Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Software Links V (and other articles of interest)

  • 5 Books to help you become a better software engineer - I disagree about The Pragmatic Programmer, but I did enjoy the others.
  • Beer Archaeologist from Long Reads - Dogfish is so freaking cool. "But will the za’atar—a potent Middle Eastern spice mixture redolent of oregano—clobber the soft, floral flavor of the chamomile? And what about the dried doum-palm fruit, which has been giving off a worrisome fungusy scent ever since it was dropped in a brandy snifter of hot water and sampled as a tea?...The truest alcohol enthusiasts will try almost anything to conjure the libations of old. They’ll slaughter goats to fashion fresh wineskins, so the vintage takes on an authentically gamey taste. They’ll brew beer in dung-tempered pottery or boil it by dropping in hot rocks. The Anchor Steam Brewery, in San Francisco, once cribbed ingredients from a 4,000-year-old hymn to Ninkasi, the Sumerian beer goddess."
  • Nailing down non-functional requirements (Infoq) such as "General 'ilities' of the system such as scalability, interoperability, maintainability, portability, performance and security".  I fully agree about the trickiness of making this work as well as getting it in the backlog and in front of the business unit.  I'm particularly sensitive to the issue, because lately I've been tasked with handling our Open Source tracking for the department, including porting the scripting of the process from AntHillPro back to Powershell scripts (AHP keeps failing on us), considering the OWASP scanning schedule, including writing up a standard "bundle" for partners interested in our security stack, and determining the best way to automate some of our testing within the constraints of two development FTEs for half a dozen products.
  • Why Most IT Departments Are Modeled After a DMV (Even Yours!) -  How to codify saying "no".  "Campaign rhetoric aside, governments have a bit of a vested interest in slowing down change in the way government works. Governments are meant to be stable, reliable and predictable -- and change opposes those goals...My problem is that ITIL pretty much abhors change. No, not on paper -- on paper, ITIL manages and controls change. In practice, IT organizations use ITIL as a blunt instrument to halt change."
  • It's getting real...in the Whole Foods parking lot.   Thanks to Betsy Burton (@betsyphd). I wonder if I should form a competing gang over at Kowalski's.

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