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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 6 part series?... for newbies???? (Score 4, Insightful) 83

The fact that this is so long means that by default it's too much for newbies. Communications privacy is not ready for newbies. If you can explain it in 500 words or less (or 2 minutes of video or less) without any further help... that's when it's ready for newbies.

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.

Comment Professionalism Re:Learn both (Score 2) 211

Practical professional stuff to learn about: design patterns, refactoring and test-driven development. Start learning this stuff as soon as possible otherwise you'll make all kinds of awful mistakes when your doing your first professional gigs (assuming you get to that point).

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)