The Old Engineer and the Hammer

This parable is an old one. I told this last week to one of my team members at work and wanted to find the original. Since this is an old parable, I found different versions of this story over the Internet. In some versions the story revolves around a broken down ship, while in others a large machine in a factory. The version I'm quoting below is what I remember reading ages ago.

It's 2019. I'm turning 40 this year. The first time someone paid me money to write code was back in early 2003. This means that my career also turned 16, going on 17 this year. As a senior staff member, I do find myself championing the value of skills and expertise in software engineering, especially to young graduates doing their rotation in my software engineering team.

This old parable stuck somewhere in my head all those years ago. I still think it's the best parable told about the value of expertise and staying sharp.

I hope it serves someone else as it does me ...

A giant engine in a fa…

10 years on, #Blockchain is ready for Business use... thanks to the #Hyperledger project!

Note: This isn’t a Bitcoin hedging post. In fact, that was the last occurrence of that word in this article.
Is the Blockchain hype over? According to this year’s Gartner Hype Cycle, Blockchain has crossed the peak of unrealistic expectations and is now heading towards the trough of disillusionment. This usually means that we’ll stop hearing about Blockchain being the cure for world hunger, and instead will start hearing about real world case studies that demonstrate its use cases.

I also tend to agree with Gartner’s prediction of Blockchain reaching the plateau of profitability, and therefore wider adoption in the enterprise within the next 5 years.

Blockchain for Business? Fundamentally, Blockchain emerged from business principles that have been around since humans started trading with each other.

We have incrementally digitised parts of this process over the past century. However, this digitisation process has taken a fragmented approach. Each participating entity digitised t…

My pet IoT project :)

What? I have a few pet coding projects in Github. I usually maintain them as private repositories. The reason I keep them private is because they are Proof of Concept type work (and are also skunk-work).

One such project I started a few months back was an IoT prototype. What I wanted to develop was an application that qualifies as an IoT use case and structure it in such a way that the architecture, design, development, deployment and continuous delivery is laid out as a pattern.

During the course of development, I found out about a few cloud based technologies such as Pubnub ( and Google's Firebase (

The text below is directly from the README of my project at 

I'm making this project public from today, and hope this helps someone else to get started!

Control 'Things' from the Internet This is a Proof of Concept application I maintain to fine tune a…

Business Agility Through DevOps and Continuous Delivery

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The principles of Continuous Delivery and DevOps have been around for a few years. Developers and system administrators who follow the lean-startup movement are more than familiar with both. However, more often than not, implementing either or both within a traditional, large IT environment is a significant challenge compared to a new age, Web 2.0 type organization (think Flickr) or a Silicon Valley startup (think Instagram). This is a case study of how the consultancy firm I work for delivered the largest software upgrade in the history of one blue chip client, using both.
Background The client, is one of Australia's largest retailers. The firm I work for is a trusted consultant working with them for over a decade. During this time (thankfully), we have earned enough credibility to influence business decisions heavily dependent on IT infrastructure.
A massive IT infrastructure upgrade was imminent, when our client wanted to lev…

HowTo: Install make on a Mac without XCode

I love it when things 'just work' and the osx-gcc-installer is a nice, all in one package that will install make and other GNU build essentials for your Mac without having to install XCode. The pre-built binaries are available for both Snow Leopard (OSX 1.6.x) and Lion (OSX 1.7.x). So this is great if you have the older version of OSX.

You can get the installer from the link above or from the download page.

Work-In-Play Limits in Agile Software Development

Work-In-Play Limits in Agile Software Development | All About Agile
So let’s say you set a WIP limit that no more than 3 features can be in play at any one time. You have 3 slots on the board for development, and 3 slots for testing. What happens when the testing slots are all full and the developers have capacity to do more?
If they think the tester will be done before they complete the 4th feature, they can safely start it. But what if they think they can complete the 4th feature before the tester is done? What should they do? Should they sit idle?

Google+... First Impressions

So I'm on Google+, the latest social addition to the set of Google products. The immediate impression is that it is a Facebook clone.

However, once I started using the set of features available (at this time of invitation only beta), I noticed a few improvements over Facebook. This is in addition to the look and feel of the site, which I think is far better than Facebook ever achieved (almost surely powered by GWT). Here's a list of stuff I've been playing with so far ...

Circles: What you add your Google+ buddies to. Right from the start you get to segment your connections and be in control of what you share and with whom you share. This one has a nice UI, as opposed to facebook who added this as an afterthought (by the time they added it I had too many facebbook friends, I couldn't be bothered going through each and every one to make lists.. FAIL!).