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Showing posts from March, 2007

Times are a changin'

Some of you might've noticed that I missed my regular sunday blog-post yesterday .

The reason is obviously the same as everyone else's these days: I'm out of time. Yup, I just ran out of it.

I like keeping up to date on a wide range of subjects. These roughly inolve:

Java programming (EE, 1.5)
Dynamic languages (ruby)
Object oriented design
Aspect oriented programmingBuilding, testing
Web programming
Agile methodologies (Scrum, XP)
Content management systemsPortalsLots of other stuff going on in the blogosphereMost of these are essential to any developer, but still it is too much ground for me to cover.

In order to be able doing my day job, as well as keeping on blogging and also having a personal life, I'm performing some drastic changes on my scope of attention. In concrete, I'm going to leave the CMS and Portal bits behind and focus on more "core"-like technologies. Don't get me wrong, I still have a huge interest in these two fields, but being that they are…

How I became a certified Scrum-master in two days...

I'll asume that most readers are somewhat familiar with Agile methodologies. Scrum is one of these, as is eXtreme Programming and Crystal. It is a framework that avoids taking too much control over how you do projects, but adding a few core ideas and rituals that could be of use to any kind organization. If you aren't familiar with Scrum or any other agile method, read up on it now. Here's enough to get you started :

Scrum Alliance's intro

Now, for us that have the privilege of working in a company that can see the long-term benefits of spending a decent fortune sending you off on a two-day course, we kickstarted our Scrum-ways by doing Jens Østergaard's course for becoming certified Scrum-masters (cool title, eh?). It is not an expensive course by itself, but it costs the company alot to take us all of our projects for a whole day (the course was friday and saturday).

Before the course, I honestly figured I knew enough of Scrum to do fine without it, but it would be …

The Programming Designer

Most developers prefer to seperate design from functionality. This is a noble goal, but sometimes hard to implement. In my experience developing web applications, the most typical collision between design and functionality happens in JavaServer Pages, the most typical templating format of web front-ends in Java web applications. Most readers know JSP's, but for those who don't, think of it as Java's PHP, or the templates we use for producing HTML.

However, a problem which is still at large in web applications today is that these templates are designed by Java developers, or pure programmers with little knowledge of web design and web standards. Or worse, programmers that believe they do know web stuff when they actually don't, or don't know how important the web front-end really is.

The problem with programmers doing these JSP's is that that they are doing design, sometimes even when they don't have to. The classical example of this is putting layout of the …

dot com parties, search engines and newsfeeds

Yesterday I was at my first dot com party, I think. Search engine people (developers and optimalizers), marketing people, designers, concept developers, interaction experts and consultants, and free beer/wine for everyone.

It was enjoyable to mingle around and talk to these people that thrive on the borders of my own industry (being software programming). But I also got a spooky feeling of déjà vu. Might be a sign of things to come. I do think we have a bubble burst ahead of us, maybe less then three years from now, maybe even this year. It depends on whether we, the industry as a whole, will be able to stabilize our growth in time.

Enough doom's day speculation. Talking to all these bloggers I began thinking about my statistics and news-feed (those of you who are more observant noticed that I outsourced the feed to FeedBurner when I upgraded to the new Blogger. This was mainly for the purpose of quick and easy feed statistics.

However, I've noticed a recent drop in hits/visits. …

Digging deeper into CMS requirements (#5: The last one)

This is the fifth post about digging deeper into content management requirements. See also

Requirement Overview
Technical RequirementsManagement RequirementsEnd-user RequirementsCosts
I know I was going to rant about agile development and Scrum soon, but what the heck; I'm inspired! Today I'm gonna finish off the CMS Requirements thread and describe THE most important requirement of all. And hopefully on sunday I will explain how all these requirements are interconnected by two key principles:
Open Source
Open StandardsNow writing about the other requirements has been quite a booring affair. They have just been sort of basic explanations that can lead up to sunday's post.

However, this requirement is no ordinairy rabbit! It's not measurable, you can't actually describe it, and it's darn hard to implement! It is a utopical state software, an *ility of the highest degree.

2 years of CMS research, coffee drinking, chocolate-chip cookie eating and hard thinking made me be…

I'm gonna be the Wiki-techie! (oh no)

I was recently contacted by Atlassian's Wiki Evangelist (yes, appearantly that's a real title!), Stewart Mader. He asked me to consider their new site, Wikipatterns.com, and also forward the site to my dear readership. Done!

In other but related news, I've been (somewhat unwillingly) appointed our next Confluence administrator. This means I'll be given full control over the wiki (muhuhaha) , meaning in effect I'll be able to try out new plug-ins, manage spaces, bully people around, etc.

It also means I'll have to do upgrades, booring user adminstration, figure out funky stacktraces that are appearing in Confluence for some odd reason, fix the database, etc, etc.

The main reason I have volunteered to do this job is that no-one else wanted to do it, and I believe our Wiki is far too critical to leave in the hands of our IT service provider like our CTO would've had it. When are you people gonna understand that Windows is not meant for hosting?

Additionally, I…