DaedTech

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DaedTech Digest: Monitoring and Agile Transformation Anti Patterns

Alright, I’ll admit it.  I’ve violated the cardinal rule of blogging for the last couple of weeks, and I’ve not shown up here.  I hope you can forgive me.  (At least I’ve avoided charges of hypocrisy by posting to the Hit Subscribe blog, thereby avoiding failure to show up in a place where I give blogging advice.)

Anyway, two weeks ago was the holidays and family, and this week is travel.  My wife and I are on a week-long cross-country driving odyssey from Michigan to San Diego with some stops and some visits sprinkled in.  I’m making this post from a hotel in Little Rock Arkansas.

Still, though, I’ve at least managed to do a DaedTech digest post every week.  And I’ll keep that streak alive today.  Oh, and I will get back to making regular posts again, so no worries.

Picks

  • I’m going to be talking at a remote conference in a few weeks.  (More details later)
  • For Christmas, I received an Echo Show, which I’m really enjoying so far.  Think of Alexa, but with a screen.
  • If you’re in the market for a pair of headphones and you don’t mind spending some money, check these Bose headphones out.  My wife got them for me for Christmas, and they are awesome.  Extremely comfy, noise-cancelling, great sound quality, Bluetooth sync with your phone (or anything).  And they come charged out of the box.  I’m not an audiophile by any stretch, so it makes me being amazed by them all the more telling.
  • Finally, I’ll pick my Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Driving between Chicago and my place in Michigan brings us through a miserable band of lake effect snow.  I’ve made that drive twice during the holidays.  Then, yesterday, I drove through that same region and into the start of this blizzard cyclone bomb thing.  And, through it all, the Jeep was a champ in the snow.  Also, this kind of crap is why we’re heading somewhere warm for the winter.

DaedTech Post Digest

  • I wrote a post for QA Complete (SmartBear) about understanding test case management.  Think managing QA-style testing, rather than anything related to unit tests.
  • A little over three months ago, I announced something I called the “singleton challenge” for the NDepend blog.  This was an announcement/preview of a new line of posts I’m doing over there where I do empirical studies of the properties of codebases.  In this case, the idea was to put some data behind a post I’d written suggesting that singleton usage has a variety of negative effects on codebases.
  • For Scalyr, I wrote about different types of server monitoring software.  What might you want to know about your code in production?
  • On the SubMain blog, I wrote about how code comments and documentation aren’t the same thing.  Anything you stick in the codebase with a couple of whacks in front of it is a comment.  But that doesn’t mean it’s documenting anything (or even helping).
  • Here’s kind of a fun one.  For TechTown, I wrote about agile transformation anti-patterns.  I’ve seen a lot of different companies trying to “go agile” and there are distinct issues that emerge as somewhat universal, or at least common.
  • Finally, I wrote a post for Rollout about how you can use feature flags to go from architectural monoliths to a microservice architecture.

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DaedTech Digest: New Year’s Edition

I’ve been taking it easy this last week, celebrating Christmas and also taking the rest of the week (mostly) off to spend time with family.  So I’ve done no normal posts and also don’t plan to have one on New Years Day.  Instead, I’ll pick back up next Wednesday.

But, I can take a few minutes out to sneak in a digest post.

Picks

  • I’ve been reading a series called The Expanse, by James Corey.  If you like sci-fi, I definitely recommend it.  I also understand that it’s a SyFy series as well.
  • For Christmas this year, I got a “jerkygram.”  If you love meat and jerky the way that I do, you’ll definitely enjoy this.
  • I’m doing a talk for a remote conference called The Developer on Fire Remote Conference.  This takes place January 22nd to January 24th, and you can catch me, John Sonmez, Jon Skeet, and many others.
  • I pick a little vacation time.  It’s been hard, but I’ve gotten my business interests to the point that I can actually take a vacation without it meaning that I have no income.  It’s restorative and, while I wholeheartedly endorse hustles and side hustles, you can’t go 365 days per year.

DaedTech Post Digest

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DaedTech Digest: Christmas Edition

This is the last DaedTech digest before Christmas, which reminds me to wish all of you reading a Merry Christmas!  And, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, then Merry Random Day off Work.

If you look at the dates of things in the digest section, you’ll see that they’re typically older posts.  My goal is to work my way gradually to getting current and then eventually to link to stuff I’ve written within the last week.  Like all things in life, it’s a process.

Anyway, I asked Amanda to draw a Santa Claus for the Christmas edition of the digest, and she obliged.  So here’s that to help make your life more festive.

Picks

  • For you Developer Hegemony fans, the Ditching Hourly podcast featured a textbook example of an efficiencer.  This guy decided that he was going to make his specialty helping dev shops save money on their AWS bills.
  • I’ve come to really love Alexa, and I’ve always loved home automation, so I pick this.  I have an Echo and a Dot and also a bunch of smart bulbs, a Wink Hub, and a Nest.  The result?  I can say “Alexa, turn master bedroom light on” and that actually happens.  It’s not quite the same as wiring a bunch of X10 stuff up and turning a Raspberry Pi into a home automation rest endpoint, but, since I no longer have time for that, it makes a good stand in.
  • Speaking of Raspberry Pis, REST, and home automation, if you’re a more recent reader, you might not know that I once did a home automation course for Pluralsight.
  • We’re heading out of southern Mississippi in a couple of days, but during the 5 weeks we spent here, we’ve enjoyed a variety of beers from the Lazy Magnolia Brewery.  If you’re ever here (or see them in stores near you), it’s tasty stuff.

DaedTech Post Digest

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Resume Skills for the Job Seeker with Upward Ambition

It strikes me that, lately, I write a lot about how to make it in a free agent world (or how to get there).  So today, I’d like to switch up it a little and give a nod to those of you in the salaried world, and perfectly happy there to boot.  But don’t expect me to talk about a resume skills section or what have you without at least a little realpolitik and a little cynicism.

The resume-interview one-two punch is a stupid way for employers to find employees.  Full stop.  But it’s also the prohibitive incumbent and the system that you’re going to have to navigate.

So let’s focus on resume skills today and give you a fighting chance at navigating the process.  In fact, let’s go beyond just navigating it and look at how to maximize how it works for you.  This has two essential components.

  • Filter the riff-raff employers out of your search as quickly as possible.
  • Impress the ones you care about.

Let’s look at how you can tune the resume skills section to help with both.

The resume bot 9000 is the only one that cares about your resume skills section.

The Anatomy and Purpose of a Resume

First of all, let’s consider the purpose of a resume.  Lansing Community College, winner of the SEO sweepstakes for “what’s the purpose of a resume” has the following to say.

The purpose of a resume is to provide a summary of your skills, abilities and accomplishments. It is a quick advertisement of who you are. It is a “snapshot” of you with the intent of capturing and emphasizing interests and secure you an interview.

Who am I to argue with an institution of higher education?  That all sounds exactly like the ostensible purpose of a resume and a very sunny assessment besides.  It’s your own tiny commercial in print, and, done right, it gets you interviews.

But let’s be a little more blunt about the way things work.

You put together a resume, trying to stuff as many self-aggrandizing tidbits as you can in there while looking plausibly humble.  Then you fire it off for the viewing displeasure of an extremely bored person whose main mission is to find reasons not to call you.  This resume filtration will feature two passes, usually.  These include an automated or semi-automated pass to disqualify anyone without the magic acronyms and a second one to disqualify anyone that seems fishy somehow.  To navigate this minefield, you put together a resume with the following sections.

  • Basic contact information.
  • Employment history, including job titles, job descriptions, and accomplishments.
  • Education.
  • The resume skills section.
  • Some people include an “objective” which should probably be “straight cash, Homie.”  (Just kidding — no one appreciates honesty here, so I’d just omit this altogether)

What do Resume Skills Look Like?

In this particular post, though, I’m going to focus on the resume skills, so let’s not worry about the other sections too much.  The standard advice there is usually good, particularly the part about trying to quantify the accomplishments at your various jobs as much as possible.

It’s the resume skills section that features the great tragedy among the broader, lesser tragedy that is this whole process.  I’m talking about this, lifted from a hypothetical resume for one Amy Jones, “midlevel software engineer,” on Monster.com (they’re still truckin’, apparently!).

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How to Talk to a C Level Executive

This week, I’m successfully doing reader question Monday on an actual Monday.  So the week’s already off to a good start.  Let’s double down on that momentum and look at how to talk to a C level executive.

Like last week, I’m running afoul of my attempts at a FIFO model, but I just got this question and it set my brain in motion.  I think this should be an interesting post to write.  It’s another fairly straightforward one.

I was sent a Gartner article today and found it nearly unreadable. Buzzwords, new terms, etc. Yet I can follow, say, ThoughtWorks articles. Is this a language I need to speak to talk to the C suite or is it just hype? Thanks!

Let’s Quickly Examine the Article

The Garnter article in question has 4 authors, and they originally collaborated on this thing about 18 months ago.  They then “refreshed” it in October.  I won’t lie — it’s a pretty brutal read.  Let’s take a look first at the summary of the article.

Addressing the pervasive integration requirements fostered by the digital revolution is urging IT leaders to move toward a bimodal, do-it-yourself integration approach. Implementing a hybrid integration platform on the basis of the best practices discussed in this research is a key success factor.

Do you remember this post, where I quoted descriptions of enterprise architecture?  In it, I remarked how each quote tanked the post’s readability score.  Well, those quotes had nothing on this one.  That block quote above, singlehandedly slaughtered my readability by 13%.  The writers designed it for shock and awe — not for consumption.  And that’s the summary — the part that’s supposed to say “hey, I’m an easily digestible teaser for the real meat of this thing.”

So you can only imagine what the “meat” includes.

Gartner has defined “pervasive integration” as the act of integrating on-premises and in-the-cloud applications and data sources, business partners, clients, mobile apps, social networks and “things” as needed to enable organizations to pursue digital business, bimodal IT and other modern business and technology strategies. The proliferation and growing importance of decentralized integration tasks — driven by these business and IT trends — are forcing directors of integrations to rethink their approaches, organizational models and technology platforms.

Readability just went through the rhetorical equivalent of sublimation with that paragraph.  Straight from green, past orange, and right to red.

The "naked emperor" shown here is not a good look when talking to a c level executive.

Mercy, William, Mercy

I tried to read this article.  Seriously.  I gave it a good faith effort.  But it was like walking through a swamp, wearing concrete boots.

I spent some time as a CIO, myself.  And, for years after that, I’ve advised CIOs (and boards of directors, CEOs, VPs, directors, and managers).  Whatever purpose that article serves, it’s not simple comprehension and groking by leadership.

It’s hard to speculate about the purpose of something at the intersection of technology, marketing, guest posting, and public presence.  I can’t imagine exactly who, if anyone, these four people hoped to reach and persuade with that buzz-word carpet-bombing campaign.

But it’s not as hard to speculate about how and why people talk like this within organizations.  And it’s really not hard to speculate about how you should talk to a c level executive.  In fact, I can, quite easily, speak to that last bit.

But first, let’s revisit the corporate pyramid and help ourselves to a lesson in how people in it speak to one another.

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