Posts made in 2014

  

Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast

I recently saw an email from a colleague who mentioned that they did not have time to properly resolve a technical issue because they needed to hurry to get their code ready for testing. At the time, I was reading Stephen Hunter’s novel The 47th Samurai about an U.S. sniper. One of the themes within […]

The Role of Quality Assurance

My understanding of the role of QA (quality assurance) in software development has evolved considerably over the course of my career. At first I was unaware of their existence, coding in blissful ignorance. My first interactions with testers who found embarrassing defects in my code gave me the idea that QA was about testing. This […]

World Class Mindset

I had an interesting experience some time ago when I went up eight flights of stairs to go to a meeting. When I arrived at the meeting room badly out of breathe, someone remarked that I must be in good shape because I took the stairs rather than the elevator. I was shocked by the […]

Issues with ITIL Change Management

While the concepts behind ITIL seemed reasonable when I first learned about it, I have become concerned about the effectiveness of ITIL change management in practice, particularly in comparison to the practice of continuous delivery. Change management can mean many things. I am referring to it in the context of ITIL service management which Wikipedia […]

Questioning Testing

A fictional dialogue is presented below to explore and question the traditional role of the I.T. quality assurance department. The characters are: Bess: Manager of a line of business. Asa: Manager of the I.T. quality assurance (QA) department. The scenario is that Bess has asked I.T. to provide some software to monitor and drive improvements […]

Troubleshooting Incidents and Blackboard Architectures

I recently helped with troubleshooting a complex, multiple-day incident that seemed to be a never-ending stream of surprises. Communication between the various teams involved and their management was a challenge, with different theories being discussed in separate discussion threads with only partially overlapping sets of participants. After the dust settled, I took the time to […]

Impressions of TOGAF

I recently took a four day course on TOGAF – The Open Group Architecture Framework covering both Part I (foundation) and Part II (certified), and I wanted to share my impressions. The TOGAF standard is available online and has an excellent executive summary. The following quotes serve as an elevator pitch for TOGAF: TOGAF is […]

Staffing Software Development Teams

Recently I had a few discussions relating to the staffing of software development teams, and I was dismayed to learn that some managers viewed this as merely getting the right number of FTE (full-time equivalents) placed onto each team. In this flawed traditional command-and-control viewpoint, people are nothing more than interchangeable resources, and teams are […]

Software Developer’s Creed

I am a Software Developer. I am a coder and a member of a team. I serve the customers and end users of the software. I will always place the project first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never ignore a team member needing help. I am disciplined, mentally tough, […]

Balancing Order and Chaos with Process

Whether it is software development projects or I.T. operations, many larger organizations seem enamored with process as the solution to their problems. The default reaction to negative outcomes or variances between people in performing activities is to add more process. Process provides an ordered structure for keeping such chaos at bay. This reflects an underlying […]