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Kaizen Diary: Automate Rather Than Repeat

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For our third kaizen, we came up with the following:



The motivation: when we signed on to work on this platform, there were a lot of loose ends hanging off of it. It had been built, mostly, by one person who was serving in both a dev role and as an officer of the company. He was comfortable with using the shell to perform certain tasks - mostly...
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Kaizen Diary: More Demonstrative Sprint Review

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The second kaizen our team came up with was this:



The motivation: A development team is a massive expense for most organizations, particularly if the organization does not see itself as a software business. It is critical, then, that the business see the results of their investment, and that they see this in concrete forms, and that they see...
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A thought about "white nationalism"

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Here we go again. I read in the Times that people are asking themselves "What, exactly, is white nationalism?"

Really? People have to ask this question? I thought it was pretty simple: "white nationalism" is when a Klansman takes off his robe and hood and puts on a suit and tie. White nationalism is a racist with a college...
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On "accusations"

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In a recent story in the Times, we find the following sentence:


This is a strange usage of the word "accused" - this is not an accusation, it is an observation. A man who devotes years of his life to running an organization whose output consists largely of white supremacist and anti-semitic views and conspiracy theories is a person who...
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A stray thought on our short-fingered leader

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What's depressing about this is that my country is now run by a man who clearly does not want the job, and never did want it, never did anything to prepare against the possibility that he might accidentally wind up in the job, and is now doing his best to try to ensure that he can get out of having to do it before he actually has to do it, but...
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The Shopping Bag as Issues List (A Fable)

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Recently, e_i_pi discussed working for an organization that maintained issues list as a set of Sharepoint lists.

I wish I could say I was surprised by this, but it's all too common. An organization starts out thinking, well, we don't really need all that stuff, we can get away with writing them down on this old shopping bag, and...
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Kaizen Diary: Introduction

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I work on a small team - three people - mostly focused on maintaining and improving the user portal for a large non-profit startup accelerator. It's an interesting codebase, with some interesting problems issues...
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Kaizen Diary: Tickets For All Work

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Kaizen: Tickets For All Work (Sprint 6)
(an entry in the Kaizen Diary)

This was the first kaizen for our team that I have a record for. Right away, you can see that this is a team with some issues: the most important improvement we could come up with was that we follow one of the most standard pieces of developmental rigor, and require...
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Ninjas and Black Belts

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I'm often surprised by the number of times people say they're looking for a "ninja" of some sort. I generally have to wonder if these people really have any idea of what they're asking for. After all, ninjas are shady characters who come in out of the dark, kill someone, and leave. This is not something I want happening in my...
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Some Useful Books for Developers

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Everyone has a list of great books on software development.

Roland Huntford: The Last Place On Earth.
Scott and Amundsen's management styles present an important contrast. Particularly when you realize that one of these men succeeded in reaching his goal on time, and the other failed to meet his goal and left a number of his men dead along...

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