Wednesday, October 12, 2011

open source cloud and note about company naming

An interesting article by John Greathouse about Marten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems discusses the open source approach to cloud computing. Mickos used to be CEO of MySQL and he has a pragmatic approach to open source cloud and being in the business of providing a software platform for private cloud explains how the employment of a hybrid clouds can cater for unpredictable and variable workloads. In the video interview Mickos explains Eucalyptus Systems value proposition. They enable companies to run within their own firewall a cloud that is exactly like the public cloud, so it can be used for 'in-house' and hybrid situations.

The article goes in depth over two pages including a video interview and when I reached the end, I realised that there was some guidance from Mickos about company naming which neatly adds a contemporary twist to my previous blog about product naming. He offers some grounded advice for emerging entrepreneurs interested in starting a venture within the cloud ecosystem. Like most rapidly growing tech sectors, cloud computing has experienced its share of hype and hyperbole. Marten cautions entrepreneurs to avoid being lost in the current cloud mania, “If you are going to build a really successful company in the cloud (space), you should not give it a name with cloud in the name or some Latin name of clouds. Over time…there are too many companies that have similar names and it gets confusing. To name your company after the industry you are in…can turn into a banality and it doesn’t give the right impression. Find some other name than cloud something." The full article can be read on this page.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

revealing truth about testing techniques

Anyone involved in getting projects live whether via Agile or Waterfall will be acutely aware of the importance of the testing phases. Kevin Burke wrote a very interesting article looking at testing techniques called "Why code review beats testing: evidence from decades of programming research" and concludes: If you want to ship high quality code, you should invest in more than one of formal code review, design inspection, testing, and quality assurance. Testing catches fewer bugs per hour than human inspection of code, but it might be catching different types of bugs. You should definitely try to measure where you are finding bugs in your code and the percentage of bugs you are catching before release – 85% is poor, and 99% is exceptional. If you are involved in this type of project work then I recommend it as essential reading. #software #testing #bug #coding

Monday, October 3, 2011

Collective Learning #Change11

The examples of collective learning by Allison Littlejohn from Caledonian Academy in her blog 'collective learning examples' which is week 4 of the Change11 MOOC draw primarily from industry. The first example is that of large companies like Amazon, Boeing, IBM, P&G and Merck which have been crowdsourcing ideas to foster innovation.

Some ideas come through proprietary channels and networks such as licensing, outsourcing, and joint ventures, but a large part come through open and amorphous social networks. The results have been very positive and produced breakthrough innovations for industry, health and the environment.

Having been a participant in a similar information jam (although it had more of a survey feel) I wanted to also express a frustration that can grow as a result of taking part. If ones idea is not one which is replicated by a fair number of other people then it is dismissed or not used. One may express oneself a number of times via an infojam or survey and if the ideas or submissions repeatedly come to nothing then the participant reaches a point where they feel there is no point in contributing. The same opinion I quite often hear about voting: 'there is no point to vote for a minority party because they will never get into power'. It maybe that part of the process involves reassuring those who take part that their contribution has value. This can be seen more clearly in he opening anecdote of The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki which relates Francis Galton's surprise that the crowd at a county fair accurately guessed the weight of an ox when their individual guesses were averaged (the average was closer to the ox's true butchered weight than the estimates of most crowd members, and also closer than any of the separate estimates made by cattle experts). The data was of a numerical value and in this case every guess had a value because it had an influence on the final average. The case is not the same for opinions and ideas.