younic // web design, development & geek lifestyle

chmod -x chmod

// 11102010 / *nix, Mittagspause / Noch keine Kommentare

That's a nice one:

Your're in a data center.
With absolutely no contact to the outside world.
There's a machine you must not reboot.
And someone had the brilliant idea to perform a 'chmod -x chmod'.
Solve the problem.

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CHIP FOTO AWARDS 2010 @photokina

// 25092010 / Allgemein / Noch keine Kommentare

CHIP FOTO AWARDS 2010 auf der photokina

Im Rahmen der photokina 2010 wurden am Freitag Abend die CHIP Foto Awards 2010 verliehen, wo ich inmitten von Industrie- und Medienpartnern aus der Imaging- und Verlagsbranche einen glanzvollen Gala-Abend genießen durfte. Die Jury bestand aus Fachredakteuren der CHIP Foto-Video, die sich vorab bis in die Nacht hinein über die Nominierung der Awards in den verschiedenen Kategorien beraten hatten. Gemeinsam mit CHIP Foto-Video Chefredakreur Florian Schuster gab taff-Moderatorin Annemarie Warnkross die Preisträger bekannt und verlieh die Trophäen an folgende Sieger:

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Canon Powershot SX200 IS

// 23092010 / Allgemein / 2 Kommentare

Nichts geht über die gute alte Fuji F30, trotzdem musste jetzt endlich mal eine ordentliche neue Snapshot-Cam her (mit der Sony Cybershot T-700 war ich nicht wirklich zufrieden gewesen). In Hinblick auf Preis-Leistung entschied ich mich Mitte August für eine Canon PowerShot SX200 IS die es damals im Angebot für 199 Euro gab. Fazit: Bin überglücklich damit und sehr zufrieden. Selbst der Automatik-Modus lässt sich mit ausgeschaltetem Blitz gut verwenden; alternativ lassen sich Blende, Belichtungszeit, ISO, etc einzeln einstellen. Anbei ein paar Eindrücke aus den letzten Wochen mit verschiedenen Motiven und Kamera-Einstellungen.

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Besuchertipps photokina 2010

// 22092010 / Allgemein / Noch keine Kommentare

Auch wenn ich kein Profi in Objektivzahlen und -herstellern bin, so ist ein Besuch der photokina mit Sicherheit eine nette Abwechslung zu den ziemlich Software-lastigen Themen der letzten Wochen (vor allem mit dem Vorteil, dass ich im Moment noch direkt um die Ecke des Kölner Messegeländes wohne).

Anbei daher ein paar Tipps rund um die photokina, die ich auch für meine eigene Vorbereitung des Besuchs gefunden habe.

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Free Webinars on Agile Development

// 14092010 / Allgemein / Noch keine Kommentare

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Event: Der 1. Norddeutsche Software-Testtag am 24.09.2010

// 13092010 / Allgemein / Noch keine Kommentare

"Wir testen unsere Software!
Nachdem wir mit der Entwicklung fertig sind……
und sofern noch Budget übrig ist."

[...] Qualitätssicherung hat sich von einer Tätigkeit in einer der Projektphasen zu einer projektbegleitenden Aktivität gemausert. [...] Zur Eröffnung der Veranstaltung konnten wir als Keynote-Speaker den deutschen ,Test-Papst’ Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Spillner gewinnen. Er wird über die anfangs beschriebene Denkweise des ‚Testens als Last‘ sprechen und anhand griffiger Beispiele zeigen, warum diese Einstellung zu Recht als überholt gelten darf.

Wann: 24.09.2010
Wo: Hamburg
Costa quanta: De nada! (Veranstaltung ist kostenlos)
Mehr Infos: Der 1. Norddeutsche Testtag am 24.09.2010

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Agile + UX: The missing pieces to successfull software development?

// 13092010 / Allgemein / Noch keine Kommentare

Just thinking about whether traditional process-driven business application development just lacks in UX Engineering and a good portion of Agile to achieve more successfull projects (most notably in time and money).

But comparing the philosophy of Agile and the development of system-centric business software it's just like two worlds collide. The solution could be set up a model-driven Agile development process using methods like Scrum and Crystal with integration of UX and (just to be sure it will work) adapt it to custom requirements, merge it with exisiting best practises and integrate lessons-learned from past projects: "Matured hybrid Agile".

Perhaps this could be the key to successfull user-centric as well as system-centric business application development? But how should the process look like regarding so many problems to be solved:

Project scope

  • System, system, system vs. User
  • Processes vs. models
  • Application Developer vs. UX Engineer
  • system requirements vs. user requirements
  • satisfying the customer and fullfilling contracts vs. satisfying the user

The developer

  • "Respect the user" vs. DAU
  • Understanding the user
  • Soft skills vs. technical facts
  • sense of abstract model-driven engineering
  • responsibility vs. detailled contracts

Project and Development processes

  • strict separation of customer and developer vs. customer integrated development
  • dynamic and flexible development vs. static development processes
  • inhouse development vs. outsourcing development
  • user-centered requirements engineering and change management

Corporate philosophy

  • contracts vs. collaboration
  • user vs. customer vs. contract partners vs. service provider vs. developer vs. ...
  • Keeping knowledge as a secret vs. sharing knowledge & open source
  • time & money vs. open minded software development

To be continued

  • ...


Mhmmm *thinking* ....


UPDATE & FYI:

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Coding Dojo Review: Hands on Test-Driven development (TDD)

// 13092010 / Allgemein / ein Kommentar

Friday evening I had the chance to attend a coding dojo on test driven development at JDuchess Netherlands @Amsterdam. A coding dojo is an event where a group of developers solves together a given coding challenge (that means the "dojo kata"). The challenge is met step by step splitting up the problem into into smaller pieces. Each step is solved by a pair of programmers who have to write down their code directly in front of the audience. The tricky part is that you only have several minutes to write down your code so you really have to hurry up but it's really a great method to teach self-confidence in front of other programmers, team programming, communication and to learn from each other - and of course it really makes fun, believe me :-)

Going on with Test-driven development:

Test-driven development (TDD) is a software development process that relies on the repetition of a very short development cycle: first the developer writes a failing automated test case that defines a desired improvement or new function, then produces code to pass that test and finally refactors the new code to acceptable standards.

[from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test-driven_development]

The goal is not to write clean and final application code but to get working test-cases (in this case we used JUnit).

I have to admit that in the beginning, it was not easy for me to change my point of view regarding this whole test-driven challenge thing and instead concentrating just on a very short (5 minutes!) development cycle. The challenge was also not about writing the final super-perfect application-code but more about prototyping, diving into the problem(s), developping the algorithms and of course - having your JUnit test-cases in the end.

Well, we ended up with our test-cases (including some comments for our male participants... ;-) ) and committed that now we should do a refactoring (next time...) to set up the application. Alltogether it was a great experience and I'm very content to having learned so much on Coding Dojo, Test-Driven development, Scrums and of course bowling ;-)

Btw: The event was sponsored by JTeam and being in their office it was very interesting to see how how Scrum (a methode of agile development) is practised in real-life projects. The JTeam and other participants were really kind in explaining all the scrum posters, post-its and ideas to me as well as providing me with information on Scrum and Software Development. I think that I'm becoming a - just like a friend of mine said some days ago - "self-confessed agilist", too. :-)

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Aufkleber/-reste vom Notebook abkriegen

// 02092010 / Allgemein / ein Kommentar

Reinigungstücher o.ä. gegen WASSERFESTE SCHMINKE! Wirkt wunder :-)

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The importance of User Experience Design in business applications

// 14082010 / Allgemein / Noch keine Kommentare

When developing business applications the main focus is on application, business and database logic as well as complex business and IT processes. But what about the GUI which is the interface between user and application? From the user's view it's the main point of contact and an important part of the application when testing if requirements are fullfilled.

From the developer's view the importance of the user interface tier is often underestimated. Be honest: Don't you think that it's just that easy? Putting some buttons, fields, text and ready-steady-go? Yes, it can be easy. But if the complexity of the application grows, it is usefull to care about an elaborated and intelligent GUI which supports the user processes as well as application processes. Try to make a good deal between application complexity and user's requirements.

So it's about user interface design,too. "Design" - in this case - does not only mean playing around with colors and forms but dealing with the advantage to find the best possible way to provide an understanding between user and application. "Form follows function" means "Form supporting function according to the customer requirements" (and not that the form is less important compared to the function).

The user / customer has another point of view onto the application compared to the developer: In his eyes, the application consists of what the display shows and how "it" reacts on the user's input. So the UI has to understand the user, not otherwise. (And corresponding to this point of view the customer mostly communicates his requirements, but that's another topic)

Therefore it's usefull for a project to integrate the role of an UI (User Interface) Engineer who connects the user's expectations and the requirements of the application logic with the use of UX (User Experience) / UI Design Patterns:


.


Further reading on "User Experience Design"

The Five Competencies of User Experience Design
Focusses on: Software Engineers

Presentation Layer Design Checklist
Focusses on: Requirements Engineering

Several great slides about UX in the web
Focusses on: Web Developer

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