My title for this post indicates the general reception that I immediately gave this reading. It is at the same time an excellent writing and expression of what I believe software “should” be, and also a controversial, helpful, destructive, right-on — OR totally Un”Real” approach to software development! You decide!
Is this where application development is heading? Is 37signals.com ahead of their time? Do you agree with the concepts of this book? …partially agree? Or perhaps vehemently DIS-agree? Is “Getting Real” – “Real” — or Un”Real”? As for me, I haven’t decided as yet, but I did sign up for one of their services to “try” the idea. Time will tell I guess!
…and I must admit that I was impressed with the user interfaces that I saw]]>
While unlike my computer security guru eldest son who will not do banking on-line, I do utilize net resources at least to some extent. Banking on-line with my brick and mortar based bank I have a level of comfort and “trust” with. That’s really not the case for me when it comes to companies which present themselves on the web with no “real” information about who they are or where they are. I suspect that I am not alone when it comes to my basic need for a company to “prove I can trust you” with sensitive information.
Please do not misunderstand — I see great value in being able to “just use” the technology available today rather than having to administer it. Perhaps I just know too much about what can go wrong — which at times actually helps me to trust a “perceived” expertise which I do not possess. For example, I have been a user of GoToMyPC.com since its very early days — mostly for the reason that I just didn’t want to deal with the potential security and configuration issues that setting up the remote access myself would have entailed, and my experience with other alternatives was not enjoyable - although alternatives did exist.
Businesses providing services can and do go out-of-business, they may change their offerings without notice (and unlike making a choice to upgrade desktop software to a new version or not, you have no choice). Being dependent on a great service that (perhaps) its founder(s) have managed to death is not a place where I want to be. There is a level of control lacking with any on-line service.
This is where perception is so critical. I consider using a service depending upon the nature of the service and the sensitivity of any data which I may use the service for. Basically I might start with a service with the thought that “…if it works out fine, great … if not, nothing really lost”. Remember the debacle of the internet domain provider that went out of business leaving many domains in trouble? I don’t want to participate in such a mess thank you.
Bottom line, I expect that I will continue to be very cautious regarding on-line services. In the meantime, I continue to learn more and more about web services and what they provide, and am continuing to refine my development of web applications.]]>
Having worked within a UNIX and Linux environment for many years, I became very accustomed to creating powerful scripts to accomplish tasks. Even with the limitations of Microsoft’s command shell, I often would find that I could do things much more quickly at a command line than with a graphical interface. Now Microsoft has given me a whole new tool to learn — and I suspect I will find myself using the command line once again more and more frequently.
I only discovered Windows PowerShell today when I was reading the April edition of Microsoft TechNet Magazine. What caught my eye initially was an article regarding PII (Personally Identifiable Information). The article ( Really talking about security on your system) showed various examples of finding PII on your system using Windows PowerShell. As of this writing I am not finding the article on-line however, as it appears to be the March issue that is on-line at this time.
Getting the glimpse I did of PowerShell from the article had me quickly imagining many uses for the power which seemed to be available using this new tool. I searched for, downloaded and have now installed PowerShell on my XP, Vista and server 2003 systems.
If you have not investigated this free tool from Microsoft I’d suggest that you go for it! I have only begun to look at the functionality available, and I am impressed — and it generally takes a bit for me to be this way about a new product.]]>
I chose to follow the presentations provided in the “developers track” — surprise, surprise? Microsoft managed to provide information sessions, for the most part, rather than vailed sales pitches — I commend them on that. Of course, the greatest percentage of sessions and information provided were really geared toward the larger enterprise customers.
It’s always difficult to know after shows like this just what value I have gained from the time spent. It probably will be a while before I truly understand the value to me, however, having the opportunity to work with the provided Not for Resale software — Server 2008, SQL 2000 and Visual Studio 2008 — I’m sure will provide value to me in the coming months.]]>
I first noted when reading that Microsoft paper that it was dated in the year 2002. This prompted me to try a Google search on “trustworthy computing”, and I discovered a recent article posted on campustechnology.com entitled “Trustworthy Computing: Examining Trust“. I found this article particularly interesting because very early on a reference was made to the fact that there is still a long way to go.
I have found myself wondering since reading the Microsoft White paper, just how possible is it to develop the same kind of confidence and trust in our computing environment that we have with our automobiles or telephone? Computing, however, seems to be an area where there is an every day cat and mouse game being played between the good guys and the bad guys. What happens when a good guy goes bad? That has happened!
It seems to me that until the larger issues of global cooperation and trust are resolved, we will not see global trustworthy computing. On the very first page of Microsoft’s “trustworthy computing” white paper, they state “… Because computers have to some extent already lost people’s trust…”. My experience would be that this is a gross understatement. Significant data breaches have shaken the security foundation to its core, and significantly eroded trust that has been built up in recent years.
If this topic interests you, take a look at this most recent article that I’ve referenced above. It also is a great read.]]>
In that previous post I did make reference to having a network on my laptop. My references back then were mainly around using a virtualized environment for testing applications. However, as I am preparing my “laptop network” for this road trip, it occurs to me how very useful this “laptop network” would be to any salesperson who is demonstrating software applications. The ability to have it all in one place, it all of course referring to a whole network, is a valuable timesaver — allowing demonstration of capabilities far beyond that of a normal PC, and providing a controlled environment in which to run the demo.
How many of us have been in situations where we’ve gone to demo product, only to find the resources we assumed would be available suddenly were not. Common resources such as an Internet connection are generally expected to be available. It can be a major upset to suddenly find that it is not, and therefore your demo cannot proceed as expected. Through virtualization, and creating a network on your laptop, it provides a controlled environment which can be totally preconfigured prior to your demo. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Virtualization has become commonplace today. While there is some learning curve to setting up and using a virtualized “laptop network”, I have not found it to be particularly difficult. I believe it is well within the capability of most developers to create it and certainly worth the time investment.
When I first started using virtualization, I began with VM Ware. It has served me well. However, as Microsoft has become more engaged in virtualization, certainly their virtualization products are an excellent choice as well. Whichever environment you choose to start with, there is a free version. Go ahead and be daring, check out both of them. Determine which is best for you — and run with it.]]>
Within this article, associate editor Jennette Mullaney uses a number of quotes from Robert Martin, who is the founder, CEO and President of Object Mentor Inc. I really can’t say enough about this article — as it would appear that Mr. Martin and I are completely in agreement. He thinks the way I do — which some might say is bit of a scary thought — for Mr. Martin that is!
I have been saying for quite some time that this is a fantastic time to be doing software development. We as developers have multiple tools and capabilities available to us which greatly enhance our capability to produce quality software. I believe that our customers have every right to expect nothing short of quality software from us as their developers. This article makes reference to such topics as unit testing, agile development and test driven development(TDD). If you are a developer and want a boost to help you commit to quality — read this article. I highly recommend it!]]>
The article I have referenced indicates that using Agile development methods they realized software development cycles which were a minimum of four times faster. Given the size of BT, it takes no stretch of the imagination to understand how agile development methods have had such a significant impact on the application value.
Since a part of application value is established by the cost of developing the application, certainly the cost savings as realized by BT have a significant part in establishing application value.
I highly recommend this article as a good read. In addition, there is another article that also makes reference to how BT utilized agile programming. “Agile Delivery at British Telecom” is also an excellent read.]]>
With the requirements clearly defined, the next step is to establish, as a minimum, some key milestones that need to be met in order to accomplish the task at hand. A project management tool can help in this endeavor. One can get as detailed or general as required by the specific project, but with these milestones in place it provides a basis for creating a timeframe within which each task can be accomplished.
Once the timeframe has been created, it is a relatively easy task to then assign a dollar value for the time given an estimate of the individuals to be working on the project. This approach can work as well for a large project as for a small.
Your work is not done however, because a thorough examination of your milestones will be required in order to determine the proper approach to completing the project. That proper approach may take into account the particular development tools to be utilized, the pool of talent available for the development, or perhaps also require you to re-evaluate the steps to be taken as the project progresses. Establishing a clear approach to the problem will go a long way toward establishing and measuring the application’s value.]]>
Talk about application value!
Once again, I find myself wondering – how would one establish the value of such an application? I seriously doubt that any of us would say it’s not a job worth doing right, or that it doesn’t have value. Just how much is a life worth? I’m sure you’ve experienced with each visit to your doctor, the increasing use of computers, and thus software. My Dr. has been dedicated to the latest of technology well before the time that doctors began to recognize the value of computer systems, and networks for small offices tended to be a nightmare.
I’ve had an opportunity to speak with him about the application program which he has been using for the last two or three years, and interestingly enough, the software he uses was originally designed by a doctor during his internship. He was particularly impressed with the software because it just seemed to provide him with everything that he wanted at the time.
Designed by a doctor, for doctors. I believe this is a software ideal not only in the medical field, but also for most industries.]]>