This category contains 38 posts

Bringing startups into the corporation

When established companies see digital competitors as a threat, or just see that their future must be a digital one, buying a startup is often floated as a promising strategic move. However, ensuring success is very difficult. Defining success is also difficult. Success criteria following a startup acquisition might be one of a variety of … Continue reading

Agile and digital strategy in government

Depending who you read, there are some fairly questionable claims made at a recent EMC/Policy Exchange round table. Mark Thompson, former advisor to George Osborne, is variously quoted as saying government “doesn’t get” digital, that Agile is “unthreatening” and “nonsense”, and that the government is in danger of losing its way over its digital strategy. … Continue reading

From Year of Code to digital literacy

The Year of Code is good, but digital literacy is more fundamental, more valuable, and more embracing. Once upon a time our schools in the UK taught our children how to use word processors, spreadsheets and PowerPoint. This is now regarded as an embarrassing low in our recent educational history. In effect, we taught our … Continue reading

Notes on the Agile Awards 2013

Last week saw the fourth UK Agile Awards. Once again it was a wonderful night, and great to see such worthy winners. The night’s compere was Sally Phillips. She had clearly spent an awful lot of time genning up on her subject for the evening, and even arrived with packets of PostIt notes (“I’ve seen … Continue reading

Less is more: 5 free startup ideas

It used to be difficult to find a good name for your startup, then people realised they could simply remove a vowel or three from a proper word. (Flickr, Tumblr, Scribd, Sqrrl…) Similarly, you might have felt recently that there could be no more startup ideas left. Not so. Because these days entrepreneurs are finding … Continue reading

From service mindset to partner

It disappoints me when I hear people talk about their internal tech department as a “service operation”. It disappoints me even more when I hear that from the people in the tech department. We can do so much better. We need to do so much better. The service mindset is almost a servant mindset: you … Continue reading

A software development code of ethics

What might a software development code of ethics look like? This was one of many, many questions that came out of John Nolan‘s excellent session at SPA 2013, asking us software practitioners to consider the moral and ethical dimensions of our work. (To avoid doubt, in these discussions morality was defined as expectations determined by … Continue reading

COBOL, and the gold dust of business process

A couple of events today dovetailed, and provided some food for thought. As the day was beginning, and before the office really started to fill, I was speaking to a developer who was enthusing about testing and refactoring old code. After he talked about incrementally bringing out the intent of the code he rounded off … Continue reading

Answers to tech quiz of 2012

Last week saw my tech quiz of 2012. Here it is all over again, but this time with the answers. If you don’t want your fun to be spoiled, then do click back to the original quiz. Now see how well you did… Round 1: Failure (Q1) In January, one telco was found to be … Continue reading

Tech quiz of the year 2012

2012. So much further forward than 2011, and yet not quite 2013. How will we remember it? In the tech world it had as much legal wrangling, failure and startup rollercoastering as any other recent year. Here is my tech quiz of 2012 to see how much you remember. All these articles have appeared on … Continue reading