How to manage your Programmers

May 9th, 2011

source: 314 Technologies

Realization of projects and tasks, achieving goals in a group of people called company, require perfection in information flow and long term planning. Process management in that kind of group is a quite complicated issue. That is why since a couple of years a lot of techniques and methodologies, like Scrum, Kaizen, Kanban and so on, have been created to simplify it as much as possible. In short these are the most efficient ways to use your employees’ fullest potential.

On top of that we usually have a BIG MAN, who can be a leader, a manager or a director, etc. So here are the questions: What characterizes that kind of person? What’s the difference between a manager and a programmer? Are they able to change their roles?

………

Continue reading on the 314 website.

I/O virtualization - last requisite to “full cloud” enablement

April 28th, 2011

Source: 314 Technologies

With virtualization (which became a data-center standard by the way), it’s no surprise that vendors are trying to the plate with products for virtualizing the complex I/O architecture. There are several mature products on the market that support IO virutalization but let’s check what is it all about.

Read more….

Great method for managing your everyday tasks

April 25th, 2011

Source: 314 Technologies

Some time ago I wrote here that time measurement is a very subjective issue. I Concluded that it’s better to useThe Pomodoro Technique, which is able to make us more efficient in the time we have. In short we could manage our time much better. Some people claim that something like time management doesn’t exist. But generally if something exists it is able to be managed. So basically time management is done, but what about tasks on which we spend it.

Brutal reality

Very often our list of tasks, which we have in hundreds of task’s managers and notebooks brings to mind a monster in a wardrobe. Sure, everyone know that we shouldn’t be afraid because it’s only our imagination, however that’s the last place you look into in the night.

Don’t forget rules …

You have to learn many rules and techniques

To fight someway with those tasks people through the years have created many techniques and systems. First and the most popular is probablyGetting Things Done by David Allen. It contains many tools for prioritizing tasks, categorizing by different contexts, estimating and so on. If we already know how it works then we should learn which task is for us the most important etc. So another place to go is Brian Tracy’s book which is called “How to master your time”. Everything now is well planned right? But not done yet. To get to know why, it will be nice to read another Tracy’s proposition “Eat that frog”. That’s not the end. To use properly our brain in the meantime we should also read “Six thinking hats” by Edward de Bono after which will be able to create groundbreaking ideas.

… Or Fun !

But remember also you have intuition and emotions

Every single thing on that list is just astonishing and worth to read. However we can’t also forget about one little aspect. Our brain isn’t just a machine to excute well prepared, reasonable looking, well planned tasks. If it would be so, Nobel Price would be just a formality. Brain is much more complicated and offers also something like emotions, intuition and both can ruin our well rounded plan in just a second.

To prevent that we must learn how to work to use those features properly and treat them as big advantages. Mark Foster has created something which is called Autofocus Index technique and I think it’s just brilliant.

Unfortunately you should be careful. That’s not the method everyone will accept, like and which lets you make more money. This method is based on natural need for action, which includes not only rational choices but also intuition and fun. It contains four different variations (AF1, AF2, AF3, AF4) depends on your working style (more deadlines, more flexible work and time etc). I won’t describe it here in detail, because Mark have done this fantastic here. But there are a couple of advices derived from my experience:

  • this is a method which really works, but you have trust and don’t think about it
  • you will be suprised that you will be doing much more tasks
  • don’t worry just follow couple of simple rules
  • every notepad can be use like a context from GTD (i.e. School, Work, Home etc)

I’ve choosen AF4 because it’s perfect for my current work. It works for me now and I can really recommend it if just wanted to try something new.

Paymo Experiment

June 18th, 2009

When you think about it, we’re living now in extremely time precisely world. A couple of years ago a term “time estimation” was a little bit abstract. Wasn’t a big deal to went wrong with time estimation at the level of days or weeks. Today we have different time granulation. In project estimation we are not operating on days or weeks, but in hours, what is more “every hour matters” because simple speaking - our client paying for it. So in this case, if we have so extremely tiny field for make mistake, we have to have totally different tools for time measuring. Nowadays everyone using timetrackers, different project management applications etc. I’m using Basecamp and TargetProcess now, but problem is in other thing. People haven’t motivation to track their time or simply for a work. On other hand, all these PM software usuallly have employee time monitoring, but it’s only for PMs not for them actually, so single programmer can’t see if he is now sufficiently effective opposite to others. To change this and for fun, I’ve made through a weekend very simple and funny “twitter like” app called Paymocontest. What it is ? It’s based on Paymo timetracker which we are using here and which is really really nice. So we’re using Paymo timetracker tool installed on desktop, then we have paymocontest app which allows you to add/remove/find/follow people you’re working with and track what they are doing or how much time they spent on some project. Moreover we have some bonuses: stars, clouds, and other figures to people with the longest day/week working time, or with the most completed tasks, day entries. Of course is not a complicated software which gave you the way to working better, and it’s not a reference GTD implementation. But it’s very funny and nice place to challenge your motivation to work. If you wanna try, go just to paymocontest.pl. Have fun :)

screenshot

Adobe Air and Smalltalk integration example

June 11th, 2009

Another good news for someone who really likes Adobe Flex/AIR and Smalltalk environments. Last time I wrote here about Glare project, and now there is an excellent example to build simple Adobe Air app with Smalltalk backend. I have only a one wish, if Glare will be available on other smalltalk platforms for example Squeak not only commercial VisualWorks, that’s gonna be something called “dreams come true”.

adobe air and smalltalk example

Here is an example to do something like on picture above.

Smalltalk and Adobe Flex

April 28th, 2009

Some time ago i have written about seaside and squeak on my polish blog - here. reason for that was because people do not always realized that smalltalk didn’t die at the same time as dinosaurs. Anyway, i’m lucky and working not only with one technology so was very happy to find something called Glare. What it is ? This is simple speaking a project that integrate smalltalk (visualworks in that case) and adobe flex. Sounds brilliant at the first look, but when i thought about it, was really confused. Why ? Smalltalk for example in Squeak or VisualWorks implementation is for development the same thing like ipod for music listening. It’s just incredible well thought. Everything is in one place, and we have IDE which is really truly intregrated. This IDE is not like NetBeans for Rails for example -  there are not a big difference to develop with simple editor or complicated IDE. But here IDE is one of the biggest advantage of using Suqeak for example. So now, when you think about it, we have two different style of thinking about web development:

  1. Adobe Flex & AS3 - brilliant RIA framework with AS3, which is not the best language ever and comparing to smalltalk really complicated (+ use with puremvc, caingorm etc.)
  2. Smalltalk (VisualWorks & Squeak) - brilliant language with DSL, Metaprogramming and IDE which gives us improvement kick.
Old-Simpl—Beautiful and New-Complicated-Enterprise, it is good connection or not ? Not so simple to asnwer, but i’m not a big enthusiast of connecting milion technologies in one place, unfortunatelly often it’s a must. I’m also using Ruby on Rails and Flex but the best practice will be using one technology, one language, sadly you are not doing what you want everytime. But glare is really interesting thing to try. On other hand remember that we have here Gemstone/S giving really scallable possibilities. I’m not sure we can use it inside glare but if so, this solution will be brilliant.

PureMVC resources

March 18th, 2009

Last time I hadn’t much time to writing here but it will change now hopefully. First of all we are generally working with PureMVC in our projects. Sometimes I’m wondering if that’s not overkill but in most situations it gives us really productive framework. Anyway my company mate had last time presentation about it on Adobe Flex polish group :adobers.org . Before meeting we collect some materials for people who want to start with PureMVC now so I will past it below, have fun !

Source: ShoutWaves

There are also few interesting articles about difference between architecture frameworks (PureMVC, Cairngorm, Swizz, Mate, etc):

PureMVC tutorials:

PureMVC Project template for FlashDevelop 3.0 with preloader

November 22nd, 2008

I usually don’t like to copy other’s articles here, but this one is really helpful and made by my friend so enjoy :).

Source: Shoutwaves blog

Some time ago I had a lot of problems with starting new projects. Common tasks had to be made. That’s why I’ve build flashdevelop as3 template with pureMVC, preloader, startup manager (loading fonts, css before everything).

To install template in FlashDevelop ( it was tested on FD b9 ) you need to:

  1. Download template 131 ActionScript 3 - AS3 Shoutwaves Project with Preloader.rar
  2. Extract it and copy extracted folder to: “C:\Program Files\FlashDevelop\Templates\ProjectTemplates”
  3. Run flashdevelop, Project -> New Project
  4. Choose 131 ActionScript 3 - AS3 Shoutwaves Project with Preloader
  5. Write name, location, package ( without this your project will not work )

Please use it, it’s free for everybody.
Hope will be useful !

Google App Engine and Django

November 18th, 2008

Hello ! It was a big break from posting here, but many things changing now in our company so I have many things to handle and not really much time to writing here, but now it will be change ! Last time we’re working on few projects on Google App Engine which is on other hand really good technology. But of course like always there are some problems when you decided to start using it. First is a framework choice.. of course google has own called “webapp” but yes… it’s great for simple apps in my opinion, but for real applications I want to use power of Django insteed of Google framework. If we’re talking about GAE and Django integration here is a really good presentation about it:

There are important issue - very useful subproject called Google App Engine Helper for Django, you can find more information here. In back to the proper Django framework, I’ve found two days ago interesting “tips” to improve render_to_response method, which sometimes looks too complicated. So here it is:


Ohh, one more thing, if someone from Poland is here, probably will be happy because now last time brand new polish django project site has been released !
 

ubiquity

August 31st, 2008

Hi everyone! Just few days ago a new cool plugin for Firefox has been presented. His name is ubiquity. Remember that name, becouse it’s very helpfull and powerfull tool. It’s still in early version (0.1) but you can find out yourself how usefull it can be even right now. Here you can find a link to Mozilla Labs where it was introduced and below you can watch a short video containing simple scenario of how to use it. I want tell you anything more. Watch it, install it and enjoy it!

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

CakePHP 1.2 Validation Cheatsheet

August 30th, 2008

Yesterday on this site a new interesting cheatsheet for cake was published. It contains a set of cake build-in validation rules with some short examples of how to use it. It’s useful, looks nice and it should hang near every CakePHP developers desk!