February 01, 2014

With regard to protecting your own end-user privacy agreements, the first question to ask is: "Have my developers read our privacy policy and do they even know it exists?" Legal counsel, in consultation with marketing and other business functions, typically drafts privacy agreements. The contents of the agreements are often not explicitly communicated to the teams building the systems that handle data with privacy implications.

Insights and Trends: Current Project Portfolio Management Adoption Practices
Another interesting fact that came from the survey was that 76 percent of the respondents still use homegrown spreadsheets internally to manage projects in some capacity. Since 55 percent of respondents have more than 1,000 employees, this can easily lead to PPM data integrity issues and ponderously slow feedback loops. Definitely not a path that enables firms to pivot with rapidly changing business conditions. Moreover, from our experience this manual approach significantly impacts project performance.

Getting Real Value from BI Investments
Now things are different. Database technologies, “big data” storage, in-memory analytics, and the ability to leverage multiple types of data expand the value proposition of what business intelligence has to offer. The challenge becomes understanding the options that are available and making sure that the right choices are made within organizations that not only reflect current needs, but that can also support future needs.

After NSA Backdoors, Security Experts Leave RSA for a Conference They Can Trust
The allegation of the $10 million RSA/NSA deal compounded with leaks earlier in the year about NSA’s efforts to sabotage global cryptography has lead some speakers to withdraw from the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco, which attracts some 25,000 attendees each year. Nine speakers have canceled their coveted slots and many have chosen to speak instead at TrustyCon, an alternative conference started this year to provide a platform for speakers who protest RSA and NSA's long-standing collaboration.

Transact-SQL Named 'Programming Language of the Year' for 2013
This "award" further emphasizes the importance of competency in SQL. I earlier wrote about how SQL gurus and other database-related programmers enjoyed excellent job security and how SQL Server developers were in high demand. That's the good news. The bad news, according to TIOBE, "It is a bit strange that Transact-SQL wins the award because its major application field, Microsoft's database engine SQL Server, is losing popularity. The general conclusion is that Transact-SQL won because actually not much happened in 2013."

2014 Developer Opportunities and Challenges, Part II: UX Skills Gap, Crowdsourcing
It's an old problem, he said, but a new opportunity. "UX is one of the big things to get your arms around in 2014," he said. "It presents a great opportunity to outpace your competitors if you do, especially if you recognize that it isn't just important for consumers using your mobile app, it's also important to the productivity and satisfaction of your internal employees." Another opportunity Knipp sees ahead for developers comes from what might for many be an unexpected place: crowdsourcing and hackathons.

How developers could have avoided HealthCare.gov technical problems
As we all know, fixing hundreds of bugs right before a release can have a crippling effect on software and is guaranteed to create additional bugs that will not be caught in the final testing phases. That is, unless you have seasoned testers who know how to expand upon the documented test cases during the final integration testing. Unfortunately, the testers for the October release involved 200-300 government and insurance employees who tested only a few days before launch.

Taking Advantage of the Kinder, Gentler Takeover
This Darwinian scenario benefits both rivals and shareholders. In contrast to the widely held argument—which has been cited frequently in opposition to the rumored Sprint–T-Mobile deal—that mergers have collusive, anti-competitive effects on an industry, most of the evidence suggests that competing firms “learn from the productive efficiency driving the merger, possibly putting some rivals in play for a later date,” the author writes.

Tor-enabled malware stole credit card data from dozens of retailers
Most of the affected retailers are based in the U.S., but PoS infections with this malware were also detected in 10 other countries, including Russia, Canada and Australia, the RSA researchers said Thursday in a blog post. "At this time our research indicates that 119 PoS terminals within 45 unique retailers show evidence of being infected with the ChewBacca malware," said Uri Fleyder, manager of the Cybercrime Research Lab at RSA, via email. Thirty-two of the affected retailers are based in the U.S., he said.

What is the Board’s Role in Strategy and Strategy Execution? Post 1 of 3
It’s a pretty simple two-part argument: What’s the spend on Strategy Execution? What if it’s $5M or $55M? Given that failure rates on strategic initiatives range from 44-70% (see “Time to kill the 70% phantom failure rate”), there is $2.2M - $38.5M directly at risk; and Perhaps even more importantly, does realization of those strategies materially affect the future of the organization? In combination, surely these are equivalent to any of the board’s other responsibilities.

Quote for the day:

"I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn't know how to get along without it." -- Walt Disney

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