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Comment: Have tried everything (Score 2) 205

by Stormcrow309 (#44249177) Attached to: How Do You Get Better Bug Reports From Users?

Hello everyone,

I have tried a bunch of ways. Trained the 'expert' users in the area on how to put in a better ticket. Sent tickets back to them because of lack of information. Judicious of cattle prods and a tack hammer... However, users will use what method is easiest to them, which tends to be:

  1. Calling someone they know directly
  2. Emailing someone they know directly
  3. Emailing the ticket capture email address with 'Call me'
  4. Calling the service desk
  5. Screaming at someone from IS in the hallway
  6. Emailing the ticket capture email address with a long email chain which tangentally mentions the issue somewhere in the middle
  7. Complaining to coworkers
  8. not doing anything
  9. Log into the ticket system and put in 'call me'

Comment: Stats (Score 1) 572

by Stormcrow309 (#30727010) Attached to: Why Programmers Need To Learn Statistics

I find tfa pretty clueless when it comes a real understanding on what is needed for performance testing and tweaking. A statistical analysis is nice, especially with monte carlo type analysis, like Bungie running Halo 3 on numerious xboxs simulating load and player interactions. However, I find that what is lacking with programmers is a basic understanding on the high levels of process analysis, such as network analysis, CPM, and PERT. Knowing a process has high levels of variance is nice, but not useful for understanding the why. Where is Zed's example of multivariant linear regression or ordered probit? Discussion on hypothesis testing? Anyone, anyone?

As a side note, Statistics in a Nutshell is the only book programmers really need on stats.


Google Applies To Become Energy Marketer 160

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-aren't-they-doing-now dept.
necro81 writes "Google consumes massive amounts of electrical energy to power its data centers across the country and world. Now it has created a subsidiary, Google Energy LLC, and applied (pdf) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to become a utility-scale energy trader. Google's stated aim is to be able to purchase renewable energy directly from producers at bulk rates, pursuing its goal of becoming carbon neutral. It is likely that Google Energy would also permit Google's own renewable energy projects to sell their energy at more favorable rates. Google reportedly does not have plans to actively become an energy broker, a la Enron."

Comment: Re:Comparison (Score 1) 709

by Stormcrow309 (#30681214) Attached to: Office Work Ethic In the IT Industry?


I agree with your statement. IT does a bad job learning their customer's business. I think it has to do with the inherent IT ego. I work on some systems (Infor's SmartStream and BPA for example) where other customers can't believe that IT is so heavily involved in business process decisions. Many of our business process improvement projects are run by our systems department (were our IT project managers are) instead of the functional users. For a midcap organization, that seems to be unusual. (Observed phenomina that would make a good research article) However, it works for us.

Don't get me wrong, we still make spectacular screwups. Usually it is due to the lack of a rigourous project management methodology. I am the only person with the project management professional (PMP) certification and there is some resistance against my calls for a more formal process. (I don't want full PMI methodology, only an idiot wants to apply that willy nilly) Ends up that a good quarter to half of my projects start out as someone else's. It is my experience that the major issues tend to be lack of requirements analysis, cost control, and/or scope control being the major issues here. (Another observed phenomina that would make a good research article - should I start writing the problem statements for my fellow researcher too? Get busy) Better training and education would fix some of these issues.

Comment: Comparison (Score 2, Insightful) 709

by Stormcrow309 (#30671708) Attached to: Office Work Ethic In the IT Industry?

Let me make a comparison. I and another analyst are working similar projects with a similar timeframe. He has worked here for a year after college. I have worked for ten. We have four weeks to finish the project. I finish mine in two weeks at about four hours a day, five days a week. He takes all four weeks, working ten hour days, seven days a week. The difference between us is really experience. I will spend my time up front learning my users wants and needs, while he works on the rock methodology of requirements analysis. (User: I want a rock. Analyst: Is this the rock you want? User: No, find a different rock. Goto Beginning.) I take time every week to network with my users and learn their business processes and what their problems are. My cohort just is to busy showing everyone how smart he is and how hard he works. That is why I read the WSJ, Slashdot, Wired, the Economist, some industry rags (our core business, not IT), and Tech Review at work. It helps for me to understand what my customer needs are, sometimes before they do. Design iterations are quicker and more complete solution wise. Trying to explain it to a fresh face out of college who has been taught just to code is very difficult.

Comment: Re:They have a point (Score 1) 671

by Stormcrow309 (#30365866) Attached to: Google CEO Says Privacy Worries Are For Wrongdoers


You make a valid point. The discussion becomes what is private and what is not. Lets go to your example of pedophiles. First off, I agree with the bullet to the brainpan concept of handling pedophiles. However, I am think more of the implied children. My brother does not want pictures of his sons on the net while they are minors, especially when they are very young due to the preceived temptation it is to preditors. It is a valid point to encourgage better privacy. When we consider the number of complaints comming to light of Iran's intellegence services targeting expat dissidents, the argument becomes stronger. When we allow for information that can be sigificantly damaging to someone to become public domain, the World suffers in ways we might not anticipate.

Comment: Kindle (Score 1) 260

by Stormcrow309 (#30353008) Attached to: Barnes & Noble's Nook, Reviewed

Having a kindle and a tendency of reading more then the average geek, due to my Ph.D. work (I read about a Robert Jordon book and a half a day between work-school-pleasure reading, not considering websites and email). I love my kindle for pleasure reading, but find that it does not do a good job for academic or professional reading where one has to cite the work. The form factor works for me, where a DX would be a little too large. I can do about four page flips per second with my kindle, which isn't too bad.

The PDF function works for me since the firmware update, but I don't read game manuals or such. Mostly I read journal articles and vendor documents. I prefer to print those out, since my note taking methodology is kindle-incompatable. I am building summary of the articles I am reading for annotated outlines, so it makes sense to print for my type of work.

What I like the best about the Kindle is the portability mixed with readability and battery life. I have mobipocket on my windows phone and could be a pain at times to read, due to the eye strain and backlight sucking the life out of the battery. I use a book light, which has an advantage with regular books and journal articles. In all, the kindle works for me.

I do have the Kindle app for the PC, but it doesn't really work for me. I wished they did have one for the android phone, just when I can't take my bag with me.

Comment: RDBMS do the job (Score 1) 381

by Stormcrow309 (#30044132) Attached to: The NoSQL Ecosystem

Database size is usually not an issue for modern RDBMS, such as Microsoft SQL, Sybase ASE, Oracle, or IBM's DB2. I am running an ERP on Sybase with 3 TB worth of data, a datamart on Microsoft with 5 TB, a Patient Record System on Microsoft with 20 TB, a HR system with 2 TB, and a Patient Accounting system on Oracle with 8 TB of data. All of these systems talk with at least one other system, usually with the assistance of SSIS (Thank god for SSIS, our ETL is heavy lifting, approx. 5 TB a night of incrementals). With enough server hardware, we can scale up to very large levels easily. We forcast out our data size needs out for the next three years and have been very accurate, not running across SAN issues.

Only systems we have had issues with in the area of data size is MySQL and Informix.

Comment: Report Writing (Score 1) 301

by Stormcrow309 (#30033088) Attached to: Reporting To Executives

Write a detailed report, explaining all the jargon simply, and then summerize it to about 150 to 350 words. Most executives will read the "executive summery", but you will get bonus points from having the further content. However, if you decide to fill the body of the report with junk, you will find out that some of your reports are being read front to back.

Working on my Ph.D., I have a tendency of writing work reports within the 10 to 20 pages range, using APA citing. I use extended abstracts (~350 words, check the report section of APA 5) and use a clear style of writing, expecting my readers to be college educated, but not to the extent that I am educated. However, I tend to be writing lengthy project plans, audits of projects and systems, and in depth analysis of business processes and products.

I treat status reports differently. Status reports are rarely over ~350 words, weekly reports trending at ~150. Brevity is king here. I put in a table of all of my projects with their status, next milestone, CPI, SPI, and EAC. I might also include PDFs of relevent reports that I had published that week.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe