Not immortal, after all

My father died on the 17th June, 2017. He probably would have quite liked that, a palindromic date. He died in Berlin, on the commemoration day of a riot against communist rule in 1953. It's the sort of date people like to choose for weddings. He will be buried on the 7th July, which also... Continue Reading →

Surface Pro 4 – Great after all

I wrote some time ago that my new Surface was irritating and I didn't understand the hype. THis statement now somewhat reminds me of the venture capitalist I worked for in 1999, who was talking about how he wouldn't take any IPO shares in Google because they were way overpriced.  "What's the point of Google,... Continue Reading →

Vulnerability

I was reading about the St Petersburg metro bombings, and the woman that died shielding her daughter from the blast, and it made me so sad. It's what absolutely every parent would do, and I don't have any doubt in my mind at all that I would gladly die to save my children. Most people... Continue Reading →

Why “Agile” and especially Scrum are terrible

Interesting article on scrum/agile, even if I don’t quite agree with it.

Michael O. Church

Agility is a good thing, no doubt, and the Agile Manifesto isn’t unreasonable. Compared to a straw-man practice called “Waterfall”, Agile is notably superior. Yet, so much of Agile as-practiced is deeply harmful, and I don’t really think that the Agile/Waterfall dichotomy is useful in the first place.

There’s a variety of Agile, called Scrum, that I’ve seen actually kill a company. By “kill”, I don’t mean “the culture wasn’t as good afterward”. Rather, I mean that its stock dropped by almost 90 percent in less than two years.

What is Agile?

Agile grew up in web consulting, where it had a certain amount of value: when dealing with finicky clients who don’t know what they want, one typically has to choose between one of two options. The first is to manage the client: get expectations set, charge appropriately for rework, and maintain a relationship of equality rather than submission…

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Ghost in the Shell – go see

After a day of family stuff, got an impromptu offer of babysitting. Booked tickets for the Odeon online at 5 pm , for an 8.15 pm showing.  Ghost in the Shell, which we were hoping to catch, but had assumed we'd probably miss it and get it on streaming in about 6 months. We got... Continue Reading →

Toddler skiing in Chamonix

Holidays are more delicate than one might imagine. On the face of it, you pick a destination, a hotel and some flights, on the basis that they fulfil one or more or the criteria you might have listed. I used to write lists of criteria for holidays in order to help me decide, but now... Continue Reading →

Horoscope idiocy

I had a call with Hong Kong yesterday morning. They had been rather chippy about someone in my team being "too direct", so I was making an effort with the niceties, wishing them a happy new year of the rooster. I have no idea about the Chinese zodiac, so I looked it up. There was... Continue Reading →

A whole century gone in an instant

January is always somewhat downbeat. You start the first week of it thinking about all the plans you have, and looking at travel websites to firm up your holiday plans. Then you're entirely overwhelmed by stacks of work, and stacks of personal life admin that suddenly need doing overnight. This year was no exception in... Continue Reading →

La La Land

We saw La La Land  mainly out of curiosity about the hype. I can see why it was popular with the film industry, given it was basically Ziegfeld follies with a very slightly updated storyline about the price you pay for ambition. I wouldn't particularly rate it as a film, as it drags on for... Continue Reading →

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