Opinion

20 June 2016

Strengthening the Foundations of Software Architecture

The term 'Architecture' seems to imply a plan that you can't easily subsequently deviate from. It's true that, if you abandon software architecture, you end up with a big ball of mud, but maybe the art of software is to make change much easier by planning how to implement each feature, tackling dependency issues, splitting functionality into small discrete components and considering how they should interact with each other.… Read more
16 June 2016

The IT Manager’s perspective: People as an Asset

Information Technology is fast-changing, but the people who work in IT need to have a good chance of a long-term career. That means keeping up to date, not only in their current speciality, but in the wider sphere of the technology they work with. IT managers must make sure that keeping up to date with technology is part of the day to day activity of their people. How should they make sure it happens?… Read more
10 May 2016

Continuous Delivery from the 19th Century to TODAY

It somehow feels like the end of an era. The National Weather Service of the USA's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides AWIPS 2 (The Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System) which has now advanced to the point that allows for the change to mixed-case letters. The switch will happen on May 11, after the required 30-day notification period to give customers adequate time to prepare for the change. Grief counsellors?… Read more
11 April 2016

The Practical Problems of Determining Equality and Equivalence in SQL

In theory, it is easy to determine whether data is equal to, greater than or lesser than a value. Real-world data types can be surprisingly tricky, even for gauging data equivalence. Because SQL cannot remain aloof from any application's data types, you need to be aware of the ways and pitfalls of individual datatypes and how you can test for equality, equivalence, similarity, identity and all that jazz… Read more
06 April 2016

Hilary Mason: Geek of the Week

Hilary Mason is a Data Scientist who is now the Founder of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research company, and the Data Scientist in Residence at Accel. Previously, she was the Chief Scientist at bitly. She is famous for proving that social-media users like to share breaking news and current events, but are more likely to read inane gossip, watch sneezing pandas or play online games. … Read more
15 February 2016

Barbara Liskov: Geek of the Week

Barbara Liskov is one of the great pioneers of Computer Science, She was one of the first US women to achieve a PhD in computing and  is the inventor of  two computer languages, as well as contributing a number of ideas to system design, especially related to data abstraction, program methodology, object-oriented design, fault tolerance, and distributed computing… Read more
05 February 2016

Alfred Aho: Geek of the Week

Before the advent of PowerShell in Windows, we reached for AWK for those information-processing tasks that required just simple code of a few lines. AWK, and the principles that were embedded in it, became the bedrock of many languages that followed, including Perl. It was created by Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger and Brian Kernighan; and it was included in the UNIX distribution. We a asked Alfred Aho how it all came about.… Read more
05 February 2016

Cleve Moler: Geek of the Week

Matlab was never intended as a commercial product when it was first created by Chris Moler while he was a professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of New Mexico to help his students with matrix maths. It has since been developed into a more general computer language, and has become immensely popular. We were intrigued as to how and why Matlab came about so we asked Chris Moler.… Read more
27 January 2016

Jon Gay: Geek of the Week

Nowadays we see Flash as a rather tiresome relic, because we can now achieve almost the same results by using HTML5. When it was first introduced it was a godsend to anyone needing to produce complex effects on a browser. Even today, many popular programs use Flash. We spoke to Jonathan Gay, one of the co-founders of Flash, to understand some of the history behind this groundbreaking framework… Read more
21 January 2016

Clive Sinclair: Geek of the Week

Although most of the geeks of the IT industry are famous for their software, it was the geeky entrepreneurs that changed society by bringing cheap microcomputers to the market. Sir Clive Sinclair is most famous for applying his background in electronic engineering to provide a whole generation, both in America and Europe, with their first taste of programming.… Read more
12 January 2016

Continuous Delivery: Building a Culture of Trust

Effective team-based software development has more to do with the organisation than the technology. Teams that must cooperate are most productive when there are high levels of trust between teams and within teams. To grow a culture of trust, the participants must take conscious steps to set boundaries, agree on protocols and models, and let a shared purpose emerge.… Read more
17 December 2015

The Boardgame of Office Politics

Sometimes the stress of interdepartmental friction within organisations can get on top of you, especially between the business and IT when the going gets tough. Simple-Talk's answer is a board game to put it all into perspective. Instead of getting carried away, play the board game instead and reach catharsis.… Read more
14 December 2015

Chet Ramey: Geek of the Week

The BASH shell is the most popular UNIX command-line scriptable shell. It became the inspiration for PowerShell. As with so many standard components of the Open Source movement, there is a hard-working and dedicated individual who quietly supports the tool over many years. Chet Ramey maintains and extends BASH by himself, and we all give thanks to him for his dedication.… Read more

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