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Photo by Fotis Fotopoulos on Unsplash

The good, the bad and the ugly

Years ago I read a book on what make things go viral. I can’t remember the details, but I do remember that one factor was what the author called bragging rights. I call it the keeping-up-with-the-Jones’-syndrome. People tend to jump on a bandwagon before finding out where it is going, just because everyone else is doing it. This post aims to highlight the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Ethereum block chain to help you look past the buzz and decide whether to put that web app on the block chain or not.

When a friend asked my opinion to put a document collection and processing application intended for the general public in support of the local police service on the block chain or not, my immediate response was a clear and confident no. …


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Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash

Accelerated results with playful design

I’ve been testing software for a long time. In fact, my first job was as a tester. In an industry where it evolves faster than what it is possible to keep up with, I wouldn’t consider myself — or anyone as a matter of fact — as a master in software testing, but I have completed the 10, 000 hours of mastery required to qualify me as, at least, competent in the art of software testing.

Over the years I’ve seen testing being more integrated into the developer role with Test Driven Development and I remember the great relief and freedom that exploratory testing brought to the industry. Then there was the introduction of crowd sourced testing which solved the problem of configuration related issues, but it comes at a high cost and doesn’t guarantee issues to be identified. …


A simple, but not simplistic, design approach.

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UX designers and Product Owners spend a lot of time researching good products in order to design something you hope will engage your audience for the long haul. For me, it’s like building a puzzle, taking one piece from this product and another piece from another successful product I like and weaving it into a single tapestry. It can, however, become very overwhelming for larger products. Losing track of the core intent and value proposition, even for an experienced designer, is easy.

The biggest issue in fact I see in software development productivity is that teams loose focus of what’s important. They get so busy building that they forget why they are building it in the first place. They focus so much on one piece of the puzzle and the intricacies of how it should work that they often loose sight of the bigger picture. …


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However change is not easy and we would rather hold on to what is familiar than risk the unknown, especially when it comes to organizational change in a complex and integrated world. More often than not we ignore the changes around us, not willing to let go of what we worked so hard to achieve to make way for something or someone new. Better to know the devil you do than the devil you don’t, right?

Not quite, as in today’s fast paced world, not being able to adapt to the changing currents around you, you risk losing everything. Change, now more than ever before, is an element of life that can’t be ignored. It is no longer optional and yet it feels as if we haven’t been prepared well enough for the changes that we go through. …


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21 days in lock down is a very long time when you’re used to social interaction and being outdoors. It’s challenging even for a hermit not being able to leave the house for 3 weeks.

But don’t despair! Here is a list of ideas to help you brighten up your day during lock-down.

1. Just Dance. Now.

Being in lock-down is not so bad. Not being able to move is the real problem! There are plenty ways to stimulate your mental needs while in a lock-down, but physical movement in a small space can be challenging.

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Image copied from www.justdancenow.com

So put up your favorite music and dance as if no-one is watching. Or, if you need a little more guidance and mix in some exercise while learning a new dance move or two, try Just Dance Now. It’s a Wii without the Wii. You’ll need a computer and mobile device, the one to look at the dance instructor while you’re dancing, the other serving as input to know whether you’re doing the moves right or not while holding it in your hand. …


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Finding the balance between remote and co-located work

The past week has been a crazy one. All my social interactions were cancelled, my WhatsApp inbox was spammed with fear-based conversations of what-to-do and how to isolate ourselves, and everywhere I looked I saw and heard the wicked “C”-word.

I haven’t isolated myself at all. I have in fact gone out and engaged with people intentionally to fully experience the impact of the pandemic on business owners and the economy.

And even though I’m not isolating myself, I feel isolated. Surrounded with empty streets and closed shops. …


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A look at the prerequisites for productive play

Play is how children learn. Play is a tool to master a new skill. It’s a tool to develop social skills like negotiation and teamwork. It’s a tool to innovate.

When children play, they subconsciously give their playmates permission to make mistakes. Something mostly unheard of in a corporate world where success is mostly judged by past successes with potential and possibility often disregarded as there’s too much risk involved. Allowing people to make mistakes is a too high risk for a professional environment.

Yet, it is in the risk-taking that growth and success lies. The skills provided by play — namely cultivating curiosity, learning, and social skills — is in fact what most organizations look for and need to stay ahead of their game. …


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Photo by Moira Dillon on Unsplash

A critical look at the difference between waterfall and agile

In a talk called “Agile is Dead” by one of the founding members who created the manifesto for agile software development, he claims that we should scrap the word agile from our vocabulary (especially when used in the proper noun capitalized A form as in God). He claims that the word “agile” is an adjective, not a verb or a noun. For the full talk, see the video below:

I tend to agree with his sentiments.

The problem it creates is that everyone calls themselves agile, even though decision making might take month or years (as is typical in a large corporate and not exactly a good candidate to be described as agile). …


Game review

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Photo by Fatih Kılıç on Unsplash

Watching a series on Netflix is entertaining. It transforms you to a different world just for a little while, allowing you to forget all your worries and problems. I actually know people who can literally binge-watch an entire series in a single weekend. No joke.

I’m not one of those people. I can’t sit still for long enough. I need to move. I get distracted easily by anything in my surroundings. I want to get up to make coffee. I start thinking about other things, or engage in conversation while I’m watching. I just doesn’t engage me enough.

Watching a live performance, however, is something that captures my undivided attention for the duration of the show or play, leaving me yearning for more even after it’s finished. …


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Photo by James Hammond on Unsplash

Self-awareness and growth in the workplace

Have you ever watched Will & Grace, a sitcom with a gay guy and his best friend Grace, whom was in love with him? They’re soul mates not ever meant to be together. They are two parts of the same coin in separate bodies, but with such different desires and needs in life that they are simply incompatible. She wants to get married and have kids and kiss her husband under the mistletoe. He can’t be intimate with women.

But they have more in common than what they disagree on, and they continue living together as best friends, making their odd relationship work somehow. …

About

Kate Dames

A cup of fresh ideas for old problems. Integrating technology, agile, gamification & lean to make workplaces more human, productive & fun. www.funficient.com

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