Why is anyone using HTTP?

HTTP = Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.

HTTPS = Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.

(For more details look at this article on LifeWire)

If invoking HTTPS is as simple as HTTP, why would anyone use HTTP?  In Google’s opinion, no one should be.  When Chrome V63 is released a new feature will be running that is going to scare a lot of people.  When you visit a website that contains Form fields, but is not running HTTPS then it is going to tell you that the site is Not Secure.  Will it scare you?  It should.

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Maintenance versus Project work


I entitle this note “The Fictitious Difference Between AMS and ADS“.  (AMS = Application Maintenance Services : ADS = Application Development Services or something similar).  Now, from an organizational perspective there may indeed be a difference when it comes to how the changes get funded. One may be capital funded and the other operational.  Or it may be that there is a cutoff in terms of the effort:  less than x days of effort it is maintenance but over that it is a development effort.

My real concern is over how people seem to treat AMS and ADS as different things.  One is managed in a certain way while the other is managed differently.  One follows different steps than the other.  One uses different processes/procedures than the other.  One may even use the tools differently.  But why?
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Continuous delivery

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According to Forrester, “modern software delivery practices use an automated pipeline in which code is delivered, built, tested, and deployed with limited manual intervention“.  (TechRadar: Continuous Software Deliver, Q3 2016 (Updated)). Indeed, this modern pipeline means that “Continuous Delivery (CD) is Replacing Application Life Cycle Management (ALM)“.  So how different is continuous deliver compared to our old manual processes and even the processes that we have put in place with our automation tool:  BuildMaster?

Under the old way of developing applications the developers would build some code, test it on their workstations and when a bunch of code had been checked into the code repository, a build would occur.  This build may or may not be deployed to a System Test environment for someone to do some manual testing.  After it passed the same package would be moved to the User Acceptance Test environment where it would be tested by business clients.  If it passed it went to production.  If it failed it stated the process all over again.  This is why La Sagrada Familia is still not finished.  (OK, it’s not but it gave me the chance to link another site to you.)
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Project Management Evolution – an oxymoron


Writing a good headline is key to getting someone to read your article.  For instance, “Project management: A surefire way to kill your software product” is an excellent title.  He even starts off with a good sentence:

For many years, I have observed that the quality of software produced by organizations is a decreasing function of their emphasis on project management over business value creation-that is, their obsession with predictability and efficiency over learning and adapting.

Or in “Don Speak”, the more obsessed you are with following the plan, the more likely the product is going to suck.  (Yeah, I really talk like that.)  I encourage you to read the article.
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Privacy by default


Sometimes we need to think long-term.  Unfortunately, in the government, long-term normally means “next fiscal year” or maybe even “next quarter”.  But that’s not long-term enough.  Let’s take a look at an example of where thinking long term, even in terms of the government long term, will have an impact on what we do right now.
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Is there a difference between “intelligence” and “creativity”?  Many people seem to think so and based on anecdotal evidence you’d have to agree with them.  Creative people aren’t necessarily smarter than those around them (although they could be).  What they do is think differently than those around them.  Michael Michalko, in The Creativity Post, penned an article entitled “How Geniuses Think” in which he claims to have narrowed down the list of attributes on how a genius thinks differently than others.  I believe his list, however, can be shrunk even farther as many of the items are just rewritten versions of previous statements.  What it comes down to is this:

Geniuses, creative people, think differently.

Creativity is not about going from step A to step B to step C to step D.  It is about making a leap, in some cases a leap of faith, that you can get to the finish line by taking a different path.  Creative people have a strong belief . in themselves.  They think differently, they know they think differently but they also know that thinking differently isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
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Command and control. RIP

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Sometimes I think that someone is planting ideas in my brain which I write about and then discover that the following day/week there is a report on exactly what I was talking about.  Case in point:  decentralized decision making.

Forrester released a report on September 22th entitled “Embrace Decentralized Decision Making, But Keep Planning Holistic“.  That was the same day that I talked about a flattened structure in a daily note.  Wow, talk about synchronicity.  Now, there are some differences between my note and the Forrester report.  My note was free and the Forrester report is $395 USD if you want to buy it.  (Mine’s a better deal.)
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Should government software be open?


Here is an interesting topic that has been coming up more and more often in recent years.  Free Software Foundation Europe has an interesting new campaign:  Public Money.  Public Code. Their premise is simple:

Why is software created using taxpayers’ money not released as Free Software?

We want legislation requiring that publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a Free and Open Source Software licence. If it is public money, it should be public code as well.

Code paid by the people should be available to the people!

This is a very interesting topic as it directly pertains to the software that all governments either write themselves or have other companies write for them.  If the software was paid for by the taxpayer, why can’t it be released to the taxpayer?
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Our IT security duty


There have been a number of security … questions/concerns … that I have had recently that have caused me to initiate different actions.  I won’t go into details about the specific items other than to say that it caused me to look at a bunch of different sites that I thought you might be interested in:
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Too Long To Be Any Good

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I talked recently about a flattened structure. What does that actually mean and how does it impact decision making? Let’s take a look at an example.

An individual finds an opportunity to greatly improve the service to a a client area. It will require either changes to an existing system or a new system to be created. How do they need to go about getting this system created?
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