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

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Entries from April 2016

My Customer and Me, and Our Difficult Problems

April 28th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips When confronted with a difficult situation with a difficult customer, it is often better to step back and ask a few fundamental questions. The setting: I am a developer. I am building a system for a customer. The work is going poorly. We seem to make progress on some days, but most […]

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Tags: Problems · Reframe · Work


April 25th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I encourage managers and other influence-rs to speak to their colleagues in the place where the colleagues are most comfortable. I encourage managers and other to speak with each of their colleagues. I find two points here: First, speak to your colleagues everyday. If nothing special is happening, talk about “the weather.” […]

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Tags: Authentic · Consulting · People · Trust · Uncategorized · Work

Buying and Building an Intel NUC

April 21st, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I replace a large home computer with a small Intel Next Unit of Computing. Our kitchen home computer was failing, so we decided to replace it. A colleague had spoken to me about how he uses the small Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) machines. I did some research and bought a […]

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Tags: Computing

Engineering the Software versus Banging Out the Code

April 18th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips There are major differences between engineering systems and “just doing it.” The consequences are both obvious and predicted. For at least 25 years, I have heard and seen in action the mantra of “good enough software.” Get a partial solution, ship it, improve it. Great stuff. Except time has shown that the […]

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Tags: Engineering · Programming · Systems


April 14th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Never by surprised at what some persons consider to be “fun.” Consider this when managing risk. Recently, Microsoft put an Artificial Intelligence system called Tay on Twitter or something to learn how to chat. Some persons found it and taught it how to chat like a jerk. Microsoft wasn’t prepared for that […]

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Tags: Excuses · Fun · People · Risk

Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again

April 11th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Depending on where we draw system boundaries, we probably aren’t doing the same thing over and over again. There is a quote attributed to Einstein about insanity being the act of doing the same thing and expecting different results. There is a debate among people who debate such things about if Einstein […]

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Tags: Starbucks · Systems · Technology

The Folly of Stack Programming and Developing

April 7th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips When you rely upon things from other people, you are sometimes greatly disappointed. This holds for programming computers. Are you a “full-stack developer?” Do you argue about what a full-stack developer is? Have you been asked, “Given this problem, what stack would you use?” Sigh. Since the pre-historic times of computer programming, […]

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Tags: Analysis · Programming · Risk · Systems

Unintended Capabilities

April 4th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Systems built by persons often have more capability than intended. Someone will arrive who will find and use these. I stumbled onto this story recently about persons in Angola who have limited Internet access. They found ways to use Wikipedia and Facebook that the creators of those systems did not intend. The […]

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Tags: General Systems Thinking · Systems