Alistair Cockburn

Mark Twain quote

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

“When I build a fire under a person, I do not do it merely because of the enjoyment I get out of seeing him fry, but because he is worth the trouble. It is then a compliment, a distinction; let him give thanks and keep quiet. I do not fry the small, the commonplace, the [...]


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Peter Merel’s New Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching translation

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

Peter Merel just produced a new translation of Lao Tzu, at http://unlocktao.com. Interestingly, it starts by introducing a little creature, called the Tardigrade, that can live in almost any circustance: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/12670/ I am keeping his previous Lao Tzu translation Peter Merel's Tao Te Ching translation (discussion: Re: Peter Merel's Tao Te Ching translation) around for [...]


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Why TotherAlistair

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

OK, my last name is hard enough for non-Scots to work out. But why TotherAlistair? (or T’OtherAlistair, as it sometimes shows)? I was acockburn at aol since 1994, slowly worked out that some important people weren’t getting my emails due to spam filters. So I tried experimenting with names. I am or was for some [...]


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Agile in tables

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

©2011 Alistair Cockburn Humans and Technology Technical Report HaT.TR.2011.01. I’m not much of one for running a project in tables, but other people are, and we are now at a point where some of the tables are looking interesting and useful. Here are a few I would consider using: Risk-Value-Tail table The RVT table shows [...]


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Baby Power!

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

Recent Change Note: Profile pic from Gregory Markel: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/gregory.markel


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Stop confusing use cases and user stories

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

OK, This blog entry is a bit of a tirade. I’m tired of people thinking that use cases and user stories are competitor tools, even despite the warning in A user story is to a use case as a gazelle is to a gazebo (discussion: Re: A user story is to a use case as [...]


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An example of not-Crystal

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

Mary Pratt was visiting after Agile2011 and called me out on a not-Crystal strategy. I was so delighted, because I have been looking for a showcase of example of Methodology versus Good-but-not-in-my-methodology. The trouble is that creators of new approaches too easily like to claim that everything good is inside their approach, except if your [...]


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Steve Jobs quotes

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

Steve Jobs just stepped down from CEO. Quotes from him are appearing. I chose this one from http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/08/24/steve-jobss-best-quotes : “The system is that there is no system. … Process makes you more efficient … But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new [...]


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why are there custom low-production run cars, but not computers

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

I went to a small auto expo down the block yesterday and saw about 36 Ford GTs and one McLaren. Today I was wondering, why is that one can make high-quality low-production run cars, but we don’t see that in computers? Where are the super-innovative hardware and software products that are hand-tooled or similar, low [...]


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Side by side programming

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

“Side by side programming” is a term I coined around 2000 or 2001 sometime after hearing a few people describing working with a partner at a nearby (read: they could read each others screens without getting up)station, so they could work independently or pair at will. Most worked separately in parallel, peeked at each others [...]


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