customers and how you can build a system of positioning that will allow you to play with marketing messages and land on what works best for you and your ideal client.

What systems do you need to support your positioning and marketing efforts and how they can help you understand what's working and what isn't.


Inspired by lots of...

Systems are a Sales Opportunity (or Having The Systems Conversation)


When you first get a taste for working in a company you think you can change the world.

Eventually you realise that the world is just fine and it's you that needs to change - and sometimes this can take a long time. When you have a business and you want it to move quickly, grow and adapt, what things can you do to make sure you're maximising your opportunity?

This week I talk about the past and the future and discuss how your systems could be holding you back or...

How Finance Directors Drive Strategy Through Systems


What do Finance Directors (FDs) have to do with successful projects in organisations of all sizes? They control the purse strings, but they also control what happens and when. So can you have successful projects without FDs buying into the strategy for your business?

This week I explore this topic in brief. I also ask you to tell me what you love and what you hate about Excel and ask, is it all over your business?



"how vital it is to plan, 1, 2, 3 or possibly 5...

Interview with Ingrid Lill - Brand Consultant with a Pencil


This week I'm talking drawing with Ingrid Lill.

Ingrid is a Brand Strategist with a Pencil who use Visual Thinking techniques to help her creative and entrepreneurial clients understand who they seek to serve.

I wanted to catch up with Ingrid after she helped me out with my positioning using her visual thinking techniques to sketch my 'ideal customer' and I realised that this wasn't my ideal customer at all. I talk to her about how she got started with visual thinking and how she has grown her brand and who...

System Mapping & Drawing Happy Pictures


This episode is all about drawing pictures. Visualise your systems, the inability to visualise your systems and also how to map your business using pictures.

Last week I launched my free email course Know Your Systems. Signing up takes two seconds and you'll receive 6 days of daily content on how to understand and control your systems.


You can subscribe to my free email course Know Your Systems.

See my blog article on Professional Associations and Systems Mapping.

See Ingrid Lill's website here.

The Systems We Don’t See (and ones you've never heard of)


We depend on systems in our life, in our business. Sometimes we don't even know that they exist. This week I'm talking about systems that work well, and systems that sometimes don't work well, and systems that can leave us in trouble if we don't know we depend on them. I also have a pop at Microsoft Excel as well as GitHub!

I'm also celebrating the launch of my 'Own Your Systems' free email course.


You can subscribe to my free email course "Own Your Systems" by...

Who is responsible? (or the Machinery of Business)


When it comes to our jobs or our companies we have some tasks that we have to do and some tasks that we want to do. But those can be the same on any given day. How do you know? How do you understand someone else's perspective at work? In this episode I'll explore the things we do and the way we do them to understand a little better how we can use the Machinery of Business - the tools we have - to help us.


If you'd like...

The Digital Language of Systems


How can we make sure we are all "on the same page"? By speaking the same language.

In this episode I am examining the use of digital language in organisations when it comes to running projects and in our understanding of information systems. How to be more effective when it comes to communicating with stakeholders and what exactly are 'stakeholders' anyway?

I talk about buzzwords, about acronyms and how to keep the project team engaged. I hope you like it and you can also download my free guide to digital language...

Zooming Out - From Systems to Conway's Law


I look at the organisation and its impact on your systems - remember that systems are not just what you build or have built for you, it's also the people. Conway's Law and continuous learning can help us make sense of digital transformation.


Understand that your business needs are met not as a whole, but by individuals and departments. Those individuals and departments shape the systems they use - they create them all the time. Your IT systems and your IT systems change process had better recognise this.


Be More Scientist


In the last episode we jumped straight into automations and how they can sometimes make our life more difficult. This time we take a look at systems - all types of systems - and understand the human element that made them.


Since January 2022 I've been thinking long and hard about automation - but it was clear that automation was just a piece of what was making me think. Systems provide opportunities for automation but they can be manual or they can already be 'automatic' or built in IT. So...

The Naming One, Early Automation and Brittle Systems


Before you get obsessed with automation it's worth thinking a little about what you're doing to your systems. Do you even need automation yet? In my first ever episode I introduce some concepts to consider in your automations.


This was inspired by some discussions on The Business of Authority podcast around the 'Gravitational Pull of Systems' and how it can be hard not to jump straight into configuration.

Inspired me to start the podcast and also write a short blog on Brittle Systems.