Working Up

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

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Say it Aloud First (in a safe place)

October 16th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Advice on preparing to bring a concept to others. I have a great idea! I have a informed observation! I have something that others should hear or read! It’s obviously worthwhile. What should I do first? Say it aloud (in a safe place). There is something about saying the words aloud that […]

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Tags: Communication · Ideas · Learning

Jerry Pournelle

September 18th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Someone who had a big influence on my life has passed away. “The Mote in God’s Eye.” Star Wars was in theaters, and everyone was enthralled. The science fiction community tried to fit in with Luke, Han, and the rest, often in vain. Every science fiction commentator had their own list of, […]

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Tags: Communication · Computing · Systems · Teaching · Writing

Write the User Manual First

September 4th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I review an old, and seemingly forgotten, technique for building systems in which we fully describe what a system will be and do. Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away… Maybe not that long ago, but still…there was a technique for building systems wherein we wrote the user manual […]

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Tags: Communication · Design · Expectations · Requirements

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do

August 31st, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips This paraphrase from Through the Looking Class continues to reign in systems development. The title of this post is a famous paraphrase from the classic Through the Looking Glass. I live it most days. The conversation goes something like this: Me: The system won’t do such-and-such. Builder: Of course not. It wasn’t […]

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Tags: Adults · Agility · Commitment · Communication · Scope · Systems · Work

Fundamentals – Yet Another Part of an Unending Story

August 14th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips It has reached the point where I don’t even ask anymore. Working systems is so much important than documentation, that…well, you know. Situation: Someone has a horrible problem. Someone else has asked them to do something that they simply cannot do. Someone asks me to look at this. Me: Please show me…any […]

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Tags: Communication · Management

Please Don’t Answer My Question

August 7th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Why is it that people ask questions when they don’t want to hear the answers? Let’s go in reverse order here. Result: Dead silence. My Answer: I want to work with good, smart people on difficult problems whose solution enhances national security. Recruiter’s Question: What is it you like to do? What […]

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Tags: Adults · Communication · Questions · Reaction

The Efforting User and Us

July 31st, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Some of our system’s users will work and work to make the system perform for them. Others, however, will dump it at the first sign of frustration. We have a system. We think it is “good enough.” It can do things for a group of people that nothing else can do. It […]

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Tags: Communication · Customer

Fake News (and our misguided efforts to stop it)

July 27th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Let’s take a breath and pause regarding all this “stop fake news.” We have to stop fake news. It is ruining civilization. It ruined an election. It is wreaking havoc around the world. Come on everyone, when you see fake news, label it, punish it, eradicate it. Well, perhaps some pause is […]

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Tags: Communication · Fable

Tired of Being an Adult? Try Agile

July 10th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Now that the title has infuriated everyone…let’s consider what Agile development does for me the customer. In the previous millennium, customers would decide what they wanted software to do, tell that to a group of persons who wrote software, and come back later at the delivery date. Time marched on, as it […]

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Tags: Agility · Communication · Management

What’s In a Name? Programmers and Such

July 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips We consider what the world calls “computer programmers” these days. Developers. That is what we seem to call computer programmers these days. I work in a building with perhaps a hundred developers. “Are you a developer?” people ask me. Sigh. The trouble is, these developers are not developers because they aren’t developing […]

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Tags: Communication · Programming · Word