a blogblogest 2013

Field Notes

Posts by Dave Nicolette

The False Economy of not Changing Anything

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Larger organizations often have to support a myriad of applications that live on several different platforms. Some are home-grown, some are third-party packages, and some are externally-hosted services. Some are relatively young and others date back decades. Even the ones that happen to be written in the same programming language may require different system configurations […]

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The Course of Least Resistance

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One of the challenges in coaching is how to help people internalize and “own” a new technique or method, after they’ve experienced it and decided they like it. Often, people use the new technique or method as long as the coach is present to encourage them and remind them. As soon as they’re on their […]

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New Technology Together With Old Thinking Equate to Random Outcomes

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It seems whenever a new method or new technology makes its way into the IT world, it takes a while for people to come to grips with it. People are quick to embrace the externalities but often slower to shift their thinking. When relational database technology was new, indexed files were the norm. For several […]

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User Stories Don’t Work for our Team

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Here’s one I hear all too often (paraphrased): “Our team doesn’t support customer-facing application software. We support a set of internally-consumed APIs for our SOA environment. Therefore, we can’t use User Stories. The User Story is one way of describing a piece of work to be done. The canonical form “As a something I want […]

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The Hawthorne Effect Revisited

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A recent article on BBC reminded me of the well-known Hawthorne Effect. Or maybe it isn’t as well-known as I thought. A factory in the Chicago area, the Hawthorne Works, commissioned a study in 1924-32 “to see if their workers would become more productive in higher or lower levels of light” (quoting Wikipedia). There was a temporary increase […]

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