1 month, 16 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 454

I’m back for another appearance on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast. This week’s episode, number 454, begins with Tom talking about iteration planning. Jeremy Berriault comes next with a segment on QA team leads and I bat cleanup with a Form Follows Function installment based on my post “Trash or Treasure – […]

3 months, 14 days ago

Trash or Treasure – What’s Your Legacy?

The topic of legacy systems is something of a contentious one. In most cases, a legacy is understood to be a good thing. What makes a system “legacy”? Is it a technical or business decision? A little over a year ago, Greger Wikstrand took a stab at clarifying the term with his post “Legacy systems, […]

5 months, 5 days ago

Pride, Prejudice, and Professionalism in the Business of IT

Twenty-plus years in IT have led me to believe that there are very few absolutes when it comes to software systems. Two that do seem to hold true are these: Creating systems is esteemed far more highly than maintaining systems. Systems that are not maintained, will decay. There are a variety of reasons for this […]

5 months, 12 days ago

Disruptive Decency

Well, this turned out to be very much a different post than what I’d first thought. Last Thursday, CIO published an article titled “Your Pebble smartwatch will live on when Pebble’s servers shut down” that had good news for owners of the Pebble smartwatch: But now that Pebble has been acquired by Fitbit and is […]

10 months, 9 days ago

Pragmatic Application Architecture

I saw a tweet on Friday about a SlideShare deck that looked interesting, so I bookmarked it to read later. As I was reading it this morning, I found myself agreeing with the points being made. When I got to the next to the last slide, I found myself (or at least, this blog) listed […]

10 months, 27 days ago

Designing Communication, Communicating Design

We work in a communications industry. We create and maintain systems to move information around in order to get things done. That information moves between people and systems in combinations and configurations too numerous to count. In spite of that, we don’t do that great a job of communicating what should be, for us, extremely […]

1 year, 9 days ago

Leadership Anti-Patterns – The Great Pretender

My previous leadership type, the Growler, was hard to classify as it had aspects of both pattern and anti-pattern. The Great Pretender, however, is much easier to label. It’s clearly an anti-pattern. Before entering the working world full-time, I worked in the retail grocery business (both of my parents also had considerable industry experience, both […]

1 year, 2 months ago

“Distance…is the one true enemy…”

Gregory Brown tweeted a great series on the problem of distance last week: It’s amazing how much information can be conveyed in nine tweets. It’s amazing how many aspects of a very complex socio-technical undertaking, software development, are affected by this concept of distance. I would argue that this concept of distance applies likewise to […]

1 year, 3 months ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 399

This week’s episode of Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast, number 399, features Tom’s essay “Storytelling: Developing The Big Picture for Agile Efforts”, Kim Pries on deliberate practice, and a Form Follows Function installment on customer-centricity for IT. Tom and I discuss my post “A Meaningful Manifesto for IT”. It seems obvious that […]

1 year, 3 months ago

Dealing with Technical Debt Like We Mean it

What’s the biggest problem with technical debt? In my opinion, the biggest problem is that it works. Just like the electrical outlet pictured above, systems with technical debt get the job done, even when there’s a hidden surprise or two waiting to make life interesting for us at some later date. If it flat-out failed, […]

1 year, 4 months ago

The Ignorance of Management – Deep and Wide

While on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, an interesting graphic caught my eye. Titled “The Iceberg of Ignorance”, it referred to a 1989 study in which: …consultant Sidney Yoshida concluded: “Only 4% of an organization’s front line problems are known by top management, 9% are known by middle management, 74% by supervisors and 100% […]