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Fail Often, Fail Fluently March 27, 2010

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine, Agile, Fluent, Mythology, Problem Solving, software economics.
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What do you when your Scenario or User story just sucks? You’ve haggled with your peers over how to implement, the user has changed tunes and come over to your side of things by realizing that they want two things at the same time, but now that you’ve listened to everybody and re-worked your logic, you’ve just spend 6 or 7 extra hours testing. Now, you doubt that anybody really knows what the original intent of your use case was because there are so many different variants and vagaries from all the meetings, emails, hallway tests.

Now succumb to the brain death of Sarbanes-Oxley. Where is the traceability in all the discussion threads? How do you prove that you have what you want and that transactions are preserved and yada-yada-yada it just works? Before the project you thought that your team was like these guys:

But in reality you are this crew:

Sensei won’t pretend that there is a cool Zen technique to avoid hard work or failure. Maybe this type of failure of communication is a test of your core skills and your “fluency”. Look at the Elvis’ team. They’re practicing. They’ve been over the material again and again and again. That’s three again’s for each of the yada’s. To get to that point where they can adjust to his direction they’ve done much on their own time acquiring skills. Years of practice and adjustment.

Your project is like that path to acquiring a skill set, gaining mastery, being fluent. You have to build for flexibility, for

change. You CAN NOT give in to YAGNI just because this week you think you know all the answers. You won’t create a fan base that way. And just because something is written down does not mean that it’s set in stone. Remember Moses and the stone tablets? Even though he could part the waters he still had to go up the hill twice.  Things will go wrong, but if you put in the time your adjustments, while painful after a long haul, won’t be that bad.  6 hours could have been 6 days.  Be thankful you have good partners.

ClearSpring Dumps Widgets for Ad Revenue March 5, 2010

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine.

If you’ve frequented this blog you’ll have noted that Sensei likes to pick a theme song to add to the bombast of his message.  The cool little boxes that you can click and play a tune are widgets made by ClearSpring, and GrooveShark – the free music service – and you used to be able to include them in your posts directly with WordPress.

Well nothing lasts forever and ClearSpring is dumping their widget platform entirely in order to focus on Ad Revenue.  “Deprecate” is the polite term.  Oh, and its replacement will only be visible in WordPress’s side bar.

This will not turn into a rant, as other developers are screaming about this.  Rather, Sensei thinks he’ll have a neat work around that he’ll tell you about real soon.  It promises to be cool, easy to use with WordPress, and employ some really good technology that Sensei has talked about in previous posts.  Yep.  It will be forged in the ActiveEngine and hopefully be of use to WordPress.com bloggers.

With a bit of nostalgia, here’s a widget.  Play it and rock.

Editor’s note:  As of 1/1/2011 the ClearSpring Widgets no longer display.   Workaround is pending.

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