The Grand High Order of the Easter Bunny
September 01, 2012
I ‘ve talked, rather a lot, about my views on the use of open source software in the big fat corporate enterprise. Because these rambles have been at conferences or in occasional blog posts, the pitch has been aimed at enterprise developers: Use open-source where you can, but do not think of it simply as a “free” resource; give something back to community through promoting it, patching it, extending it and paying for support. Everyone wins. The argument is partly idealistic (make softwar ...
The New New Tool
November 05, 2011
Bob and Alice sit in a cubicle at the end of the floor. For much of their working day they are pissed off. They are forced to do their job using a tool implemented by The Project some years ago. The Tool was an over-complex inappropriate hulk when it was selected. The Tool is made by The Big Vendor. We’ve all heard of The Big Vendor. They market The Tool to many industry segments and have a specialist pre-sales team for each segment. The Tool was very expensive. Because of its complexity it’s ...
The Attraction of Laws
June 05, 2011
I noticed last week just how many half-written articles I have queued up for completion. Postwise, the last twelve months has been heavy on ideas but light on completion. Sorry about that. Unless you think my stuff sucks in which case “you’re welcome”. It’s been a very busy period and writing time has been hard to find. But when I look at some of those half-formed works I see that they lack a narrative sense of beginning, middle, and end. Ideas are great but I find it hard to summon up the enthus ...
July 25, 2009
It’s intervention time. You know on TV, whenever they show a meeting of alcoholics/gamblers/narcotics anonymous, the first thing a member has to state before they get to address the group is “Hello. My Name is name and I’m a whatever”? Admitting you are a whatever is step one of the so-called twelve step program. It’s powerful because, regardless of the story or anecdote that follows, you must begin by facing the reality of things. No excuses. You may have just had a great week but there’s no res ...
The Super-Geek Top Ten
December 30, 2008
Let’s end the year on a lighter note. Working in corporate IT is tough enough without another 2000 word essay on architecture or the pop-psychology of a management technique for the holiday period. Recently I’ve been putting together a treatment for a TV documentary on some of the extraordinary computer scientists behind the bodacious awesomeness that powers the best IT today. During some random research I came across a game called “Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?”, an amusing di ...
What would Scooby do?
March 21, 2008
It would be hard to find a cartoon that better exemplifies formulaic plotting than Scooby Doo. I have a three year old son and am consequently something of an expert in the exploits of Scooby and his colleagues. When not in the office I am lucky enough to spend all my time (and I mean all) watching episode after episode over and over again. If it weren’t for the munificent schedulers at the Boomerang Channel I’m not sure what I would do with my free time. Ask not for whom the consultant bills. H ...
May 01, 2007
Anyone who has been in the software industry for a decent period of time is bound to have come across at least one Lisp fanatic, or Lispian. They are rare beasts, for sure, but what they lack in numbers they more than make up for in dedication to the object of their fanaticism. Unlike Java or C# hackers Lispians have a real air of self-satisfaction about them; they aren’t just passionate about the prospect of using a neat tool for cutting code, they’ve been to the top of the mountain and they’ve ...