Archive for August, 2011

more UI comedy

Tuesday, 30th August, 2011

Ribbon cancer gets terminal

using the exact same discredited data and method.

And with the same desparation. Although there is no mention of Effluent UI, I guess they realised what an easy target that was.

There is a saying in marketing – If you can’t think of anything useful, make it in a different colour. It seems the equivalent in software is if you can’t think of anything useful make the buttons bigger.

El reg has some useful insight.

Its funny looking at the evolution as the explorer UI really has become bigger, more clumsy and more user conflicted.

What do you think – will it make your use of the file system easier or harder?

Are you wondering why there still isn’t something better than a hierarchical file system? (hint: big buttons are easier ;-))





The ex computer maker HP

Sunday, 28th August, 2011

Does WTF count as 1 word?

If so that’s the only word I have for the news that HP is selling its computer manufacturing biz.

I’ve worked with HP for years, and I know they have fingers in many pies. But exiting such a major part of their business seems odd.

Years ago I worked for Bass the brewers, I worked in the bit that looked after the pubs. We got a new boss who used to work for a hotel chain. He sold off all the pubs and bought loads of crappy hotels the other chains wanted rid of, and within a year turned Bass, a very successful brewing and pub management company into a 3rd rate hotel company. I don’t know what happened to the company in the end, bought out by some 4th rate, social climbing, hotel firm probably.

What I never understood though was if he wanted to run a hotel company why he didn’t get a job at thf (remember them?) or holiday inn or whatever. Many of the beer brands are still going strong.

So HP have got in an ex software CEO who wants to turn the worlds leading PC manufacturer into a software and service co – WTF??? couldn’t he get a job at a software co? Or maybe HP couldn’t get anyone else – they haven’t had the best success with CEOs for a few iterations. Thinking about it I don’t think I have ever had an HP pc. But I did want an Ipaq for a long time (when they were cool ;-)).

I understand of course that under certain circumstances SW can be more profitable then HW. But I never understand these companies that exit their core competency. Focus, defocus, invest, divest, spin off, fine, but abandon the core?

Why do they do it? (apart from dysfunctional bonus schemes of course!)



Love Waterfall

Saturday, 20th August, 2011

Waterfall methodologies are my favourite. Hopefully you all know waterfall to some extent : gather requirements, analyse, design, build test release, bask in glory. All in one single easy to timetable unidirectional flow.

The modern fashion for more agile, more dynamic, more interactive, more iterative development approaches might have some advantages over waterfall, but it certainly doesn’t offer the Excel opportunities.

I hate to imagine how much of my work has been rescuing some drowning waterfall style project, or just bypassing it altogether. If that client had been using something a bit more agile, my kids would be even skinnier.

I still find it pretty comical to find organisations trying to force their software development into waterfall because their business and project processes are too immature to cope with the reality of software development.

As I am currently looking for my next contract, the job descriptions can really raise some red flags.

  • SAP – I always avoid these, job for life, but total death march
  • ‘Specify and transmit requirements’ – waterfall
  • ‘MS project’ – waterfall, microMcmanagement
  • ‘All phases’ – waterfall
  • ‘SDLC’ – waterfall, can be mitigated by mention of iteration or something agile.
  • Visio – drawing and writing about sw dev rather than doing it – waterfall all over.
  • Others?

What are your red flags when looking at jobs/projects:

Sorry for the lack of post btw, had a change of location, new contract, another change of location, and a big holiday, and now a new short term contract.

I hope you all had as good a summer as me, (unless you are just coming out of the winter – then good winter)

Can i promise to up the post rate?

probably ;-)