“Staff Liquidity is a staff allocation approach that meant we always had the most experienced staff available to work on a high priority item at the drop of a hat. This was achieved by allocation based on “who could do the job with help” rather than “who could do the job”.”—
Soon after the consultants left there was a backlash on anything labelled “agile” among business users. Mitchell gave the example of a trader that got furious after his 50-page requirements document was thrown in the bin.
At the point where Mitchell took over the project, it was so “politically toxic” that the only way to run it was to make everything very visible to mitigate political risks.
“This is analagous to the ‘indulgences’ that the Catholic church sold in the middle ages. The bishops collected lots of money and the sinners got redemption. Both parties liked that arrangement despite its absurdity. That is exactly what’s happening. We’ve got the developed countries who want to continue more or less business as usual and then these developing countries who want money and that is what they can get through offsets [sold through the carbon markets].”—James Hansen (head of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies) talks about Obama’s “cap-and-trade” legislation in Copenhagen climate change talks must fail, says top scientist
“The idea that I have in mind is to flip technical debt around. We need to see clean flexible code as an asset and count it as an asset. When a non-technical person wants something faster, we need to be able to talk about how much of their asset they would be losing if they want a rush job. They also need to know how much it would cost to restore the asset, and it’s almost always far more than the original development cost.”—Michael Feathers’ Blog: Beyond Technical Debt
If you’re a Ruby author who cares about distributing your software to more than just other programmers’ laptops, you only need to take some simple action with your existing Gems to make them compatible that the Debian folk wrote years ago. I’d add the following to these tips though:
1. don’t use the gem command in your main code at all, use a loader program that pulls it in if you need it. In almost all cases it is going away in 1.9, and good riddance;
2. if you provide a Ruby library called foobar, make sure your gem is also called foobar, and preferably only provides a single module called Foobar;
3. don’t use capital letters in your gem name - amazingly there are already some gems in the namespace that differ only by case!
“But the biggest mistake made in Gems was to add to the language. In Java, or C, or Python, or any other language, to include a library, you do the same thing, regardless of who installed the library, or where. But in Ruby, a gem command was added to the language. And you need the rubygems library included first in order to use that command.”—Bytemark blog | Ruby gems, and when we’ll be shot of them
“That the message of the XP and Agile community was once “professional programming is about the programmers and customers stupid” was what gave the movement teeth, and ever since then, the community has been trying to soften that blow, include all the specialist roles from CEO to janitor so that no one feels left out, or that their political interests aren’t being served. The resultant watered-down drivel has resulted in Agile becoming synonymous with ‘good’ moved ‘development practices’ into a footnote in some Agile systems (I talking to you Ken Schwaber and the Scrum folks) and once again made software development about non-technical goals and practices. To once again quote Mister Stephenson I call bullshytt.”—Thoughts On …: The Death of Agile by Bill Caputo
“Unlike open source projects, customers needs/desires aren’t publicly visible on a website. I’m relatively new at building relationships with clients a level above the code. It helps that I’m outgoing, but I do forget to do some of the business-building activities that pure business-focused leader would do. Instead I still get lost in code for days or weeks at a time. Since all the mocranites are open source, hacking junkies like me that means that we all suffer from the incurable disease of “this can be fixed with code”. I think, tragically, some things can’t be fixed with code.”—Rails Underground: A Chat with Dr Nic
“The real tragedy with this story is that this competitor is not all that bright. They don’t know that they can’t really afford to pay that much for a click and make profits (they’re not thinking about profits — they just raised a bunch of money). Your problem is not that they’re super-smart, it’s that they’re super-ignorant. And that’s the thing with PPC. *You’re basically at the mercy of the stupidest market entrant*.”— Startups: How To Build A Barrier To Entry With Inbound Marketing
“Your strategy shouldn’t be “go raise a bunch of money, then use that money to go buy your way to some customers. Then, make it up in volume.” Though that can certainly work, that’s not a defensible barrier to entry. Just about anyone can spend money (some smarter than others). You need to *focus on creativity, not cash*.”— Startups: How To Build A Barrier To Entry With Inbound Marketing
“One of the main fears, expressed repeatedly during the evening, was the sheer cost of a libel case. Although the damages at stake might be just £10,000, going to trial can mean risking more than £1m. This means that a blogger has to ask whether he or she can afford the possibility of bankruptcy. Even if a blogger is 90% confident of victory, there is still a 10% chance of failure, which is why bloggers often back down, withdraw and apologise for material they believe is true, fair and important to the public.”— England’s libel laws don’t just gag me, they blindfold you | Simon Singh - Times Online