February 20, 2016

Technical Architects With Dirty Hands

The really good architects I knew received genuine respect, authority, and often affection within the team. You could not imagine operating without their sage advice, and they were ready to pitch in when an especially nasty problem emerged. When I first met some IT architects, who lived outside the development teams, my first thought was, “Why would you ever isolate yourself that way?” The weakness of the architect external to the team are hardly surprising. Rather than earning respect, teams look at these outsiders with suspicion. Rather than wielding authority, architects often struggle to find leverage with teams. And affection? In many organizations, that’s a rare achievement for architects.

Stubbing, Mocking and Service Virtualization Differences

Service virtualization is a technique for decoupling a test suite from environmental dependencies that is growing in popularity. It is part of the broader category of "test doubles" that include mocks and stubs. There are many tools that support either service virtualization or two very similar approaches: stubbing and mocking. This article offers a comparison of the three approaches, their relative strengths and explores a number of real world situations to recommend which technique may offer the most benefit. The intent is to provide an understanding of all three techniques that enables to you to choose the best option between a mock, stub, or virtual service depending upon the specifics of your situation.

There are no Pit Stops In Enterprise Transformations really ?

While all of these sound easy to write about but when faced with the challenge of turning your enterprise around , you need a mindset, culture , appropriate tools, talented people who understand the nuances of the change , tools required and how to go about it. ... Unless people perceive it this way change is difficult to force it down their throats. Fluidity in all process and people boundaries such that people can reach out and interact with folks across their immediate process lines. This needs a mindset change which can happen when their is strong management support towards moving away from silos and encouraging decentralization. ... Usual mindset is look at time, money , resources and progress once you have finished your product or solution.

Intel Compute Stick (2016) Review

The hardware upgrades are the less noticeable changes, though they extend beyond just a processor change from last year’s Bay Trail Z3735F chip to a Cherry Trail Atom x5-Z8300 running at 1.44GHz. The combo Wi-Fi/Bluetooth wireless card is now an Intel dual-band Wireless-AC 7265 instead of last year’s Realtek RTL8723BS, which adds support for 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. ... Externally, the Cherry Trail Compute Stick has gotten the much needed addition of a USB 3.0 port, which complements the microSD slot and USB 2.0 port that are carried over from last year. This upgrade alone makes this year’s Compute Stick a vast improvement over last year’s; as you’ll see below, the performance differences between the Bay Trail and Cherry Trail processors are so small you won’t feel them much

The Next Big Questions in Management

So if we want to know where management thinking is going, perhaps it is most useful to look for the questions that people are not quite yet asking. Some of them may be surfacing now, seemingly out of nowhere. They may seem impractical or irrelevant. They may come from out of left field (or distant center or right field, for that matter). But sooner or later, they will likely strike us as the self-evident questions that we should have been asking all along. As editor-in-chief of strategy+business since 2005, it has been my job — and pleasure — to forage for those kinds of inquiries. Here are four significant questions I think may preoccupy the person (or computer) who holds this post 20 years hence:

Will The Real Enterprise Private Cloud Please Stand Up

Survey after survey have reaffirmed that IT security continues to weigh heavily on the minds of global CIOs. As just one recent example, cybersecurity was cited as a top priority for the fourth straight year by respondents of the CSC Global CIO Survey. With innovation and agility as key CIO objectives, it should come as no surprise then that 80% of respondents to the 2014-2015 edition of that survey reported moderate-to-heavy investment in private cloud. All too often, however, private cloud is implemented as a thin layer of automation on top of traditional virtualization technologies and IT practices. And all too often, these projects struggle.

Ramco: IT's First-Aid for the Aviation Industry

For years, the aviation industry has understood that IT offers a way of optimizing operations. Yet, many airlines still suffer from the use of disparate point solutions, each generating a repository of redundant data, which often has no ‘meaning’. Surprisingly some operators even handle a few jobs manually and manage vast maintenance data in hundreds of excel spreadsheets! But with the kind of cut-throat competition that is there in the aviation industry today, using an excel sheet as a process optimization, productivity improvement tool will send you back to the stone ages. Offline models of track maintenance, managing safety and regulatory compliance manually using paper-work or spreadsheets, using disparate point solutions are all tools of the past century.

HSBC banks on biometrics with new voice and touch services

According to the bank, the new services will be available to up to 15 million customers, who will no longer have to go to the trouble of remembering passwords and answers to random security questions. As the sheer number of passwords that have to remembered these days is one of the main issues for consumers, this is certainly a positive step forward. Francesca McDonagh, HSBC UK’s head of retail banking and wealth management, said: “The launch of voice and touch ID makes it even quicker and easier for customers to access their bank account, using the most secure form of password technology – the body” and described the move as “the largest planned rollout of voice biometric security technology in the UK.”

Diagnosing Common Database Performance Hotspots in our Java Code

All too often, developers don’t feel the need to optimize pool size as they typically don’t do the requisite large scale load testing, nor do they know how many users will be expected to use that new feature, or what ramifications it implies, for parallel DB Access. Or perhaps the pool configuration “got lost” along the way from pre-prod to production deployment and then defaulted back to whatever the default is for your app server. Connection pool utilization can easily be monitored through JMX metrics. Every application server (Tomcat, JBoss, WebSphere, …) exposes these metrics, although some require you to explicitly enable this feature. The following shows the pool utilization of four WebLogic servers running in a cluster.

Are You a Transformational CIO?

The transformational IT organization, on the other hand, is very much in demand and there are very few IT leaders that understand it. There also are very few business folks, so folks outside of IT, that have that level of expectation of IT; that transformational expectation, that business-centric expectation. And the best way to think about a transformational IT org is they are a business organization first that happens to have responsibility for IT. So, a CIO that is very business-oriented as opposed to tech-oriented, that also happens to have responsibility for IT. Back to your fundamental question, I would argue that the traditional, not the transformational, but the traditional CIO and the traditional IT organization is very much in decline. The transformational IT organization and the transformational CIO is very much in demand and that trend is something that we are just starting to scratch the surface on.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership requires the courage to make decisions that will benefit the next generation." -- Alan Autry

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