UmlAsSketchm-From the author of "UML Distilled"

The essence of sketching is selectivity. With forward sketching you rough out some issues in code you are about to write, usually discussing them with a group of people with your team. Your aim is to use the sketches to help communicate ideas and alternatives about what you're about to do. You don't talk about all the code you are going to work on, just important issues that you want to run past your colleagues first, or sections of the design that you want to visualize before you begin programming.

A design is complete not when there is nothing more to add but rather... (@secretGeek)

secretGeek (@secretGeek):
3/30/10 6:00 AM
A design is complete not when there is nothing more to add but rather when the client's wallet has nothing left to remove.

[Sent from my iPhone 3GS]

Who said, “You have achieved excellence as a leader when people will follow you anywhere if only out of curiosity.”?

Most people define leadership in the same way that Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously defined pornography when he said: “I know it when I see it.”

A better definition comes from former Secretary of State Colin Powell who said: “You have achieved excellence as a leader when people will follow you anywhere if only out of curiosity.”

Chapter 1: Language and Syntax — Jython Book v0.91 documentation

“Elegant”, that is an adjective that is often used to describe the Python language. The term elegant is defined as “pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner”. “Uncomplicated”, and “powerful” could also be great words to assist in the description of this language. It is a fact that Python is an elegant language that lets one create powerful applications in an uncomplicated manner. One may say that if you look at trends that are occurring within the computing industry today, Python can be looked at as the main objective. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of programming languages available today which each offer a different flavor to the field. Although there are many flavors, there is a similar objective for each of these programming languages...and that is to produce powerful and uncomplicated code that is easy to construct and maintain. Python does just that.


The TAGRI (They Aren't  Gonna Read It) Principle of Software Development

The requirements document that never got to the developers.  In the spring of 2005 I had the pleasure of visiting India.  While I was there I spent time at several organizations discussing with them how to become more agile.  Part way through the trip I spent some time with a gentleman who worked for an IT outsourcing service firm.  One aspect of his job was to take the large requirements documents provided by their American clients, which were typically hundreds of pages in length, and to summarize them down to something less than ten pages.  This summary was then provided to the development team, not the detailed requirements.  They did this because they discovered that no matter how well the documentation had been written the problem still remained that the documents were error prone, contradictory, and far too verbose.  This in turn led to the wrong software being developed.  Experience showed them that by giving the developers the overview document and then having them talk with the client on a regular basis, daily conference calls were common, that they could do a far better job.  In short, this CMMI level 4 firm discovered that a significant productivity improvement (SPI) strategy was to reduce requirements documentation, not increase it.  Granted, writing this document up front would hopefully have had the benefit that the client settled on a common vision.  However, they could still have achieved this same goal without having to write some much documentation (e.g. perhaps they should have just written the 10-page summary to begin with).

Belated Quotes: Jeff Jarvis kills on this week in google TWIG 13

Here are a few belated quotes from TWIG 13/

Jeff Jarvis: 07:55 - "Say what you want, a Microsoft phone will never ever make sense to a human being...  It's impossible! No matter how many good apps
youvput on an Microsoft OS it will not... I can't find them! I can't get to them! I have two or three Microsoft OS phones and they're dreadful!"

Jeff Jarvis: 13:20 - "I'm glad to have it there but there are two things that bother me about the announcement. (Bing/Google Twitter Search).  The first is that Twitter/Facebook/Bing are selling content that is not theirs, it's ours...  If Twitter were of the cloud,  there would be an API and you could just search it... There wouldn't be a case of making a deal like that, with one person and not the other.  Though Ev has said that he intends to make this non-competitive and open which I assume he'll do.  The second thing that bothers me is it sets a terrible precedent. Because these ah... I'll say it, these idiot newspaper people... will now say 'You paid twitter so you should pay us' .  Of course it's entirely different, but it's going to confuse the heck out of  their little brains!"

Jeff Jarvis: 19:20 - "Twitter is the first company built for the post 'page' Internet... They just don't know what it means yet."

Quotes: SE Radio 148 - Software Archeology w/ Dave Thomas

The Teutonic Technology podcast that's always worth a listen...

Dave Thomas: 2:40 - "Everyone spends all their time trying to figure out how write code... Very few people spend any time at all working out how best to read code, and that's a really big mistake. Because if you think about it because the average software developer probably spends 20% of their time writing code and the rest of the time reading it. and yet the training is totally the other way around..."

Dave Thomas: 4:50 - "If you think about any other creative profession, ... a writer or a painter. You certainly don't just sit there and write or paint. If you're a writing student, you'll be reading other peoples work. In fact most of your work will be reading the great classics, reading what other people of done and seeing how other people have constructed books... If you're a painter, you'll spend time studying other painters and yet if you're a software developer, you never read anybody else's code. You spend your entire time writing your own, which is an incredibly arrogant approach to the profession."

Dave Thomas: 25:10 - "If you are doing serious code archeology, you owe it to yourself to learn the command line, because you can not do it as effectively inside an IDE."

Dave Thomas: 27:00 - "You could always spot a team that has bought a copy of "Design Patterns" because they can't write "Hello Word" without three decorators a visitor and ... Alot of people misunderstood what patterns were. Everybody thought patterns were like software Lego, and I'll construct my software by building it out of a whole bunch of patterns and that totally misses the point. Patterns are not a construction device, they are a way of dealing with common issues when you're writing code. They are idioms, they are not designs."

"We are coming to the end of the information age." ☛ It's Sputnik, Stupid! -

Based on an 80-year economic cycle, we are coming to the end of the information age. The remaining 15 years of the current cycle will produce astounding changes far beyond anything we can now anticipate. However, we should also be looking at what technology will become the basis of next 80-year cycle. Continuing to focus on computers will be like producing buggy whips for horse drawn conveyances when Henry Ford started mass producing the Model T.

(via @spolsky) - The Duct Tape Programmer - Joel on Software

Jamie Zawinski is what I would call a duct-tape programmer. And I say that with a great deal of respect.
At the end of the day, ship the fucking thing! It’s great to rewrite your code and make it cleaner and by the third time it’ll actually be pretty. But that’s not the point—you’re not here to write code; you’re here to ship products.”

Although I don't always agree with Joel, this column is spot on...

The Unnecessary Meltdown - The Daily Beast

Goldman reduced its exposure to mortgages “early,” Viniar said, “before most people had a view that the world was getting worse.” At one point before the magnitude of the problem became crystalline, Viniar thought that Goldman had become too bearish, and insisted that the firm’s traders reverse course somewhat. That decision later cost the firm around $200 million. “They were 100 percent right,” he said. “I was 100 percent wrong.”

Curiously, other firms did not follow Goldman’s lead and, in fact, during the first quarter of 2007 used the perceived weakness in the market for mortgage securities as an opportunity to double-down on their already huge long bets. This was the turning point. If Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and AIG had the same perception of risk as did Viniar and his colleagues at Goldman Sachs, there might have been a downturn, but there wouldn’t have been a meltdown.

I never get tired of reading this stuff.... Also, check out Liars Poker . I read the book back before I joined Salomon Brothers' Technology arm to help set up the 7 WTC trading environment. Good read.