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Philosophy

Manifesto for Agile Software Development

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. These are our values and principles.

Source: Manifesto for Agile Software Development

As a 15 year IT professional I’ve had the great pleasure of encountering many technologies and aspects of the industry. My work is a great joy to me.

It wasn’t always that way and I think many people feel the same way. When we first entered the working world we were just relieved to have employment. We never dreamed a whole entire organization of mature employees could ever grow to depend on someone so inconsequential as ourselves. In other words, we had no idea how to make an impact.

Fast forward a few years and some trends in the IT industry have really shifted the paradigms. IT is a core competency of the business. Even if you think your business has nothing to do with technology, chances are computers still run everything behind the scenes. Use a mobile smart phone? thoughts so ūüôā

This means that we technical people go to work everyday knowing we’re absolutely relied upon to help make the business operation run smoothly.
Does that mean we’re actually achieving anything to help move the business forward?

The answer is, all the firefighting and back slapping we do most often does nothing to advance the strategic mission.

What’s the mission?

If the mission is to make money and turn a profit, then I’m sorry to say but most of my peers have failed in in this test. They’ve come to equate being busy with being important. Their bosses however, continue to recognize and reward them for the late nights and quip “Couldn’t have done it without ya!”

Well chances are the late nights are caused by the IT pros to begin with because they work in silos and concoct monstrous apps and environments that don’t play nicely and outsiders don’t stand a chance of understanding to troubleshoot. Is this what success looks like?

More recently the concept of DevOps which links the notion of throughput (think automotive manufacturing) has made IT professionals reconsider their importance and value to the firm.

We hear it all the time now. Unplanned is the enemy of planned. IT pros shouldn’t be going to work to fix what’s broken. They should have built in security, self-healing and fault tolerance so their time is spent advancing the business mandates instead of attending to unplanned emergencies.

Technologies and frameworks like Cloud and Agile are paving the way for a true DevOps revolution and it may leave many the legacy IT pros wondering where their industry has gone. Chances are all their friends went into other strategic and operations roles that didn’t have the word Microsoft, Cisco, admin or engineer in the title. The people who know how to truly use tech do so as a tool to help them run their companies, not just run the rest of the tech.

The Agile manifesto is one the biggest pieces of this puzzle. It addresses a fundamental psychology flaw in IT pros, the problem always resides with the user. “So and so broke such and such”. Agile shifts the focus directly on the needs of the user (user story) to create the perfect products for them. It relies on self-organizing cross functional teams to be creative and provide the next solutions with greatest business value.

If you have the discipline to apply the principal (ie: don’t fill idle time with clandestine project) then you can’t help but put down your tools and get connected with the business before you pick the tools up again.

The main take away is I see IT pros doing as much harm as they do good. If they would apply the Agile Manifesto to their career they would never had the problem of feeling disconnected from the business ever again.

As my dad ALWAYS says, “If you’ve dug yourself into a hole, put down the shovel.”

Categories: Business, Computers, Economics, Management, Philosophy, Technology

Blow my mind

Here’s a Tesla in Autopilot mode zipping in and out of NYC traffic – KnowTechie

Remember as kids when we used to dream of cars that drove themselves? Well, we all know it’s already happening¬†with Google’s self driving car. But Tesla is going to blow your mind because they recently

Source: Here’s a Tesla in Autopilot mode zipping in and out of NYC traffic – KnowTechie

This is very exciting to me. I’ve been paying attention to Elon Musk for many years as someone who personifies the exponential thinking manifesto. The Tesla is a beautifully designed piece of engineering and I want, I want.

After seeing this video I now want a Tesla even more.

The most recent over-the-air update has added driver-less capabilities to the already extremely cutting edge vehicle. This puts the Tesla years ahead of any of the other makers in terms of innovation.

I think I may be waiting a while for the over-the-air driver-less update for my truck.

Solving the world’s transportation and supply chain challenges with alternative energy solutions may sound like geek talk. The sheer delight in this driver’s expression demonstrates you don’t have to be a scientist or engineer to understand the future is going to be a fun place.

The future is happening right… …now!

Categories: Automotive, Business, Computers, Crowdsource, Economics, Philosophy, Technology

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BOLD: Peter Diamandis

Source: BOLD: Peter Diamandis

This is the book where I encountered exponential thinking.

What is exponential thinking?

Well… It isn’t linear thinking. It doesn’t seek the solve the next increment one user at a time.

Exponential thinking is about creating wealth and abundance by harnessing rapidly expanding technology to solve a problem plaguing a continent or better, the entire planet.

This book gives some great prescriptive advice¬†about navigating this golden age we’re experiencing today. It covers topics like the Internet of things and crowd-sourcing seed investment for your idea.

The opportunities are ever present for anyone creative who can synthesize and converge seemingly unrelated concepts.

Go big or go home as they say.

Categories: Business, Computers, Crowdsource, Management, Math, Philosophy, Technology

Blow my mind

The most popular talks of all time | Playlist | TED.com

These iconic talks are the ones that you and your fellow TED fans just can’t stop sharing.

Source: The most popular talks of all time | Playlist | TED.com

You might not have the time or desire to watch every video here, but rest assured there are many who do. These are the zeitgeist. These are the necessary tidbits of knowledge you will require to be an emotionally evolved and intelligent, self actualized human being and participate in the coming future.

I like to watch them when I’m eating waffles.

Categories: General, Personal Development, Philosophy

Blow my mind

Vsauce

Vsauce

Source: Vsauce – YouTube

This is another great channel everyone should know about. Michael Stevens tackles the most mind bending topics in an entertaining and digestible way.

I enjoyed his channel so much I gobbled up almost every video in one sitting.

I’m a nerd.

Categories: Computers, Linguistics, Math, Philosophy

Blow my mind

Tim Berners-Lee: The next web | TED Talk | TED.com

This guy is WAY more important that Steve Jobs but most people have no idea about the incredibly important contributions this guy has made.

What you need to know: It has always been the dream of the world’s smartest people to be able to collaborate with their contemporaries and peers. This is the first time in history that technology has enabled the sharing of concepts to this level.

The importance of the web is that we will one day solve all the worlds problems by working together. In some cases this may be in spite of despotic regimes who do not want to yield power to democratic process and try to quash any ability to improve.

Fortunately their day is done and there’s no putting the horse back in the barn.

Knowledge is power!

Categories: Business, Computers, Economics, Linguistics, Philosophy, Privacy

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The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century: Thomas L. Friedman


Source: The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

This is an important book for understanding what the future holds for the global economy. Spoiler alert: you might not be part of it unless you can invent yourself as a valuable part of the big picture.

The most important take away is the concept of glocalization. There’s many professions that won’t exist in the coming automated and outsourced future. However, in place of the opportunities that once existed will blossom new and exciting industries like Internet of Things ($30 Trillion) that will require new skills and creativity.

There will be winners and losers and I personally don’t see a lot of people making the trip.

I am thinking the coffee shop or pub owner may have the best gig. (#worldsnumberonedrug)

 

Categories: Business, Computers, Economics, Linguistics, Management, Personal Development, Philosophy

Blow my mind

The dark side of the web — exploring darknets | Kyle Terry | TEDxSalem

Apparently 99% of the internet is darkweb filth. (If you need to ask then no explanation will suffice)

I’m not a particularly¬†judgmental person and think to each his own especially when it comes to one’s leisure activities.¬†But if you’re not alarmed when you encounter the dark web there’s something really wrong with and you need to seek professional help. Seriously, if you think it’s just funny, stop reading and go tell your doctor.

When Tim Berners-Lee invented the web¬†(sorry Al Gore, I know you’re pretty important too) he wanted the greatest minds on the planet to document, collaborate and share. He wanted to cure diseases and discover alternate sources of energy. It’s unfortunate that the power of computer networks has been corrupted by the world’s most evil people and organizations.

The implication is that now everyone is being spied on constantly by the NSA, CSIS and God knows who else. If you haven’t been paying attention, too bad, too late, you said you’re ok with it and gave away your rights without even know it happened.

There’s a lot of reasons your government would want to know what you’re thinking. Chances are¬†you wouldn’t want¬†anyone knowing what you’re doing on the internet (the internet is 80% porn). If you’re generally uneducated on the topic, and a racist who lives in constant fear of terror attacks then you¬†might be motivated to¬†say go right ahead and spy on me please. (maybe?)

The funny thing is, the world’s evil doers¬†don’t even use the regular public internet connections we use that get¬†spied on (obviously). In fact, they use the highly encrypted and untraceable deep web technology that our own government developed, then released to the public. (true story)

As I said, this is not intended to be political, but I say we take the internet back¬†by filling it with the best concepts and ideas we have to offer.¬†It’s unfortunate but in some cases where free speech and human rights are not granted freely that means using anonymity and there are a lot of reasons why anonymizing technology can be used for good.

In order to empower our democratic process the population can’t be spied on and treated like criminals.

I urge everyone to find out what this means. Learn about net neutrality and modular math to know how to be a safe and responsible internet citizen.

I’m just new to this and learning but would love to learn more. Please leave a comment about other important information that should be public knowledge. Let’s play safe and keep each other from getting hurt.

Please don’t send me to irc rooms. ūüôā

Categories: Computers, Linguistics, Philosophy, Privacy, Security

Blow my mind

Welcome to Computerphile!

My new favorite obsession.

When I tell people what I do for a living I usually just wiggle my fingers ¬†a bit and mumble “computers” and then try to gauge the level of glassy glaze that comes over them to determine how much further I should go with the explanation.

I’m actually a Product Development manager in Cloud Computing industry. Try explaining that at a dinner party. (Perhaps¬†your friends are more savvy than my own.) I haven’t fixed a computer professionally in years but still routinely get asked for this type of assistance from family and friends all the time. (“I’m going back to school and wondering what computer I should buy for less than $400” – you know who you are you bastard!)

I digress…

The internet is a “world flatener”. See The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman

Moore’s Law is flatener. Cloud computing is a ¬†flatener.

Soon there won’t be any limitation to the amount of readily available brute computing force that we’ll be able to throw at our tough problems. Simulations that run into infinity that might¬†previously not be able to compute in our lifetime, may be achievable in years or days. (or real time)

The future may be a strange and spooky place for those who don’t embrace technology and may be feeling like an out of place tourist, very disconnected from what’s really¬†going on.

Thanks to Moore’s law, supposedly we’ll be able to upload a brain to storage and interact with the thoughts very soon.

Does that mean there could be ethical concerns like… What if your brain gets lonely in there with no one to play with? Can our digital¬†brains make friends with the other digital brains?

You’re welcome.

 

Categories: Computers, Philosophy

Blow my mind

Love and Math – by Edward Frenkel

Math and it’s intrinsic beauty shouldn’t just be digestible to everyone, it should feasted upon with your friends like the bunch of hipster instagramming foodies you know you are.

At least that’s what Edward Frenkel says in a much more articulate and elegant way in his book Love and Math. He also appears on Youtube videos with Numberphile and talks all over the world bringing the Gospel of numbers to the masses.

Math appears everywhere in nature and that’s what we love using it to explain our universe by¬†applying number theories¬†to Physics and Chemistry.

The beauty if Math is that it’s self-evident. (with a bunch of explaining) But the truths uncovered by Archimedes and Euclid still hold true to this day. Math students today being initiated into Geometry still study the same puzzles and proofs from 2000 years ago.

Edward Frenkel has personally inspired me to revisit math and I’ve taken it further than I ever thought I would.

It’s actually very enjoyable and entertaining to just sit back and be amazed instead of the brow beating practicing proofs most of experienced in our High School Algebra and Geo-trig courses.

If that’s the experience you recall I urge you to head over to the Numberphile channel and let Edward and all the experts show you the artistry you missed¬†back in school.

Warning: you will be thinking about math when you’re trying to sleep.

A New York Times bestseller. Winner of the Euler Book Prize. Currently being translated into 14 languages. (I’m not the guy getting the book signed)

Source: Love and Math – by Edward Frenkel

Categories: Math, Philosophy

Blow my mind