Skip to content

A single Goliath or best of breed

No single off-the-shelf system will exactly meet all of your organizational needs. The trick is finding the set of solutions that meet your organization’s needs and that work well with each system within that set of solutions.

Glaciers 101

Since coming to Alaska I’ve learned a lot about Glaciers.  Yesterday’s excursion was the Phillips 26 Glacier Cruise.  It was very good, although I wish I would have seen some whales.

Here’s what I did see!

Sometimes you just stick out…

If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, I’ve been in Alaska doing some work during the day and playing during the evenings.

It’s been fun but it’s meant that some of my technical issues (like the one around enumeration class casting, are sitting on a back burner.)

bee

Ramblings: Things I hate about debugging

So one of the things that I truly despise about debugging is working for a few hours trying to make something work only to find out later that it isn’t that thing that’s broken at all… Case in point.  I was getting a Access denied type message while trying to write something to the registry.  I thought it was code access security — because that’s normally what it is.  It turned out to be that I forgot to ask for write access when I opened up the key… ARG!

Now I’m off chasing some enumerator problem from a base class…

Sell the Strategy Before Selling the Tactics

You need to sell the strategy of technological innovations both to your group and to the organization as a whole. From there, each tactical battle is easier. The organization will already know the expected result and can visualize the success of each tactic resulting in the goal or goals they want.

“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” was the old cliché that my English teachers inflicted upon me during my junior high school years. Unfortunately, that only conveys part of the message. When discussing how to lead your group forward in any technological innovation, it’s not enough to merely have a plan; you have to sell the plan. You have to get your group to buy into the plan and be willing to make sacrifices in order to reach the plan’s vision.

Failing to sell the plan will often mean having to sell every action you take. Without a good understanding of the plan, most people will assume you don’t have one and will approach each item as a separate “stab-in-the-dark” attempt to improve things.

You need to sell the strategy in what you’re doing both to your group and to the organization as a whole. From there, each tactical battle is easier. The organization will already know the expected result and can visualize the success of each tactic resulting in the goal or goals they want.

Sniping SPSBackup Threads

I’ve not yet had a chance to test … I was wondering if the SQL Sniping script — designed to kill blocking threads — could be used to kill off the leftovers from a bad SPSBackup session so that the next backup could run successfully.  The SQL sniping script can be found at http://www.integer.org … I’ll have to try it the next time SPSBackup decides to not close down correctly.

Finding the Right Role in IT

People’s positions do not necessarily reflect current roles in the organization. In placing employees in a role, it is important to assign them to tasks that fit their capabilities. Whether you are a CIO, director, manager, supervisor, or worker, you have a set of strengths and weaknesses that are uniquely yours.

When I was young, I played soccer, although I didn’t play that well. I never really understood why some players would stay away from the ball instead of chasing after it. I could see the goalie stayed in his place, but I thought everyone else should chase the ball. I found, with experience, that the players who stayed in place were often more effective at what they were doing than those who spent their time running after the ball.

We have the same situation in IT. We need people to stay in roles and positions that leverage their strengths and allow them to be good at what they do. While occasionally the goalies have to get out of the box, their primary focus is guarding the goal. The same is true of your IT staff. They need to stay focused on what they do best and allow others to do what they do best.

Finding everyone’s true position

People’s positions do not necessarily reflect current roles in the organization. In placing employees in a role, it is important to assign them to tasks that fit their capabilities. Whether you are a CIO, director, manager, supervisor, or worker, you have a set of strengths and weaknesses that are uniquely yours.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/finding-the-right-role-in-it/

Anatomy of a Software Development Role: Quality Assurance

The Quality Assurance (QA) role is the role responsible for guaranteeing a level of quality for the end client, and to help the software development team to identify problems early in the process. It is not surprising that people in this role are often known as “testers”. Of course, the role is more than just testing. It’s about contributing to the quality of the final product. (If you’ve not been following the series, you should read Cracking the Code: Breaking Down the Software Development Roles.)

What’s the Quality Assurance role?

The quality assurance (QA) role is one that is focused on creating a quality deliverable. In other words, it is the responsibility of the QA role to make sure that the software development process doesn’t sacrifice quality in the name of completed objectives. Click here to see how the QA fits within the full organizational chart.

The QA role works with the Functional Analyst (FA) and the Solutions Architect (SA) to convert the requirements and design documents into a set of testing cases and scripts, which can be used to verify that the system meets the client needs. This collection of test cases and scripts are collectively referred to as a test plan. The test plan document itself is often simple providing an overview of each of the test cases. The testing cases and scripts are also used to validate that there are no unexplained errors in the system.

How to create a technology replacement strategy

When you are considering the cost of your organization’s technology, you must consider its life cycle and make allowances not only for the purchase price of the technology but also its support costs.

Life cycle

Every mechanical device has a life cycle. In the early days of the device, there is a period of “shaking out” when a relatively large number of problems will be discovered. This’s why many mechanical devices go through a burn-in period at the manufacturer in an attempt to work out the problems. This is generally followed by a long period of relatively low problems. Finally, a gradual climb in support costs ensues.

Think of it like buying a car. If you have ever bought a new car, or have known someone who has, often the new car has a few kinks. After the first month or so, the car settles down and generally has few problems. Once the car has become a few years old, it begins to develop problems. The problems may be gradual at first but eventually, if you keep the car long enough, you begin to feel that it is nothing but problems.

The technology that you use in your organization is the same way. Every piece of technical infrastructure you have will work well at first, or at least well after the burn-in period, and then slowly start to deteriorate.

This is one of the reasons that older computers need to be replaced — even if they’re still operating fast enough for their users. Eventually, they’ll break down and will need to be repaired or replaced.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-create-a-technology-replacement-strategy/

Recent Posts

Public Speaking