Welcome to a discussion of the neglected essentials of software development. There are three important things which we seldom talk about: The first is “People Skills for Geeks”. We consider it perfectly normal to learn how to work better with technology – we do Microsoft or Java certifications for instance – but when do we learn how to work better with each other? When do we learn how to have a more successful design discussion, to give feedback to colleagues, to encourage them to give feedback to us? More: links, posts and resources. The second is about estimating and pricing software projects. Too often, our solutions to these challenges are rather one-dimensional – either a classic fixed-price project (with all the pain and risk that often entails) or else we try to side-step the problem, by pricing only the next iteration. We should, and can, find a better way. More: QBS and Novopay, blog posts Finally, Earned Value is the best way to answer to two key questions: “Are we on time?” & “Are we on budget?”. Earned Value answers those questions early in the project, giving us ample time to get things back on track. My mission is to bust the myth that Earned Value has to be complicated. The “lite” version is so easy, you’d be mad not to try it. More: key resources, all posts.