Working Up

Working Up in Project Management, Systems Engineering, Technology, and Writing

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Entries from July 2015

Length vs Effort in Writing

July 30th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Contrary to popular belief, length and effort in writing are inversely—not directly—proportional. In writing, length and effort are inversely proportional. Writing short, brief, to-the-point pieces require more effort than writing long, wandering pieces.Of course we know this, but often forget it. I once worked on a career description at work. I worked […]

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Tags: Writing

We All Agree on This

July 27th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I have never be part of a group that stated the title and time showed that their words were true. I have facilitated groups of people who were trying to issue a policy or a statement on some matter. Often, the first meeting of the group in my presence begins without someone […]

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Tags: Consulting · Group


July 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A little-publicized factor in the computing world is that to understand something, you have to find someone, i.e., a warm body. Back in the dark ages of computing, I wrote software in a language called FORTRAN. We used FORTRAN code that had been written the pre-dark ages by a group of people […]

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Tags: Communication · Engineering · People · Programming

A Home Computer

July 20th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips In which I try to understand why I own a computer. I bought my first personal computer in 1983. It was a Kaypro portable (luggable) that ran CP/M and had two new-fangled floppy disks that held 360KiloBytes of information each (a huge upgrade to the prior model that had 180KB floppies). I […]

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Tags: Computing

Nothing In, Nothing Out

July 16th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A curious cousin to Garbage In, Garbage Out is the database curse of Nothing In, Nothing Out. If you are old enough, you have heard of Garbage In, Garbage Out. When we put bad data into a computer, the computer crunches the numbers a produces more bad data. In recent years, I […]

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Tags: Excuses · Fear

The Risk of Efficiency

July 13th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Often, greater efficiency means sharing resources that were previously not shared. When a shared resource breaks, everyone suffers. Twenty years ago I worked in a computing lab that suffered great improvements in efficiency. Yes, we improved and suffered at the same time. We began sharing resources. We had computers that were idle […]

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Tags: Change · Management · Risk

The Death of Agile

July 9th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The Federal government is using agile development (or so they claim). Agile will be dead and gone in ten years. Agile development is hot. Everyone is using it. The Federal (state and local) government is using it now. At least government agencies say they are using it, but anyone who can tell […]

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Tags: Agility · Government

Free Service Means No Refunds

July 6th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Google and others give me free services. That means I get no refund if they fail. What if I woke tomorrow and Google had lost everything I ever did? All my gmails are gone; all my Google Docs are gone, and everything I put on the Google drive is gone. What kind […]

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Tags: Economics · Expectations

Childhood, Adulthood, and Privacy

July 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Too often I hear adult-to-child language used in discussions of adult privacy. If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t care if I’m watching. This is what parents tell small children. I heard it often as a child and I said it often as a parent of then small children. It seems […]

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Tags: Adults · Change · Communication