The discovery backlog

I have realized that engineers use words differently from other people. When an engineer says “problem” he or she often doesn’t mean anything negative (except in “Houston, we have a problem”). Problems are engineers’ raison d’être; engineers thrive on solving problems. When the problems get tough, the tough engineers get going. The same goes for the word “risk”. We have “risk lists” in our projects. We do “risk mitigation”. There are entire Continue Reading

Risk-driven development

Several project management models include provisions to manage risk. Risk is here defined as a probability for an adverse event times the quantified consequence of that adverse event. The IBM Rational Unified Process recommends addressing risk while planning the iterations of what in RUP is called Elaboration phase. Barry Boehm’s Spiral Model is guided by risk considerations. So are the various versions of the Stage-Gate model. The Scrum literature, while mentioning risk Continue Reading

Swedish students slapped with a Computer Tax

Sweden is fantastic in many ways. This is not one of them: Back in the 90’s the Swedish government wanted to encourage Swedes to get connected and to learn how to use computers. We would get a tax deduction for buying a computer and broadband installations were subsidised. A few years later schools (particularly of the for-profit persuation) started to give laptops to their students. Since then we’ve seen many Swedish information Continue Reading

Cleaning up

I have given up my graphical editor (GMF) project a second time. The reason is that although it is rather simple to get something to work, it’s extremely difficult to get everything to work. The main reason is that the different parts that you need for creating a complete graphical editor seem to be created at different times by different people. They use the same design patterns but different class libraries. The Continue Reading

The future leaves the past behind

Almost five years ago I got very excited when I first stumbled upon Spotify. I wrote that I had seen the future. It’s great that at least the odd prediction actually comes true. Spotify is not the future anymore but very much the present. Some artists resisted at length but recently some of the biggest acts in the history of popular music like Metallica and Pink Floyd have released their work on Continue Reading

Ubuntu is cool in many ways

I’m constantly fascinated by the phenomenon of open source software. I claim that a regular office worker or software developer would (after a learning period) have the same productivity using a computer running Linux as when using a computer running Windows. The office suite of Linux may not be every bit as sophisticated as the corresponding package on Windows but then again, how many percent of the functions in Word or Excel Continue Reading

Running my own servers

Being a bit of a control freak I have always wanted to have full control over my information, to decide what to make searchable through Google, to decide who gets access to what photos and documents and so on. I therefore run my own blog server, my own photo server and I store my documents on my own ssh file server instead of in the cloud (despite of all the free gigabytes). Continue Reading

A boring truth

A boring truth seldom taught in success seminars is that clear, logical thinking and simply plodding ahead with a plan are great tools for success in life. Richard Brodie, Virus of the Mind

No Unity yet

I’ve been making up my mind for some time about the Unity user interface for Ubuntu as I have been running it on several computers. First of all, with a risk of sounding like the grumpy old man I am, I generally dislike the idea of reshuffling an MMI (man-machine interface) too often and too radically. Would you feel safe if you knew that Boeing and Airbus would rearrange all the controls Continue Reading