Feb 222016
 
Ethical Challenges of a Robotics Revolution

One cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying. — Arthur C. Clarke The late futurist and science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s observation has long been a staple theme of science fiction stories, especially those involving smart machines and whether the algorithms used to make decisions would be for the benefit of humankind or its destruction. As artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics research has progressed along with growth in computing power, that programming question has steadily moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the computing technical community over the past decade. This has been especially true in the military establishment as the use of robotics rapidly Read more

Feb 162016
 

[All posts in this series: 1, 2, 3, 4] Continuing on the agile framework discussion that Tom and Maurizio have started… Agile frameworks are indeed something that many organizations are now considering. Some of these organizations believe they have been doing agile well at the team level and are now starting to apply agile across their organization. Others are just starting their agile transformations and simply want to do it right the first time. To satisfy the needs of these organizations, numerous agile frameworks are now on the market. Most, if not all, have worked someplace and are the result of someone codifying that experience. But just because it worked in other places, how do Read more

Feb 102016
 

In a recent blog post, Scott Ambler asked whether architects should write code. Actually, the way Scott poses the question, the issue is whether the architect should be a full-time member of the team. While I agree with a lot of what Scott says, there are also a couple of risks worth considering, too. When I started in the software biz, I worked in software companies, not IT departments. In the world I knew, architects were senior developers who played a special role on the team. Their job responsibilities ranged from making strategic technology decisions to mentoring some of the junior developers. There was never a question whether they wrote code: it was part of Read more

Feb 092016
 
Call for Papers: IoT Data Management and Analytics

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly emerging as a transformational paradigm with a multitude of products and services now available and being adopted by corporations as well as individuals seeking to harness the vast opportunities it offers. But we do face a major obstacle in realizing the full potential of the IoT. The sheer variety, volume and velocity of data generated by the IoT presents unprecedented challenges in deriving meaningful and actionable insights and calls for a strategic approach to data management and usage. These approaches also need to address business strategies, business processes, enterprise architecture, systems and applications, and security and privacy considerations. It is also important to examine and decide what data Read more

Feb 092016
 
Three IT Trends that Are Hitting the Mainstream in 2016

I spend most of my time looking at how individuals access data, information, and knowledge in ways that allow them to make better decisions and to enjoy themselves. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts about some trends that I think will push demands on corporate IT departments and the IT industry broadly: wearables, machine intelligence, and data visualization. Wearables If you look at most phones, tablets, and laptops, you see a continuing clumsy interaction between human and device. A phone flipping through the air as the user loses her handle on it is not a surprising event. Laptops crash to the ground, and there is a thriving industry in screen replacement. While Read more

Feb 092016
 
Agile in 2016: Party out of Bounds

For Agilists, 2016 will be a celebratory year. Not only has Agile enjoyed mainstream status for several years now, its success has allowed Agile to become a laboratory for other innovations, from new techniques for ­customer insights to delivery of software as fast as you can produce it. When you join a party where everyone is having the best time imaginable, the last thing on your mind is how annoyed the people next door are, and how happy the people paying for it are. Those are two major considerations for Agile in 2016, which will appear as the not-too-subtle subtext for several ongoing developments. THE AGILE PARTY HAS A BIG PLAYLIST Soon after you walk Read more

Feb 042016
 

In many engagements, upper and middle management ask: “How do we fix our testing (QC) process? The team is just not catching the defects.” When managers ask this question I usually asked these managers a question in return: “Why focus on fixing your testing processes first; shouldn’t you first focus on fixing the development process, since they write the code?” This usually starts a vigorous discussion about where the problem really lies in the organization, which is exactly the kind of soul searching an organization needs to do when they ask to fix the testing. Fix the Root of the Problem and Not Just the Symptom The objective in asking the question is to get Read more