Category Archives: Uncategorized

Meetings: Stop Wasting My Time

At most companies, there seems to be a never-ending supply of meetings to attend, and complaining about their sheer volume is popular water-cooler conversation. We may not be able to reduce the number of meetings, but can we make them … Continue reading

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Creating chaos for better agility

Chaos Monkey is tool developed by Netflix to test the resiliency of their servers on the Amazon cloud when faced with failures. It periodically a terminates a random virtual machine that is running their application. Their automated error recovery is … Continue reading

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The Andon Light (or Stop the line, I want to get off)

One oft-mentioned feature of Lean manufacturing is the andon light or the andon cord. The idea is that any employee on the assembly line who encounters a problem pulls the andon cord, the line is stopped, and the light comes … Continue reading

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Poka-yoke and software development

Poka-yoke (the final “e” is pronounced like “eh?” in English) is the Japanese term for “error proofing”, formalized by industrial engineer Shiego Shingo as part of the Toyota Production System. (He is said to have picked the term “error proofing” … Continue reading

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Customer feedback: What we can learn from game developers

Online game companies are frequently on the forefront of technology, both the technology of the games, as well as how they are developed. For example, IMVU, a 3D online chat website, has been a leader in continuous deployment, deploying as … Continue reading

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Plan to throw one away

In Fred Brooks’s classic book, The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, which was first published in 1975, he suggested planning to throw the first implementation of a system away. His words: “The management question, therefore, is not whether to build a … Continue reading

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The perils of Continuous Deployment

Continuous Deployment (CD), where changes are released several times a day, is popular among online game sites. IMVU for example, is a very strong champion of CD, and they use it to 50 times a day. I used to use … Continue reading

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