April 2004 Archives

"The Association for Computing Machinery announced that it has recognized Dr. Stuart I. Feldman for creating a seminal piece of software engineering known as Make. Almost every software developer in the world has used Make, or one of its descendants, as a tool for maintaining computer software. Dr. Feldman will receive the 2003 ACM Software System Award."

Just software developers? In TPoSaNA we recommend "make" as the perfect tool for system administrators too. Heck, every Unix machine I administer has a file called /etc/Makefile which automates all the common processes required to run that machine. Most of my work can be done by editing the right file followed by a quick "cd /etc && make" to push through any changes.

Past awardees are listed here. It's quite interesting if you look at the years. In 1991 when they gave the award to the creators of TCP/IP I wonder if they had any idea how much of a future it had!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

How do we learn from our mistakes (and the things we did right?) The best thing to do is to conduct a postmortem meeting.

Conducting a Postmortem by Saul Carliner provides an excellent reference for what to do.

What do you think?

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

Suppose you had a major upgrade project that wasn't going well. How could you make it worse? Why not take steps that start rumors that large layoffs are coming?

"While employees struggled to fix glitches in the CRM upgrade, CEO John Zeglis confirmed the layoff rumors, saying AT&T Wireless would soon lay off 1,900 workers."

http://www.cio.com/archive/041504/wireless.html

Don't worry, I'm sure AT&T Wireless won't miss the thousands of new customers and an estimated $100 million in lost revenue.

I used to work for a very large telecom company that announced layoffs any time it needed a boost in the stock price. I could never figure that out. When don't companies want a boost in their stock price? The problem, of course, is layoffs for layoff-sake is never a good thing for morale, nor business.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

Hey folks! On March 30, 2004 I accepted the the role of Director, IT Services at CIBERNET based in Bethesda, MD. I'll be working from their Scotch Plains, NJ office, but traveling to the D.C. area a lot. I started on April 1 (I've always wanted to start a job on April Fools Day!).

As many of you know, in December I took a leave of absence from Lumeta. I rented a place in Vermont and volunteered full-time with the Dean For America campaign. When the campaign ended I returned to my old place in New Jersey to volunteer locally, reflect on politics in this country, and do a number of pro bono projects for local non-profits and campaigns.

I was contacted by CIBERNET through an old friend. I was interested in the company's plans but most of all I was impressed by the skill and experience level of the management team. Soon I received an offer to join them!

I accepted the position of Director, IT Services on March 30 and started 2 days later. I've only been there a few days and I know I've made the right move.

Question for the readers: What do you look in a company when you interview?

Posted by Tom Limoncelli