Working Up

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

Working Up header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'Engineering'

Software Systems Engineering and Agile Development

March 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Agile development is not an excuse for knowing what you did, why you did it, and how you did it. You’re doing agile development. You hold a meeting to start a sprint (different methods use different names for this). You sprint! You meet again at the end of the sprint. What did […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Agility · Analysis · Communication · Engineering · Systems

Everyone Agrees about That, So…

February 6th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Take great care when everyone agrees about something. Once the world was plagued with the longitude problem. Long-distance sea travel was dangerous and fraught with the great unknown, “where are we?!?!?!?” Everyone agreed on the solution to the longitude problem. Everyone, that is, except the carpenter who solved the problem. For background, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Engineering · General Systems Thinking · Ideas · Observation · Science

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 […]

[Read more →]

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

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 […]

[Read more →]

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

When Documentation is More Valuable than Working Software

November 24th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Working software is more valuable than documentation—except when it isn’t. And we have Dwayne’s Declaration. Part of the Agile Manifesto states: We…value working software over comprehensive documentation Some of us are old enough to have known this years before the manifesto was manifest. Of course we wanted working software, except when we […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Agility · Analysis · Authentic · Communication · Engineering · Management · Thinking · Work

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 […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Engineering · Programming · Systems

Software Engineers and Software Engineering

March 17th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Being a computer programmer does not make me a software engineer. Deep sigh before I begin. This is yet another post borne of frustration in talking with recruiters and hiring managers. Now that the sigh is out of the way. A computer programmer is not a software engineer. There. Wrote that bit. […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Computing · Engineering · Programming · Work

Design Success! (or is it failure?)

February 15th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips If a system designed to last a few months last 12 years, is that a success or a failure? A recent story hailed the success of the NASA Mars rover. The rover was “designed” to last a few months, but is still going after 12 years. Wow! What a great design and […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Design · Engineering · Government · Requirements · Systems

Lie to Everyone but Me

January 11th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips If someone could overcome the scientific and logical barriers to backdoors to encryption systems, they would still face one of trusting liars. Many of our elected representatives want our technology companies to build encryption systems with “backdoors.” (Here is a link to one story of such.) These magical backdoors would permit the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: America · Communication · Engineering · Government · Privacy · Security

Warmware

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 […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Communication · Engineering · People · Programming