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Comment Re:Education... (Score 1) 276

I was in the Marshall Islands for 4 months back in 1996. The education available there is extremely limited and not of high quality. There is no post-secondary education available there. Standards for STEM subjects are extremely low, and the dropout rate is extremely high. At the time I was there, it was normal to have a first child in your mid-teens (for both men and women). The Seventh Day Adventist church had a semi-decent elementary school on Majuro (the main island) with youth serving as the teachers, but most of the "outer" islands had extremely minimal educational facilities. Anywhere in the US has much much much better education than the Marshall Islands.

Comment Obviously... (Score 3, Insightful) 500

A great deal of this good news comes almost directly from the media coverage, not the fact of the the changes to pay structure. Still, it's an interesting case and I look forward to seeing how things are going in the 2 to 5 year range after the media coverage can be removed as a factor in the organization's performance.

Comment Re:Not a hard and fast rule... (Score 2) 281

Not really - even a stopped clock is right twice a day. As far as TFA is concerned, though, I find it absolutely hilarious that the agile fanclub has now gone so far as to "prove" MMM wrong on a very foundational level. Let me be clear: there are a class of problems that cannot be solved just by working more energetically.

I'm part of the "agile fanclub" and I actually am constantly telling people that the whole reason for Agile is because of the truth of the Mythical Man-Month. Agile is not a silver bullet and if someone told you it is, then they didn't understand Agile. Agile values, principles and tools (such as Scrum or XP), give us an environment where we recognize the limits of complexity and communication and help us maximize goodness (productivity and happiness) given those complexity and communication limits.

Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence, and the claim made in the summary is in the same class of all other extraordinary claims, hence we require more than a simple "here's why our claim might be true".

Strongly agree! This dev-ops thing is good, but it's at the height of its hype cycle right now. It's not a silver bullet and any claims to be one need rigorous evidence.

Comment Enterprise Architecture and Access (Score 2) 198

I worked a number of years ago as Chief Architect reporting to the CIO of a similar-sized organization. To answer your question directly: I didn't normally have admin access to systems. I could get it easily if I needed it. Mostly, what I had was access to the configuration management system which was a reflection of everything else. More importantly, what I had was unfettered access to any _person_ in the organization with a role in technology. For the complexity of the systems I was dealing with, it wasn't really possible for me to know (or want to know) all the details. Detail was, certainly important, but I trusted most other people to get that stuff right. The situation you are in, seems like it would require a lot of clean-up. I was in a similar situation. In my case, the clean-up was necessary because many systems had been custom-built by offshore providers who had low levels of technical skill. The best tool I had going for me was to use Scrum as a way to do incremental cleanup of large systems. Scrum (or other Agile methods) are an enterprise architect's best friend! Build an internal team of people that you really trust to get things right, get them to work in short increments 2 or 3 weeks long, give them the vision of cleaning everything up, but doing it incrementally, and help them prioritize the work. You will be surprised at the amazing things you can do without direct access to the details. (FWIW, I love your analogy about map-drawing, but I don't think it applies.)

Comment Re:6 part series?... for newbies???? (Score 1) 83

Okay - perhaps I should qualify a bit: We're 20+ years into PGP and other comm privacy tools. If you're still a newbie you're either really young or you really don't care about comm privacy. So maybe what I meant is that comm privacy is still complex enough that it takes a lot of text and reading to learn it vs. an iPhone which takes about 5 seconds to learn to use it. That's unacceptable for most people who are still in the newbie category of comm privacy.

Comment Re:memresistor? (Score 4, Interesting) 172

A non volatile PC would be nice.

No it wouldn't. Not unless we go back to having hard reset buttons on the front of our machines. The distinction between volatile and non-volatile memory is useful since we still have such shitty software full of bugs and security flaws. I wan't to be able to "reset" my machine without having to erase my hard disk.

Comment Re:Agile advocates actually hate it (Score 2) 507

So true. When we help an organization "go Agile" it is critical that the managers also use Agile and that they stick with it. But this doesn't mean exactly "by the book" since, for example, Scrum might not be the best approach for a management team. Kanban, OpenAgile, Crystal or other Agile methods or techniques might work better for any given team (including a management team). Long term success of Agile methods in an organization requires that management become Agile too.

Comment It's only been 14 years... (Score 5, Insightful) 507

That's not even close to enough time for a major cultural change to take place. The Agile Manifesto describes a culture of work that is so fundamentally different from how work was (and still is) performed, that I expect it will take another 15 to 30 years for organizations to really "get it". This is the same thing that happened with Lean manufacturing. Toyota developed it, other manufacturers adopted it as a fad over the course of about 15 years, and then it declined in popularity... but it never died out because it was "correct" and "good". Now, 40 years later, most manufacturers are still learning to be lean, but lean has fundamentally changed the culture of manufacturing. I have clients that will probably be working to adopt Agile methods over a 10 to 20 year period. Agile hasn't failed... Andy Hunt's patience has failed.

Comment Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 1168

"No business that likes money and wants to continue making money will be discriminating against anyone."

False. As a business owner with two business partners, we have refused to engage clients a few times. We do not do work for other companies that are involved in sex trade (e.g. porn producers), alcohol (e.g. bars), or gambling (e.g. gov't run lotteries). We do this for the reason that we think these things are damaging to society and we aren't willing to put money before the wellbeing of society. As a business this has been tough for us from time to time since we have to refuse revenue.

Other businesses might have other ways of discriminating. In fact, there are federal laws that enforce certain types of discrimination. For example arms trade to restricted countries. The people in those countries did not choose to be citizens there yet they are restricted from access to the best of American arms manufacturing. Shame on the U.S. for discriminating.

Fundamentally, we all discriminate. The only question is how much of that discrimination (and what categories) are embodied in our legal frameworks and in our social mores.

Comment I faked a heart attack... (Score 1) 246

I started out with the same thing that a lot of other people have talked about: pretend to go along, be a bit (or a lot) stupid, mis-hear or mis-apply instructions, etc. Then, for some perfectly legitimate reason I coughed. Inspiration struck. I faked a heart attack even telling the guy I wasn't feeling good, making noises, and then pretending to fall and drop the phone for some real banging sounds. The guy on the other end of the line was so concerned he stayed on the line an extra five minutes without me saying a word. He hung up and then called back. I let it ring through to VM. I was chuckling for weeks afterwards.

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