Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Ask Slashdot: Robotics or Electronic Kits For Wounded Veterans?

under_score Need a Computer and... (115 comments)

For a lot of robotics work you need to be able to install software on the computer. Not sure if that would be a problem or not, but Arduino and Lego both require good access to the computer. Something like a Raspberry Pi or Oodo which is already a computer itself might be a better starting point if there are restrictions on accessing a host computer.

about a week ago
top

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

under_score Re:Fire the Architects (51 comments)

I did work in construction (and land surveying, and drafting, and other related fields) but only for a short time. So maybe I had no idea what I was doing... but that's actually the point of the article: software folks who want to use the construction analogy to come up with an "architect role" are doing something from a place of profound ignorance and the analogy is deeply flawed.

about two weeks ago
top

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

under_score Re:Fire the Architects (51 comments)

Lack of architecture is not the same as lack of an architect. Indeed, no architecture in a system == chaos. But how you get good architecture, unfortunately, is rarely from architects.

about two weeks ago
top

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

under_score Re:Fire the Architects (51 comments)

Oops. Meant to say "there was never a moment when all the applications weren't fully functional.

It's true that the old system(s) were a sort of guide, but it really was a complete replacement/re-architecture. Not only that, but there was no time in the project when we had a document that said "this is the current architecture". We had to do a lot of exploring along the way.

My job title prior to the project was architect but I told the CIO that it was unnecessary and so at the start of the project I was no longer the architect. We didn't have one. That said, there was a big team of us and we had lots of ongoing discussion about architecture - as we were building out the new systems. No doubt I influenced those discussions somewhat, but I certainly was no longer the authority.

about two weeks ago
top

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

under_score Re:Fire the Architects (51 comments)

Great article! Thanks!

about two weeks ago
top

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

under_score Re:Fire the Architects (51 comments)

I was the senior architect reporting to the CIO of Charles Schwab. I was responsible for huge systems at an architectural level. Then, with the permission of the CIO we launched a two year enterprise re-write covering hundreds of applications and dozens of technology platforms from old green-screen cobol systems to modern Java and .NET systems... and we did it with no up-front architecture. Pure Agile, with all the process and engineering practices to do it properly. Huge success because there was never a moment when all the applications were fully functional and there was never a formal switch-over. We re-wrote everything in-place.

Of course, I'm not saying that there was no research, that there was no good design thinking, or that we never thought about the future. But there was certainly no architect and there was not technical lead who had the final authority on the overall design or any particular detail.

I've seen this approach work with $20M projects and with $200K projects. I've seen it work and result in systems with zero defect rates extended over years. I've seen it work on systems with thousands of lines of code and systems with millions of lines of code. It's possible, it's just that most people have been so brainwashed by the construction analogy and "scientific management" thinking that it's hard to imagine that it's possible.

about two weeks ago
top

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

under_score Re:Fire the Architects (51 comments)

Yup!!! I think everyone building software should spend time supporting their software! This is part of what the software craftsmanship movement is about.

about two weeks ago
top

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

under_score Re:Fire the Architects (51 comments)

Thanks for the comments. I really appreciate your final comment! I'm a big proponent of good engineering practices over bureaucratic engineering processes!

about two weeks ago
top

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

under_score Re:Fire the Architects (51 comments)

True enough: the article on Kuro5hin is very old... I've often thought of writing an update to take in to account some of the things you mention. (Actually, it's hard to believe I wrote that 11 years ago!)

Still, I feel that most software architects really inflate the importance (and time) of their jobs. It's true that there is some amount of legitimate research to be done in exploring the broad outlines of your solution. However, most of the time those solutions are dreamed up by the architect in a few hours and then they spend months doing confirmatory biased research to flesh out the justifications for their original idea. That's the waste. As the plover said, all that knowledge about design patterns, etc. is still applicable. Just don't do it in a big up-front fashion.

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

under_score Re:UX FTW (199 comments)

I'm not confused. I just assumed that people could make a small mental leap: Working software = (functionality + quality + ease of use) whereas comprehensive documentation = waste in order to accommodate for lake of ease of use or poor quality. I hoped that the functionality and quality part of working software would generally be understood without me needing to be pedantic.

about a month ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

under_score UX FTW (199 comments)

I'm guessing that there aren't a lot of people on Slashdot who are both users and developers for Odoo / OpenERP. I am. I am also formerly a UX expert (late 90's, but I keep somewhat up-to-date), and I am currently an active developer and consultant. I have some very specific views on this based on my background.

1. In the Agile manifesto it says "Working software [is valued] over comprehensive documentation." That has always meant, to me, that UX takes priority over user documentation. I've seen Agile teams kick the snot out of competitors by focusing on UX and foregoing nearly all user documentation. When I say "nearly", I mean that a very high level (well written) orientation document, is sufficient.

2. For this system itself which is a complex ERP system, there are four levels of "documentation" possible: a) User Documentation b) Configuration Documentation c) Customization / Plug-in Developer's Documentation and d) Internal Development Documentation. Since Odoo is open-source, in a way, all of these levels are "user documentation".

3. UX absolutely needs to be the one and only factor in considering the end user experience of an already-configured system. There shouldn't be any need for an end user to go to a user manual unless an organization has done extensive configuration / customization (in which case that organization has the responsibility for the documentation, not the Odoo organization. Likewise, UX should be the main approach to making configuration easy, but there may be some scenario-based examples documented to help orient those who are doing the configuration. These are your day-to-day admin users. The marketing automation module is a good example of where UX sucks and the documentation is poor. Given the choice, I would much prefer the UX to be improved!

4. For customization and internal development, there is still a role for UX to play, but (knowing the actual state of the documentation) you must improve that documentation dramatically. It is sparse and hard to follow, hard to find the right information, and often has very old / outdated screenshots. Although what information there is seems to be accurate, there are often huge gaps, and many undocumented api's and options. I know this because I have had to struggle through creating custom modules by reading through reams of source code in other modules. Love that it's open source, hate the quality of the developer documentation :-)

As a sideways promotional plug, our Scrum Team Assessment tool is built on OpenERP 7.0.

about a month ago
top

Interviews: Forrest Mims Answers Your Questions

under_score Re:Too bad about evolution (161 comments)

Lastly, Dr. Amit Goswami, Ph.D., theoretical nuclear physicist

And a theoretical nuclear physicist is more qualified than biologists like Coyle and Dawkins to write about evolution because... ?

That's a veiled ad hominum argument - a logical fallacy. Just like you have asserted that someone should read Coyle and Dawkins, you in turn might consider setting an example by examining the arguments of Dr. Goswami.

FWIW, I haven't read any of these references, but I have read extensively on all sides of the argument including evolutionary biologists, intelligent design proponents and other non-standard models for what we observe. I've read other Dawkins books and found them to be just as weak as many of the ID books. As far as I can tell, it's all still philosophy, and the science that we have, namely molecular biology, breeding and the fossil record do not show evolution as the conclusive final word on how life works.

about 3 months ago
top

Airbus E-Fan Electric Aircraft Makes First Flight

under_score Add solar to extend range? (160 comments)

I have no idea if this would help, but with developments in solar technology, would it make a significant difference if the tops of the wings, fuselage, tail and fan ducts were all solar panels? Seems like a simple thing to do to help with range... maybe not done because it's not reliable.

about 4 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose Frameworks That Will Survive?

under_score Bake-off (227 comments)

I've been faced with this kind of decision a number of times. I always remember: if I'm not filthy stinking rich right now, then I'm probably bad at predicting the future. Any attempt to do so should be taken with a huge dose of scepticism.

That said, I think that the practical answer is simple: invest a bit of time doing a bake-off of the likely candidates. Try to choose some real high-priority business features, and then get very small teams of 2 or 3 people each to use each of the frameworks to build production-quality functionality for those business features. Don't take more than a week to do this. To use your example, Flex vs. HTML5, you would get two small teams to try to build the _same_ functionality using the two different frameworks.

Evaluate your results based on how much the teams actually got done. (Remember: production quality, not prototype quality.)

Since you can't predict the future, I also strongly recommend good Agile Engineering Practices to help to build a system that is not just change-tolerant, but is actually easy to change.

about a year ago
top

First Exoplanet To Be Seen In Color Is Blue

under_score Re:Question: what atmospheric constituents? (139 comments)

That is cool! I'm sure that in the distant future when we get to actually explore these places (probes or human explorers), that we will find all sorts of nifty things... and probably discover all sorts of ways in which we are wrong :-) I wish I could see that future!

about a year ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Development Requirements Change But Deadlines Do Not?

under_score Re:Agile is about commitment, not flexibility (221 comments)

This is a great way of describing Scrum, but I would be more clear about the fact that Agile != Scrum. Agile is the abstract base class (or maybe even just an interface/protocol) described by the Agile Manifesto: http://www.agilemanifesto.org/ and Scrum is a subclass that implements/extends Agile.

That said, the yardstick analogy is great and I'm going to use that right away in a class I'm teaching about Scrum!

Thanks!

PS. BSP below...

about a year ago
top

HR Departments Tell Equifax Your Entire Salary History

under_score Re:Privacy and Abuse (472 comments)

I agree that it is a long process... possibly centuries (although I hope just decades). I'm an optimist at heart! One quote that I have found particularly inspiring is:

"The betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct."

To me, that means that all the people who are trying to improve the world (the environment, politics, community life, etc.), and even my own modest efforts, are having an effect.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

under_score hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

under_score has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>