Monthly Archive: August 2007

Aug 26

Suggestions for Prognosticators

Don’t bet against human ingenuity.   If your prediction involves the concept that “people will never be able to overcome this challenge”, you’re wrong. Don’t bet against the laws of physics.   Duh.  Except that sometimes, humans manage to find loopholes. Don’t misunderstand what people want.   People don’t want cars.  They want a way to get …

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Aug 24

The Interface to Yog-Sothoth

Subtitled: The ever-changing API and the Path to Madness Agile Software Development is (at least partially) about the fact that change happens in software projects, and, as practitioners, it is clear that resisting change seems to be more expensive and error-inducing than simply accepting it. But the fact that this is generally true certainly doesn’t …

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Aug 22

Overcoming Bias

I really, really enjoy this blog, and this video by the progenitor of the blog is a very nice introduction to the concepts. All of us have biases that we don’t recognize.  It makes us better analysts to realize we have them, and to work on methods to compensate for them.

Aug 22

Mission Critical

Subtitled:  You don’t build a nuclear weapon like you build a cabinet. The first of my heresies – Don’t use agile techniques to build mission critical apps. One commenter replied “Why not do agile with a zero defect mindset.” It’s a fair response, if every defect could be found through “typical” testing. But I’ve done …

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Aug 21

When to be agile, and when not to be

My opinions: When to be agile When you’re dealing with constantly changing requirements When there’s a lot of uncertainty about how to build the system When there’s a lot of variability – priority changes, multiple projects, etc When you want the team to “gel” quickly When you want the team to take ownership of their …

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Aug 16

Books I’ve been waiting a long time for

A Method for Madness, by David Gerrold. The previous book came out in 1994 A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin. The previous book came out in Oct, 2005. What else have people been waiting a long time for? *Ack, I can’t believed I typed “fore” instead of “for”.*

Aug 14

Simulations R Us

From the New York Times: Until I talked to Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at Oxford University, it never occurred to me that our universe might be somebody else’s hobby. I hadn’t imagined that the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the heavens and earth could be an advanced version of a guy who spends his weekends building …

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Aug 10


Now that everyone at work knows, I can tell my loyal readers (all 2 of you) that I have taken a new job, as the CTO of the Sunlight Foundation. It’s a non-profit, based in DC, that focuses on using technology and the Internet to spotlight waste, fraud, corruption and “questionable” behavior in Congress. I …

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Aug 10

Comments are down

For some reason, the wp_comments table has disappeared. I may have lost all of my comments 🙁 Hopefully, I’ll be able to get new comments to start appearing, however. *Update* – The MySQL web front-end “Repair” button worked wonders, once I figured out which database the blog was connected to.

Aug 07

Fantastically bad strawman argument

Courtesy of 800-CEO Read  (who I normally find quite solid) I don’t mind, so much, when people say “Don’t pay off your house, invest that money in the stock market”.  I don’t agree, but I don’t mind. But when you combine that with this bizarre BS “double asset” accounting, I get seriously frustrated. Let’s review: …

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Aug 03

Carnival of the Agilists – 8/3/07

Welcome to the August 3rd Carnival of the Agilists. Today’s theme is: I’m running late. Ideas Do it *bleeping* now – Jeff Atwood Why is my project late?  – Jack Vinson Analysis and discussion of the Ten Undeniable Truths of Project Management – Phillip McGuin George Dinwiddie (who wisely submitted via email) on “Running Interference” …

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