Unstable Terrain

Software development in the real world

Archive for the ‘IT Industry’ Category

Silver Bullet Life Cycle

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I recently found an article from 2003 that describes the life cycle of the ‘silver bullet’ methodology du jour. It’s a timely wake-up call that the metamorphosis and eventual ossification of a new process by organisations that do not understand it will inevitably lead to its downfall.


Written by Trent

December 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Lifers and Losers

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Further to my previous post, I am reminded of one of the workplaces a friend works at; a government-owned corporation.

I asked her, once, what her coworkers were like, since I have little experience working in the public sector. She replied, “They’re either lifers or losers.”

“What’s that mean?” I prompted.

“Well,” she said, “Lifers are workers who lack ambition so they’re happy doing the same thing for the same company for the rest of their career. Losers are workers who are so incompetent that nobody else will hire them.”

“Surely there are people who don’t fit neatly into those categories,” I said.

“Oh, sure,” she replied. “Some people are lifers and losers.”

Written by Trent

December 15, 2009 at 9:00 am

Posted in Humour, IT Industry

The Dead Sea Effect

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In Australia, we’re coming out of what is colloquially called the GFC (or Global Financial Crisis). Due to an uncommonly-persistent bout of common sense by past Australian Governments, Australia has weathered the GFC relatively unscathed, although the signs a year ago were substantially more bleak.

This all means that the private sector (and by inference, each company in it) is moving from survival mode to growth mode. From past experience, this is a tricky time to be a manager, because the pendulum rapidly swings from “My employees are lucky to have a job” to “My employees are all leaving for better offers”.

An interesting opinion piece on this subject is The Dead Sea Effect. Check it out – I’m interested in what everyone thinks about it.

Written by Trent

December 12, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Panic Buttons

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The Australian Federal Government is proposing an Internet panic button that would allow children to contact the police if they were bullied or threatened online. Um, why?

It’s not as if clicking a button and navigating a self-help government web site is easier than shouting “Muuuuum! Daaaaaaad!”. Alternatively, if a child or teen doesn’t want to talk to their parents about bullying, what makes them think they’ll talk to faceless people on a web site?

And that’s not to mention the kids who will abuse the service.

Are you being bullied?

duh yeh sum guy on cs keepz awping me like a ho its so gay pls ban him

Do you need advice?

How do I get past level 12 on Hello Kitty Adventures? It’s really hard.



Written by Trent

November 26, 2009 at 9:06 am

Posted in IT Industry, Politics

The Financial Implications of Cloud Computing

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Seen on Slashdot about Cloud Computing:

You’re missing something more important here; it allows companies to shift costs from capital equipment to operating expenses which is HUGE from a business standpoint.

Written by Trent

October 30, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Posted in Finance, IT Industry

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The iOffer (also: Yoga Pants)

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A friend recently sent me links to Apple Inc.’s offer of employment and welcome pack. To me, it’s not shocking that their HR documents are as well-presented as their other products; it stands to reason that Apple has an image to maintain, after all.

Moreover, given their likely skill set, prospective Apple employees are much more likely to notice design deficiencies in their interactions with the company than those at other companies or in other industries. It’s a case of eating your own dog food, taken to the next logical step.

There’s a message in there for all companies who are image-sensitive: your image extends to all interactions with others; new employees, the media, competitors, everyone.


the iOffer is no more, after the blog post got pulled. Pics without amusing commentary are available, though.

Speaking of insanely great things that are both functional and extremely fashionable, I recently discovered Lululemon and their stranglehold on yoga pants fashion (thanks to Penelope Trunk for mentioning them). I found a picture online, but sadly, the page didn’t mention the style. I contacted the local lulu store and learned the details. So, for the sake of posterior posterity:

Lululemon Groove Pant Sneaker Legs

Lululemon Groove Pant Sneaker Legs

I wonder whether the HR documents of LuluLemon hold up to the same scrutiny as Apple’s…

Written by Trent

October 9, 2009 at 9:00 am