geordee


Layered Knowledge

The world’s knowledge is layered.

There are industries that make metal, industries that make airplanes using that metal, and industries that operate airplanes. The travellers on these airplanes are in turn doing something else - producing and servicing various things across the world. There are people who build operating systems, people who build software tools, people who make applications using those tools and people who use applications and run businesses.

There is hardly anyone who knows all the layers in a single supply-chain stack very well. But it may be a good idea to look into those adjacent layers to...


That Which Is Unseen

There is a well-known parable by Frédéric Bastiat – a classical theorist and political economist. It reads “Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas” meaning “that which is seen, and that which is unseen”. You can read the parable and the essay that contains it in WikiSource. Quickly, the parable goes like this – a shopkeeper’s careless son breaks a window, and the spectators look at that incident from various perspectives. Now that the window is broken, it should be fixed, and that initiates a flow of...


Conductor, Coach, Commander

There is a difference between Information Technology (IT) and established industries in terms of maturity in operations. Producing IT outputs is still treated as a knowledge-intensive activity, while in other industries the production is labor-intensive. IT is slowly moving from knowledge-intensive to labor-intensive, and innovations such as software factory model are trying to replicate the best practices of labor-intensive operations in IT projects and operations. However, not all areas in IT are ready to adapt the best practices of labor-intensive industries. One such area is project management.

There is a general perception among software engineers, at least among the people...


Architecture

Years ago, I architected a house. Being a Civil Engineer by qualification architecture is something that I was always fascinated with. Today I architect software, at least that’s what they say I do.

Architecture is one of the most misused terms in today’s software industry. There is an architect for everything – one for user interface, one for data, one for solution and one for the entire system. Then there are numerous technical architects who do all kinds of job – from design to coding. Then there are those obscure ones – lead architect, consultant architect, principal architect and so...


Sweet Dreams, Little One

It’s hard for us to conceive,
Why on earth you had to leave.
But if we listen, we’ll hear God say,
“Here is where he at peace shall lay”.
You’re already in beautiful heaven above,
And can see nothing but God’s love.
Even though we may not understand,
We can be sure Jesus is holding your hand.
You were the most beautiful baby, and though we despair
We know God will look after you with tender loving care.
You are safe in His hands now.
Sweet dreams, Little...


Beta

Recently I built a website that used beta version of an open source software. Obviously, I ran into problems and I had to contact the community to get help. One response I got was that the software is in beta and should not be used in production. I replied back, “my site is in beta version too!”

A lot of changes have taken place in the past few years. Traditionally software solutions were born in academic and research institutions and then brought to commercial and enterprise space. Once it is established it was adopted or made accessible to individual users...


Investing in Time

Time is money. It’s much more than that. Money if not invested shrinks over a period of time. Time vanishes.

Like money, time is another resource which is limited and cannot be accumulated. Investment typically converts a resource into another form, which can be preserved, accumulated and grown – look at how money is invested. In the same way time can be invested by converting it into something that can be preserved.

To me investing time is to best utilize time to build up knowledge, skills, relationships etc. Now the economy is down. There is little money to invest, and...


An Introspection

Here is Google’s Marissa Mayer, how she went on building her team. “I like to hire people who have two traits. They’re smart, and they get things done.”

That comes from Joel Spolsky’s The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing. Today I just asked myself again – am I getting things done smartly?


Certain Uncertainties

It has been a long time since I posted last. These were busy days with a lot of changes happening in the personal and work lives. I have written about changes earlier, but this time I observed something different. A change unsettles, it creates uncertainty, ambiguity and at the core of it these uncertain, ambiguous times and situations makes people difficult to accept change.

Some of us dealt with changes from young ages – changes in school, friends, house, cities – especially those who moved around a lot. But some of us did not. Whether we faced changing situations or...


As Late As Possible

The early bird gets the worm! Common wisdom suggests to get things done as early as possible. Everyday I see people – tuned to this wisdom – rushing on the road, into the elevators, around the vending machines, fretting and fidgeting about the seconds lost. I used to have a manager who was obsessed about every minute in the schedule which ultimately caused huge reworks and led to exhaustion of the team in all sense.

As late as possible is not a new strategy. It is well-known, documented, implemented and practised. However, many of us do not see it as...