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Five For Friday – 9/8/2023

Five for Friday – 9/8/2023

I got an early start on my Labor Day Weekend and skipped last week's post, so I'm sharing what I learned last week while I attend the DevOpsDays Des Moines conference this week. I love spending time learning new things from others in the IT community. It always stirs up new conversations and ideas, so enjoy the best posts from last week. I'll return next week to share what I learned from the conference.

  • I'm not on Mastodon, but I ran across a great thread on the true meaning and origins of the liberal arts education that was worth reading.
  • I also learned about the Flaw of Averages from that same Mastodon thread. It's an excerpt from the book The End of Average by Todd Rose. My takeaway was this quote: “Any system designed around the ‘average person’ is doomed to fail.” It's an important thing to keep in mind when designing software for “users” without being any more specific. Not all users are the same.
  • I quickly skimmed this article about Why Software Projects Take Longer Than You Think: A Statistical Model by Erik Bernhardsson. I think Monte Carlo simulations may give you the best estimation of when a product release (Epic, Feature, etc.) might be done, e.g. 75% chance by this date, 80-90% change by a later date, etc. (but I don't know how to run them). Doc Norton does a great job of introducing Monte Carlo simulations and other Agile metrics in his book Escape Velocity.
  • After reading the previous article, maybe “Probabilistic Forecasting” is the buzzword I’m searching for. I read about Reckoning with Reality with Probabilistic Forecasting by Joshua Kerievsky. I find it interesting that they expanded a team to improve their forecast when The Mythical Man-Month would suggest that adding people to a late project will just make it later, not fast-forward everything ahead of schedule.
  • My Solution to the Dev Skills Crisis is the start of a great read, except it's a member-only story on Medium. Still, it’s a great discussion piece. Lots of companies do a 1 or 2-day “hackathon” (Principal Financial Group calls it a Code Jam) where teams bang out a new feature. Innovation time provides developers an opportunity to experiment.

Happy Friday!! Thanks for reading!

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