Category Archives: Engineering

The Agile Manifesto and 12 Principles

I created Word versions of the Agile Manifesto and 12 Principles to use as posters and quick references for my work team and other interested colleagues. Here they are, along with the sources.

Agile Manifesto  in Microsoft Word

12 Principles Based on the Agile Manifesto in Microsoft Word

Sources: http://agilemanifesto.org/ and https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101/12-principles-behind-the-agile-manifesto/

 

Writing an Effective Python Command Line Interface

 

This post is worth reviewing to see if your Python code will benefit. The suggestions here are at least somewhat portable to other languages. I used to write lots of command line apps and I’ve found that a good command line UI can be much better than a GUI for many use cases. https://blog.sicara.com/perfect-python-command-line-interfaces-7d5d4efad6a2

Association for Computing Machinery Releases New Code of Ethics

In this Scientific American article, Cherri M. Pancake, current president of the Association for Computing Machinery, discusses the release of a new ACM code of ethics.

I’ve worked in computer science for more than 20 years and seen firsthand that our profession badly needs an up to date and well defined code of ethics. I’m looking forward to seeing what individuals and companies do to adopt and improve this code.

 

Facebook is an unregulated private intelligence agency

The New York Times has an article on Facebook’s tracking and data collection patents worth reading by everyone who uses the internet, which obviously includes you if you’re reading this. Their review reveals that Facebook “has considered tracking almost every aspect of its users’ lives: where you are, who you spend time with, whether you’re in a romantic relationship, which brands and politicians you’re talking about. The company has even attempted to patent a method for predicting when your friends will die.”

I don’t have a problem with Facebook operating as a social network, even though it’s a lousy one that traps and isolates users. I do have a problem with it allowing Russia and other malevolent powers to influence elections. The biggest problem with Facebook is fundamental to its design and the key to how it makes money: Facebook is a private intelligence agency that operates without the legal oversight and constraints of government agencies. It’s a corporation concerned solely with maximizing profits, which it does by continually increasing the scope and depth of information gathering against its users and anyone else it can track. The cost of using Facebook, or allowing Facebook to track you, is surrendering your personal information to a corporation that will sell that information to virtually anyone who will pay for it.