Nicholas Tuck is The Software Gardener

Nicholas Tuck
Nicholas Tuck (Me)

I believe I am not a Software Engineer but I am a Software Gardener. The metaphor that building software is more like gardening vs engineering has been around for a while. In short: “In engineering, the final product is defined up front and is created to the t. In software the final product is rarely known up front, and even rarer does it end up like the initial plans call for. It is simply not possible or desirable in most projects. Thus developing software is more like gardening: You have a tentative plan, you plant the seeds, but it’s an ongoing process, in which you can never guarantee exactly the end product. We can tend to the project and guide it to have the desired results at any given time while adapting to the real world environment.” This is also the basis for agile methodologies which is why I believe I am both an Agile Professional and a Software Gardener.

Read my methaphor on Software Gardening: We are Software Gardeners: Developers Plan to Engineer but Master Gardening

My Writings. My Thoughts.

My Why

// June 19th, 2016 // Learning

Almost a year ago I put together what drives me to be in the software industry. I discussed how innovation in web development and tackling people problems start to fulfill those motivations. Read my post What is Your Why for background on why I did this, my why at the time and the short term benefits I had. A year later I value this idea 10 times more and use it to own my career. My why helps me take my career in a direction that I not only want, but a direction that capitalizes on my most intrinsic motivations and produces my most productive output. I highly encourage you to start writing down your why and most importantly start the lifelong process of questioning it, challenging it, and refining it.

Below is the most current version of my why.

My Why as of 2016

Update (May 2016): I want to make a meaningful contribution to the world. Continue Reading

Smarter Faster Better Book Review

// June 12th, 2016 // Book Reviews


Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business
Author: Charles Duhigg

Smarter Faster Better is an instant classic. With it’s buzzfeed title and old school cover art it really fits the bill for being one of those books that will get referenced for years on end. I’ve already set it in my calendar to re-read soon and I am acting on ideas from it now.

Suggested Reading Ratings (tl;dr)

Of it’s category: 9/10. The content in this book far outweighs the amount of content in most books, especially getting things done books. There is no doubt the content pays for itself with this book.

Of all categories: 8/10. A great book, but not everyone shares my enthusiasm for productivity and innovation. Being that is the focus of this book, I dropped it a couple points to accommodate a broader audience.

Re-readability: 3 months. Continue Reading

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Book Review

// June 5th, 2016 // Book Reviews

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Audiobook

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
Author: Robert M. Pirsig

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance had many times caused me to pull my car over and just think about philosophical concepts I couldn’t comprehend while operating a motor-vehicle. It successfully made me question science, quality and the importance of gumption.

Suggested Reading Ratings (tl;dr)

Of it’s category: 10/10 – Well written, intriguing, lots of content and very enjoyable.

Of all categories: 6/10 – It’s a great book, but has very specific topics and audience. I have a feeling not everyone share’s my enjoyment of philosophy, maybe 60% of you do, thus 6/10.

Re-readability: 1-2 years – Continue Reading

What is Your Why

// September 30th, 2015 // Get Things Done

The president of my company, Mark Griffis at Aviture, posed a question to all of us months back: What is your “Why” ? What drives us in our position at the company, in our careers, in our lives? Why are we here? I believe his goal was to inspire us to identify our own career path, desires, and goals and to take ownership of them. With the support of him and everyone else at the company, lets start achieving those goals.

First it starts with Why. The why is what subconsciously got us to where we are now. It’s what gives us energy. It’s what makes us feel successful, and happy.  It’s an underlying force that influences our decisions and our future. If we can understand our why, we can harness that internal drive and start leading our careers down a path that innately gives us energy and allows us the highest chance for success.
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Mind Mapping FTW: Becoming a MindMeister Ambassador

// August 16th, 2014 // Get Things Done

College NotesI have been mind mapping since 2010 and I have been using MindMeister since 2011. I have read many books on learning techniques and confirmed the evidence that taking notes, organizing thoughts and rephrasing facts in your own terms leads to better retention and comprehension. I found myself struggling doing this effectively with traditional notes, written papers, top down writing or special bullet points. I found myself shoving notes in margins, arrows across the page, random white space just in case… It was just a mess that was unusable. I would have to takes notes of my notes in order to reuse or share them. I was absolutely fascinated when I discovered the mind mapping movements and how this simple concept solved the majority of my problems.
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Agile for Defense Happy Hours

// April 13th, 2014 // Agile


Some professional development friends and I started an Agile for Defense Meetup last year in the Omaha NE area:  This meetup has been very successful and we started the idea of Agile Happy Hours.  These have been going great and I wanted to share how we have been conducting them and the success we have had. Continue Reading