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US Requirement For Software Dev Certification Raises Questions

syntap CMMI != Certification (228 comments)

It should be noted that a CMMI maturity level designation is not a certification. It may help to have some CMMI appraisal team experience to understand it (I do), but the designation is the result of an organization's self-assessment based on an appraisal model (SCAMPI) developed by SEI/CMMI Institute. When a company claims a certain maturity level, CMMI Institute does not say "we certify this organization (or organizational unit) is CMMI maturity level n." CMMI Institute says "based on our review of the result forwarded by the organization, a result approved by a certified CMMI lead appraiser, we conclude the organization appears to have correctly followed the SCAMPI method and met the standards the organization's appraisal team agrees they did."

An organizational unit is not CMMI-certified by an external certifying authority, it is appraised based on work of a mostly-internal appraisal team (usual exception is the appraisal team leader, a certified individual not employed by the appraised organization in my experience). I don't blame anyone for being confused on the "certification" label... I see it all the time. The title of the /. article itself incorrectly uses the term.

My concern with CMMI is not the procedures and practices themselves, I think they are brilliant if implemented and the organization is resourced to handle it while not tripping up development teams. My concern is in self-assessment, that an inherent conflict of interest exists for the members of an appraisal team employed by the company they are appraising. A company that spends a lot of money preparing for and conducting a valid appraisal it expects a positive result for. But an accredited lead appraiser (again, not an employee of the appraised company in my experience) is not going to keep that distinction for long if they pass through insufficient/bogus appraisals, and that is supposed to be the check on self-assessment risks.

So it isn't the same as PMI, which gives a four hour exam to produce a quantitative, evidenced pass-fail score for a project manager and puts their stamp on a certification that the candidate knows the material with required proficiency and has met other work experience requirements. It is more nuanced and really comes down to how much you trust a given self-assessment.

about a year ago

Slashdot Asks: How Will You Replace Google Reader?

syntap Re:tt-rss (335 comments)

+1, I installed tt-rss on my Web server too shortly after the announcement. I didn't care out the Google Reader interface itself, just the aggregation so all my Android devices are synchronized.

Still isn't perfect yet, but usable.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?

syntap You don't need to (331 comments)

You already listed all the failures of the IT department, recognized from middle management to the CEO. The buck stops at leadership... whether he's the smartest guy on the planet or incompetent, a leadership change seems to be in order.

Put another way, what will some other gauge of his competence will add to what is known?

about a year and a half ago

T-Mobile Ends Contracts and Subsidies

syntap Re:500GB in the article summary is a typo (404 comments)

You don't usually "upgrade" from 500GB to 2.5GB of data for $10 a month.

Verizon was much cooler, they chopped your unlimited data down to a 2GB cap for FREE when you "upgraded" your phone! T-Mobile sucks!

about a year and a half ago

All Five Star Trek Captains Share a Stage

syntap "Five", not "All Five" (238 comments)

What about Kirk from re-image, and wasn't Sulu a captain? I'm not even counting Spock, just thinking bridge captains that played major roles. Yeah Sulu didn't play a major role as a bridge captain but certainly played a rather large role up to that point.

more than 2 years ago

What Should Start-Ups Do With the Brilliant Jerk?

syntap Article says get rid of them ASAP (480 comments)

I can think of no better way to inspire under-performers in a growing company than to jettison the worker who has been a superhero to date in a small company. This article is baffling to me and I don't understand why the author thinks dealing with super-performers should be different based on the company size. And the premise that it is unreasonable for the guy who constantly pulls backsides of others out of the fire to become a little irritated is odd.

Just so I have this straight, in order to drop the "jerk" suffix, a super-achieving worker who fills in for people when they are on vacation or sick, does not take vacation himself because the company is so reliant on his performance, and probably isn't getting credit for how many times he saved his coworkers must a) always be cheerful, and b) not speak up when he believes management is heading in directions that will increase reliance on said worker and make life even more difficult.

Basically the mind is cutting the heart out of a company, when both need to recognize each other's strengths and capitalize on them instead of picking a "winner".

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Much Is a Fun Job Worth?

syntap Flip the Question (397 comments)

How about ask the question another way... how much more would you need to be offered to make it a no-brainer for you to move? 20%? If you know that number, ask the new offerer to match that. Be honest, tell them you are on the fence, and for that much you'll close the deal today. That's the worth of fun to you.

I once had a gracious offer from an employer I left... I had a significant vacation balance and they offered to leave me on the books to run out that vacation over time (as opposed to a lump-sum following termination) in case I wanted to come back if the new job didn't work out. It bought me about six weeks of "tryout" in the new job. That is way beyond normal but that was nice to have... I almost didn't take the new job at all after hearing that and realizing how much they wanted me to stay, but the pay raise in this case was 25% and I was much younger and just couldn't pass up the money.

That goes to paragraph #1... instead of possibly hurting your relationship in the current job by introducing some boat rocking, work the other end by making the new position something too hard to pass up. Personally 10% probably wouldn't be worth the risk to me unless I felt the new job was a great fit.

more than 2 years ago

OpenSUSE 12.2 Is Out

syntap Re:Plymouth & grub2, no thanks (96 comments)

Agreed, I preferred it when my hosed system just froze on bootup, stopping at "L I ".

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Preempting Sexual Harassment In the Workplace?

syntap My company has a pretty good policy that works (1127 comments)

It's called "if you sexually harass someone you are fired." The "jokiness" and "just kidding" levels are mainly determined by the recipient.

more than 2 years ago

Fake Password Reset E-mail Hits 7,500 Black Hat Registrants

syntap "Attempt"? Bad article summary (67 comments)

"Lame phishing spam attempt" should be reworded to "sucessful phishing spam launch that took advantage of an insider security threat".

If it is in the recipient's inbox, the spam happened sucessfully. If it didn't, it was an unsucessful attempt.

A read of TFA shows no mention of the word "lame". In fact the statement does what it should do... describes what happened and what action was taken. "The email this morning was an abuse of functionality by a volunteer who has been spoken to. This feature has since been removed as a precautionary measure."

more than 2 years ago

AT&T Expects Data-Only Phone Plans Within 2 Years

syntap Opposite Direction of Where I Thought It Would Go (97 comments)

I speculated some time ago that voice minute usage will dwindle down to the point where they would be offered as unlimited on all plans eventually, with the plan levels (tiering) moved from minutes used to data used. Part two was right, but I didn't really expect a movement toward data-only plans.

By the way those aren't new, before everyone had smartphones those of us with Blackberries and older units could get data-only plans.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Any Smart Phones Made Under Worker-Friendly Conditions?

syntap Re:A retracted story should mean something (371 comments)

Please re-read my comment. If the publisher retracts the story and apologizes and that isn't good enough for you, where do YOU draw the line?

> If someone makes one incorrect statement in their entire lifetime is all their work worthless to you?

Red herring. There is a big difference between making an incorrect statement by mistake or omission, and having your publisher retract your story and apologize for gross negligence in breaking journalistic standards.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Any Smart Phones Made Under Worker-Friendly Conditions?

syntap A retracted story should mean something (371 comments)

It may be just me, but if one part of an article is retracted due to false statements or intentional innacuracies, with apologies from the publisher on releasing the story into the wild, I'm not going to base an opinion on ANY OTHER PART of the article or any other material sourced by that author. I'll have an opinion, but I'll base it on other sources.

more than 2 years ago

World's First Quadruple Limb Transplant Fails

syntap Too Much at Once? (124 comments)

The patient has passed away according to reports.

Was it too much to take on at once? I'm not referring to four limbs on one patient, I'm referring to four limbs on one patient PLUS a face transplant the same day by the same team.

"Meanwhile, the face transplant patient, who was operated on by the same team of surgeons on the same day, was reported to be in good condition. "


more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 To Include Built-in Reset, Refresh

syntap Same Issues as Imaging? (441 comments)

When storing off images of "fresh" installs, a few hardware changes here and seventy-two Windows security updates there still make recovery a long process. Blowing away to factory works well on a tablet or phone because the hardware doesn't change, and the reset bases itself on the currently-installed version of the OS.

If Reset and Refresh incorporates security patches as they are applied I suppose things would be a little easier.

more than 2 years ago

Verizon Adds $2 Charge For Paying Your Bill Online

syntap Re:They've always done this! Calm down! (562 comments)

I have been using a credit card to pay online every month for a couple of years now. Verizon Wireless does NOT charge a fee. Some utilities do, but Verizon Wireless has not.

This is also why I don't rely on Slashdot (replying posts such as yours, specifically) as a reliable news source.

more than 2 years ago

Patent Expires On Best Selling Drug of All Time

syntap A Different View (491 comments)

With all the outrage over huge profits from a drug like Lipitor, no one brings up the fact that these companies spend millions on drug research the pans out to squat because the product doesn't make it through FDA trials.

I get the whole idea of "they made billions on that drug, look at them try to farm it for more money." I find that view less than even-handed. A company develops a product that extends useful lifespan, I'm glad for it and they should be amply rewarded for doing so. Could drugs be cheaper? Probably, but I'm not going to offer a position on a given company's profits on a single drug when I DON'T have full knowledge of the amounts of money spent on endeavors that went sorely negative. Every time you read a story about a drug that didn't make it through whatever phase of FDA drug trials and you can bet that's millions of dollars down the tubes. And yeah, the ones that work have to produce revenue to pay for that particular drug's development and turn a profit, AS WELL AS make up for the ones that didn't work out that millions got flushed on.

The system has warts but it is what it is, if large profits aren't there as a potential reward we aren't going to get advanced drugs and treatments to prevent, remedy and cure human ills because a company has to put up major bank to develop those things. Mod me down but that is business reality.

about 3 years ago

Spanish Firm Wins Tablet Case Against Apple

syntap The iPad Patent (151 comments)

I disagree with those that are criticizing the article. I found it very educational, I had no idea the entire iPad was covered by a single patent.

more than 3 years ago

Ballmer Slams Android As Cheap and Overcomplicated

syntap My How Things Have Changed (645 comments)

I wonder if he would have made that same statement about Microsoft's innovative efforts and visionary user experience without laughing just two years ago, pitting Eclair against Windows mobile 6. I dare him to use a Samsung Omnia II for more than five minutes without crushing it to bits.

more than 3 years ago


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