Thursday, September 15, 2016

Information Radiator

An information radiator displays information in a place where passersby can see it. With information radiators, the passersby don’t need to ask questions; the information simply hits them as they pass.
Alistair Cockburn

A picture from 'Kanban in Action' .
Book authors: Marcus Hammarberg and Joakim Sunden.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Frederick Brooks on Requirements Development

The hardest single part of building a software system is deciding precisely what to build. No other part of the conceptual work is as difficult as establishing the detailed technical requirements, including all the interfaces to people, to machines, and to other software systems. No other part of the work so cripples the resulting system if done wrong. No other part is more difficult to rectify later.

Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering (pp. 13), 1987, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Monday, September 5, 2016

If you’re not failing, you’re probably not trying as hard as you could be

All the failures I’ve overcome? That’s much more important than any successes. I had to repeat ninth grade. I had to repeat the beginning of graduate school. I lost my major source of funding just before I came up for tenure. One of the major things — news flash — that they judge you on for tenure is whether you can support yourself. In each case, it helps if you can think out of the box and think of a new way of doing things. The other thing is: Follow your dreams, even if it does mean taking a risk. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not trying as hard as you could be. And being petrified of failure means you’re going to be probably a very extreme underachiever.
One of the things we recruit people for in my lab is being nice. That’s the ethos we try to encourage. “Nice guys finish last” — isn’t that a terrible message to be sending to the next generation?
I think what goes around comes around. You have to really want all the teams to succeed, all the boats to float. You want your competitors to not fail. It’s hard enough to get progress in the world if everybody’s succeeding.
. . . 
From Alvin Powell's interview with George Church (Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School).