Jenga and IT


Do you remember Jenga?  You can still buy the game now, but  it doesn’t have the same impact it did “back in the good old days.”  Smartphones, gaming consoles, and the rise of personal computers have all hurt the game industry.  But, hey, apparently the game is apparently making a comeback.

Now let’s take IT for a second.  (Don’t worry, we’re going to get back to Jenga in a minute.) Continue reading “Jenga and IT”

Governance Is Not Management

Wikimedia Commons

What is governance?

I think to a lot of people it is a kind of nebulous thing that sits out there and hits their hands when they are about to do something wrong.  For others, it is a strictly controlled and regimented structure in which everything needs to exist.  But what is governance?  Why do we need it?  And, more importantly, are we doing it correctly? Continue reading “Governance Is Not Management”

Office Beige

As someone who consistently fails colour blind tests, I’m not the most reliable person to talk to about colour.  But here goes.

I hate beige.

There, I said it.  Whew.  Feels good to get that off my chest. Continue reading “Office Beige”

Disruptive Thinking

A few months ago my CIO said that she wanted to us think up some “disruptive thoughts”.  I totally understood where she was coming from.  Continuous improvement works, but only up to a certain limit and then after that, you get diminishing returns so that the effort you spend on improvement actually costs more than the improvement saves.  At some point, you need to stop evolving the process.  You need a revolution.

Disruptive thoughts = revolution. Continue reading “Disruptive Thinking”


OK, my apologies in advance if this offends people.  It’s not meant to offend but to provide an alternate way of looking at things.  No, not “alternative facts”, but “alternative views”.

OK, now that that is out of the way, the PMP certification is killing project management.  I must admit that the impetus of this note is a post on LinkedIn that is almost two years old: “The PMP – How it Ruined Project Management“.  I’m going to try to approach it from a slightly different perspective and expand the scope a little bit. Continue reading “Experience”

Happy Developer Data

Doesn’t everyone want their developers to be happy?

Stack Overflow is a site that allows developers to post questions and other developers to answer questions.  To be honest, sometimes the information on this site is more accurate than the manufacturer’s website on their own tools.  Sad, but true.  They’ve done an interesting thing:  they’ve uploaded all of their questions and answers into Google BigQuery for people to play around with.

So someone did. Continue reading “Happy Developer Data”

Fanaticism or Passionate?

I was at a meeting the other day where I may have got carried away.  A little too much in your face attitude.  Was I just being passionate about the topic or had I crossed the line into being fanatical?

There is a fine line between the two, between passionate about a subject and being a fanatic about the subject.  I’m sure that many of you are probably sports fans (oh, wait, a fan is a short form of fanatic) and you go to hockey / football / baseball games and get into the action.  You might have a season ticket.  You are involved and committed to the team.  And yet, at every game, there are one or two people that stick out.  You know the guys, the ones who have the team logo cut into their hair or who colour their face the team colours and proudly bang on their chest for every point as if they had done it themselves.  Are they passionate or fanatical? Continue reading “Fanaticism or Passionate?”

Pain and Context

I just finished reading an awesome article on pain.  No, it wasn’t on how to inflict pain (there are lots of articles on that) it was about the imprecision around the treatment of pain.

One of the first things that struck me was the imprecision of pain.  “One a scale of 1 to 10, how does it feel?”  How are you supposed to know what a 10 is?  For women who have given birth the doctor will say, “assume that childbirth was a 10”, but it’s not always that simple.  The author of the article talks about his wife who had pancreatitis and woke up with a pain that “made her howl like a tortured witch facedown on a bonfire.”  I have some personal experience with pancreatitis so I can picture a 10 on the pain scale and, yeah, the description feels quite appropriate. Continue reading “Pain and Context”

Random stuff

A random turtle
(Wikimedia Commons)

Who invented the light bulb?  Everybody knows Thomas Edison did, right?  Nope, not even close.  He, or rather his team of researchers, developed the first commercially successful light bulb, but light bulbs were in existence before Edison filed for a patent in 1879,  (Details) Continue reading “Random stuff”

Cars, Crashes and Serverless Computing

(Wikimedia Commons)

Have you ever wondered why there are so many bad drivers on the streets of Edmonton / Calgary / wherever you live?  There are multiple reasons.

Reason #1.  It is human nature to assume that the generation before you wasn’t as good at xxxx as you are and that the generation after you isn’t as good at xxxx as you are and since the number of drivers is increasing that must mean that the generation after you is flooding the streets with bad drivers.  Not necessarily true, but people do think this way. Continue reading “Cars, Crashes and Serverless Computing”