“The hard work you do on one program is put in on all programs.”

A great quote, from a great post, from a great blog, “Knowing and Doing: Commas, Refactoring, and Learning to Program”.

How poor information design led to Waterfall

I just took part in a great 3 day training session with Uncle Bob Martin on TDD and healthy software design. One of the tidbits Bob shared was the history behind the Waterfall methodology that some of us older folks strained against until agile and lean methodologies started to get well known. Waterfall originated in a paper by Winston W. Royce, in which he describes the process… as a straw man to tear down! Unfortunately, the poor information design of the paper (it puts the summary tearing down the methodology on later pages instead of right up front) led those who read the nice graphics on leading pages to come away thinking they found the solution to their software engineering process needs.

Watch Glenn Vanderburg’s “Real Software Engineering” talk on Vimeo about this.

Real Software Engineering – Glenn Vanderburg from Engine Yard on Vimeo.

Wisdom in 7 minutes from 40 movies

YouTube: “Reel Wisdom: Lessons from 40 Films in 7 Minutes”:

via Laughing Squid, via Dave Rogers

Queen and Heroism

slacktivist: “The terror of knowing what this world is about”:

Nothing new here — nothing novel or innovative or unusual. But worth repeating, I think. In any case, it was something I needed to repeat after firing up the computer this morning to find that the artists and the saints had conspired against me, teaming up to remind me what this world is about.

Love dares you. Mm ba ba de.

Related:

Greater Good: Philip Zimbardo: “What Makes a Hero?”

Both good reads.

Ever see the “Mother of all Demos”?

In 1968 Douglas C. Engelbart, along with a team of 17 researchers at Stanford, in a 90 minute taped demonstration, showed us what was then the future – which is now the present (and soon to be the past?) – hypertext, gui based interaction, online collaboration including email, and more.

Stanford has a terrific page on the demo, including video clips of it broken down by time and topic, and a single clip of the whole thing. If you’ve never seen this before, take the time, scroll to the bottom of this, and watch beginning to end. It’s not called “The Mother of all Demos” for nothing.

I’ve watched this a few times over the years and I keep coming back to it and being blown away. How far have we gone? How far have we not? There has been much added to the mix these past ten years, but it was a long way from there to here.

Related:

PhillyCHI

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2011

Emma came home from school with a pamphlet and homework assignment on Dr. King the other day and it gave me the opportunity to speak a little about someone I consider a hero and what he challenged us to do.

Wish I was well enough to take part in Martin Luther King Jr. volunteer efforts tomorrow, but at least I can root them on. Kick ass tomorrow folks and have fun.

Via dangerousmeta.com came the following clip of Robert Kennedy announcing the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

YouTube: “Robert Kennedy Announcing the Assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Indiana 1968”:

On spreading fear for righteousness

A Star Trek clip with a lesson straight out of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (one of my favorite books BTW).

YouTube: “Lessons in Humanity: Habeas Corpus”

The Twelve Doctors of Christmas

Tor.com ran a great series of essays on each of the Doctors titled “The Twelve Doctors of Christmas” that has some good reads.

My favorite essays out of the bunch:

“The Third Doctor”

“Born to be an Alien”

“Shifting into Fifth”

The Walking Wounded”

3, 4, 5, and 9. Pretty much coincide with my favorite Doctors as well. No offense all of you out there.

“Born to be an Alien” quotes an essay that was passed along a while back that is still a good read, “How Doctor Who Made Me A Liberal”. Sometimes I feel like I should write a version of this essay wrapping in Star Blazers, Star Trek, early Star Wars, and the Muppets because they, along with Doctor Who, left some similar imprints on me growing up.

The stories we are told as kids stay with us in some interesting, and powerful, ways.

As the series summarizes:

Until next time, remember: Bananas are good, Daleks are bad, try reversing the polarity, and intellect and romance should always triumph over brute force and cycnicism.

Two talks from TED to watch *today*

TEDXToronto: “Neil Pasricha: The 3 A’s of awesome”:

TEDXHouston: “Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability”:

Related:

“1000 Awesome Things”

Presentation Zen: “We don’t seek your perfection, only your authenticity”

This post brought to you by Dave Rogers whose latest post over the shooting in Tucson is a must read.

David Shenk: “Our abilities are not set in genetic stone.”

BBC: David Shenk: “Is there a genius in all of us?”:

It would be folly to suggest that anyone can literally do or become anything. But the new science tells us that it’s equally foolish to think that mediocrity is built into most of us, or that any of us can know our true limits before we’ve applied enormous resources and invested vast amounts of time.

Our abilities are not set in genetic stone. They are soft and sculptable, far into adulthood. With humility, with hope, and with extraordinary determination, greatness is something to which any kid – of any age – can aspire.