This Week in Twitter

  • You have developed web sites for too long… if you have Fiddler installed on your home PC. #
  • @bobuk жгет прямо сейчас на http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bobuk-meets-new-year успевайте #
  • RT Bewegung bei Deezer http://bit.ly/8x57bN via @TCEurope #
  • BrowserHttp streams, but has no headers. ClientHttp has headers, but doesn’t stream #Silverlight #networking #from #hell #
  • @umputun NYSE isn’t going to send their data using twits yet, is it :)? http://tcrn.ch/4DnHit by @arrington #
  • Got an invitation on a #Smalltalk con: “Are you ready for web2.0?”. Web2.0 is out, @cincom. Please wake up and try with iPhone, Android. #
  • –8 degrees today, and I biked. But that’s nothing. My mum has also biked. #
  • Going to Riga until the end of the week #
  • Riga today: cold, nothing to eat, nothing to buy, and two churches instead of sightseeing. #
  • Sitting in cold Riga in hotel with no water and hearing podcast about why ipad is the new world of computing. #

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Software process summary

I believe, I could show how software processes can be avoided in the company. And it will not only not compromize, but indeed improve its efficiency, manageability, and structure. To achieve it,

  • Create a common vocabulary of artifacts and activities instead of a common process
  • Ensure presence and motivation of competent professionals
  • Learn how and where to trust them

Just to be sure, I’ll provide a couple of examples what is process and what’s not.

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Software process replaces competent employees…NOT

Previous blog posts have outlined a better alternative to a software process. Software project activities will be improvised according to the concrete situation: the kind of the project, technologies used, people in the workgroup, people on the customer side, and the contract details.

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Manage software project risks by using a corporate process… NOT

In ISV businesses, the cost of an average man-hour C (including all direct and indirect expenditures) is below the hourly rate charged to the customers P. The ratio M=P/C defines the profit margin used as a buffer to compensate for failed projects, and for investitions into new products and services.

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To increase efficiency, follow a software process… NOT

Software processes promise to increase efficiency, so the software can be developed cheaper, quicker, or with a better quality.

For a classical example of how it can be achieved, let’s examine the waterfall process. One of its ideas — to gather as complete and detailed requirements as possible upfront and to freeze them after the customer’s sign off, — appeals immediately to any engineer’s heart.

But why do we like this idea?

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On Software Process

When I was member of the young pioneer organization, which was the communist boy-scouts pendant, I’ve learned its rule “criticizing, suggest”. Basically it means, it is uncool to criticize without proposing an alternative solution.

So I felt myself obligated to supplement the process critique with some constructive solutions, which in my opinion should be at least considered in any emerging software company thinking about installing or improving their software process.

A software process defines artifacts and activities. Both of them can be either directly a deliverable/service for the customer, or be created/executed purely for internal purposes. By carefully choosing, adapting and shaping the activities and artifacts, and by defining the execution timeline, software processes promise to achieve some benefits for a software development business, in comparison to the absence of any formally described process.

  • Software processes increase efficiency.
  • Software processes enable risk management.
  • Software processes is a safety net for worst-cases and a learning tool.

While promises of software processes sound REALLY interesting (I myself was in fact a passionate believer of Extreme Programming for a long time), can they be achieved in reality?

Part 2 of series on Software Process

Geopolitics

Some time ago, I’ve added “When China Rules the World” by Martin Jacques into my Amazon wishlist. I was attracted by the provocative title and believed it should be a small book containing sarcastic passages about prejudices about both world and the chinese culture, witty anecdotes and such. Something like “User’s Guide to <put your country name>”.

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This Week in Twitter

  • I favorited a YouTube video — Pink — I don’t believe you http://youtu.be/1qX97WlXef8?a #
  • I thought the configuration of WCF is very bad, but they made it even worse in WCF4: http://bit.ly/8dsDdv #EPIC #FAIL #
  • Silverlight MediaElement has issues playing Icecast streams with AutoPlay=true. Workaround: call Play() manually. #
  • Trinke zum letzten Mal Teekanne’s “Wind der Savanne” :( NB: nächstes Lieblingstee rechtzeitig auf Vorrat kaufen #
  • http://bit.ly/6osYnw Read the article title and tell me: is your first thought also “it is a joke”? But they are serious… #
  • Modern programming: throwing frameworks and patterns in a bag and shaking it in a hope they magically glue to a solution #
  • The buffer size of Silverlight MediaElement cannot be set below 229396 bytes :( #
  • Wondering why Cache-Control: no-cache isn’t called Expire: Immediately #

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Culture variability

The more I learn about different cultures, the more I find cases when same thing has different meaning in different cultures.

The most well-known example is, probably, the white color, in european tradition meaning purity and innosence, but in Japan related to death.

My favorite is what you should do with birthday presents. One line of thought teaches to unpack them right away. By doing it, you allow the presenter to see how delighted you are because of the gift. Besides, if you don’t look at the present, the presenter may think you’re not interested in it, and therefore in him.

Another tradition believes it is better to unpack the present later and alone. If the present is too cheap, the presenter may be publicly ashamed of it. And by ignoring the present you are sending the message that the presenter is more imporant for you than the present.

Go figure what is better.

Today I’ve learned another example. The moon is something cold and evil (the opposite of the sun) in Europe. But in China, it seems to mean something pure and constant, like in the song 月亮代表我的心 (my love is like a moon).

And this made me thinking about invariants in the world cultures. I believe, the vision of friendship and love being the most important immaterial values is the same across most cultures (unfortunately, I cannot say “all” cultures, because I know one where it is not so). What else is invariant? Is “treat others like you want you’ll be treated” it?..

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