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Comment: CMMI != Certification (Score 1) 228

by syntap (#45826273) Attached to: US Requirement For Software Dev Certification Raises Questions

It should be noted that a CMMI maturity level designation is not a certification. It may help to have some CMMI appraisal team experience to understand it (I do), but the designation is the result of an organization's self-assessment based on an appraisal model (SCAMPI) developed by SEI/CMMI Institute. When a company claims a certain maturity level, CMMI Institute does not say "we certify this organization (or organizational unit) is CMMI maturity level n." CMMI Institute says "based on our review of the result forwarded by the organization, a result approved by a certified CMMI lead appraiser, we conclude the organization appears to have correctly followed the SCAMPI method and met the standards the organization's appraisal team agrees they did."

An organizational unit is not CMMI-certified by an external certifying authority, it is appraised based on work of a mostly-internal appraisal team (usual exception is the appraisal team leader, a certified individual not employed by the appraised organization in my experience). I don't blame anyone for being confused on the "certification" label... I see it all the time. The title of the /. article itself incorrectly uses the term.

My concern with CMMI is not the procedures and practices themselves, I think they are brilliant if implemented and the organization is resourced to handle it while not tripping up development teams. My concern is in self-assessment, that an inherent conflict of interest exists for the members of an appraisal team employed by the company they are appraising. A company that spends a lot of money preparing for and conducting a valid appraisal it expects a positive result for. But an accredited lead appraiser (again, not an employee of the appraised company in my experience) is not going to keep that distinction for long if they pass through insufficient/bogus appraisals, and that is supposed to be the check on self-assessment risks.

So it isn't the same as PMI, which gives a four hour exam to produce a quantitative, evidenced pass-fail score for a project manager and puts their stamp on a certification that the candidate knows the material with required proficiency and has met other work experience requirements. It is more nuanced and really comes down to how much you trust a given self-assessment.

Comment: You don't need to (Score 1) 331

by syntap (#43959865) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?

You already listed all the failures of the IT department, recognized from middle management to the CEO. The buck stops at leadership... whether he's the smartest guy on the planet or incompetent, a leadership change seems to be in order.

Put another way, what will some other gauge of his competence will add to what is known?

Comment: Article says get rid of them ASAP (Score 5, Insightful) 480

by syntap (#41479513) Attached to: What Should Start-Ups Do With the Brilliant Jerk?

I can think of no better way to inspire under-performers in a growing company than to jettison the worker who has been a superhero to date in a small company. This article is baffling to me and I don't understand why the author thinks dealing with super-performers should be different based on the company size. And the premise that it is unreasonable for the guy who constantly pulls backsides of others out of the fire to become a little irritated is odd.

Just so I have this straight, in order to drop the "jerk" suffix, a super-achieving worker who fills in for people when they are on vacation or sick, does not take vacation himself because the company is so reliant on his performance, and probably isn't getting credit for how many times he saved his coworkers must a) always be cheerful, and b) not speak up when he believes management is heading in directions that will increase reliance on said worker and make life even more difficult.

Basically the mind is cutting the heart out of a company, when both need to recognize each other's strengths and capitalize on them instead of picking a "winner".

Comment: Flip the Question (Score 1) 397

by syntap (#41322039) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Much Is a Fun Job Worth?

How about ask the question another way... how much more would you need to be offered to make it a no-brainer for you to move? 20%? If you know that number, ask the new offerer to match that. Be honest, tell them you are on the fence, and for that much you'll close the deal today. That's the worth of fun to you.

I once had a gracious offer from an employer I left... I had a significant vacation balance and they offered to leave me on the books to run out that vacation over time (as opposed to a lump-sum following termination) in case I wanted to come back if the new job didn't work out. It bought me about six weeks of "tryout" in the new job. That is way beyond normal but that was nice to have... I almost didn't take the new job at all after hearing that and realizing how much they wanted me to stay, but the pay raise in this case was 25% and I was much younger and just couldn't pass up the money.

That goes to paragraph #1... instead of possibly hurting your relationship in the current job by introducing some boat rocking, work the other end by making the new position something too hard to pass up. Personally 10% probably wouldn't be worth the risk to me unless I felt the new job was a great fit.

Comment: "Attempt"? Bad article summary (Score 1) 67

by syntap (#40735267) Attached to: Fake Password Reset E-mail Hits 7,500 Black Hat Registrants

"Lame phishing spam attempt" should be reworded to "sucessful phishing spam launch that took advantage of an insider security threat".

If it is in the recipient's inbox, the spam happened sucessfully. If it didn't, it was an unsucessful attempt.

A read of TFA shows no mention of the word "lame". In fact the statement does what it should do... describes what happened and what action was taken. "The email this morning was an abuse of functionality by a volunteer who has been spoken to. This feature has since been removed as a precautionary measure."

Comment: Opposite Direction of Where I Thought It Would Go (Score 4, Interesting) 97

by syntap (#40187343) Attached to: AT&T Expects Data-Only Phone Plans Within 2 Years

I speculated some time ago that voice minute usage will dwindle down to the point where they would be offered as unlimited on all plans eventually, with the plan levels (tiering) moved from minutes used to data used. Part two was right, but I didn't really expect a movement toward data-only plans.

By the way those aren't new, before everyone had smartphones those of us with Blackberries and older units could get data-only plans.

+ - Student Charged for Selling Textbooks->

Submitted by AstroPhilosopher
AstroPhilosopher (2500630) writes "The US Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a Thai student who was fined $600,000 for re-selling textbooks. Trying to make ends meet, the student had family members in Thailand mail him textbooks that were made abroad, purchased abroad, and then resold in the US. A practice many retailers partake in everyday in the 'parallel market'."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:A retracted story should mean something (Score 1) 371

Please re-read my comment. If the publisher retracts the story and apologizes and that isn't good enough for you, where do YOU draw the line?

> If someone makes one incorrect statement in their entire lifetime is all their work worthless to you?

Red herring. There is a big difference between making an incorrect statement by mistake or omission, and having your publisher retract your story and apologize for gross negligence in breaking journalistic standards.

Comment: A retracted story should mean something (Score 5, Insightful) 371

It may be just me, but if one part of an article is retracted due to false statements or intentional innacuracies, with apologies from the publisher on releasing the story into the wild, I'm not going to base an opinion on ANY OTHER PART of the article or any other material sourced by that author. I'll have an opinion, but I'll base it on other sources.

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