January 16, 2015

Cameron and Obama plan war games to test cyber resilience
The cyber war games agreement was announced as prime minister David Cameron held talks with president Barack Obama in the US. The two leaders also agreed that intelligence agents from GCHQ, MI5, the National Security Agency and the FBI will co-operate in "cyber cells" in both countries to improve the sharing of information about cyber threats, reported the BBC. ... Obama is expected to focus on cyber security in his State of the Union address on 20 January 2015. He recently previewed the address in a speech at the US Federal Trade Commission, in which he outlined some of the legislation he would like the US Congress to pass.

What do you do when your code has cancer?
One truth about business software applications is that they evolve together with business requirements. From different reasons, sometimes from lack of experience of developers and sometimes from not having enough time to devise good solutions, the code often tends to create some sort of cancer inside, which progressively grows to unmanageable pieces of software until it breaks the whole system. What do we do if we find such phenomenon in your code? In my experience I have seen that dealing with such code is almost inevitable in brown field projects. Ignoring them makes things only worse.

Flavors of Concurrency in Java: Threads, Executors, ForkJoin and Actors
Java threads are actually mapped to the operating system threads and every Thread object represents one of the lower level computation threads. Naturally, the lifecycle of a thread is taken care of by the JVM and scheduling is not your concern as long as you don’t have to make Threads communicate with each other. Every thread gets its own stack space, consuming a part of the designated JVM process memory. The Thread API is pretty straightforward, you feed it a Runnable and call .start() to begin the computation. There’s no good API to stop the Thread, you have to implement it yourself using some kind of boolean flag to communicate.

5 attitudes to accelerate leadership development in 2015
Often the elephant in the room (or on the team) is the consistent poor performer. No matter what you do, you can’t find a role where they bring energy. Everyone seems drained as they interact with them. At best, they are simply someone to be avoided. At worst, they act like a ringleader, sucking people into their energy drain. You still must put them in a position to succeed, too. That may mean a very unpleasant review or series of reviews. It may even mean helping them find someplace else to work. Helping them become a good performer is in their best interest. No one wants a job where they’re not appreciated.

Defense IT Investment to Focus on Big Data, Cloud
The combination of a shrinking force size and technological advances are driving the importance of data and analytics. Advances in sensors, wireless networks, and unmanned aerial vehicles have resulted in a flood of new data. Despite the need to rely more heavily on data for situational awareness and predictive analytics to give them the edge over the enemy, defense leaders are concerned that they will not have the people or time to deal with all this new information. Technology will need to bridge the gap. Additionally, on the business side of the house, the military is looking at its data for new ways to increase efficiencies and make more informed decisions.

Time for CEOs to Step In and Stop CIO-CMO Bickering
On the relationship side, we've certainly seen people recognizing the real challenge, not just focusing on personality differences. CMOs in particular need to understand the challenges in the technology environment. We've spent a lot of time with clients working through that awareness and education about what's smart and not smart implementing technology and, ultimately, the end result that may come about if CMOs make lateral decisions too quickly. On the business side, it's what do we do about it? We've got some of these technologies that are hard to work around. We've seen some organizations able to implement cloud-based solutions and incrementally move the needle on what the marketing organization is able to achieve.

Developers See Enterprise Shift for IoT in 2015
"These survey results confirm that IoT is crossing over from consumer gadgets to business productivity and customer engagement," said Michael Swindell, senior vice president of products at Embarcadero, in a statement. "In the consumer space, individuals connect to IoT typically through a single personal mobile device, with the IoT experience encircling the user. However with business solutions IoT includes users and encircles the business and enterprise assets. The IoT connected applications developers build for the Enterprise are essential to connect the disparate parts of a distributed IoT business solution – from mobile devices, to wearables and sensors, to cloud and on-premises Enterprise back-ends. Software developers will clearly play a pivotal role in driving IoT innovation and business adoption in 2015 and beyond."

The path to continuous delivery
Continuous delivery from the business angle needs small incremental changes to be delivered on a regular basis. Agile IT aims to do the same, but there are often problems in the development-to-operational stage. Sure, everything has been tested in the testing environment; sure, operations understand how to implement those changes in the run-time environment. According to a survey by VersionOne, 85% of respondents stated that they had encountered failures in Agile projects - a main reason stated was that the company culture was at odds with an Agile approach.

Resource Governor Enhancements in SQL Server 2014
The Resource Governor allows the user to put restrictions on the amount of resources which can be used from the SQL Server instance’s total available resources in each database’s workload. The versions of Resource Governor that we released with SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2012 were limited in functionality as they could specify limits for only the CPU and the memory requested by the incoming application within a resource pool. In the latest version, SQL Server 2014, the developers have improved this feature to include a couple of additional functionalities. These settings can now control the minimum and maximum physical I/O operations per second per disk volume for user threads of a given resource pool.

Conversation Patterns for Software Professionals. Part 3
Since the source code can be structured (in the form of design patterns), which makes it easier to develop and maintain, why not apply the same analogy to a conversation? When we look at the conversation in a structured and orderly manner, it may help us lead it more effectively. What we mean here is not related to patterns of conducting meetings, during which every participant has their specific role. We are talking about something more fundamental – about how people exchange information (especially people form business with those from IT) in the course of a conversation. We assume that your interlocutor does not need to have any knowledge about the techniques of gathering information or conducting meetings.

Quote for the day:

"As a manager; the more uncomfortable the conversation you have to make is, the more important it is." -- @LeadershipCures

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