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Michael Coté

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Pair programming – you'll never guess what happens next!

Of all the agile practices out there, “pair programming” is the one that elicits the most heckles, confusion, and head-scratching. The idea is that rather than having one person sitting at a screen, coding, you have two who program together. Those who practice it speak of it like most people do of their first time at Burning Man …
Michael Coté, 18 Oct 2016
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But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD

“Yeah, but is open source a safe choice?” Surprisingly, I’ve been asked that frequently of late. Larger organisations in particular are giving me the old squinty eye. The folks in these conference rooms and tentacular email threads are often looking to replace decades old stacks of IT and get their “digital transformation” on, …
Michael Coté, 29 Sep 2016
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'We already do that, we’re just OG* enough to not call it DevOps'

At this point in the innovation curve for something like DevOps it’s fashionable to start asking “Where's the Return On Investment?” Answering that question is always tedious. For the hopeful, starry-eyed practitioner, spitting up the ROI figures is akin to the irrelevant water-carrying and wood-chopping trials imposed by a …
Michael Coté, 13 Sep 2016

Why Agile is like flossing and regular sex

After roughly 20 years, agile software development has wheedled its way into most every developer's mind as The Way Good Software Is Done. Like flossing, while we can all agree agile is a good idea, we're not quite up to snuff on keeping all our teeth in our heads, so to speak. A recent Gartner survey [registration required] …
Michael Coté, 27 Jul 2016
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Happy mode, sad mode, DevOps mode: Stop worrying and go bimodal

There’s a debate going on right now about the best way to run IT: specifically, all those custom applications and services inside organizations. Do we try new, agile approaches, or stick to the old, methodical processes? Gartner did much to start this discussion with their bi-modal concept: Bimodal IT is the practice of …
Michael Coté, 15 Jun 2016
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Love it or hate it, it's time for that Software Power Meeting again

One of the more wickedly astonishing findings from the current DevOps Report is that change review or advisory boards have little effect on a company’s performance. In fact CABs – as they are called – tend to slow down IT’s ability to release software quickly and regularly, negatively affecting organisational performance. I …
Michael Coté, 06 May 2016
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DevOps isn't just about the new: It's about cleaning up the old, too

As one of my coworkers used to say when confronted with The Latest Development Improvement Methodology: “Why don’t you come down here and chum this stuff?” – except he used the language of a sailor. In trying to implement the latest breakfast cereal agenda, DevOps, one of the primary chumming tasks is dealing with all your “ …
Michael Coté, 12 Apr 2016
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Go DevOps before your bosses force you to. It'll be easier that way

Some people are making very bold claims about what DevOps can deliver. Here’s one: “High-performing IT organizations deploy 30x more frequently with 200x shorter lead times; they have 60x fewer failures and recover 168x faster,” according to the first bullet point of the 2015 annual Puppet Labs State of DevOps report. With …
Michael Coté, 09 Mar 2016
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Software devs' new mantra: Zen dogs dream of small-sized bones

One of the primary principles of DevOps is moving from large software releases to a series of small batches. What do we mean by “large”? Six-to-12-month (or longer) projects that follow the infamous “water-scrum-fall” model. While development teams may create builds weekly, the code isn’t deployed to production and used by …
Michael Coté, 04 Feb 2016
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You, yes YOU: DevOps' people problem

You’ve no doubt heard of DevOps. This is the process of getting developers and sysadmins working together closely on the same team to support a company’s custom-written software. I know, I know, Dear Reader: you’ve been doing this ever since operating that AS/400; no one really needs weekly releases; and, of course, the …
Michael Coté, 15 Jan 2016