Insects Inspire Computer Chip Design


Neuromorphic computing.   Once again, IT looks to Nature for improved tech design.  Mimicking organic life form biology, even more speed and greater computing efficiency is around the corner.  Anticipate impact on software development environments and the apps that get written.

Silicon Brains That Think as Fast as a Fly Can Smell

Researchers in Germany have discovered what they say is a way to get computers to do more than execute all the steps of a problem-solving calculation as fast as possible – by getting them to imitate the human brain’s habit of finding shortcuts to…  <more>

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2014 Tech & Marketing Trends


We may be rogue app creators but there is always the people side of the business to consider… be it the team, client, end user, or potential end users.  Or dev partners.   😉

What is Rogue IT?

We find we’re already living some of these 2014 marketing predictions from the New York #tech community, posted by Jacob Ajwani.  It’s tougher every day to manage the complexity but therein lies the opportunity.

It’s reassuring to see our instincts seem to be right: create companion apps that make life EASIER as they operate natively independently and interdependently.

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Rogue IT!


The larger ‘swell’ is change coming from the bottom up.

You already bring your own tech (BYOT) to work, on your tablet or phone, to get the job done better/easier/faster.  Bonus: you are free from being locked into outdated corporate IT constraints.  And the ‘Help Desk’.

Benefits for corporations:
  1. It’s a whole lot cheaper… to buy and maintain.
  2. You’re more agile, in the flexibility sense of the word.
  3. Your people get and use the latest and greatest solutions available.
It’s a win-win, my friends, this next wave of change.  If you develop software, this is (or will be) you.  This is us.  NextWave Online Training is riding!
NextWave IS Rogue IT

NextWave IS Rogue IT.

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Dilbert on Project Management


Project planning, resources, and reality.

Dilbert on Project Planning Resources and Reality

Dilbert needs help.  Dilbert needs ScrumMaster™.   😉

How long will your project take?

Using ScrumMaster’s interactive burndown chart, change Target Velocity (two people’s worth?) to see impact on end date.

Dynamic Burndown Target Velocity Analysis

ScrumMaster’s Burndown graph is dynamic. Make a change to Target Velocity and a new end date displays.

Make confidence adjustments, +/- 0-20%

What is the likelihood that ‘The Boss’ (or dev realities) will add more backlog?
Estimating Backlog Variables

Report out

Take a snapshot of the Burndown graph or export the results as Project Status or Burndown reports.

ScrumMaster Project Reports for Export

ScrumMaster Project Reports export to Word, Excel, and PDF formats… ready for you to customize to best suit your needs.

Now add back the new team member complexity and drama factors!

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A hike is to project planning as…


If you haven’t seen this before, Michael Wolfe’s software development analogy to a hike that seems so simple in concept is worth it for the laughs… because we all have been there before.  In fact, we deal with this every day.  Posted on Quora and below, in case you have difficulty seeing the article.

Engineering Management:
Why are software development task estimations regularly off by a factor of 2-3?

Michael Wolfe, Startup founder

Let’s take a hike on the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles to visit our friends in Newport Beach. I’ll whip out my map and draw our route down the coast:

The line is about 400 miles long; we can walk 4 miles per hour for 10 hours per day, so we’ll be there in 10 days. We call our friends and book dinner for next Sunday night, when we will roll in triumphantly at 6 p.m. They can’t wait!

We get up early the next day giddy with the excitement of fresh adventure.  We strap on our backpacks, whip out our map, and plan our first day. We look at the map. Uh oh:

Wow, there are a million little twists and turns on this coast. A 40-mile day will barely get us past Half Moon Bay. This trip is at least 500, not 400 miles.  We call our friends and push back dinner til Tuesday. It is best to be realistic. They are disappointed, but they are looking forward to seeing us. And 12 days from SF to LA still is not bad.

With that unpleasantness out of the way, we head off. Two hours later, we are barely past the zoo. What gives? We look down the trail:

Man, this is slow going! Sand, water, stairs, creeks, angry sea lions! We are walking at most 2 miles per hour, half as fast as we wanted. We can either start walking 20 hours per day, or we can push our friends out another week.  OK, let’s split the difference: we’ll walk 12 hours per day and push our friends out til the following weekend. We call them and delay dinner until the following Sunday. They are a little peeved but say OK, we’ll see you then.

We pitch camp in Moss Beach after a tough 12 hour day. Shit, it takes forever to get these tents up in the wind. We don’t go to bed until midnight. Not a big deal: we’ll iron things out and increase velocity tomorrow.

We oversleep and wake up sore and exhausted at 10 a.m. Fuck! No way we are getting our 12 hours in. We’ll aim for 10, then we can do 14 tomorrow. We grab our stuff and go.

After a slow slog for a couple of hours, I notice my friend limping. Oh shit, blisters. We need to fix this now… we are the kind of team who nips problems in the bud before they slow our velocity. I jog 45 minutes, 3 miles inland to Pescadero, grab some band-aids, and race back to patch up my friend. I’m exhausted, and the sun is going down, so we bail for the day. We go to bed after only covering 6 miles for the day. But we do have fresh supplies. We’ll be fine. We’ll make up the difference tomorrow.

We get up the next morning, bandage up our feet and get going. We turn a corner. Shit! What’s this?

Goddamn map doesn’t show this shit!

We have to walk 3 miles inland, around some fenced-off, federally-protected land, get lost twice, then make it back to the coast around noon. Most of the day gone for one mile of progress. OK, we are *not* calling our friends to push back again. We walk until midnight to try to catch up and get back on schedule.

After a fitful night of sleep in the fog, my friend wakes up in the morning with a raging headache and fever. I ask him if he can rally. “What do you think, asshole, I’ve been walking in freezing fog for 3 days without a break!” OK, today is a loss. Let’s hunker down and recover. Tomorrow we’ll ramp up to 14 hours per day since we’ll be rested and trained… it is only a few more days, so we can do it!

We wake up the next morning groggy. I look at our map:

Holy shit! We are starting day 5 of a 10 day trip and haven’t even left the Bay Area! This is ludicrous! Let’s do the work to make an accurate estimate, call our friends, probably get yelled at, but get a realistic target once and for all.

My friend says, well, we’ve gone 40 miles in 4 days, it is at least a 600 mile trip, so that’s 60 days, probably 70 to be safe. I say, “no f–ing way… yes, I’ve never done this walk before, but I *know* it does not take 70 days to walk from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Our friends are going to laugh at us if we call and tell them we won’t see them until Easter!

I continue, “if you can commit to walking 16 hours a day, we can make up the difference! It will be hard, but this is crunch time. Suck it up!” My friend yells back, “I’m not the one who told our friends we’d make it by Sunday in the first place! You’re killing me because you made a mistake!”

A tense silence falls between us. The phone call goes unmade. I’ll call tomorrow once my comrade regains his senses and is willing to commit to something reasonable.

The next morning, we stay in our tents till a rainstorm blows over. We pack our stuff and shuffle off at 10 a.m. nursing sore muscles and new blisters. The previous night’s fight goes unmentioned, although I snap at my idiot friend when he leaves his water bottle behind, and we have to waste 30 minutes going back to get it.

I make a mental note that we are out of toilet paper and need to stock up when we hit the next town. We turn the corner: a raging river is blocking our path. I feel a massive bout of diarrhea coming on…

Good to know it’s not just your life, eh?  Honestly, some of these issues are exactly what drove us to create the ScrumMaster application.  It’s reality.  And not just for our tech world, the human world.  We’ve come to believe it’s normal.  So let’s just deal with reality and find some better ways to work together and get the job done.

For Agile Story Sizing Cards, not so much… that was more about boring, way-too-long meetings.  What better way to deal with them than to let your mind wander down the, ‘Gee, wouldn’t it be much cooler to be doing this on my phone.  Hmmmmm.’   Solved another problem too: Where did I put my poker planning cards!?!

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