Consensus vs. Collaboration

I came across a very interesting discussion of “Consensus vs. Collaboration” which summarizes neatly why consensus isn’t always the best approach:

In consensus cultures people are rarely excited or supportive.  Mostly because they are very frustrated at how slow things move, how risk-averse the company is, how hard it is to make a decision, and especially how unimpressive the products are.

I saw quite a lot of that, and not only in Japan, so, yeah, that’s the way things are. And the bigger the company, the more pronounced this effect becomes.… -->

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Internet: survival of the biggest

The Economist has an interesting cover this time that you can see here. The big four are warring over our data. The squids will use and abuse our data in numerous ways and they will war over the full control over that data. Scary but true. The on-line article is here.

The digital revolution these giants have helped foment has brought huge benefits to consumers and businesses, and promoted free speech and the spread of democracy along the way. Yet they provoke fear as well as wonder. Their size and speed can, if left unchecked, be used to choke off competition

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Agile philosophy is flawed

I am convinced that agile software development methods the way they are used now do not work. They are actually a prescription for failure. The problem is that Agile philosophy fails even before starting.

Agile is described in many different ways but when you think about what it tries to achieve you must come to the unavoidable conclusion that it tries to provide a method to develop software with cheaper workforce. That’s the whole idea behind it. The business expects to get the software developed with not-so-brilliant programmers who can be paid a fraction of what the really good people would be paid. And then the good programmers can be also pressured into accepting lower pay for their work.

Well, it does not work. Oh, it does work to pressure the salaries of programmers, that it does. But the software becomes developed in a piecemeal fashion and it becomes really difficult to keep to a single encompassing coherent design. You must use really brilliant programmers to be able to keep the system well-designed, sleek and coherent. Unfortunately, this contradicts the original goal of not using brilliant programmers. And thus the system turns into a patchwork of vaguely connected functions and pieces.

To make a parallel, I think when I see a mechanical product labeled “Made in China” I hardly can expect some brilliant German engineering in it. The same goes here, when I see something coming out of Agile, I do not expect any brilliant engineering either. Agile is the source of cheap, faulty and disposable software.… -->

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A word about RIM and BlackBerry

In an excellent article about RIM and its BlackBerry Messenger, Andrew Orlowski slashes at the current “bleakly uniform design of today’s smartphone slabs” and rightly so. The good old manufacturers like RIM, Sony, and Nokia had a lot to go for their names and devices. The interfaces, the convenience, the engagement they created were priceless. Hope they come back…… -->

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Portugal: don’t jump to conclusions but…

I just noticed an interesting article over at Forbes about the “Owners of Portugal” documentary. The article pointed to a couple of extremely interesting charts. And, although it asks not to jump to conclusions I find that, not jumping to conclusions, extremely hard to do.

The charts in question are: the big family and 30 years, 115 members of the government.

Check for yourself, I bet you’ll start jumping to conclusions!… -->

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A manly incentive

This is certanily an unorthodox way of providing incentives to the salesforce. BBC reports that Ergo, a large insurance company, held a party for salesmen where they were rewarded with the services of prostitutes. Most entertaining, I presume, but rather disastrous for the company image, don’t you reckon?… -->

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Jacek Lipski – a LinkedIn spammer

I am usually not one to indulge in public bashing of people even when they obviously misbehave but this time I am somewhat annoyed. This guy, Jacek Lipski, indulges in spamming the LinkedIn members in a very irritating manner and tops it off with a ‘fuck you’ attitude. So he deserves a mention for the annals of history.

So, here is the story. LinkedIn is a rather well behaved community. It is mostly for talking about work and business related things, at least that’s the perception, kept up by the service. Therefore you do not expect someone to send you a “friend invite” in order to peddle his wares. Well, not Jacek Lipski.

You see, Jacek Lipski has some kind of a company that he wants to sell but there are no buyers, understandably. So what does the guy do? He sends you an invite on LinkedIn. You think, “well, all right, he maybe wants to talk about my interests in security or just follow what I do” and you accept. And here you get hit with an offer to buy his stupid company.

I complained right back saying that this was not a good behavior, in my opinion. The answer I got back is as close to “fuck off” as one can get:

I am not interested in your private feelings.

Let me explain by analogy. You have an old rusty Chevy from your grandfather that noone in his right mind would even look at. So you come to people in the street and beg them to buy it. They rightly tell you off. And what do you do in return? You tell them to fuck off, of course! That’s same here, only Jacek Lipski is apparently not afraid to get punched in the face.

Well, tell you what. Maybe one day one of his victims will come across him in real life…… -->

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Google quality

Am I the only one who noticed that the quality of service at Google suddenly took a nosedive? I mean, it still works, sort of, most of the time, but it is not quite the same.

Google used to be very snappy and the interface was very crisp. All elements worked flawlessly and the response was immediate. Now it is all starting to fray at the fringes. It is not so snappy, the code is not that crisp, it fails more often than not and you spend entirely too much time waiting.

I say they are probably loosing good engineers and replace them with cheap ones, like everyone else. It shows.… -->

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