September 06, 2014

Your Database: The Threat That Lies Within
Unlike other software components and code or compiled code, a database is not a collection of files. It cannot just be copied and pasted from development to testing and to production, because it is a container of your most valued asset – your business data, which must be preserved. In most cases, database development is also performed in a very different way than application code (.Net or Java development), as developers and DBAs are accessing and changing a shared resource, a central database, rather than a local copy on their workstation.

Data Mining Reveals How Social Coding Succeeds (And Fails)
A social coding project begins when a group of developers outline a project and begin work on it. These are the “internal developers” and have the power to update the software in a process known as a “commit”. The number of commits is a measure of the activity on the project. External developers can follow the progress of the project by “starring” it, a form of bookmarking on GitHub. The number of stars is a measure of the project’s popularity. These external developers can also request changes, such as additional features and so on, in a process known as a pull request.

Data Breach and Spear Phishing
In the world of online, spear phishing is where a spammer leverages legitimate information to trick the recipient. Their bait can appear to be from a recognized person or company. Or you could get an email addressed to you asking you for additional information. If the sender can target the email to your needs, include personalization and grab your attention, they can trick you into doing a lot. Savvy spear phishers add a multi-channel twist incorporating calls, verifying your address (or where you bank, where you shop or kid’s schools), they send the promised follow-up email, incorporate letters – anything to get your attention.

The Innovation Dead End
You can certainly hire people who’ve never failed; their courage can have a buoying effect on everyone else — but they too will become risk averse over time as they encounter failure, so it’s not a lasting solution. You can (and should) make every effort to fail as fast as possible to minimize the human costs of failure. But that tactic is limited by how long it realistically takes to prove or disprove the kind of ideas you work on. Even ruthlessly optimizing project definition proof of concept, failing fast can still take months or years, especially if your innovation is technical, rather than product- or market-based.

Australian streaming services lock down content before Netflix
Speaking yesterday at the ASTRA 2014 conference in Sydney, Presto's director Shaun James said that Presto was on the offensive, rather than defensive in getting into the market now before Netflix arrives. "It's not defensive, we're playing offensive with Presto. Yes, there are some reasons for getting into that business and having first-mover advantage, and yes, we are using the benefits of being part of the Foxtel family, but it is very much an offensive. We're up and running, and we're going to be aggressive," he said.

Future of IT standards, SOA, and disruptive technologies stands strong
SOA has been established for a long time. It was declared dead at one point. In fact, the person who made that statement eventually had to recant and admit that it was not dead. From an Open Group perspective, we don't normally think that something that comes up with a bang like SOA may still be around 10 years later, but that seems to be the case. ... There is perhaps a change in emphasis on the techniques used under the heading of 'SOA,' but certainly there was a point at which it became unpopular to go to your CIO and say,

The Life and Times of TDD
A TDD approach can be used to specify the detailed design of your application code, database schema, or user interface (UI) in a JIT executable manner throughout construction. This is referred to as developer TDD or unit TDD and is typically done via xUnit tools just as jUnit for Java and PL/Unit for Oracle. Not surprisingly the survey found that TDD practitioners are commonly doing more than just TDD to explore their designs. People doing developer TDD were also working on teams who were applying other design related activities

Motivating the Negative Nancy on Your Team
A “Negative Nancy” is someone who overgeneralizes in labeling situations and people, focuses on the bad in each situation, jumps to conclusions and constantly redirects the blame. In a business setting, these behaviors can result in harmful effects, such as reduced productivity, decreased group morale, increased stress, wasted time, hindered creativity and innovation, and higher employee turnover. ... “Allowing [negativity] to fester is much more costly and damaging to an organization’s bottom line than confronting or possibly replacing a single toxic employee,” said president and CEO of Fierce Inc.

Berlin: A British Perspective on Germany’s Tech Hub
Contrary to the stereotype, Germans tend to be friendly, welcoming and warm people. A quarter of a century ago I drove around mainland Europe with two friends in a converted Bedford van. Scruffily dressed and culturally naive, we saw everyday life and prejudices in a dozen countries. The Dutch were fun, the French loathed us, the Germans went out of their way to be helpful. Statistically meaningless anecdotes, I know, but those German attitudes are certainly visible in Berlin. You don't really know what helpfulness is like until you've walked around a city at night trying to find a GP to prescribe antibiotics and painkillers for your daughter's ear infection.

Aligning People, Processes and Technology for Successful Data Governance
The legal and compliance world is continuously evolving, and every industry must understand how laws and regulations apply to them. Often regulations force companies to maintain data for a set period of time and, most importantly, search and produce this data when needed. To reduce litigation risk, legal generally reduces the amount of time that a company keeps data to the bare minimum. At the same time, there is also an increased burden for legal discovery (e-discovery). Companies are now required to be able to produce data related to a case in a reasonable amount of time.

Quote for the day:

"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching." -- Satchel Paige