Friday, August 29, 2008

The problem with problems

Just a few random thoughts - regarding problems:
(Photo by Filip Pizlo)
  • most are not clearly understood prior to trying to solve
  • don't over react
  • a problem has a good chance of providing new ideas (the wheel was invented because delivering hot/fresh pizza was a problem for Pizza Hut)
  • don't under-react
  • problems are the reasons for plans and processes
  • make sure you learn something from them or at least have a cold beer once they're resolved
  • don't point fingers and waste time on blame (save that for when you're having the beer)
  • turn the page upside down when looking at problems (old trick I use)
  • banging your head against the wall helps sometimes

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Digital Bill of Rights

(via TechCrunch):

As much as I don't like government getting involved in ANYTHING - there is a reason we have them around (outside of being able to make fun of the slimy politicians). Regulation is needed to protect us from the 'open market' that will eventually push the boundaries of digital rights and privacy until the internet is no more then a commercial and all of our activities are closely monitored (yes - I'm more afraid of infringement from big business then from big government).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Backlash...a risk worth noting

For those project managers out there who concern themselves with p0st-launch's one:
Ning Shuts Down Premium Developer WidgetLaboratory
What really happened will probably never be known, but it's something to track especially if you're a PM involved with an open API initiative. Mediation planning..??..
  • clearly defined rules of use
  • consistent/transparent communication
  • potential compensation for users impacted

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What is 25% complete?

I'm working in a shared project management tool environment and recently saw the 'addition' of 4 new task/issue statues:
  • development 25% complete
  • development 50% complete
  • development 75% complete
  • development 100% complete
I understand the desire to 'understand' how far along the development effort is, but in my opinion - this is just another example of someone putting a number to something that they obviously don't really understand. What is 25% complete? what is complete? Who makes that determination? The use of completeness is an sure indication that the project is jeopardy of not being can I determine this? Any project manager or developer of any skill level, will not volunteer this type of information - so, it must have been put in place based on the customer's request to understand why the project is late or why they're not seeing any results. THIS brings us some insight into one of the prior questions: Who determines what complete is? The real answer is the customer - the person putting the $ on the table for the delivery. If that's the case then unless the task is 100% complete then it's not complete (the customer isn't going to say...gee my burger looks 25% complete)..there's the old story of a developer taking 2 days to get a task 99% complete and another year to get the final 1%...
Don't get yourself in the position of reporting something as 25% complete - understand what the customer is expecting as a delivery and ensure that you provide timely/accurate/meaningful updates. There's no such thing as always delivering on time...the dissatisfaction from the customer is usually in not understanding what is happening and not seeing any positive movement (a good PM needs to manage expectations).

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm nearing the end of this book - which is basically a compilation of Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character with the special inclusion of a audio CD of one of Feynman's talks..(you really get more into who this person is when you can hear him). EXCELLENT reading about a real person who excelled in his field (worked on the atomic bomb, get a Nobel Peace Price, Space Shuttle disaster, etc.). Some take a-ways:
  • understanding and memorizing are two different things
  • if you can simply state the problem, solution, etc. so the average non-involved person can understand - it probably means YOU understand
  • once you can 'visualize' the system, solution, etc. without working through the details - then you can declare some level of competence in the field
  • being able to work with others in mapping a solution that does not involve positioning, politics, etc. is a sign of a very healthy relationship
  • have fun in what ever you do
  • never be intimidated by what YOU think other people are thinking about you (WHO CARES)
  • opportunities are all around - be ready to recognize them

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Politics And The English Language - George Orwell

At this point it's difficult to write without thinking how badly I do write:

i. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
ii. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
iii. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
iv. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
v. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
vi. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

DNS hack - test your DNS NOW!

It's one of those REAL threats to your security....thanks to Dan Kaminsky action has been taken prior to the announcement and a test for security provided - click above for more info. Just some proof that there are responsible people out there - and those people are doing A LOT to ensure the internet is usable and safe (not big business - just a typical tech head)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Something new, something old, something cloud.....

here's a link to another article about the 'new' approach to computing - CLOUD COMPUTING!

WOW! Software leasing, consumption based computing, ASP, etc.....sorry, it's been around for a while - and if you broaden the definition just a bit, it includes any web site....if anything, I think this is a sign that innovation in IT is slowing dramatically down. Where - or more importantly what - is Web 3.0? Why isn't mobile internet the norm instead of still a nice to have? Why is security still lagging? Hopefully, after summer break the deep thinkers will be back in innovation mode and start churning out some new ideas (what comes after blogging, twitter, wiki's and other aging thoughts?)

(image via:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

the future is here!
Simply amazing!


Use OpenDNS

Another find - via (Leo Laporte). OpenDNS provides a filter for unwanted (aka porn) and phising sites so that your entire network is safe (great for family networks). Seems some companies are using it also - reducing the need to manage DNS's internally. I'm not a network expert, but this approach to where you/your-family can venture seems to make to much sense.