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5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 6-29-12

  
  
  

5 6 29 12It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our other post this week, As App Market Matures, Retention Becomes Key Metric, please check it out. Measuring app success by the number of downloads is so 2009. You need to look at app retention -- the number of times the app gets used instead.

Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

What's In YOUR Computer? How to Track Down The Bad Stuff | Input Output

You probably have systems in place that protect your firewall, looking for bad things trying to get in or even stuff trying to get out, but this article talks about malware sitting on a computer and its impact on performance. Once it's there, it can cause problems and most security systems don't look for it.

Microsoft: The Evil Empire re-Surfaces | ZDNet

With the Microsoft Surface, veteran technology writer Jason Perlow argues that Microsoft is completely undercutting the hardware OEM channel it worked 30 years to build. What's more he thinks it will cost valuable manufacturing and retail jobs in the US as the channel gets choked. What do you think? Is the Surface going to have that big an impact? I'm not so sure.

Android Jelly Bean: An Overview Of The Features | The Droid Guy

This week was Google I/O and there was certainly plenty to talk about including a new cloud infrastructure service, the Nexus 7 tablet and a new flavor of Android for tablets called Android Jelly Bean (or version 4.1 for those of you who prefer to track version numbers instead of snack foods). This post gives you a good overview of what to expect in the new version.

How to Keep the Government From Weighing Down Your WAN | Intelligent WAN

When you set your WAN security system, you need to consider how government regulations affect your plans. For example, if you are subject to Sarbanes Oxley or Hippa regulations, you have to be sure you're protecting information as required by these laws.

Agile By the Numbers - Which Ones Don't Make Sense? | About Agility

When you move to an Agile approach, you have to watch being too rigid or you'll defeat the purpose of the model. As this writer says, you need to be pragmatic and include a healthy dose of common sense, or you'll be following a methodology without taking into account the real needs of your team and your project.


Photo by Ron Miller Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 6-22-12

  
  
  
5 6 22 12It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our other post this week, Apple's Mobile Strategy Had Profound Influence on Enterprise Software, please have a look. Apple's mobile vision had a huge impact on the changes happening in IT today including consumerization and BYOD.

Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

My First 23 Questions About Microsoft’s ‘Surface’ Windows 8 Tablet | Techland

Veteran tech journalist Harry McCracken has a bunch of questions for Microsoft about its newly announced tablets and he outlines them in this post. He doesn't ask the one key question though, and that's if we really need an IT-friendly tablet in an age when IT no longer controls device choices.

How to Find and Hire an IT Consultant | Input Output

Every company needs to hire outside IT consultants to handle jobs they just don't have the time or talent to deal with in-house. When that inevitable situation happens, what do you do? This article gives you some tips and tricks on hiring a solid consultant to get you through.

Agile: Principles vs Practice | Standard Out

It's one thing to talk the Agile talk, it's another thing entirely to walk the walk -- and too many firms talk about the principals without really changing their overall methdology.

Fast, Faster, Fastest: Linux rules supercomputing | ZDNet

As much as we root for Linux, the open source operating system, it hasn't really found any significant traction on the desktop. It's used inside some devices such as Roku and TiVO, but where Linux has really found a home is inside super computers. In fact, Linux controls more than 83 percent of the super computer OS market.

The Top Issues Facing Educational IT | Educational IT

Educational IT faces different issues than the average enterprise because students are not the same as employees. This report examines a survey of educational IT pros, and found they're dealing with many of the same trends you are including moving to the cloud and dealing with consumerization and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).


Photo by Ron Miller Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 6-15-12

  
  
  

5 6 15 12It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our other post this week, Technology Could Change Airport Experience Dramatically, have a look.

Airports are looking for ways to engage travelers, who are after all a truly captive audience. Moving forward, they will use technology to try and guide the traveler to make the experience more meaningful (or at least that's the idea).

Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

How Africa is embracing “the cloud” on its own terms | Ars Technica

Africa is fertile ground for the mobile-cloud industry, whether it's mobile applications or data centers to deliver the traffic, but it's not always easy to navigate the tricky social, economic and technical challenges of doing business there.

Why Hadoop is the A-list of Big Data | Tom's IT Pro

Big Data is the biggest buzz word of the moment, but it's about trying to process massive amounts of data, a problem many organizations are facing. And many are finding that open source Hadoop can help them process to the scale that big data repositories require.

“10 Ten Reasons why You’re Programming Wrong” And Boring/Annoying Your Audience | The Exception Catcher Blog

Unfortunately, this writer doesn't give you reasons, but he's making fun of posts that try to tell you ways of programming right. Maybe he's onto something.

451: Web censorship status code | ZDNet

We've all seen 404 messages, but increasingly there are calls to have a new code that shows up for sites that have been shut down for censorship reasons.

Agile Testing Challenges - Webinar Q&A with Lisa Crispin |SmartBear

Agile Testing Coach Lisa Crispin answers three questions about challenges Agile teams face when it comes to testing including how to increase the visibility of the testing process and how to differentiate between developers and testers in Agile.

Photo by Tomma Henckel Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 4-27-12

  
  
  
5 Cape Cod Savings Chatham, MAIt's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our other post this week, Flash May Not Be Dead, But It's Not Feeling Well, please check it out now. When Adobe abandoned Mobile Flash last Fall, it was a shot across the bow for Web developers. A recent Wall Street Journal article indicated Adobe was ready to focus on marketing departments and seem to be moving on from Flash. It may be time for your company web site to do the same.

You may also want to have look at The RIM Rise and Fall infographic we published earlier this week, which traces the rise of RIM to its recent troubles, all of which can be traced directly to the introduction of the iPhone in 2007.

Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

Google Drive SDK announced, but APIs are only for Web apps right now | Ars Technica.

Google announced the release of the long-awaited Google Drive this week and along with it some APIs that could make the service even more interesting than it appears to be at first glance. The APIs are limited at least for now, but it's a start and it should be interesting to see how people build services on the top of Google Drive.

NY datacenter leads with the Green | ZDNet.

One Albany company shows how to be green including using solar panels to generate a vast majority of the required electricity to run the data center. Read the article to see what other techniques the company is using to be green.

Effectiveness of Teams - .NET Code Geeks

This article looks at the importance of teams in the Agile development process. Overall, when you have multiple programmers attacking a problem, of course, you are more likely to solve issues than leaving it to one person.

2 more cloud myths busted: Lock-in and locked up | InfoWorld

This article attempts to attack two persistent myths about cloud computing use. First of all, that it locks you in -- the author argues that just about any choice is locks you in on a certain level -- and that you can't be compliant in the cloud. He argues that the compliance card is being way overplayed.

End of Life Quick Sand | Genuitec Blog

What happens when your big enterprise software system reaches the End of Life? It can make your life complicated in a hurry. You've put time and effort into customizing this huge and important system. What happens now?

And this week's bonus post:

Yahoo's genius content strategy | The Oatmeal

This Oatmeal cartoon nails why Yahoo! is failing.

Photo by Tomma Henckel. Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 1-27-12

  
  
  
5 1 27 12It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our other post this week, Making Programming Fun and Games, in which we discussed the pros and cons of gamification in programming, please check it out now. It's been a popular post.

Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And here we go with this week's links:

Less Process, More Discipline - Software Quality Connection

There is a popular misconception around Agile programming methodology that it's a little loosey goosey, but in fact, it requires more discipline to adhere to its stricter schedules, requirements lists and helping programming staff reject outrageous requests.

How to Hire a Security Genius - Input Output

Zappos was the latest company to suffer an embarrassing security breach recently, but everyone is vulnerable to hackers. How do you build a top-notch security staff for your organization? This article explains all.

HTML5 Makes Websites Quicker, Lighter and All-Around Better - HTML5 Report

Well, it won't wash the dishes, but it can help make browsers work more efficiently because it enables programmers to producer leaner code and work more closely with the browser.

2012: The Year of DevOps - CM Crossroads

By now, you've probably heard of DevOps, but this writer believes by the end of this year, it will be an IT buzz word as popular as cloud computing and big data. This post tries to explain DevOps and why it's important for developers and IT.

Suckville - xkcd

When you're calculating the most recent population numbers for Suckville, you have to use the latest figures or it's not accurate. Don't you get that?

Photo by Tomma Henckel Used under Creative Commons License.

Making Programming Fun and Games

  
  
  
iStock 000015653131XSmallOver the last few years, as complex development models have evolved, it's probably been anything but fun for developers, but that could be changing if gamification makes its way into the enterprise development.

In a post last week on the Official Microsoft Blog, Microsoft announced, it was releasing a game plug-in for Visual Studio to bring a little bit of recreation to the hard work of developing. The plug-in analyzes code and creates a coding leader board based on who generates the most code.

What's more, developers can earn up to 32 achievement badges in 6 categories such as "Power Coder" and "Don't Try This at Home." And if that's not enough, you can brag on your social network about your achievements, sending messages to Facebook or Twitter.

Microsoft writes it came up with idea after seeing a blog post, which then lead to a spirited discussion on Reddit with over 700 comments, some of which got into the notion of the whole game idea.

In a post the other day on Software Quality Connection, Charlie Martin, wrote that Agile programming needs, Less Process and More Discipline. In other words, shut up and code, but could this adherence to deadlines and schedules be taking the joy out of programming?

Whatever model your shop uses, coding comes down to hard mental work, making a constant series of decisions and perhaps making it a game could have some merit and drive programmers to do what they do so well. What's funny, is the original proposal was just having some fun and Microsoft took it seriously it decided to run with it. And why not?

After all, many geeks who code also enjoy gaming. If you can find a way to put the two of them together and instill a bit of competition and some fun in into the process, while still achieving those goals, it can't hurt, right?

My only reservation with this approach is the idea that the more you code, the more superior you are because all code is not created equal. If you crank out a bunch of crap do you deserve recognition for doing so?

In writing, more words, doesn't equal higher quality. I'm sure the same notion applies to programming but creating a game that rewards quality programming (the code with fewest bugs) is probably going to be harder to set up.

Gamificaiton is all the rage of course and it could appeal to programmers too, but I wonder if it sends the right messages or rewards the best programmers.

What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know.

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 1-13-12

  
  
  
5 1 13 12It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our other post this week, Android Fragmentation Debate Could be Red Herring, please check it out now. For most developers, Android fragmentation is not a big deal, but a bigger issue could be version fragmentation that forces you to program for the oldest version.

Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And here we go with this week's links:

Sign of the Times: Now Hiring - Channel Insider

It seems that the economy is slowly improving and is it does, it makes sense that IT and developer jobs are beginning to open up. According to one survey, purse strings are finally loosening and it could be a very good year.

23 Useful Online HTML5 Tools - DesignModo

Developers need to be looking at HTML 5 and this article looks at 23 tools you can use to help you in the process. 23 is a strange number, but perhaps the author couldn't think of two more to make it an even 25.

How to Manage Mobile Devices on the Network - Enterprise Networking Planet

As the consumerization of IT continues unabated, IT no longer controls the mobile devices in the work place, but that doesn't mean you can't manage how mobile devices interact with your company network.

Avoid agile dogma: recommendations not rules - Able Pear Software Blog

If the whole idea behind Agile programming is being flexible enough to develop new functionality on the fly, then attempting to enforce rigid rules goes against that. Try to be flexible because ultimately most programmers don't deal well with dogma.

What is big data? - O'Reilly Radar

Big Data is the big buzz word this year, but behind the buzz is very real technology and this article explains what it is and why you need to be thinking about it.

Photo by Tomma Henckel Used under Creative Commons License.

The Two Agile Programming Metrics that Matter

  
  
  

by Neil Fox
Vice President of Strategic Consulting 

The global recession has strongly impacted the software development industry, including companies that develop software to support their traditional services. Anyone speaking to a development executive can feel these effects. The outcry is universal: “How can I do more with the same resources?” The need to be innovative, competitive, and cost effective has never been stronger than it is today. If necessity is the mother of invention, then current world economy is the mother of necessity. Nearly every CIO or VP of R&D that I speak with is struggling to improve their time to market while increase the number of features delivered within stagnant or shrinking budgets. Two common objectives of software development teams address this need:

  1. Improve predictability
  2. Optimize productivity

Perhaps a third common objective should be to increase innovation. While I will not address innovation directly in this article, there is an indirect relationship between predictability, productivity, and innovation. The more productive and predictable the team, the more capacity and latitude it has to put into innovative development.

Being able to accurately estimate software deliverables in terms of schedule, scope, and quality is a prized objective for software development teams and management. Any company that relies on software to help drive revenue, either directly or indirectly, needs to be able to trust the estimation capability of its software development group. Business leaders directly correlate revenue projections to software features, so delivering on time with committed scope and quality will provide better budget projections to the company and its stakeholders. I’ve been involved with large software development companies whose business departments do not trust the development organizations, and it was not pretty. There is a lot of contention, blame, and general dysfunction in organizations like this.

Once your business stakeholders can count on your commitments, they will think that you are not doing enough (how could you if you are delivering on time?), and they will quickly focus on getting even more functionality to the end-users. Not only is this a significant challenge for most organizations, but available methods for improving predictability and productivity features over time not readily available to most technology leaders. I like to use the word "effectiveness" to describe both predictability and productivity. The more productive and predictable a team is, the more effective they are. Effective development organizations can accurately predict their delivery in time, scope, and total quality while continuously finding ways to improve their productivity. 

This article is designed to provide specific steps for understanding your development effectiveness. Getting this right will help move your software development group toward being a true business partner if it is not already.

Define Your Business Objectives
The first step to being effective is to define what it means to be effective from a business perspective. Sitting with your business leaders and gaining a deep knowledge of their objectives is critical to meeting their expectations. It has been my experience that the better a development organization understands “why” it is developing a product, the more likely it can effectively deliver the “how.” Being specific with your business leaders is important to effectively communicate the product vision.  

The Pressure is On
In today’s economic climate, many companies focus on reducing cost—or at least understanding the cost of delivering features to clients—so that a general ROI analysis can be done. The best measure of ROI is, of course, a bottom line dollar return for every dollar invested, however this is not always practical in the software world. Improving current customer satisfaction may be an objective for other firms. If this is the case, then their ROI may be measured in other ways, such as customer retention, increasing margins within existing customers or business process efficiency for internal applications. I recommend providing a mechanism for your business leadership to assign value to their requirements, which allows the business to evaluate its requirements by real or perceived value in addition to priority.

The objective is to keep the business stakeholders engaged in the development process rather than throwing requirements over the wall. Something as simple as a relative one-through-ten scale on high-level requirements will typically enhance the business’s interest and engagement throughout the development process. Taking this step allows the development team to create a business value burn-up chart and communicate the accumulated value points delivered to the stakeholders.

A business value burn-up chart can be a reasonable demonstration of delivering business value, which is challenging for many organizations to quantify. Whatever your business goals may be, defining effective delivery with your stakeholders (and the associated value of the delivery) is the first step to improving your software development effectiveness. I am often surprised when development leadership has not taken this step. When we understand and adopt the philosophy of the business, we become more effective business partners. 

Standardize Output Measures
The second step to improving effectiveness is to standardize your measure of output so that you have a consistent and objective measure of improvement from a baseline. Objectively understanding if the team is improving or regressing is a key objective for mature development teams. As I discussed in my previous article, there are several different approaches to this.

My favorite approach is to use story points of a very limited Fibonacci sequence. I typically use a scale up to five with the top number being the most that a single developer can accomplish in half a sprint (typically one week I find that one-week stories are the most that a seasoned developer can accurately estimate. So a typical sequence contains the numbers one, two, three, and five. There are many other approaches such as tee shirt sizing (S, M, L, XL) or using larger Fibonacci sequences, that may work just fine

The key to making these numbers meaningful is to ensure consistent use of your scale. Creating a clear guideline or worksheet for assigning stories to these point values is often helpful. The guideline should be lightweight and able to identify stories that are more complex than your highest value and that need to be further elaborated upon. Your guidelines could have examples of stories for each category.

When encountering a story that has no frame of reference, the only option you have is to do your best to estimate the complexity based on similar work and adjust as you learn. Maintaining a story point guideline can typically only be done for one application or product. Despite the common desire to apply a guideline to several applications, the guideline cannot be applied to more than one application due to the various complexities of the technology and team makeup. Additionally, I highly suggest making your estimation guideline part of each sprint review or at the very least, part of your release review depending on how often you are doing releases. 

Taking this approach should form the basis of consistent story estimation. As the team matures, these guides become second nature and can be disposed of or used by new members only. Following this approach will provide a constant and trusted source of “gross output.” In other words, we can determine only the “amount” of work delivered. There are other aspects of productivity that need to be taken into account before we can truly measure “improvement” of the team. For instance, a team may have cut some important corners to deliver the stories, or they may have not tested at all. Both of these common situations result in significant rework downstream. 

The Two Key Metrics
OK, the reality is that my two most critical metrics are really indexes composed of several metrics. 

1. Predictability
As I discussed earlier in this article, predictability is absolutely key to becoming a more trusted business partner. Predictability is also a great way for team members to judge themselves against their commitments and objectives while making meaningful adjustments. The highest performing teams are those that want to measure their performance and use these objective metrics for discussions during regular internal reviews (retrospectives in the agile world). Having a predictability index allows for a simplified view of the team’s progress that is useful for management as it gains a high degree of transparency into the progress without a lot of complicated metrics.

There are many factors that go into creating more predictable delivery. One of the most useful measures of predictability is scope variance. While velocity will indicate the number of story points delivered, the number of story points missed is rarely captured but directly impacts the team’s ability to deliver on their commitments. The other important group of metrics for predictability are quality related. The more time the team spends on addressing functional and technical defects, the less time they have for developing features. Capturing the demand from defect identification and remediation will help keep the team on a track of predictable deliveries.  

I like to view predictability as a series of variances from our committed deliverables in conjunction with escaped defects as an indicator of technical (or functional) debt. For an explanation of functional debt please see this article from the “Agile Insider.” I know what you are saying: “How can we be predictable if we are doing agile?” Well, I strongly feel that it is completely reasonable to say that you can most effectively predict delivery with agile since empirical evidence throughout the process enables constant adjustment based on progress. All software delivery must have a targeted release date and committed functionality. Otherwise, there is no way for the consumers of the application to accurately plan for consuming the application. The agile reality is that stakeholders will be able to have their highest priority requirements developed in the given time frame, assuming that there is a strong product owner who is involved in the process. 

In software product companies and companies that rely on their software for revenue, there is often a fixed release date. Unless significant trouble is discovered in the last sprint, or during release to production, the schedule is typically not the issue. The more common situation is “rapid de-scoping” prior to release. In order to capture this activity, we track both schedule and scope variance in the number of story points delivered. In order to tell if we are on track during an agile development process, we can track sprint velocity variance from our average velocity. Being consistently below average velocity indicates that we will need to adjust the development or delivery in the coming sprints. In a similar way, tracking sprint burn-down variance from target will give an indicator of issues before the sprint is complete. 

You may choose to create your own measures of predictability, but some of the ones that I like to use are shown in figure 1.

Fox3

Figure 1: Ness Predicatabilty Index

  • Scope Variance: The number of story points delivered / story points committed. Velocity charts are very helpful, but while velocity gives a measure of development capacity and delivery trends, this variance demonstrates the number of story points carried over from sprint to sprint or missed all together. Essentially, this is functional debt. 
  • Release Velocity Variance: The current velocity / average velocity. Similar to acceleration, this indicator gives a sense as to the overall pace of the team. If we are slowing down (negative variance), then there may be trouble ahead. 
  • Escaped Defects / Story Point: Also called defect density, this indicator will show whether the team is sacrificing quality for speed or quantity of output. 
  • Business Value Variance. If you are capturing business value as defined by your product owner or other business stakeholder, then this metric will indicate story selection tradeoffs. This metric will indicate if the group had to include more low value stories than expected due to technical or other valid reasons.

By averaging the variance metrics, we can create an overall index and then plot the predictability of each release as a trend, as shown in figure 2. Ideally, the trend will be positive and the teams will improve their predictability over time. Downward trends are opportunities for exploration. 

Fox4 300x256

Fox5 300x191

Figure 2: Predicatability Index Trend

2. Productivity

Predictability alone is a useful metric, but it’s not ideal to be predictably slow. Marrying predictability with productivity measures gives the team and stakeholders a good indication if they are improving their delivery or if they are slowing down to be more predictable. The Cumulative Flow Diagram shown in figure 3 is a good chart for measuring productivity.

Fox6

Figure 3: Cumulative Flow Diagram

The advantage of the Cumulative Flow Diagram is that we can easily see, in one chart, the relative work in progress of each of the major functions of an agile development team, as well as its total throughput. Story points that have been elaborated, developed, tested, etc., are all shown in different colors in the area chart. The slope of the curve can be a good measure of productivity or potential waste if one of the teams is “outpacing” the others. As the lines diverge, there may be too large of a backlog in any area (potential waste). Lines coming together may indicate a potential bottleneck. Flat lines or low slopes on the chart indicate a stalling of productivity of that part of the development process. The slope of the bottom line is a measure of story points delivered, or throughput. The steeper the slope, the more effective the team in delivering stories. Be sure to limit the number of story point possibilities (we typically use 1,2,3,5) for each story in order to limit the possibility of gaming the system. 

Acceleration is another effective metric for productivity. Essentially, acceleration measures the current velocity against the mean velocity. Is the team doing better or worse than usual? Plotting acceleration on a curve will demonstrate the team’s trend. Using sprint and release velocity trend lines as a measure of acceleration is another approach that many companies take; this approach is perhaps more simple. Plotting the average and standard deviation from the average can show clear trends in output. 

By combining views of predictability and productivity of the development activity, the team and its stakeholders can quickly and easily tell if the development is on track, if predictability is improving, and if team members are self-aware enough to improve their overall output.

This article was orginally published in the Agile Journal.

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 12/2/11

  
  
  

5 12 2 11It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our other post this week, Your Company Needs a Coherent Mobile App Plan, please have a look now. It covers the importance of a well-defined mobile strategy. You can't just throw out apps will-nilly and expect success, and you certainly can't  make it an advertisement.

If you like what you see here, please consider subscribing and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And here we go with this week's links:

Company plans to eliminate email - FierceCIO
It's a bold move for sure, but without a coherent strategy for replacing it, employees will more than likely work around it using private emails, creating a security and governance risk most companies wouldn't consider a reasonable trade-off.

7 Stupid Security Tricks - Input Output

They may be obvious depending on your perspective, but that may be why they slipped through the cracks and you missed them. Definitely worth reading and making sure you have these holes plugged.

Serious Games Drive Agile Strategic Planning  - Agile Blog

One consultant found playing planning games with executives could prove the value of moving from a Waterfall to Scrum environment.

7 Reasons that Rexx Still Matters - Software Quality Connection

If You know what Rexx is, then you know it's probably fallen out of favor at your development shop. This writer offers some arguments why it still matters and should still be in your programming aresnal.

In Search of Reliable Virtualization Providers - Tom's IT Pro

If you've decided to virtualize your IT shop, the next step is finding a reliable provider and this post tries to give you some practical advice on how to find providers that match well with your organizational requirements.


Photo by Tomma Henckel. Used under Creative Commons License.

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 11/18/11

  
  
  
5 11 18 11It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our other post this week, The Benefits of HTML5 Are Growing More Apparent, please have a look now. It covers how even before Adobe announced it was ending development of Mobile Flash, it was clear that HTML5 was on the rise. The announcement only reinforced it.

If you like what you see here, please consider subscribing and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And here we go with this week's links:

Agile Slaves - SD Times

As Agile celebrated its 10th birthday earlier this year, one author looks back at the retrospective and the responses of the original architects of the Agile vision and wonders if it's kept its promise or if many organizations are just going through the motions.

Managing Android Tablets, Smartphones - Tom's IT Pro

As more Android devices make their way into the enterprise, you might think that managing them could be a nightmare, but there are ways to do it. This article explains.

A Web Developer Speaks: Flash Player is Dead. HTML5 isn't ready. Long live AIR! - ZDNet

A Flash developer throws all the cards on the table and he's not happy about Adobe's plans to abandon Flash and he doesn't think HTML5 is nearly ready. He believes the answer could lie with Air 3. Do you agree?

How to Reduce Your Mission Critical Footprint - ReadWriteWeb

We all know that organizations have mission critical apps, and these are the most important ones to keep up and running, but how do you determine which ones are really mission critical and which ones are less so?

Scrum Master – a Visionary or a Beat Cop? - An Agile ReadMe

This article explores the role of the Scrum Master on the development team and why some companies don't have a clue about Scrum or the Scrum Master role.

Note: We'll be off next Friday in observance the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. See you in two weeks.

Photo courtesy of Wade Courtney Photography
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