Measuring project health

23 January 2007

Measuring project health: Part One
Nice article by Kurt Bittner in developerWorks (IBM). A it is only the beginning of a series.
Best I can do is to quote the resume :

from The Rational Edge: What project managers choose to measure as a gauge on performance generally receives the team’s special attention. Naturally, project health depends on accurate metrics, but more importantly it requires that the right things be measured. This article describes some of the fallacies associated with traditional software project metrics, then focuses on effective measurement during the Inception phase.


Innovation

17 January 2007

I thought I already blog about this, but I didn’t find it. So maybe this is a duplicate, but I stumble upon a new example that innovation comes from people and usage. Not from corporate marketing.
Excerpt from XML in 2006 :

Ten years ago, the grunt programmers and network admins were installing Web servers on surplus PCs reformatted with Linux while the CEOs and CTOs played golf with salespeople and mandated corporate-wide Exchange Server deployments. Those same techies made XML a success by throwing out decades of legacy binary gook and replacing it with off-the-shelf, open source parsers. Today, these people are quietly installing REST, Atom, and RELAX NG.
The most effective technologies aren’t being specced by the W3C, required by thousand-page corporate contracts, or pushed by large vendors. They’re growing from the grassroots because developers are looking at them and deciding they work. The people developing these simple systems don’t have the budgets for full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal, lobbyists to roam the corridors of power, or sometimes even W3C membership fees; but they do have the right answers, and that matters a lot.

I heard the same point about SMS, which are the main usage of mobile phone. This wasn’t expected.
Same for the PC used to duplicate music and movies. We will see if Microsoft is really committing suicide with Vista unfriendly to media experience as, in the same time, Linux improves and consolidate.


Fun and Software Development (FASD)

5 January 2007

A good article : Pervasive Fun in First Monday (First Monday publishes articles on all aspects of the Internet, including comments on trends and standards, technical issues, political and social implications of the Internet, and educational uses. Its focus is simply on interesting and novel ideas related to the history, current use, and future of the Internet).
Seen in InfoDesign: Understanding by Design (supports the growth and application of information design).

The goal of the study on Fun and Software Development (FASD) is to precisely assess the importance that fun has as motivation for software developers to engage in open source projects. A survey carried out both under open source developers and programmers working in Swiss software companies yielded that the fun motive accounts for about 27 percent to 33 percent of open source developers’ motivation.

Fun is a pervasive feature of software development, not only for open source programmers but in the area of commercial software development too: Open source developers that are paid for their work are observed to be very motivated and prepared for future effort, especially if they enjoy their development time. Furthermore, the fun that programmers experience functions as a good proxy for their productivity. Therefore, employers that want to enhance the programmers’ productivity can safely invest in an environment of fun for developers in their company.


Software Development Trends for 2007

2 January 2007

Interesting article from Manageability : Software Development Trends for 2007.
Notably : he points out Piggy Bank and OpenId, that are not so well known.
I think Google will play an important role too as well as VoIP interoperability like OpenWengo pushes.
XML may slow down at least in the configuration space, where there are alternatives (like using Groovy). and I hope that Relax-NG will be chosen more often instead of XML-Schema !