Posts

On Complaints, Fair Trials, and Justice

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Disclaimer: This post deals with pseudo-legal matters, and while I have attempted to keep it within more of a philosophical realm, I am not a lawyer, and all statements below are my own personal opinion and should not be taken as legal facts or precedence. This is not legal advice merely opinion, if you are seeking legal advice - please seek a qualified lawyer in your area. The statements below only represent myself and are unrelated to any organization, association, or workplace to which I am involved or otherwise employed. Oh Politics !  it is not something I enjoy hearing or talking about, and as I general rule I try to stay at least at arms length about it. This is not to say I do not believe in voting - I do, it is simply to say that many matters I find discussed do not seem to have much personal relevance in my daily life. It becomes different though, when you feel like you know the people involved. Far removed from knowing Prime Ministers, or similar heads of state, it is eas

Why (I think?) programmers like Agile

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Ever wait in a line for your morning coffee? - or to get on the popular ride at an amusement park? or simple be stuck in traffic ? If you're like most people you probably can begin to feel frustrated just at thinking about the idea, let alone when it really occurs. People hate lines, people hate waiting. In software development we have a similar 'wait pattern', the ' hurry up and wait phenomenon ' If you have every been involved in a programming project with other team members and a project manager, it may goes something like this. a) You are 'suddenly' thrust into a new software development project, somehow all of the requirements gathering is already done, and everyone is waiting on you to do your part. (You are the bottleneck somehow holding everyone up) b) The project manager follows up with you each day to find out 'are you done yet?', how much do you have left?, when do you think it will be ready? ..sometimes it feels like this follow-up is hou

Peer Reviews, Science & Relationships

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I read an interesting comment on a forum the other day about feedback on a 'PR' (Pull Request). For those that are unfamiliar, in some version control systems (eg :GIT), when multiple people are working on a project, individuals submit request to merge their latest updates with that of the 'main' branch. This is called 'Pull Request'. Other developers and those leading the project can review the request, add comments and either approve or reject the update into the software update. The idea, in principle, is simple -> Does this pull request improve the application in some way? Perhaps it makes something faster, or easier to understand (more intuitive) , perhaps it adds a missing feature, or fixes an annoying bug. Those reviewing the request, can add their feedback to your work with the intent of building something 'more then the sum of it's parts' (aka synergy). But what happens when the feedback received is simply a matter of personal opinion (su

Welcome to the Fediverse (goodbye twitter, facebook - hello mastodon & friendica)

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    At the time of writing this entry actress Marina Sirtis (probably best known for her roll as Deanna Troi on Star Trek TNG) has left Twitter. One of the things that made Twitter an amazing tool, were people like Marina - Famous people who would actually reach out and talk directly to fans, unlike some others, who just seem to use it for blatant marketing  purposes - but that is a different rant altogether. She is one of many actors in the Science Fiction genre who was very active on twitter Regardless of your feelings about Elon Musk, or Twitter, or Facebook, or any of the large social media companies.  This entry is to remind everyone, you do not have to be 'stuck' on one particular platform, when their is an entire Fediverse to choose from! What is the Fediverse? Star Trek fans such as myself are already familiar with the concept of the Federation. The United Federation of Planets  is a fictional organization of numerous planetary sovereignties. Each planet has its own c

The Solution to most problems in the world

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 You can't have your cake and eat it too ! Today is Sept 30th. Last year Canada marked this as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation  or orange shirt day ,. This post is inspired by a speaker I heard this morning on the radio. They were talking about the difference between a 'rules follower', and a 'relationship follower'. Basically, that rather then being worried of whether or not you are 'breaking the rules' offending people, it is better instead to focus instead on how can you improve your relationship with others (eg: Indigenous people). It's much more complicated then just the 'do's and don'ts'. It is not anything the same as 'table manners'. As a society, we pretty much suck. This is not to say we do not improve over time, but simply meant to point out that fundamentally we all are responsible for a) Rushing to the 'quick fix' over the long term 'hard work' b) Complaining that it is up to others (eg:

Software Engineering, Agile, Code Reuse, & Refactoring

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 An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure... Fundamentally, people want to their best quality work that produces useful outputs to society, t he fundamental canon's for  Engineers allows for no less But in real life, we all face a common problem - do we sacrifice on our best quality work, and cut corners to save time and cost on the project ? - Are you okay with a bridge that needs replaced every 2-3 years instead of what that lasts 40 years? - How about a dish washer that has a 1-5 chance of catching fire ? For some reason, I have observed, in the software industry, 'cutting corners' seems to be more acceptable, and the philosophy seems to be "push the code out to production as fast as possible - and we will worry about fixing the bugs later" - just get some 'minimal' thing  that "works". Let's look at an specific example - Suppose you have been asked to develop a piece of software that tracks the assets in your office. Specifically

The Custodian and the Princple of Least Privilege

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It can be frustrating, when you suddenly loose permissions to something you have been doing for years only to find out you are now 'not allowed' to do it, and when you ask why you are told about the " Principle of Least Privilege "  - utter nonsense? or good information security practice? Simply put, a person should have only sufficient the minimum sufficient access necessary to do his/her job, and no more.  Similarly, a software program should only have the minimum access to data necessary to fulfill its function and no more.  The principle of least privilege works hand-in-hand with the tenant of separation of duties  and the concept of ' Need to Know '  Consider the case of a custodian , let's call him Dave. Dave is responsible for cleaning the classrooms and office's inside a public school system. In order for Dave to do his job successfully, he needs access to all of the classrooms and offices. He likely has a keychain of many keys. (which always s