Author Archives: delimobile

Seven signs of dysfunctional engineering teams

Seven signs of dysfunctional engineering teams

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Heart of Darkness this week, read by Kenneth Branagh. It’s fantastic. It also reminds me of some jobs I’ve had in the past.

There’s a great passage in which Marlow requires rivets to repair a ship, but finds that none are available. This, in spite of the fact that the camp he left further upriver is drowning in them. That felt familiar. There’s also a famous passage involving a French warship that’s blindly firing its cannons into the jungles of Africa in hopes of hitting a native camp situated within. I’ve had that job as well. Hopefully I can help you avoid getting yourself into those situations.

There are several really good lists of common traits seen in well-functioning engineering organizations. Most recently, there’s Pamela Fox’s list of What to look for in a software engineering culture. More famous, but somewhat dated at this point, is Joel Spolsky’s Joel Test. I want to talk about signs of teams that you should avoid.

This list is partially inspired by Ralph Peters’ Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States. Of course, such a list is useless if you can’t apply it at the crucial point, when you’re interviewing. I’ve tried to include questions to ask and clues to look for that reveal dysfunction that is deeply baked into an engineering culture.

Preference for process over tools. As engineering teams grow, there are many approaches to coordinating people’s work. Most of them are some combination of process and tools. Git is a tool that enables multiple people to work on the same code base efficiently (most of the time). A team may also design a process around Git — avoiding the use of remote branches, only pushing code that’s ready to deploy to the master branch, or requiring people to use local branches for all of their development. Healthy teams generally try to address their scaling problems with tools, not additional process. Processes are hard to turn into habits, hard to teach to new team members, and often evolve too slowly to keep pace with changing circumstances. Ask your interviewers what their release cycle is like. Ask them how many standing meetings they attend. Look at the company’s job listings, are they hiring a scrum master?

Excessive deference to the leader or worse, founder. Does the group rely on one person to make all of the decisions? Are people afraid to change code the founder wrote? Has the company seen a lot of turnover among the engineering leader’s direct reports? Ask your interviewers how often the company’s coding conventions change. Ask them how much code in the code base has never been rewritten. Ask them what the process is for proposing a change to the technology stack. I have a friend who worked at a growing company where nobody was allowed to introduce coding conventions or libraries that the founding VP of Engineering didn’t understand, even though he hardly wrote any code any more.

Unwillingness to confront technical debt. Do you want to walk into a situation where the team struggles to make progress because they’re coding around all of the hacks they haven’t had time to address? Worse, does the team see you as the person who’s going to clean up all of the messes they’ve been leaving behind? You need to find out whether the team cares about building a sustainable code base. Ask the team how they manage their backlog of bugs. Ask them to tell you about something they’d love to automate if they had time. Is it something that any sensible person would have automated years ago? That’s a bad sign.

Not invented this week syndrome. We talk a lot about “not invented here” syndrome and how it affects the competitiveness of companies. I also worry about companies that lurch from one new technology to the next. Teams should make deliberate decisions about their stack, with an eye on the long term. More importantly, any such decisions should be made in a collaborative fashion, with both developer productivity and operability in mind. Finding out about this is easy. Everybody loves to talk about the latest thing they’re working with.

Disinterest in sustaining a Just Culture. What’s Just Culture? This post by my colleague John Allspaw on blameless post mortems describes it pretty well. Maybe you want to work at a company where people get fired on the spot for screwing up, or yelled at when things go wrong, but I don’t. How do you find out whether a company is like that? Ask about recent outages and gauge whether the person you ask is willing to talk about them openly. Do the people you talk to seem ashamed of their mistakes?

Monoculture. Diversity counts. Gender diversity is really important, but it’s not the only kind of diversity that matters. There’s ethnic diversity, there’s age diversity, and there’s simply the matter of people acting differently, or dressing differently. How homogenous is the group you’ve met? Do they all remind you of you? That’s almost certainly a serious danger sign. You may think it sounds like fun to work with a group of people who you’d happily have as roommates, but monocultures do a great job of masking other types of dysfunction.

Lack of a service-oriented mindset. The biggest professional mistakes I ever made were the result of failing to see that my job was ultimately to serve other people. I was obsessed with building what I thought was great software, and failed to see that what I should have been doing was paying attention to what other people needed from me in order to succeed in their jobs. You can almost never fail when you look for opportunities to be of service and avail yourself of them. Be on the lookout for companies where people get ahead by looking out for themselves. Don’t take those jobs.

There are a lot of ways that a team’s culture can be screwed up, but those are my top seven.

The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache(tm) Mesos(tm) as a Top-Level Project

The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache(tm) Mesos(tm) as a Top-Level Project

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today that Apache Mesos has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP), signifying that the project’s community and products have been well-governed under the ASF’s meritocratic process and principles.

Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications, or frameworks. It can run multiple frameworks, including Apache Hadoop, MPI, Hypertable, Jenkins, Storm, and Spark, as well as other applications and custom frameworks.

“It was our goal all along to see Mesos become a kernel of the infrastructure stack of the future,” said Benjamin Hindman, Vice President of Apache Mesos. “The project’s graduation from the Apache Incubator is recognition that the software is mature and has brought together a diverse community to sustain it in the future.”

Initially created at the University of California at Berkeley’s AMPLab (the research center also responsible for the original development of Apache Spark) to manage resource sharing and isolation in data centers, Mesos acts as a layer of abstraction between applications and pools of servers. Mesos helps avoid the necessity of creating separate clusters to run individual frameworks and instead making it possible to optimize how jobs are executed across shared machines.

Whilst in the Apache Incubator, Mesos had four releases, and established an Open Source community according to The Apache Way of governance. Additional improvements to the project includes its flexibility to support several application framework languages, and scalability that has been production tested to thousands of nodes and simulated to tens of thousands of nodes and hundreds of frameworks.

Apache Mesos has proven to be reliable for use in production, and has already been adopted by several organizations for cluster management.

“Mesos is the cornerstone of our elastic compute infrastructure,” explained Chris Fry, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Twitter. “It’s how we build all our new services and is critical for Twitter’s continued success at scale … one of the primary keys to our data infrastructure efficiency.”

“We’re using Mesos to manage cluster resources for most of our data infrastructure,” said Brenden Matthews, Engineer at Airbnb and Apache Mesos Committer. “We run Chronos, Storm, and Hadoop on top of Mesos in order to process petabytes of data.” (Chronos is an Airbnb-developed Mesos framework as a replacement for cron, and an example of how custom frameworks can be developed on Mesos to leverage its resource sharing).

“Community support for Apache Mesos is encouraging, particularly as more companies assess how they manage their clusters and look for more efficiency,” added Hindman. “Now that we’ve graduated, we look forward to continuing to grow the number of Mesos adopters and fostering an ecosystem around the project.”

Availability and Oversight
As with all Apache products, Apache Mesos software is released under the Apache License v2.0, and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project’s day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases.

Adobe Foundation Announces 2013-2014 Creativity Scholarship Recipients

Adobe Foundation Announces 2013-2014 Creativity Scholarship Recipients

The Adobe Foundation today announced the recipients of its first annual Creativity Scholarships, available to teens who participate in the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) program. For the 2013-2014 academic year, scholarships have been awarded to 25 students from 13 countries, including Argentina, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and the United States. Recipients demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, a strong creative portfolio and commitment to pursuing a career in a creative field.

Designed to ignite creative confidence in youth, AYV is helping support the next generation of creative thinkers and equipping them with resources to help advance their education. AYV follows a creativity curriculum and provides the digital tools, training and professional mentorship students need to develop essential skills such as self-expression, ideation, collaboration, flexibility and persistence. All AYV students produce original projects in animation, video, photography and other digital media categories, spotlighting issues important to them including poverty, bullying and climate change.

“The youth receiving our Creativity Scholarships demonstrate tremendous creative potential,” said Michelle Crozier Yates, director of corporate responsibility, Adobe and Adobe Foundation executive director. “We’re thrilled to see outstanding young people from our AYV community pursuing education that will continue building their creative skills and give them an edge in our rapidly evolving, highly competitive global economy.”

Adobe’s recent State of Create global benchmark study, published in April 2012, surfaced concerns about a “creativity gap” in five of the world’s largest economies. The research revealed that four in 10 people believed they do not have access to the tools needed to support creativity in the classroom.

“I believe creativity-focused programs are an important part of education because they allow students to express themselves and build confidence,” said Eva Miller, an AYV participant and 2013 Creativity Scholarship recipient. “Through AYV, I’ve gained invaluable skills and discovered that I want to become a filmmaker. The Creativity Scholarship is giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams and make a positive impact through my films.”

About the Creativity Scholarships

The Creativity Scholarship program provides financial support to students who are in their final year of high school, upper secondary school or the first year of post-secondary education. Applicants must have participated in the AYV program through Adobe’s network of more than 800 strategic partners in 52 countries. The Creativity Scholarship program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent not-for-profit founded in 1919. IIE is among the world’s largest and most experienced international education and training organizations.

About Adobe Youth Voices

Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) is the Adobe Foundation’s global initiative to ignite Creative Confidence in youth by empowering them to find their voice and make it heard. The youth involved in AYV spotlight the issues they care about by creating original media – a process that fosters their passion to make a difference while providing them with the creative skills essential to success in the world today. Through programs like AYV, and by increasing creativity in education, Adobe believes we will better equip young people to be the problem solvers, critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.

About the Adobe Foundation

The Adobe Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created and funded by Adobe Systems Incorporated to leverage human, technological and financial resources to drive social change and community improvements.

Software Equity Group’s Client, Cougar Software, Receives Growth Equity Investment From dmg information

Software Equity Group’s Client, Cougar Software, Receives Growth Equity Investment From dmg information

Software Equity Group, LLC (SEG) announced today its client, Cougar Software, the leading provider of budgeting, planning and forecasting solutions for the real estate industry, has received a growth equity investment from dmg information (dmgi), a business division of Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) that manages and develops a portfolio of high-growth, innovative companies that provide business-to-business information to the property, education, energy and commodity and structured finance markets.

dmgi’s investment in Cougar Software represents SEG’s seventh transaction in the real estate software segment. SEG’s prior real estate transactions include the sale of clients providing application software for commercial facilities/property management, facilities design, integrated workplace management, multi-family property vendor compliance management, commercial building construction, public sector housing and long-term care facilities. Acquirers of SEG’s real estate software clients include RealPage, Yardi, Accruent and Bentley Systems.

Cougar is well known in the property sector as a leading provider of budgeting, planning and forecasting solutions exclusive to the Real Estate Industry, and enables its users to easily make strategic decisions using sophisticated financial modeling.

“The timing of this investment couldn’t be better,” said Oren Rosen, CEO, Cougar. “Over the last five years we have been building a foundation for growth by steadily increasing market penetration in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. With the strategic and financial backing of dmgi, we can continue our demonstrated track record of customer-driven product innovation and put our foot on the accelerator to increase penetration in these markets.”

About Software Equity Group

Software Equity Group is an investment bank and M&A advisory serving the software and technology sectors. Founded in 1992, the firm has guided and advised companies on five continents, including privately-held software and technology companies in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and Israel. SEG has represented public companies listed on the NASDAQ, NYSE, American, Toronto, London and Euronext exchanges, and also advises several of the world’s leading private equity firms.

MetaTrader 4 Mobile Now Available for iPhone 5 and All iPad Models

MetaTrader 4 Mobile Now Available for iPhone 5 and All iPad Models

MetaQuotes Software Corp. has released a new version of MetaTrader 4 for iOS devices. The popular mobile application for online trading has received a number of important changes becoming even more user-friendly. The key feature that has been added is native support for all iPad models (including the ones with Retina display) and iPhone 5.

In addition to compatibility with mobile devices, the new version of the application features an enhanced graphical system. It provides a better performance and improved functionality when working with charts. The new version also includes financial news and internal mailbox that allows traders to communicate with broker’s representatives over a secure channel.

“When working on the new version, we were committed to providing compatibility with the new iPhone 5, – said Renat Fatkhullin, CEO of MetaQuotes Software Corp. – But what is most important is support for all iPad models anticipated by many traders. Moreover, the terminal for iPad has greater features than that for iPhone. New MetaTrader 4 iPad is now surely closer to the desktop version in terms of functionality. It features multi-function data window displaying open orders, trading history, email correspondence with a broker and news.

Only desktop version users could enjoy this feature up to now. The application now also features one click trading from a chart, as well as trading history and journal search. All this has been done to facilitate the work of traders. Another important feature of the iPad application is ability to display up to four charts simultaneously. This allows traders to monitor several symbols at a time on a single iPad screen! Thus, the new iPad terminal update tolerates no compromises!”

In general, the mobile terminal for iPhone has become even more convenient due to the improved graphical system. At the same time, apart from native support for devices with all resolutions,MetaTrader 4 iPad offers more opportunities for Forex trading.

According to MetaQuotes Software Corp. developers, similar major changes will soon be also implemented into MetaTrader 5 mobile applications. The new version is already under development.

About the Company

MetaQuotes Software Corp. is a professional developer of software applications for financial markets. With more than a decade of experience, the company is a market leader in the field of forex trading software packages. The MetaTrader 4 trading platform developed by the company is the most popular Forex trading application all over the world.

Company’s website: http://www.metaquotes.net

Heat Sink Design “Gahar” from Cooler Master

Heat Sink Design “Gahar” from Cooler Master

TAIWAN – For fans of PC assembling, hardware component selection would be kept. One important component to keep the processor temperature is kept cool by using a CPU fan.

Cooler Master, a Taiwanese hardware manufacturer announced a new CPU fan with a futuristic design. Reported Hardware.info, Sunday (07/21/2013), the cooling fan by the name GTS V8 comes with more impressive design.

This cooling technology based on the Horizontal Vapor Chamber (HVC), who appeared with eight heatpipes measuring 6 mm. The device is capable of transferring up to 250 watts of heat to three separate aluminum heatsink.

Heatsink will keep cool thanks to the two measuring 140 mm PWM fan in a configuration called ‘push-pull’ (push-pull). Cooler Master claims to parts of the fan case will be able to last longer.

By reducing friction, must endure V8 GTS 160 thousand hours at speeds between 600 and 1600 rpm. GTS V8 has a dimension of 154 x 149.8 x 166.5 mm and weighs 1140 grams.

Cooler Master V8 GTS is scheduled to launch in September this year. Company offers its flagship CPU fan with a price tag of 80 euros or approximately Rp1 million.

NUC, Small PC but powerful

NUC, Small PC but powerful

A few days later, I was tested the Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) that the new board. Even the box is written in Pre-Production Engineering Sample. So still a production example, not yet in production, may not even be sold widely.

If summarized in a few words, then Intel NUC that I use a small computer with the ability of cayenne pepper for approximately 75% of Server Quad Xeon E31220.

Desktop Computer Intel NUC is a very, very small. The size is approximately 11cm x 11cm x 4cm so it can be easily handheld hands. May be quite right if called as handheld computers hehehe …

The outer display is very compact Intel NUC all. It even comes in a hook to stick in the back of a digital TV screen / monitor. Adapter used is ordinary laptop adapter, with a voltage of 19V with 65W power.

For connection to the outside world, Intel NUC equipped with three USB ports. Two USB 2.0 is being a single USB 3.0 so you can perform high-speed data transfer at all. We can include a USB keyboard and mouse to operate the Intel NUC.
intel-NUC-3
LAN connector used is Gigabit Ethernet. I check using ethtool this device has the ability to auto negotiation 10Mbps / 100Mbps / 1000Mbps full duplex, so very fast.

In Intel NUC body mounted Wifi antenna that can be used for a wireless Internet connection to hotspots.

Gorgeous from Intel NUC is the absence of a VGA connector. That there is a built-in HDMI connector Intel ® High Definition Audio 2 subsystem is configured for 8-channel (7.1) digital audio output via HDMI 1.4a. It means we can use the Digital TV as a monitor with an HDMI connection. For those who still use VGA, can buy a VGA to HDMI adapter and it also goes well.

Intel NUC has two SO-DIMM slots for 1333/1600MHz memory with a capacity of up to 16GB. Intel NUC coincidence that I am trying to use 8GB of memory.
intel-NUC-2
Hard drive is a hard disk Intel NUC future generations, using a Solid State Drive (SSD) 32GB, so instead of mechanical hard disk is installed using an mSATA connector.

 

Maxthon Partners with AMD to Offer Web Browser Optimized for Next Generation APU Chips

Maxthon Partners with AMD to Offer Web Browser Optimized for Next Generation APU Chips

Maxthon, a cloud-based browser, today released a new version of its Windows browser that uses a revolutionary new microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), significantly reducing power consumption while offering superior video performance. AMD’s new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) leverages new technology to make transactions between the graphics processing unit (GPU) and the central processing unit (CPU) faster and more energy-efficient than ever before.

“New chip architecture like AMD’s APU product is a clear signpost to where we believe the Web technology is heading: more happening in the chip and the browser serving as more of an open standards operating system,” said Jeff Chen, founder and CEO of Maxthon. “We’re proud to collaborate with AMD on such an exciting step forward.”

The GPU handles the processing of rich media including graphics and video, while the CPU manages the heavy lifting of analytical and logic-based functions. Until now, communicating across these two units has depended on a serial data connection that processes millions of functions per second, often resulting in a sluggish and power-consuming Web experience.

The partnership allows Maxthon to optimize the Windows browser for lightning-quick interaction between the APU to speed up video and graphics rendering, particularly using HTML5 standards for which Maxthon is the global leader in support. Among other things, the Maxthon Cloud browser is using OpenCL for lightning quick HTML5 video post processing to offer richer, faster video.

“In the near future what we now know as TV will be mediated through a Web browser optimized for innovative technology like AMD’s APU processors,” said Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon International. “Among other things, that means the electronic ‘hearth’ of the TV in the family room will be freed to be available to any device connected to the Web running a browser like Maxthon.”

About Maxthon

Maxthon is an innovative software company that develops superior Web browsers that continue to set new standards for speed, security, simplicity and cloud features. It is available on the Windows, Android, iOS and Mac platforms. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Maxthon reaches a global community of users that tops more than 120,000,000 people each month in more than 150 countries.

Site developer “software” Apple hacked

Site developer “software” Apple hacked

Computer and software giant Apple on Monday AM, said its software developer page has been offline after hacked. Apple warns that personal information regarding users may have been stolen.

“Last Thursday, an intruder tried to break into the personal information of our registered developers on our developer page,” Apple said as quoted by AFP.

Despite the sensitive information is encrypted, “we can not rule out the possibility that some of the names, mailing addresses and email addresses belonging to the developer or may have been accessed.”

The information technology giant said in a statement titled “We’ll be right back” that hackers have hacked the reason “for the sake of transparency and accountability.”

Company officials immediately blocked sites is Thursday U.S. time ago and has since worked to fix it.

“To prevent this kind of security threats happening again, we will thoroughly examine our development system, software update our server, and to rebuild kesuluruhan our database,” said Apple, apologize and hope that the developer’s site soon recover.

This site is a portal to the creators of third-party software to design applications for the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, in addition to being a forum for software developers.

According to Macworld, for days many developers have posted a message pitched frustration and anger on Twitter about the breakdown of the site.

Google Maps Back Wins Feature Offline Cache

Google Maps Back Wins Feature Offline Cache

As we know, Google Maps has been updated a few days ago. Unfortunately the update is gained criticism because of ‘loss’ offline cache feature maps that lead the user must constantly connected to Google to use the service.
The criticism has received a response from Google. Not long ago, Google said it would issue a new update featuring the option to store the offline cache on the Maps application has been rolled out for Android. This option will be installed at the bottom of the search box located on the map and can be switched easily. In addition, Google also decided to add the “Where’s Latitude?” that will take users to information about the future of the location sharing service.
This update began rolling on this day and can be checked via the Play Store.