The retrospective: review of my goals for 2009

The year is ending and it’s time to have a small retrospective around the goals I wanted to accomplish in 2009.

Continue reading “The retrospective: review of my goals for 2009”

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[Link] Scrum one of the worst tech of the zero years?

From O’Reilly’s Best and Worst of Tech 2000-2009.

Nice read, I totally agree with the best of tech, but the worst are more controversial, among others:  SOAP (thumbs up), ubiquitous work (uhmmm… not sure …) and Scrum! (ok, I may agree on some of the points below but from here to say it’s one of the worst tech …)

The Cult of Scrum
If Agile is the teachings of Jesus, Scrum is every abuse ever perpetrated in his name. In many ways, Scrum as practiced in most companies today is the antithesis of Agile, a heavy, dogmatic methodology that blindly follows a checklist of “best practices” that some consultant convinced the management to follow.

Endless retrospectives and sprint planning sessions don’t mean squat if the stakeholders never attend them, and too many allegedly Agile projects end up looking a lot like Waterfall projects in the end. If companies won’t really buy into the idea that you can’t control all three variables at once, calling your process Agile won’t do anything but drive your engineers nuts.

Two tips about writing technical books

  1. From the book Coders At Work by Peter Seibel , in the interview with  Paul Hudak (coinventor of Haskell) it’s mentioned that he wanted to write a book related to science or art and a functional language so the coding examples would be not the usual ones and more practical.
    It’s a great idea, I was myself thinking about writing on economic exercise using one of the new language I wish to learn.
  2. (via mrmeyer). Explain complex things using crisis:

    There are two chapters in the Head First Programming book, in which the reader learns searching, strings, and branching. Watch how they do this:

    • First, you learn how to pull down the text of a webpage for your “employer,” the CEO of Starbuzz.
    • But then your employer gets sick of looking at raw HTML and you have to search strings to find the price information he’s looking for.
    • But then he needs an emergency option so he can place an order if the price drops below a certain point.
    • But then he needs a notification system, so your program will Tweet him that information immediately.

    And so on. It’s extremely satisfying.

My new job

I signed the contract for my new job and will start beginning of January.

I’m very happy, it is an interesting challenge where I will learn a lot of new things and a nice change after the Yahoo experience.

I will join an automotive company which develops a platform for car dealer management, basically an advanced and vertical ERP system. The company has a product since almost 10 years on the market and successfully sold all over the world.

My job there will be as the project manager responsible to develop the next generation platform, ready for the next 10 years.

It will be the opportunity for me to learn about new areas as the automotive industry, the ERP, CRM and BI applications, and many new technical systems, tools and resources.

Also – very interesting – the product should be developed using an agile approach, without a big up-front design phases and actively listening from a partner network (the customers) and incorporating their feedbacks into the development process.

As said recently by Microsoft Dynamics consultant Vjekoslav Babic, not an easy task:

We say that with ERP we don’t start from scratch. We must know all the requirements up front because anything we do impacts tens or hundreds of functions. If we just add things incrementally, we might need a lot of rework. So we need a “big picture” up front, we need to design everything in such a way that this huge ERP structure doesn’t collapse.

But no matter what we do, the requirements will change. ERP implementations take 20 months to complete (on average). Do you think your business is going to be exactly the same in 20 months as it is today?

Where are we with ERP? Still rowing up the waterfall. With today’s turbulent economy, it’s more like rowing up the Niagara Falls. Today, you can’t tell for sure what you are going to do or need in 2 months, let alone 20. Plus, with liquidity issues everywhere, you must make sure that your investment is sound, and that it delivers the expected return; you can’t gamble with 20% chance of achieving 50% of expected benefits.

The “real” difference between JSP and PHP

I had to laugh when I read the beginning of the answer to the question “What is the difference between JSP and PHP?” posted on the site jGuru :

(emphasis is mine)

PHP is an open-source page scripting/templating system that is very similar to JSP […]. It defines its own scripting language, which looks and feels a lot like Perl. JSP uses Java as its scripting language […].

PHP is very popular — it is used on over a million web sites — but its main advantage (IMHO) seems to be that the language, being more “scripty” and Perl-like, is less intimidating to the great unwashed mass of HTML monkeys and hackers. In the long run, JSP and Java provide a more powerful system.