Showing posts with label Waterfall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Waterfall. Show all posts

September 15, 2020

Garden of 5 Senses

Garden of Five Senses in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

I hear it and I see it, but I can barely believe it.  

I can touch it, and I can even taste it, but that's going too far. 

I can smell it, but in a good way.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 10, 2019

Training With Paper Airplanes

So I was in an Agile and Scrum Management class yesterday. 

Always looking for new best practices and efficiencies for what we are doing in software development. 

We did one exercise to compare the old Waterfall methodology with Agile. 

And the instructor had us as a team build paper airplanes one way and then the other so see the difference in output and outcome. 

Lo and behold, we had almost 40 planes in agile and only 6 in waterfall. 

What you see in the photo is the testing phase: we actually had to see if they could fly at least 10 feet without taking a nosedive.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 28, 2018

@Great Falls Park








(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 14, 2018

Who You Calling Ugly Baby?

So in multiple organizations, I have heard systems referred to as ugly babies!

Whether or not it's true, it certainly doesn't make the IT folks that develop, run, and support that system feel very good. 

Are some of these (legacy) systems ugly?

Well, of course, they are. 

Many of them work despite themselves. 

What I mean by that is they are awkward to navigate and use. 

The functionality is flawed or outdated.

The workflows are unnecessarily complex.

The user interface is inconsistent and sloppy. 

The user experience is punishing. 

I told someone recently in using a particular system that was so convoluted:
"Is this system what they give to prisoners and make them use over and over again to punish them for hideous violent crimes?"

Seriously, that's how it felt, even as I knew it was still lightyears ahead of what a paper process still used in other organizations looks like.

Generally better than the waterfall methodology for the systems development life cycle, I understand that one dilemma with agile development is that requirements can be spotty from sprint to sprint and instead of doing the hard work and thinking it out upfront, users are made to expect a nearly endless series of enhancements and tinkering, which isn't practical functionally or financially either.

Even an ugly baby is still ours, and we love it and nurture it, and even help it change for the better--that's part of our responsibility. 

Whether we parented a real baby or an IT system, we have pride of ownership and a sense of accountability to the person, system, and future. 

My father always taught me never to throw out dirty water until you have clean water. 

Similarly, we shouldn't throw out the (ugly) baby with the bathwater. 

We need to work together--technologists and system users--to make truly functional systems and a user experience more like gaming where the players are so happy, attached (and even addicted) to it that they sometimes don't even get up to eat or go to the bathroom. 

We should love what we have and use, and we should, therefore, work hard to make these things great.

And an ugly baby can be made gorgeous again. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 28, 2016

Trickle Of A Waterfall

Took this picture in New Jersey last weekend. 

Went for a nice walk around this man-made lake...very pretty. 

At one end, almost like an infinity pool that merges into it's surroundings, a trickle of waterfall overflows here into the moss below. 

From this position, the lake itself was at eye level, so it was cool seeing it almost as if you are part of the lake itself. 

For me that was a special effect, and felt very one with nature and the universe. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 19, 2015

Washington Like The Powerful Great Falls

We went to Great Falls on the Virginia side yesterday. 

It started to rain a little as we got off the highway, and so we started to turn back disappointed. 

But before we got back on the highway, the rain stopped and we continued our "Sunday Funday" trip. 

With 3 beautiful overlooks of the Potomac River--even on a cloudy, chilly Fall day--it was marvelous. 

Because of the changing weather, it wasn't too crowded and we were able to get right up on the overlooks for some spectacular views and photos. 

At one point a (rescue?) helicopter suddenly pulled up from nowhere beneath the cliffs and was like right there up close in our faces, but we had already started to pull back to the trail and I missed a cool photo that I would've like to capture. 

The current of the water is really strong at Great Falls and an average of 7 people die a year there. 

Also, sometimes there is such enormous flooding that the water crests above the high overlooks--75 feet up!--and overflows onto the park's grounds. 

We watched some climbers scampering along down on the rocks by the water (on the left) as they got close, but not too close to the water's edge. 

As I think about it, living in Washington, D.C., the capital and superpower political hotbed of the world, the symbolism of being on the edge is not lost. 

Some people wade too far and get overcome by the rising water and powerful currents, and others may be too apathetic or fearful to even get close enough to dip their toe in the muddle. 

Even for those that sincerely care and want to try to make a difference in the direction and future of where we are going--technologically and success-wise--it's water, water everywhere.

Like Great Falls, DC runs with a powerful current--a lot of it simply running nowhere, much is hidden beneath the surface, but overall with enough force to shape our country's destiny for better or for worse. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 27, 2015

Fish Mish



I took this video in the aquarium store. 

Just found it so relaxing to watch these fish--swimming this way and that with their fish pals in the nice cool water. 

In the background is the sound of a little waterfall running into the makeshift pond.

Ah, the life of a fish--if you can avoid the nets and the bigger fish--it's probably not too shabby. 

I remember when my mom used to make gefilte fish for Shabbos, especially the sweet kind in a sliced up roll, and it was delicious. 

For some reason, I remember calling it fish mish--I think because the fish is ground up--and then boiled or baked. 

A nice appetizer--pass the tartar sauce please. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 5, 2012

SDLC On Target

I found this great white paper by PM Solutions (2003) called "Selecting a Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Methodology."

The paper describes and nicely diagrams out the various SDLC frameworks:

- Waterfall
- Incremental
- Iterative
- Spiral
- RAD
- Agile


It also provides a chart of the advantages and disadvantages of each framework. 

Finally, there is a simple decision cube (D3) based on time horizon, budget, and functionality for selecting an SDLC framework. 

This is a very useful and practical analysis for implementing SDLC, and it aligns closely with the guidance from the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-64, "Security Considerations in the Systems Development Life Cycle" Appendix E that states:

"The expected size and complexity of the system, the development schedule, and the anticipated length of a system's life may affect the choice of which SDLC model to use."

While NIST focuses on the time horizon and complexity versus the PM Solutions Decision Cube that uses time horizon, budget, and functionality, the notion of tailoring SDLC to the project is both consistent and valuable. 

Just one more resource that I found particularly good is the Department of Labor IT Project Management guidance (2002)--it is a best practice from the Federal CIO website.

I like how it integrates SDLC, IT Project Management, IT Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC), and security and privacy into a cohesive guide. 

It also establishes project "thresholds" to differentiate larger or more significant projects with greater impact from others and calls these out for "more intensive review."

Even though these these resources are around a decade old, to me they are classic (in a good sense) and remain relevant and useful to developing systems that are on target.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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