Software Engineering

Have your IT systems joined Social Media?

No, your servers should (probably) not have a facebook profile, nor should your servicebus have a twitter profile, but as the work tools change and evolve, you should probably consider updating the stream of status mails to more modern “social media” used at work. When you’re in DevOps you probably get a steady stream of emails from various systems checking in. It may be alert emails, health checks or backup completed emails.

No more pets in IT

Remember the good old days, when IT got a new server. It was a special event - and naturally the naming game. Finding that special name for the server, which neatly fitted into the naming scheme adopted (be it Indian cities, Nordic mythology or cartoon characters). This ought to be then, but the ceremony still happens regularly in many IT departments, where servers are treated with the same affection as with pets - and with all the bad side effects it may bring along.

Why DevOps works...

I’m digging through a backlog of podcasts and the gem of the day goes to SE-Radio podcast. In episode #247 they talk about DevOps and while I’ve preached and practiced DevOps for years, as mainly as common sense, the podcast did present a more reasonable argument why it works. Developers are praised and appreciated for short time to market; the number of new features they introduce and changes they make to the running system.

Accidental Architecture

Most IT departments have the best intentions of providing the best quality, coherent solutions, yet market conditions, projects running in parallel and various constraints on budgets, resources or time, often causes what might be defined as Accidental Architecture. The easiest way to identify cases where you’ve been hit by accidental architecture is when describing your it architecture and look for the works “except” or “but not”. Typical examples include - we have a single-sign system utilized everywhere except…”, “We update all systems to current versions, but not this old system…”.

Three points on the costs of COTS

It seems to be quite popular to move away from custom build IT solutions to so called COTS - commercial of the shelf solutions. The idea being, that to software solution fulfil a functionality which long has been commoditized and standardized to such an extent that it offers no “competitive edge” nor core value to the business. For most companies and organizations the office suite would be a pretty safe bet for a piece of software which is magnificently suited for a COTS solution.