Seven signs of dysfunctional engineering teams

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Heart of Darkness this week, read by Kenneth Branagh. It’s fantastic. It also reminds me of some jobs I’ve had in the past.

There’s a great passage in which Marlow requires rivets to repair a ship, but finds that none are available. This, in spite of the fact that the camp he left further upriver is drowning in them. That felt familiar. There’s also a famous passage involving a French warship that’s blindly firing its cannons into the jungles of Africa in hopes of hitting a native camp situated within. I’ve had that job as well. Hopefully I can help you avoid getting yourself into those situations.

There are several really good lists of common traits seen in well-functioning engineering organizations. Most recently, there’s Pamela Fox’s list of What to look for in a software engineering culture. More famous, but somewhat dated at this point, is Joel Spolsky’s Joel Test. I want to talk about signs of teams that you should avoid.

This list is partially inspired by Ralph Peters’ Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States. Of course, such a list is useless if you can’t apply it at the crucial point, when you’re interviewing. I’ve tried to include questions to ask and clues to look for that reveal dysfunction that is deeply baked into an engineering culture.

Preference for process over tools. As engineering teams grow, there are many approaches to coordinating people’s work. Most of them are some combination of process and tools. Git is a tool that enables multiple people to work on the same code base efficiently (most of the time). A team may also design a process around Git — avoiding the use of remote branches, only pushing code that’s ready to deploy to the master branch, or requiring people to use local branches for all of their development. Healthy teams generally try to address their scaling problems with tools, not additional process. Processes are hard to turn into habits, hard to teach to new team members, and often evolve too slowly to keep pace with changing circumstances. Ask your interviewers what their release cycle is like. Ask them how many standing meetings they attend. Look at the company’s job listings, are they hiring a scrum master?

Excessive deference to the leader or worse, founder. Does the group rely on one person to make all of the decisions? Are people afraid to change code the founder wrote? Has the company seen a lot of turnover among the engineering leader’s direct reports? Ask your interviewers how often the company’s coding conventions change. Ask them how much code in the code base has never been rewritten. Ask them what the process is for proposing a change to the technology stack. I have a friend who worked at a growing company where nobody was allowed to introduce coding conventions or libraries that the founding VP of Engineering didn’t understand, even though he hardly wrote any code any more.

Unwillingness to confront technical debt. Do you want to walk into a situation where the team struggles to make progress because they’re coding around all of the hacks they haven’t had time to address? Worse, does the team see you as the person who’s going to clean up all of the messes they’ve been leaving behind? You need to find out whether the team cares

Google Open Streaming TV Service

California: Google is rumored to be opening for Google TV streaming service. The tech giant is said to be developing a streaming service similar to cable TV services, such as Hulu or Netflix.
Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, according to sources who declined to be named. The source revealed that Google has approached several media companies to discuss licensing and television program content. Google wants to provide more services to Google TV via channels such as television package, but by using a broadband connection.
Google TV audience of streaming content will not require registration and subscription requirements as well as cable television service. Google TV so users will not be charged monthly. Google TV is not much different from the Apple TV. But the Apple TV first implement streaming TV service.
Google seems to need to fight hard to make it happen because just like the Apple TV earlier, the problem of security issues and also the reluctance of media companies to cooperate with Web TV newcomers a big challenge.

Axioo Neon BNE, Notebook Starter with Tempting Spec

Toshiba name may not be as famous as Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dell, Asus, or other branded PC vendors. But for business aggressiveness, this local brand PC vendors do not want to lose. Especially in the beginner class notebook segment.

One product is the hero Axioo Neon BNE with D423N series that hypnotize prospective buyers through the oblique and speksifikasi price that is not less slick.

Perception of most people is, affordable notebooks have not considered ‘offal’ special. But sometimes many are forgotten, if not all notebook users requiring a high specification and prefer products that match the contents of the notebook bag.

Moreover, even the entry-level segment has the largest share of the notebook product than fill up flagship high-end class, because it is dominated by high school students to college students.

Try their luck in the entry level segment, to bring that Axioo Neon BNE carrying D423N series and cost Rp 3 million.

But even so, the material used and the results are neat finishing successfully make the product look quite elegant.

Although the present with a fairly cheap price, only Rp 3 million, it did not make D423N BNE Neon comes with a quality pickup. Toshiba presents the product in his cultivated elegance through material with a unique texture.

Interestingly, the unique texture that is present in the form of vertical strokes in a timber like the successful combined by Toshiba with matte dark brown color, making it look elegant Neon BNE D423N and by itself to eliminate the impression that the entry level is identical to the cap ‘the cheap’.

One of the unique features possessed Neon BNE D423N which may rarely found on other products is the battery circuit breaker. Using these buttons the user can easily decide that the charge may remain there even when the notebook is off.

Surely the presence of the button on the bottom of the notebook, battery life is embedded in Neon BNE D423N expected to be more durable.

Given the manifold unibodi Diusungnya body so it does not allow the user to replace the battery or other hardware upgrade without jailbreak it first.

In order to provide competent performance, Toshiba pinned fairly decent specs for the price offered.

Armed by a dual core AMD E1-1200 1.4 GHz clock speed combined with the Radeon HD 7310 graphics processor, ensuring Neon D423N BNE will present satisfactory performance.

The combination is supported by the use of 2 GB of DDR3 RAM. While in the storage sector, Neon BNE D423N had pinned a HDD with a capacity of 320 GB.

Toshiba is also not immune to pin a drive type DVD-RW, HDMI connector, and a webcam on a notebook that carries the 14-inch screen size.

The following specifications D423N Axioo Neon BNE:

– Processor AMD E1-1200 1.4 GHz
– 2 GB DDR3 RAM
– Radeon HD 7310 Graphics
– HDD 320 GB
– 14 inch wide screen
– Connection LAN, WiFi, and Bluetooth
– HD Audio
– HDMI connector
– Webcam, Card Reader, and USB slot x3

Internet Download Manager 6.17 Build 3 New Comes With Stability & Reliable

The company behind the development applications, known as IDM or Internet Download Tonec reportedly named recently presented its latest version of the build for the users on the move IDM. The latest version is nothing but the Internet Download Manager 6:17 Build 3.

Although the official release notes have not obtained so far, the presence of this latest version of IDM build more likely intended to improve the stability and reliability of the whole application in a particular case.

Previous versions of Internet Download Manager has received an update to increase download speeds YouTube videos, as well as bug fixes in addressing some of the problems reported by users in the older release.

Internet Download Manager can be operated smoothly in all the editions of Windows out there, including Windows XP to the latest Windows 8 though. And even special versions of the latest build, reportedly can run well on both versions of the Windows operating systems that exist, either 32-bit or 64-bit.

Heat Sink Design “Gahar” from Cooler Master

TAIWAN – For fans of PC assembling, hardware component selection would be kept. One important component to keep the processor temperature is kept cool by using a CPU fan.

Cooler Master, a Taiwanese hardware manufacturer announced a new CPU fan with a futuristic design. Reported Hardware.info, Sunday (07/21/2013), the cooling fan by the name GTS V8 comes with more impressive design.

This cooling technology based on the Horizontal Vapor Chamber (HVC), who appeared with eight heatpipes measuring 6 mm. The device is capable of transferring up to 250 watts of heat to three separate aluminum heatsink.

Heatsink will keep cool thanks to the two measuring 140 mm PWM fan in a configuration called ‘push-pull’ (push-pull). Cooler Master claims to parts of the fan case will be able to last longer.

By reducing friction, must endure V8 GTS 160 thousand hours at speeds between 600 and 1600 rpm. GTS V8 has a dimension of 154 x 149.8 x 166.5 mm and weighs 1140 grams.

Cooler Master V8 GTS is scheduled to launch in September this year. Company offers its flagship CPU fan with a price tag of 80 euros or approximately Rp1 million.

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