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Check if you’ve been hacked

June 17th, 2011

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Ideas and execution: The power of teams

March 26th, 2010

I came across an interesting post which covers a few interesting aspects of quality, teams, ideas and execution in software development.

Some interesting quotes:

“This is all your app is: a collection of tiny details.”

“If you give a good idea to a mediocre group, they’ll screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a good group, they’ll fix it. Or they’ll throw it away and come up with something else.

The post also contains a link to a youtube video where Ed Catmull from Pixar explains how they learned, through trial and error, to build teams that can execute.

Ed Catmull, Pixar: Keep Your Crises Small

The entire post can be found here:

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2010/01/cultivate-teams-not-ideas.html

How to Verify Technorati Claim Code?

January 29th, 2010

I you are registed with technorati and want to claim your blog, scroll down to the page and proceed to claim your blog. Enter the URL of your blog and click on “Claim this blog” to continue. Click on the checkbox and select “Include this blog in Technorati’s Blog Finder” then fill in the keywords for your blog inside the tags box. Once you are done, click on “Save Changes” and then get the claim code. You can copy the code and paste it in your sidebar or footer.

However, if you are like me who missed this step, you can still go back to your profile page, click on the “Check Claim” and copy the code which look something like this ”9ZSG2SR9GK3Q”. Paste this code in a new post such as this post then publish it. Go back and click on “Verify this URL” and you are almost done. Double check your email, if this is successful, you will receive an email with the following message.

This is an automatically-generated email.

Thank you for submitting your blog claim on Technorati. We have successfully crawled your blog and found the claim token, and your claim is now awaiting review.

Check back on Technorati after few days to see if your blog is being listed. Good Luck!

Certified Scrum Master

January 29th, 2010

After working with Scrum for over 3 years I am finally a Certified Scrum Master. This title sounds a lot more important and heavy than it actually is, it basically means I sat through a 2 day course on basic Scrum stuff. It sure doesn’t mean everyone who participated is now “certified” to lead a Scrum team successfully IMHO.

Since I am working with Scrum already for 3 years I was familiar with most topics and fortunately it seems we are not doing bad at all. To make the training a bit more valuable for me I would try to get some 1-on-1 time with Mike around the breaks, and ask him about Scrum Alliance related issues and ask his opinion on real life situations related to eBuddy.

When talking about the Scrum Alliance, I asked him if they were going to do something about the certification program. With all due respect, I would not trust our teams to many of the newly added Certified Scrum Masters. He agreed the name was badly chosen back in the day, but that it was legacy now, and they would announce a new name within a few weeks. He did share they were going to change the name of Certified Scrum Practitioner to Certified Scrum Professional. Obviously we ended up talking about Ken leaving the Scrum Alliance and Mike rejoining the Scrum Alliance. It seems Ken wanted to start a new certification program called Certified Scrum Developer (a 5 day course focussing on Scrum and Development practices like TDD, etc.) which could be taught by Ken himself only. Apparently this lead to Ken leaving the Scrum Alliance. I asked him what would happen in Ken with scrum.org and the Scrum Alliance would go their separate ways and he said that that would not make sense and that they were working very hard to keep everyone on board. Mike has had long heated phone calls with Ken in the past weeks but he thought they reached a break through. It seems Microsoft who was very much in favour of the Certified Scrum Developer program, will be working with Ken on this program and they confirmed to Mike that Ken was on board and this could all still be held under the umbrella of the Scrum Alliance. But like I mentioned before this will probably be announced in a few weeks.

I also brought up a few eBuddy specific practical situations, like how best to organize our teams when scaling up, going from 3 to 5 teams, and how to track value added  to a product, with an open ended scope opposed to a more or less closed scoped project.

Here are a few new and old ideas I will bring up in a session with the teams to see if they make sense in our case:

  • Plan releases more ahead and use the 90% confidence interval
  • Track progress with (alternative) release burndown
  • Evaluate how well we execute on our plan
  • Use these statistics in retrospectives to make things more transparent
  • Setup communities of Practice (E.g. QA, SM, TDD, etc.)

Internal microblogging, alternative to yammer : status.net

October 23rd, 2009

Many people in the web 2.0 business are twitter users. Ok not all of them are very active, but they get the general idea. Let’s face it #irc is quite web 1.0 and microblogging seems the perfect way to share information within your organization. So a lot of these companies started using yammer, instead of twitter since they didn’t want their sometimes confidential internal communication to end up in the wrong hands.

Today I came across http://status.net an open source microblogging tool. Maybe you already heard about http://identi.ca an alternative to twitter which is based on the StatusNet software (formerly called laconi.ca). This software is open source and can be downloaded here. The software is based on php and mysql and has some dependencies on gd and curl.

In about 30 minutes the site was up and running. The documentation and especially the installation instructions were a bit outdated, so it was pretty much a trial and error thing. I had some issues getting gd and curl enabled for php and I struggled a bit with the fancy urls (e.g. http://status.net/nverdo/all in stead of a url with lots of parameters) required some changes to the AllowOveride attribute in apache. If you want to get an idea what can be configured your best bet is the config.sample.php. This file contains a lot of commented settings which you can experiment with.

So today some of the ebuddy team already started experimenting with our internal twitter like system. The idea is everyone can inform others of events, from a build going to staging or inform people of an issue. We can also integrate it with our continuous integration server (TeamCity) via jabber and our monitoring tools, so together with the ‘human’ updates everyone can subscribe to the information which is relevant to them. Like twitter it has search capability, and since updates have timestamps, this also provides an event log.

Palm Pre Emulator – 1 minute install

October 23rd, 2009

This is how all mobile device manufacturers should make their mobile OS’s available.It was (less than) a 1 minute install to get it up and running. Ok it was easy since I already had VirtualBox, but compared to the nightmare called Maemo (still haven’t got it up and running), it was a stroll in my own backyard.

It makes sense for device manufacturers to deliver proper tools for the development community, since they all have app stores they want to monetize. This is one of the reasons I think not many developers will jump on the maemo bandwagon just yet, their SDK right out sucks. Not like any developer would want to have their app in the Nokia OVI store anyway.

palm_pre_emulator

Familiar though Funny Windows 7 vs Mac add from Apple

October 23rd, 2009

It can’t beat the similar Wii vs Playstation ad though

Revenge of the Nerds

October 21st, 2009

Off course you all remember the movie from the 80′s where the geeks overcome the jocks and take home the cheerleaders. But this then probably perceived as the unthinkable may just have become a reality. The social revolution which has really started to pickup in 2006, brought about many startups which have tried to take their share. But most prominent are quite obviously facebook and twitter.

The CEO’s of these companies, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Suckerberg, don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for these guys, but just looking at them, they aren’t exactly prototype highschool hunks.

I guess it comes as no surprise that so called nerds who are generally the shy types, not really fond of face to face social interaction, ‘invented’ other means of communication. The companies from Mark and Jack have changed our every day communication and social interaction in particular, but there are millions of ‘nerds’ out there (I consider myself one of them) who work for companies in this new communication space, some more successful than others, who keep contributing to the social revolution.

Twitter has probably been the most significant in changing online social interaction. In fact Facebook’s homepage was recently changed to resemble a more twitter like stream, instead of their previous Wall format. An interesting concluding fact, twitter only just recently surpassed 5 billion total tweets, which is if you think about it quite minimal for a service which has influenced our online interaction already so much. BTW at my employer ebuddy.com we are not really impressed with 5 billion messages though :-)