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Announcing the 2016 Android Experiments I/O Challenge!

Android Developers Blog - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 19:20

Posted by Roman Nurik, Senior Interactive Designer, and Richard The, Google Creative Lab

Last summer we launched Android Experiments: a showcase of creative Android projects, and an open invitation for all developers to submit their own experiments to the gallery. So far we’ve seen some amazing work from the developer community - from live wallpaper, to watch faces, to interesting hacks of the IOIO board - and we want to see more.

Today we announce the Android Experiments I/O Challenge: a chance for your experiment (and you) to go to I/O 2016!

From now through April 13, you can enter by submitting your experiments to the gallery. The top three winners of the contest will receive a trip to this year’s Google I/O, and the five runner-ups will get the new Nexus 6P.

So what makes a good Android Experiment? It’s a project that utilizes the unique capabilities of the Android platform in an innovative way. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Creative uses of Android’s new or distinctive features
  • Projects that explore how we interact with our devices, in small and big ways
  • Unique visual aesthetics
  • Open source projects that inspire other developers
  • Surprise us - we want to see the amazing things you’re cooking up

All projects on Android Experiments are open source. If you’re not sure where to start take a look on the site gallery, dig in and get inspired.

We can’t wait to see how you’re combining code and creativity! Enter on androidexperiments.com/challenge today.

Categories: Programming

Sponsored Post: TechSummit, zanox Group, Varnish, LaunchDarkly, Swrve, Netflix, Aerospike, TrueSight Pulse, Redis Labs, InMemory.Net, VividCortex, MemSQL, Scalyr, AiScaler, AppDynamics, ManageEngine, Site24x7

Who's Hiring?
  • The zanox Group are looking for a Senior Architect. We're looking for someone smart and pragmatic to help our engineering teams build fast, scalable and reliable solutions for our industry leading affiliate marketing platform. The role will involve a healthy mixture of strategic thinking and hands-on work - there are no ivory towers here! Our stack is diverse and interesting. You can apply for the role in either London or Berlin.

  • Swrve -- In November we closed a $30m funding round, and we’re now expanding our engineering team based in Dublin (Ireland). Our mobile marketing platform is powered by 8bn+ events a day, processed in real time. We’re hiring intermediate and senior backend software developers to join the existing team of thirty engineers. Sound like fun? Come join us.

  • Senior Service Reliability Engineer (SRE): Drive improvements to help reduce both time-to-detect and time-to-resolve while concurrently improving availability through service team engagement.  Ability to analyze and triage production issues on a web-scale system a plus. Find details on the position here: https://jobs.netflix.com/jobs/434

  • Manager - Performance Engineering: Lead the world-class performance team in charge of both optimizing the Netflix cloud stack and developing the performance observability capabilities which 3rd party vendors fail to provide.  Expert on both systems and web-scale application stack performance optimization. Find details on the position here https://jobs.netflix.com/jobs/860482

  • Software Engineer (DevOps). You are one of those rare engineers who loves to tinker with distributed systems at high scale. You know how to build these from scratch, and how to take a system that has reached a scalability limit and break through that barrier to new heights. You are a hands on doer, a code doctor, who loves to get something done the right way. You love designing clean APIs, data models, code structures and system architectures, but retain the humility to learn from others who see things differently. Apply to AppDynamics

  • Software Engineer (C++). You will be responsible for building everything from proof-of-concepts and usability prototypes to deployment- quality code. You should have at least 1+ years of experience developing C++ libraries and APIs, and be comfortable with daily code submissions, delivering projects in short time frames, multi-tasking, handling interrupts, and collaborating with team members. Apply to AppDynamics
Fun and Informative Events
  • Discover the secrets of scalability in IT. The cream of the Amsterdam and Berlin tech scene are coming together during TechSummit, hosted by LeaseWeb for a great day of tech talk. Find out how to build systems that will cope with constant change and create agile, successful businesses. Speakers from SoundCloud, Fugue, Google, Docker and other leading tech companies will share tips, techniques and the latest trends in a day of interactive presentations. But hurry. Tickets are limited and going fast! No wonder, since they are only €25 including lunch and beer.

  • Varnish Summits are a worldwide event series where Varnish customers, partners, open source users and other enthusiasts come together to network and learn.  At the summits Varnish Software's experts and core developers do a deep dive into technical best practices and offer workshops for both new and advanced Varnish users.

  • Are you developing - or thinking about creating - UDFs to use with Aerospike? Do you want to get the most out of using UDFs within Aerospike? If so, register for our webinar on April 13th at 11am PT / 2pm ET to hear Sergey Zhemzhitsky, CTO of CleverDATA (a division of LANIT, a leading system integrator in Russia) walk through real-life use cases pertaining to UDFs – namely, how his team implemented Aerospike’s UDFs at CleverDATA. Sign up here to reserve your seat!
Cool Products and Services
  • Dev teams are using LaunchDarkly’s Feature Flags as a Service to get unprecedented control over feature launches. LaunchDarkly allows you to cleanly separate code deployment from rollout. We make it super easy to enable functionality for whoever you want, whenever you want. See how it works.

  • TrueSight Pulse is SaaS IT performance monitoring with one-second resolution, visualization and alerting. Monitor on-prem, cloud, VMs and containers with custom dashboards and alert on any metric. Start your free trial with no code or credit card.

  • Turn chaotic logs and metrics into actionable data. Scalyr is a tool your entire team will love. Get visibility into your production issues without juggling multiple tools and tabs. Loved and used by teams at Codecademy, ReturnPath, and InsideSales. Learn more today or see why Scalyr is a great alternative to Splunk.

  • InMemory.Net provides a Dot Net native in memory database for analysing large amounts of data. It runs natively on .Net, and provides a native .Net, COM & ODBC apis for integration. It also has an easy to use language for importing data, and supports standard SQL for querying data. http://InMemory.Net

  • VividCortex measures your database servers’ work (queries), not just global counters. If you’re not monitoring query performance at a deep level, you’re missing opportunities to boost availability, turbocharge performance, ship better code faster, and ultimately delight more customers. VividCortex is a next-generation SaaS platform that helps you find and eliminate database performance problems at scale.

  • MemSQL provides a distributed in-memory database for high value data. It's designed to handle extreme data ingest and store the data for real-time, streaming and historical analysis using SQL. MemSQL also cost effectively supports both application and ad-hoc queries concurrently across all data. Start a free 30 day trial here: http://www.memsql.com/

  • aiScaler, aiProtect, aiMobile Application Delivery Controller with integrated Dynamic Site Acceleration, Denial of Service Protection and Mobile Content Management. Also available on Amazon Web Services. Free instant trial, 2 hours of FREE deployment support, no sign-up required. http://aiscaler.com

  • ManageEngine Applications Manager : Monitor physical, virtual and Cloud Applications.

  • www.site24x7.com : Monitor End User Experience from a global monitoring network.

If any of these items interest you there's a full description of each sponsor below...

Categories: Architecture

The Ultimate Tester

Xebia Blog - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 16:14
   

Software Development Conferences Forecast March 2016

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 14:41
Here is a list of software development related conferences and events on Agile project management ( Scrum, Lean, Kanban), software testing and software quality, software architecture, programming (Java, .NET, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, PHP), DevOps and databases (NoSQL, MySQL, etc.) that will take place in the coming weeks and that have media partnerships with the Methods […]

Top 10 Books To Read In 2016

Making the Complex Simple - John Sonmez - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 13:00

A lot of viewers asked me to create a top 10 list of my favorite books. After taking some time to think, I decided to create this list with my top 10 books of all time. These are, for me, the best books I’ve read in my entire life. I also think these are mandatory […]

The post Top 10 Books To Read In 2016 appeared first on Simple Programmer.

Categories: Programming

Codifying the rules used to organise your code

Coding the Architecture - Simon Brown - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 09:23

Regular readers will already know about Structurizr - a set of open source libraries to create a software architecture model as code, plus a SaaS product to visualise those models. Having created and helped create a number of models with Structurizr now, I've noticed an interesting side-effect. In the absence of architectural information being present in the code, the power of using something like Structurizr to define a software architecture model using code is in extracting information algorithmically, by codifying the rules that you've ultimately used to structure your codebase.

Let me give you an example. Imagine you're building a web-MVC web application in Java, C#, etc and you have a tens or hundreds of controller classes, each of which uses a number of other components to implement some functionality. Drawing a single diagram to visualise the static structure of the entire web application is a bad idea because it shows too much information. A better approach is to create one view per vertical slice, where there could be one vertical slice per web controller. This results in smaller, simpler diagrams like this.

A component diagram based upon a web controller

So far so good, and this is relatively easy to do using static analysis techniques. But you'll notice this diagram includes an "Authenticated User", which isn't part of the code itself. This raises the question of how the user ends up getting included on the diagram. There are a number of options:

  • Manually add the correct type of user on a case by case basis.
  • Match the controller's URL routing to the permitted user role (this is likely specified in configuration somewhere) and use this information to choose the appropriate type of user for each controller.
  • Add machine-readable metadata (e.g. Java Annotations, C# Attributes) to specify the user type (there are some Structurizr annotations I've created to help with this).
  • Codify the rules you've used to organise the controllers in your codebase.

The ability to codify the rules you've used to organise the controllers in your codebase obviously depends on how much thought you've put into doing this. For example, did you dump all of these controller classes into a single package or namespace without giving it much thought at all? Or perhaps you took Martin Fowler's advice and modularised further, creating one package/namespace per functional area or aggregate root, for example. Another possibility is that you grouped controllers together based upon whether unauthenticated users, authenticated users or other software systems are using them. Organising your code well provides you with another angle to extract architectural information, because you can codify rules such as, "the Anonymous User uses all controllers in the com.mycompany.mywebapp.unsecured package/namespace".

With hindsight this is fairly obvious, but we often don't put enough thought into how we organise our code, possibly because we perceive that it doesn't actually matter that much and modern IDEs provide powerful ways to navigate large and/or complex codebases. Trying to codify the rules used to organise a codebase certainly gets you thinking, and often refactoring too.

Categories: Architecture

From QA to Engineering Productivity

Google Testing Blog - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 01:38
By Ari Shamash

In Google’s early days, a small handful of software engineers built, tested, and released software. But as the user-base grew and products proliferated, engineers started specializing in roles, creating more scale in the development process:

  • Test Engineers (TEs) --  tested new products and systems integration
  • Release Engineers (REs) --  pushed bits into production
  • Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) --  managed systems and data centers 24x7.

This story focuses on the evolution of quality assurance and the roles of the engineers behind it at Google.  The REs and SREs also evolved, but we’ll leave that for another day.

Initially, teams relied heavily on manual operations.  When we attempted to automate testing, we largely focused on the frontends, which worked, because Google was small and our products had fewer integrations.  However, as Google grew, longer and longer manual test cycles bogged down iterations and delayed feature launches.  Also, since we identified bugs later in the development cycle, it took us longer and longer to fix them.  We determined that pushing testing upstream via automation would help address these issues and accelerate velocity.

As manual testing transitioned to automated processes, two separate testing roles began to emerge at Google:

  • Test Engineers (TEs) -- With their deep product knowledge and test/quality domain expertise, TEs focused on what should be tested.
  • Software Engineers in Test (SETs) -- Originally software engineers with deep infrastructure and tooling expertise, SETs built the frameworks and packages required to implement automation.

The impact was significant:

  • Automated tests became more efficient and deterministic (e.g. by improving runtimes, eliminating sources of flakiness, etc.) 
  • Metrics driven engineering proliferated (e.g. improving code and feature coverage led to higher quality products).

Manual operations were reduced to manual verification on new features, and typically only in end-to-end, cross product integration boundaries.  TEs developed extreme depth of knowledge for the products they supported.  They became go-to engineers for product teams that needed expertise in test automation and integration. Their role evolved into a broad spectrum of responsibilities: writing scripts to automate testing, creating tools so developers could test their own code, and constantly designing better and more creative ways to identify weak spots and break software.

SETs (in collaboration with TEs and other engineers) built a wide array of test automation tools and developed best practices that were applicable across many products. Release velocity accelerated for products.  All was good, and there was much rejoicing!

SETs initially focused on building tools for reducing the testing cycle time, since that was the most manually intensive and time consuming phase of getting product code into production.  We made some of these tools available to the software development community: webdriver improvements, protractor, espresso, EarlGrey, martian proxy, karma, and GoogleTest. SETs were interested in sharing and collaborating with others in the industry and established conferences. The industry has also embraced the Test Engineering discipline, as other companies hired software engineers into similar roles, published articles, and drove Test-Driven Development into mainstream practices.

Through these efforts, the testing cycle time decreased dramatically, but interestingly the overall velocity did not increase proportionately, since other phases in the development cycle became the bottleneck.  SETs started building tools to accelerate all other aspects of product development, including:

  • Extending IDEs to make writing and reviewing code easier, shortening the “write code” cycle
  • Automating release verification, shortening the “release code” cycle.
  • Automating real time production system log verification and anomaly detection, helping automate production monitoring.
  • Automating measurement of developer productivity, helping understand what’s working and what isn’t.

In summary, the work done by the SETs naturally progressed from supporting only product testing efforts to include supporting product development efforts as well. Their role now encompassed a much broader Engineering Productivity agenda.

Given the expanded SET charter, we wanted the title of the role to reflect the work. But what should the new title be?  We empowered the SETs to choose a new title, and they overwhelmingly (91%) selected Software Engineer, Tools & Infrastructure (abbreviated to SETI).

Today, SETIs and TEs still collaborate very closely on optimizing the entire development life cycle with a goal of eliminating all friction from getting features into production. Interested in building next generation tools and infrastructure?  Join us (SETI, TE)!

Categories: Testing & QA

How we implemented the video player in Mail.Ru Cloud

We’ve recently added video streaming service to Mail.Ru Cloud. Development started with contemplating the new feature as an all-purpose “Swiss Army knife” that would both play files of any format and work on any device with the Cloud available. Video content uploaded to the Cloud mostly falls into one of the two categories: “movies/series” and “users’ videos”. The latter are the videos that users shoot with their phones and cameras, and these videos are most versatile in terms of formats and codecs. For many reasons, it is often a problem to watch these videos on other end-user devices without prior normalization: a required codec is missing, or the file size is too big to download, or whatever.

In this article, I’ll go into detail to explain how video playback works in Mail.Ru Cloud, and how we made the Cloud player “omnivorous” and ensured support on a maximum number of end-user devices.

Storing and Caching: two approaches
Categories: Architecture

Personal Empowerment All-Stars: Jack Canfield, Ken Blanchard, and Stephen Covey at Microsoft

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”  — Stephen King

One of the best things at Microsoft is the chance to meet extraordinary people.

Jack Canfield, Ken Blanchard, and Stephen Covey are a few that top my list.

They are personal empowerment all-stars.

As I was re-writing my posts on lessons learned from Jack Canfield, Ken Blanchard, and Stephen Covey, I noticed what they share in common.

What do Jack Canfield, Ken Blanchard and Stephen Covey have in common?

Their work has a heavy emphasis on personal-empowerment, positivity, and people.

I thought it would be interesting to write a narrative about lessons learned from each, to supplement my bullet point write ups.

Here we go …

Jack Canfield at Microsoft

Jack Canfield is all about taking full responsibility for everything that happens in your life.  And he starts with self-talk.  He says it’s not what people say or do, it’s what you say to yourself.  For example, it’s not what Jack says to Laura, it’s what Laura says to Laura.

From a personal empowerment standpoint, Jack reminds us that we have control over three responses: 1) what we say or do, 2) our thoughts, 3) the images in our head.  Jack is a big believer in the power of visualization and he reminds us that’s how athletes perform at greater levels — they see things in their minds, to guide what they can do with their bodies.

Jack shares a very simple formula for success.  Jack’s success formula is Event + Response = Outcome.  If you want to change the outcome, then change your response.  It sounds simple, but it’s empowering.

Jack Canfield also reminded us that we are the creative force in our life and to get out of victimism:

“You are not the victim of your circumstances–You are the creative force of your life.”

Grow your circle of influence and make tremendous impact.

Read more at Lessons Learned from Jack Canfield.

Ken Blanchard at Microsoft

Ken Blanchard is really about accentuating the positive.  So much of the world focuses on what’s wrong, but he wants to focus on what’s right, so we can do more of that.

Ken has an incremental model of leadership that starts with you and expands from there: you, your team, your organization.  The idea is that you can’t lead others effectively, if you can’t even lead yourself.

Ken’s model for leadership is really an adaptive model, that’s focused on the greater good, and it starts by helping everybody get an “A.”  Leaders that apply one style to all team members, aren’t very effective.  Ken suggests that leaders apply the right styles depending on what individuals need.  Ken’s 4 leadership styles are:

  1. Directive
  2. Coaching
  3. Supportive
  4. Delegating.

Perhaps, the most profound statement that Ken made is that “leadership is love.”  He said that leadership includes “loving your mission”, “loving your cusotmers”, “loving your people”, and “loving yourself — enough to get out of the way so others can be magnificent.”

Read more at Lessons Learned from Ken Blanchard.

Stephen Covey at Microsoft

Stephen Covey was really about personal effectiveness, realizing your potential, and leaving a legacy.

Covey really emphasized a whole-person approach: Body, Mind, Heart, Spirit.  His point was that if you take one of the four parts of your nature away, then you’re treating a person like a “thing” you control and manage.

Covey also emphasized the importance of a personal mission.  It gives meaning to your work and it helps you channel all of your efforts as you live and lead your legacy.  He also suggested writing your personal mission down and visualizing it to imprint it on your subconscious.

The other key to realizing your potential is finding your voice.  Use all of you, your best way, in your unique way, for your best results.  That’s how you differentiate and add value for yourself and others.

And, of course, Stephen Covey reminded us of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

  1. Be proactive.
  2. Begin with the end in mind.
  3. Put first things first.
  4. Think win-win.
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
  6. Synergize.
  7. Sharpen the saw.

Habits 1,2,and 3 are the foundation for private victories and integrity.  Habits 4, 5, and 6 are the keys to public victories.

Read more at Lessons Learned from Stephen Covey.

All-in-all, I have to say that while individually each of these personal empowerment all-stars has great wisdom and insight for personal effectiveness, leadership, and success, they are actually “better together.”

Each day in the halls of Microsoft, I find myself reflecting on their one-liner reminders, whether it’s Covey’s “Put first things first,” or Canfield’s “You are the creative force of your life”, or Blanchard’s “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

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Categories: Architecture, Programming

lorem ipsun3

NOOP.NL - Jurgen Appelo - Mon, 03/28/2016 - 15:36

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The post lorem ipsun3 appeared first on NOOP.NL.

Categories: Project Management

lorem ipsun2

NOOP.NL - Jurgen Appelo - Mon, 03/28/2016 - 15:35

lorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsuntlorem ipsunt

The post lorem ipsun2 appeared first on NOOP.NL.

Categories: Project Management

lorem ipsunt lorem ipsunt lorem ipsunt

NOOP.NL - Jurgen Appelo - Mon, 03/28/2016 - 15:33

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The post lorem ipsunt lorem ipsunt lorem ipsunt appeared first on NOOP.NL.

Categories: Project Management

The Pseudo Science of No Estimates

Herding Cats - Glen Alleman - Mon, 03/28/2016 - 15:28

I listened to the final rant of Jon Stewart (BIG CAUTION this show is from Cable and for Adults Only, just like Risk Management) and came away with inspiration for a post, which I've edited a bit to remove the phrases not applicable here. 

Pseudoscience and science – the former is an belief based on logical fallacies that is supported by some people who may seem rational; the latter is an actual rational methodology to discover facts about the natural universe. The former is utter bullshit. And the latter is fact. Deal with it. And an almost literal translation of Jon Stewart's last broadcast.

Bullshit Is everywhere. There is very little that you will encounter in life that has not been, in some ways, infused with bullshit.

Not all of it bad. Your general, day-to-day, organic free-range bullshit is often necessary. That kind of bullshit in many ways provides important social-contract fertilizer. It keeps people from making each other cry all day.

But then there’s the more pernicious bullshit–your premeditated, institutional bullshit, designed to obscure and distract. Designed by whom? The bashitocracy.

It comes in three basic flavors. One, making bad things sound like good things. “estimates are the smell of dysfunction, so let's not estimate and the dysfunction will disappear." Because "we're just developers who can't even make high level estimates how much it will cost and we work for bonehead managers who can't tell the difference between a good estimate and a bad estimate," doesn't have the same ring.

"Estimates inhibit creativity, restrict our ability to be flexible, and the other restrictions to our creativity"  sounds better than "we have no clue what we're doing, how much it will cost, or when we'll be done, so juts give us the money so we can start spending," So whenever something’s been titled Pure Agile, or 10X improvement in productivity, searching for the Magic take a good long sniff. Chances are it’s been manufactured in a facility that may contain traces of bullshit

Number two. Hiding the bad things under mountains of bullshit Complexity. You know, I would love to download Drizzy’s latest Meek Mill diss. But I’m not really interested right now in reading Tolstoy’s iTunes agreement. So I’ll just click agree, even if it grants Apple prima note with my spouse. This comes to the discussion of Value at Risk and what are estimates for other than to protect Value at Risk. And the willful ignorance of how every business works projects with probabilistic events and statistical variance and how those uncertainties must be dealt with for the business to have any hope of surviving .

And finally, finally, it’s the bullshit of infinite possibility. The Unicorn approach to solving hard problems, by claiming all big problems can be broken down into little problems, These bullshitters cover their unwillingness to act under the guise of unending inquiry. We can’t do anything because we can't possibly know anything in the presence of uncertainty. We cannot take action to improve that knowledge  until everyone in the world agrees we're not headed down the slippery slope of governance of how we spend other people's money. Until then, I say it leads to controversy.

Now, the good news is this. Bullshitters have gotten pretty lazy. And their work is easily detected. And looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time.

So when you encounter some claim - estimates are the smell of dysfunction. Or the latest There are countless good ways to make decisions: Estimates is one. Then ask for evidence. Ask for working examples that can be tested against some set of principles. Not just personal anecdotes.  If there are no principles, no testable evidence, then ...

The best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something.

Related articles Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies Here, There Be Dragons Late Start = Late Finish Information Technology Estimating Quality
Categories: Project Management

Work Like It Matters

Making the Complex Simple - John Sonmez - Mon, 03/28/2016 - 13:00

Some of you reading this probably have a deadline looming. Some of you probably started reading this on your work computer—or on your phone or some other device—but regardless, you’re sitting in an office while you read, and you might not even be the owner of that office. Hopefully, if you have decided to use […]

The post Work Like It Matters appeared first on Simple Programmer.

Categories: Programming

SPaMCAST 387 –Storytelling As A Tool, Critical Roles, QA Career Path

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 387 includes three features.  The first is our essay on storytelling.  Storytelling is a tool that is useful in many scenarios, for presentations, to help people frame their thoughts and for gathering information. A story provides both a deeper and more nuanced connection with information than most lists of PowerPoint bullets or even structured requirements documents. The essay provides an excellent supplement to our interview with Jason Little (which you can listen to here).

The second feature this week is Steve Tendon discussing Chapter 9 of Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban published J Ross. Chapter 9 is titled “Critical Roles, Leadership and More”.  We discuss why leadership roles are important to achieve hyper-productive performance. Sometimes in Agile and other approaches it is easy to overlook the role of leaders outside of the team.

Remember Steve has a great offer for SPaMCAST listeners. Check `out  https://tameflow.com/spamcast for a way to get Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach, and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban at 40% off the list price.

Anchoring the cast this week is a visit to the QA Corner.  Jeremy Berriault discusses whether a career and the path your career might take in testing is an individual or a team sport.  Jeremy dispenses useful advice even if you are not involved in testing.

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we are back with Chapter 14 of How to Measure Anything, Finding the Value of “Intangibles in Business” Third Edition by Douglas W. Hubbard on the Software Process and Measurement Blog.  Chapter 14 is titled A Universal Measurement Method.  In this chapter Hubbard provides the readers with a process for applying Applied Information Economics.

 

We will read Commitment – Novel About Managing Project Risk by Olav Maassen and Chris Matts for our next Re-Read.  Buy your copy today and start reading (use the link to support the podcast). In the meantime, vote in our poll for the next book.  As in past polls please vote twice or suggest a write-in candidate in the comments.  We will run the poll for two more weeks.

 

 

Upcoming Events

I will be at the QAI Quest 2016 in Chicago beginning April 18th through April 22nd.  I will be teaching a full day class on Agile Estimation on April 18 and presenting Budgeting, Estimating, Planning and #NoEstimates: They ALL Make Sense for Agile Testing! on Wednesday, April 20th.  Register now!

I will be speaking at the CMMI Institute’s Capability Counts 2016 Conference in Annapolis, Maryland May 10th and 11th. Register Now!

Next SPaMCAST

The next Software Process and Measurement Cast will feature our interview with Dr Mark Bojeun.  Dr Bojeun returns to the podcast to discuss how a PMO can be a strategic tool for an organization.  If a PMO is merely a control point or an administrative function, their value and longevity is at risk.  Mark suggests that there is a better way.

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: “This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.” Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.


Categories: Process Management

SPaMCAST 387 –Storytelling As A Tool, Critical Roles, QA Career Path

Software Process and Measurement Cast - Sun, 03/27/2016 - 22:00

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 387 includes three features.  The first is our essay on storytelling.  Storytelling is a tool that is useful in many scenarios, for presentations, to help people frame their thoughts and for gathering information. A story provides both a deeper and more nuanced connection with information than most lists of PowerPoint bullets or even structured requirements documents. The essay provides an excellent supplement to our interview with Jason Little (which you can listen to here).

The second feature this week is Steve Tendon discussing Chapter 9 of Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban published J Ross. Chapter 9 is titled “Critical Roles, Leadership and More”.  We discuss why leadership roles are important to achieve hyper-productive performance. Sometimes in Agile and other approaches, it is easy to overlook the role of leaders outside of the team.

Remember Steve has a great offer for SPaMCAST listeners. Check `out  https://tameflow.com/spamcast for a way to get Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach, and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban at 40% off the list price.

Anchoring the cast this week is a visit to the QA Corner.  Jeremy Berriault discusses whether a career and the path your career might take in testing is an individual or a team sport.  Jeremy dispenses useful advice even if you are not involved in testing.

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we are back with Chapter 14 of How to Measure Anything, Finding the Value of “Intangibles in Business” Third Edition by Douglas W. Hubbard on the Software Process and Measurement Blog.  Chapter 14 is titled A Universal Measurement Method.  In this chapter, Hubbard provides the readers with a process for applying Applied Information Economics.

We will read Commitment – Novel About Managing Project Risk by Olav Maassen and Chris Matts for our next Re-Read.  Buy your copy today and start reading (use the link to support the podcast). In the meantime, vote in our poll for the next book.  As in past polls please vote twice or suggest a write-in candidate in the comments.  We will run the poll for two more weeks.

Upcoming Events

I will be at the QAI Quest 2016 in Chicago beginning April 18th through April 22nd.  I will be teaching a full day class on Agile Estimation on April 18 and presenting Budgeting, Estimating, Planning and #NoEstimates: They ALL Make Sense for Agile Testing! on Wednesday, April 20th.  Register now!

I will be speaking at the CMMI Institute’s Capability Counts 2016 Conference in Annapolis, Maryland May 10th and 11th. Register Now!

Next SPaMCAST

The next Software Process and Measurement Cast will feature our interview with Dr. Mark Bojeun.  Dr. Bojeun returns to the podcast to discuss how a PMO can be a strategic tool for an organization.  If a PMO is merely a control point or an administrative function, their value and longevity are at risk.  Mark suggests that there is a better way.

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: “This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.” Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

Categories: Process Management

Compile-Time Evaluation in Scala with macros

Xebia Blog - Sun, 03/27/2016 - 15:20
Many 'compiled' languages used to have a strict separation between what happens at 'compile-time' and what happens at 'run-time'. This distinction is starting to fade: JIT compilation moves more of the compile phase to run-time, while conversely various kinds of optimizations do 'run-time' work at compile time. Powerful type systems allow the expression things previously

How To Measure Anything, Chapter 14: A Universal Measurement Method: Applied Information Economics

HTMA

How to Measure Anything, Finding the Value of “Intangibles in Business” Third Edition

Chapter 14 of How to Measure Anything, Finding the Value of “Intangibles in Business” Third Edition is the last chapter in the book.  Next week I will spend a few moments reflecting on the value I have gotten from this re-read; HOWEVER, the last chapter continues to deliver content, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  This chapter shows us:

  • A process for applying Applied Information Economics (which I used recently), and that
  • AIE is applicable in nearly every scenario.

Hubbard introduced Applied Information Economics (AIE) in Chapter One (page 9 to be exact).  The methodology includes five steps:

  1. Define the decision. 
  2. Determine what you know. 
  3. Compute the value of additional information. 
  4. Measure where the information value is high. 
  5. Make a decision; act upon it.

AIE is the centerpiece of How To Measure Anything. Chapter 14 brings all pieces together into an overall process populated with procedures and techniques. Hubbard lays out the application of AIE in four phases (0 – 3).

Phase 0 is a preparation phase which includes identifying workshop participants, developing the first cut of the measurement questions and then assigning the workshop participants pre-reading (homework) based on those initial questions.  Maximizing the value of the workshops requires priming the participants with homework.  The homework makes sure everyone is prepared for the workshops so that time is note wasted having coming up to speed. This also helps to reset any organizational anchor bias.

Phase 1:  Hold workshop(s) for problem definition, building a decision model, and developing initially calibrated estimates. Calibration exercises aid participants so they can quantify the initial variables as a range at a 90% confidence interval or as a probability distribution, rather than a single number.

Phase 2: This phase focuses on analyzing the value of information, the first cut at the measurement methods, refining the measurement methods, updating the decision model and then re-running the value of information analysis to make sure we don’t have  to change the measurement approach . Hubbard points out (and my experience attests) that during this step, you often determine that most variables have sufficient certainty, so the organization needs to do no further measurement beyond the calibrated estimate. This step ensures that the variables that move forward in the measurement process add value.

Phase 3: Use the data to make the decision(s) to run a Monte Carlo analysis to refine any of the metrics procedures needed, use the data to make the decisions identified and generate a final report and presentation (even Hubbard is a consultant, thus, a presentation).

The basic flow espoused by Hubbard is meant to cut through the standard rationalization to find the real questions.  Then to determine how to answer those questions, using measurement with an emphasis on making sure the organization does not already have the data needed to answer the questions, and then getting the data that make economic sense. The process sounds simple; however as a practitioner, the problem I have observed is often that generating the initial involvement is difficult and that participants often have pet theories that are difficult to disarm.  For example, I once ran across an executive that was firmly convinced that having his software development teams work longer hours would increase productivity (he forgot that productivity equals output divided by input). Therefore, he wanted to measure which monitoring applications would make his developers work more hours.  It took several examples to retrain him to recognize that to increase productivity, he had to increase output (functionality) more than he increased input (effort). The process described by Hubbard is extremely useful, but remember that making it work requires both math and facilitation skills.

The remainder of the chapter focuses on providing examples that show the concepts in the book in action.  The cases cover a wide range of scenarios, from improving logistics (forecasting fuel needs for the Marine Corps) to measuring the value of a department.  Each case provides a lesson for the reader; however three messages make my bottom line:

  • While some say that the data is too hard to get, it usually isn’t.
  • Reducing uncertainty often requires only one or few measures.
  • Framing the question as a reduction in uncertainty means that almost anything is measurable.

These three bottom line lessons summarize the philosophy of How To Measure Anything. But like the process to apply this philosophy, the devil is in the details.

Past installments of the Re-read Saturday of  How To Measure Anything, Third Edition

Chapter 1: The Challenge of Intangibles

Chapter 2: An Intuitive Measurement Habit: Eratosthenes, Enrico, and Emily

Chapter 3: The Illusions of Intangibles: Why Immeasurables Aren’t

Chapter 4: Clarifying the Measurement Problem

Chapter 5: Calibrated Estimates: How Much Do You Know Now?

Chapter 6: Quantifying Risk Through Modeling

Chapter 7: Quantifying The Value of Information

Chapter 8 The Transition: From What to Measure to How to Measure

Chapter 9: Sampling Reality: How Observing Some Things Tells Us about All Things

Chapter 10: Bayes: Adding To What You Know Now

Chapter 11: Preferences and Attitudes: The Softer Side of Measurement

Chapter 12: The Ultimate Measurement Instrument: Human Judges

Chapter 13: New Measurement Instruments for Management

We continue with the selection process for the next’ish book for the Re-Read Saturday.  We will read Commitment – Novel About Managing Project Risk by Olav Maassen and Chris Matts next.  Buy your copy today and start reading (use the link to support the podcast).  Mr. Adams has suggested that we will blow through the read of this book, therefore, doing the poll now will save time in a few weeks!  As in past polls please vote twice or suggest a write-in candidate in the comments.  We will run the poll for two more weeks.

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='https://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));
Categories: Process Management

How To Measure Anything, Chapter 14: A Universal Measurement Method: Applied Information Economics

HTMA

How to Measure Anything, Finding the Value of “Intangibles in Business” Third Edition

Chapter 14 of How to Measure Anything, Finding the Value of “Intangibles in Business” Third Edition is the last chapter in the book.  Next week I will spend a few moments reflecting on the value I have gotten from this re-read; HOWEVER, the last chapter continues to deliver content, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  This chapter shows us:

  • A process for applying Applied Information Economics (which I used recently), and that
  • AIE is applicable in nearly every scenario.

Hubbard introduced Applied Information Economics (AIE) in Chapter One (page 9 to be exact).  The methodology includes five steps:

  1. Define the decision. 
  2. Determine what you know. 
  3. Compute the value of additional information. 
  4. Measure where the information value is high. 
  5. Make a decision; act upon it.

AIE is the centerpiece of How To Measure Anything. Chapter 14 brings all pieces together into an overall process populated with procedures and techniques. Hubbard lays out the application of AIE in four phases (0 – 3).

Phase 0 is a preparation phase which includes identifying workshop participants, developing the first cut of the measurement questions and then assigning the workshop participants pre-reading (homework) based on those initial questions.  Maximizing the value of the workshops requires priming the participants with homework.  The homework makes sure everyone is prepared for the workshops so that time is note wasted having coming up to speed. This also helps to reset any organizational anchor bias.

Phase 1:  Hold workshop(s) for problem definition, building a decision model, and developing initially calibrated estimates. Calibration exercises aid participants so they can quantify the initial variables as a range at a 90% confidence interval or as a probability distribution, rather than a single number.

Phase 2: This phase focuses on analyzing the value of information, the first cut at the measurement methods, refining the measurement methods, updating the decision model and then re-running the value of information analysis to make sure we don’t have  to change the measurement approach . Hubbard points out (and my experience attests) that during this step, you often determine that most variables have sufficient certainty, so the organization needs to do no further measurement beyond the calibrated estimate. This step ensures that the variables that move forward in the measurement process add value.

Phase 3: Use the data to make the decision(s) to run a Monte Carlo analysis to refine any of the metrics procedures needed, use the data to make the decisions identified and generate a final report and presentation (even Hubbard is a consultant, thus, a presentation).

The basic flow espoused by Hubbard is meant to cut through the standard rationalization to find the real questions.  Then to determine how to answer those questions, using measurement with an emphasis on making sure the organization does not already have the data needed to answer the questions, and then getting the data that make economic sense. The process sounds simple; however as a practitioner, the problem I have observed is often that generating the initial involvement is difficult and that participants often have pet theories that are difficult to disarm.  For example, I once ran across an executive that was firmly convinced that having his software development teams work longer hours would increase productivity (he forgot that productivity equals output divided by input). Therefore, he wanted to measure which monitoring applications would make his developers work more hours.  It took several examples to retrain him to recognize that to increase productivity, he had to increase output (functionality) more than he increased input (effort). The process described by Hubbard is extremely useful, but remember that making it work requires both math and facilitation skills.

The remainder of the chapter focuses on providing examples that show the concepts in the book in action.  The cases cover a wide range of scenarios, from improving logistics (forecasting fuel needs for the Marine Corps) to measuring the value of a department.  Each case provides a lesson for the reader; however three messages make my bottom line:

  • While some say that the data is too hard to get, it usually isn’t.
  • Reducing uncertainty often requires only one or few measures.
  • Framing the question as a reduction in uncertainty means that almost anything is measurable.

These three bottom line lessons summarize the philosophy of How To Measure Anything. But like the process to apply this philosophy, the devil is in the details.

Past installments of the Re-read Saturday of  How To Measure Anything, Third Edition

Chapter 1: The Challenge of Intangibles

Chapter 2: An Intuitive Measurement Habit: Eratosthenes, Enrico, and Emily

Chapter 3: The Illusions of Intangibles: Why Immeasurables Aren’t

Chapter 4: Clarifying the Measurement Problem

Chapter 5: Calibrated Estimates: How Much Do You Know Now?

Chapter 6: Quantifying Risk Through Modeling

Chapter 7: Quantifying The Value of Information

Chapter 8 The Transition: From What to Measure to How to Measure

Chapter 9: Sampling Reality: How Observing Some Things Tells Us about All Things

Chapter 10: Bayes: Adding To What You Know Now

Chapter 11: Preferences and Attitudes: The Softer Side of Measurement

Chapter 12: The Ultimate Measurement Instrument: Human Judges

Chapter 13: New Measurement Instruments for Management

We continue with the selection process for the next’ish book for the Re-Read Saturday.  We will read Commitment – Novel About Managing Project Risk by Olav Maassen and Chris Matts next.  Buy your copy today and start reading (use the link to support the podcast).  Mr. Adams has suggested that we will blow through the read of this book, therefore, doing the poll now will save time in a few weeks!  As in past polls please vote twice or suggest a write-in candidate in the comments.  We will run the poll for two more weeks.


Categories: Process Management

Managing for Happiness FAQ

NOOP.NL - Jurgen Appelo - Sat, 03/26/2016 - 21:27
Managing for Happiness cover (front)

In June 2016, John Wiley & Sons will release my “new” book Managing for Happiness, which will be a re-release of last year’s #Workout book. Some people asked me questions about that.

Why do you re-release the #Workout book with a publisher?

My aim is to be a full-time writer. That means I must sell more books so that I can earn a full income from writing. (Right now, I don’t.) A global publisher can help me with that. A second reason is that I want to reach as many people as possible with my message of better management with fewer managers. A third reason is that wider availability of the book (in bookstores and libraries) is not only good for new readers but also for my reputation as a public speaker.

Categories: Project Management