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Tag Archives: profession

How to explain backend changes that support undelivered features

My current work environment is in a cost-pressured large national transport enterprise with a familiar internationally-recognised brand name. We have to build a lot of systems that model many real-world, highly-regulated, parameters and states. This data is often used to feed into other systems that feed the voracious information maw of an often severely critical […]

REST and SOA and Agile and Waterfall

Recently I’ve been working on two projects. They are an exercise in contrasts. First the technologies and the development methodologies. So the first company uses a very Waterfall process and the integration platform is SOA. We’ve managed to build, in the middle of this, a small and focussed Java component that uses JMS in and […]

Business change methodology gaps | Keep The Joint Running

Whatever else you do, give yourself a chance: Rename every project, initiative and strategic program in your organization to reflect the business change goal instead of the system name: Sales Force Effectiveness Project instead of Salesforce.com Implementation; Evidence-based Decision-making Initiative instead of Business Intelligence Implementation. The impact is surprisingly large. —¬†Business change methodology gaps | […]

That’s the just the way it’s done round here

Many of us hear this phrase in our workplace. When you hear it, what you’re really being told is that the company is afflicted with one or more of the following: is afraid of change not interested in improvement has a rigid top-down process development style doesn’t care what you think I think the greatest […]

Modern management theory, explained

Oh … now I get it, courtesy of Errol Morris, who made the Oscar winning documentary Fog Of War, among many other excellent films, who explains in this New York Times interview with David Dunning (part 1): DAVID DUNNING: Well, my specialty is decision-making. How well do people make the decisions they have to make […]

Throw it away and write another one

Most developers familiar with agile methods are familiar with the idea of the spike. A spike is a time-boxed task that concentrates on clarifying the unknowns in your project. Usually these are technological (“can this be done with this technology?”) but they are also sometimes in the area of the business domain (“is this a […]

New software, old process, big mistake

Its very common for software developers to be asked to build some software that is a straight port of an old software package, or to faithfully model (i.e. completely identical to) an existing process that the customer has. This is a huge mistake – try to avoid these projects. I hold that if the customer […]

On Architecture and Craftsmanship

The science of the architect depends upon many disciplines and various apprenticeships which are carried out in other arts. His work consists in craftsmanship and technology. Craftsmanship is continued and familiar practice, which is carried out in the hands in such material as is necessary for the purpose of a design. Technology sets¬† forth and […]

Mistakes you can make with SOA

Bob Lewis has a great column this month, “What if SOA is a mistake“? His penultimate paragraph asks: Lost in the shuffle is something basic: Programmer productivity. Friends who are hands-on with such matters tell me the available SOA development environments are less than half as productive as products like PowerBuilder and Delphi were, back […]

Out of the box experience

Every now and again we get some customers who expect that they can get a custom website, portal, or services integration done by looking at a vendor’s “out of the box” experience. This can be very frustrating for us, as we need to get into their heads that no platform will delivery any website, portal, […]