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

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Entries from January 2017

Systems Engineering—Opening the Black Boxes

January 30th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One function of systems engineering is to open the black boxes, look at the entire system, and apply some wisdom. We often build systems by connecting existing systems and subsystems. These existing pieces are black boxes, i.e., we don’t know or don’t care to know what is inside them and how they […]

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Tags: Adults · Analysis · Engineering · Systems · Technical Debt

People are (the most important) Part of the System

January 26th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Sometimes we have to update the technology even when old technology still does the job. Requirements are real. We work to meet requirements in systems. Once the requirements are met, that is it. But what about the people? Many years ago, I worked with a system that used old technology. It was […]

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Tags: People · Systems

Systems Engineering and Interfaces

January 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Systems are commonly built by connecting smaller systems. This requires that the systems are connect-able, and that requires a defined interface. Most of the time, we build systems by connecting large boxes together in a system diagram. There are exceptions, and another post will discuss some of those. Still, connect the boxes […]

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Tags: Adults · Communication · Engineering · General Systems Thinking · Systems

The Good Hackers

January 19th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The original hackers were the good guys. Some of today’s hackers still are. Nintendo recently brought back a handful of old video games in a clever packages called the NES Classic Edition. They sold a boat-load of them. The trouble is, you can’t add any games to it. Enter good-old hackers who […]

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Tags: Customer · Fun · General Systems Thinking · Programming


January 16th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Is this real? Is this a fake? Sometimes politicians and other childlike creatures show a firm grasp of the obvious. Mr. Trump did this recently with a comment about writing a note on paper and having it hand delivered. Aside from security, there is the attribute of authenticity. authentic: adjective, of undisputed […]

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Tags: Authentic · Communication

not Common Sense, Smart

January 12th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Instead of describing smart things as “common sense,” try, “that’s smart.” I grew up with the phrase, “common sense.” Common sense was superior to “book sense” or education. Common sense was what people who knew what they were doing and could “get things done” had. Enough phrases from my childhood in qoutes. […]

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Tags: Communication

How would I Act if I were a…?

January 9th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Want to be something? Ask a simple question and live the answer. Twenty something years ago, Robin Williams was in the movie “Mrs. Doubtfire.” He impersonates a woman and gets a job as a nanny to his former wife so he can be near his children. He is the best, most fun, […]

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Tags: Change · Choose · Questions

The Fill-in-the-Blank Registry

January 5th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips If elected leaders want it, of course someone will build the fill-in-the-blank registry (if it doesn’t already exist). Big news lately about how large numbers of programmers have pledged not to build a fill-in-the-blank registry. (It is pretty easy to make such a pledge when you are employed and have enough work […]

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Tags: Communication · Fear · Government

Fear of Writing?

January 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I write all the time. I am not afraid to write. One reason is that no one ever told me that I should be afraid to write. Please don’t ever tell anyone they should be afraid. I write. I write everyday. This is the third or fourth piece of writing I am […]

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Tags: Writing