Computer Programming is art, don’t overplan it

I’ve argued that building software is much more of an Art than Science. The teams who follow the agile manifesto strictly over plan this artistic endevor of birthing software from nothing with T-shirt sizing, rule of thumb and or fibonacci numbers in 2 week increments of a sprint. What I’ve observed in the real world of software engineering in 20 years is that during the planning and estimation process:

The Cycle Of Creating Software

As software engineers, our job is to create useful services for other humans or other services that depend on our services. In the idealized world, we write software, deploy, and move on. In the real world, we have to think about Writing software Debugging our own software for bugs Testing it locally for the change,Continue reading “The Cycle Of Creating Software”

Podcast: Cloud Native Computing Foundation with Chris Aniszczyk and Dan Kohn Holiday

Software Engineering Daily: Cloud Native Computing Foundation with Chris Aniszczyk and Dan Kohn Holiday Repeat [00:36:41]

My superpower is “troubleshooting” for engineers

My superpower in life and at work is “troubleshooting.” I’m an engineer who helps other engineers when they are stuck. This could mean very detailed technical issues that engineers run into that takes them hours to solve. They will bring that problem to me, and usually, through some questions and answers with me, we canContinue reading “My superpower is “troubleshooting” for engineers”

Android Dev: EventBus : Publisher + Subscriber

While trying to implement a feature for AntennaPod to allow users to auto skip intros and endings in this pull request #3975, I need to be able publish the event when a preference has changed and for a previous object with state that has already read the value of the preference to refresh it’s content.Continue reading “Android Dev: EventBus : Publisher + Subscriber”

Software Was Never Meant To Be Free

We used to have shareware and that was how programmers could give you software for free.  When 2% of people pay for ‘free’ software, the rest of the world could get the benefits of free software. Because people don’t pay for mobile & desktop apps developers started adding very annoying ads into software causing someContinue reading “Software Was Never Meant To Be Free”

Podcast Ecosystem : Fun Facts

When I started working on a hackathon project to publish the Splunk .conf videos from our site into a podcast form, I learned a lot that I didn’t know.  This learning through hands on work has led me to contributing software code to an open source project call AntennaPod.  I will write more laterContinue reading “Podcast Ecosystem : Fun Facts”

Each Of Us Has A Part of The Solution, Together We Have The Whole.

Each Of Us Has A Part of The Solution, Together We Have The Whole! Splunk is a company of thousands of talented individuals, distributed across product development offices in 8 offices in the U.S., AUNZ, Europe, and Asia. How do we do our best work collectively and continue to push innovation while expanding at hypergrowthContinue reading “Each Of Us Has A Part of The Solution, Together We Have The Whole.”

In the areas of learning and development

(This post is not for you, it’s for me) It started out as 5% of my time.  Just a 4-hour hands-on workshop with new hires once a month.  Now it’s the following 1 engineer working on developing a hands-on workshop that will track start, finish, and verification.  Able to track usage, validate answers and replaceContinue reading “In the areas of learning and development”

Prioritizing with difficulty x cost x quantity = value??

Could it be that simply to calculate the value of my backlog at work?  I once heard on a podcast that a simple way for a startup founder to prioritize all the product backlog in order to focus is via a spreadsheet and do hard ranking. Difficulty x cost x quantity == value?   WhileContinue reading “Prioritizing with difficulty x cost x quantity = value??”

Experiment : Operating at 2 levels ahead

Last week a senior software engineer who has deep knowledge in a very specialized and high value skill (Machine Learning) for our company asked me for advice on getting more exposure and impact for her work.  She was in a situation where her skills and opinions are sought after by senior leaders in engineering, productContinue reading “Experiment : Operating at 2 levels ahead”

Impactful work takes planning, preparation and follow through

(The art piece is done by a SF local artist of migrant workers working in California central valley) Yesterday, my direct report, a principal software engineer who is an expert in our C++ code base presented to over 150 engineers on a piece of code walk through of a “Life of a single data eventContinue reading “Impactful work takes planning, preparation and follow through”

It is 2019, how could FB store passwords in plain text?

( my opinions are my own and not my employer) I just read this article: NY Times: Facebook Did Not Securely Store Passwords. Here’s What You Need to Know. As an engineer, I don’t understand how it could happen to a company like Facebook. They have engineers and security folks who audit designs andContinue reading “It is 2019, how could FB store passwords in plain text?”

What does Tony do in Engineering Productivity?

My full time job is to work on engineering productivity. Often folks ask me what I do every day / every week? I often tell them what I’m working on this quarter. Quarterly Focus Well, the first quarter in 2019, my focus is on creating coding labs and content for new engineers that join SplunkContinue reading “What does Tony do in Engineering Productivity?”

podcast: John Hennessy and Dave Patterson, winners of the Turing Award 2018

In June, the two engineers will formally accept a Turing Award, the computer science equivalent of the Nobel Prize, in recognition of their work. Hennessy later became president of Stanford University and is now the chair of Alphabet; Patterson is a professor emeritus at U.C. Berkeley and a distinguished engineer at Google Listen to theContinue reading “podcast: John Hennessy and Dave Patterson, winners of the Turing Award 2018”

Interview 1: Lyn Campbell, Corporate VP, Global Operations at Proofpoint

I’m celebrating a milestone for a personal 10 year project and I’m seeking your time and attention. Impactful Engineer shares the stories and journeys of women and men who are making significant impact in the software industry. The purpose of Impactful Engineer is to inspire young software engineers to see that are many paths they can take toContinue reading “Interview 1: Lyn Campbell, Corporate VP, Global Operations at Proofpoint”

Trending? #deleteFacebook, #metoo, #marchforourlives, #nevergain?

Recently there has been news reporting about #deleteFacebook, #metoo, #marchforourlives and #nevergain.  You can track the interest over time at Google Trends For me, I wanted to know the relative traction each of these movements are actually making.  Looks like #deleteFacebook is gaining traction, check back in 7 days to see if the internet memeContinue reading “Trending? #deleteFacebook, #metoo, #marchforourlives, #nevergain?”

link: Facebook’s “engineered addiction” The Smoke Screen In my opinion, the first problem — the engineered addiction — is the more pressing issue surrounding social media. These services relentlessly sap time and attention from peoples’ personal and professional lives that could be directed toward more meaningful and productive pursuits, and instead package it for resale to advertisers soContinue reading “link: Facebook’s “engineered addiction””

Social media sites are a trap for businesses

When social media sites like Facebook requires businesses to pay to show content to their own followers, it is time to rethink how businesses engage with their customers.  Facebook puts a limit that only 2% of followers will see shared content if a business does not pay. Give this article a read: Social Media isContinue reading “Social media sites are a trap for businesses”

Dear LinkedIn, Make Diversity Data Transparent For All Companies?

Dear LinkedIn, You are the only service out there to discover data about companies both private and public, what type of employees work there, which universities the employees graduated from and lots of other useful data about the professional lives of the workers. LinkedIn is a fantastic service for professionals. There have been many articles in recent yearsContinue reading “Dear LinkedIn, Make Diversity Data Transparent For All Companies?”

Head of Open Source at Facebook Interviewed on Changelog Podcast

This is worth listening to learn about how Facebook thinks about software and expecially how they are trying to push software developer forward for the entire industry.  React and React Native are being called out as very successful open source projects from Facebook.   Cassandra has also been a huge winner.   The interesting takeContinue reading “Head of Open Source at Facebook Interviewed on Changelog Podcast”

Why Work @ Splunk As An Engineer

Splunk’s Company Mission I like the simple and clear mission: We make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone Update: Oct 24, 2018 2 years at Splunk so far Personal I’ve started a large community of badminton players and even setup a badminton net in our court yard I’ve grown a community of engineering helping each other virtually on Slack I’veContinue reading “Why Work @ Splunk As An Engineer”

link: What makes a good engineering culture? : The Effective Engineer

From Edmond Lau’s The Effective Engineer blog 1. Optimize for iteration speed. Quick iteration speed increases work motivation and excitement. Infrastructural and bureaucratic barriers to deploying code and launching features are some of the most common and frustrating reasons that engineers cite during interviews for why they’re leaving their current companies. Read the rest ofContinue reading “link: What makes a good engineering culture? : The Effective Engineer”

If you want true privacy, do not use your mobile phone

(The photo is of my sister and I in China 1975) I was listening to Leo Laporte’s Tech Guy podcast and he was commenting on the FBI vs Apple case about unlocking an iPhone used by the the shooters. He was pointing out the following misconceptions in the popular press. Inspired by his comments aboutContinue reading “If you want true privacy, do not use your mobile phone”

link: Error 451 is the new HTTP code for online censorship (Wired UK)

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the body responsible for overseeing the internet’s technical standards, has approved HTTP 451, “an HTTP Status Code to Report Legal Obstacles”. The new status code will show viewers when a web page is being blocked for legal reasons.Source: Error 451 is the new HTTP code for online censorship (WiredContinue reading “link: Error 451 is the new HTTP code for online censorship (Wired UK)”

Digital Entertainment I Am Willing To Pay For

We do not pay for cable, never did and do not have a TV.  We do have a movie projector and a 90″ drop down projection screen. Looking at our digital entertainment obligations: We get the recent DVD ‘s free from the San Francisco public library. We pay for Comcast for 6mbps for faster internetContinue reading “Digital Entertainment I Am Willing To Pay For”

A Very Fulfilling Day By Helping Others Remove Frustrations

As a software engineer, I had one of the most rewarding day in recent months.  When I got into the office, a developer from Flickr filed a ticket about UI browser testing into another Jira queue (bug tracking) and I happen to see that it’s related to the SauceLab project I now own as aContinue reading “A Very Fulfilling Day By Helping Others Remove Frustrations”

When The Noise Is Too High You End Up With A New Norm Of Mediocrity

My co-workers and I were doing some user studies with an internal developer who was using our tools in order to see how he was using it daily and also asking him how he debugs problems with our tools. It was amazing to see the developer go to the homepage of the tool, he noticed aContinue reading “When The Noise Is Too High You End Up With A New Norm Of Mediocrity”

podcast: DevOps culture and misconceptions

Really enjoyed this background of DevOps as a movement to remove friction from a product idea to a feature making it to the end user.  Not focus just on continuous delivery, not focused on specific tools.  Worth listening to for anyone who cares about how to increase the velocity and quality of software releases

Prediction of 2015 bubble and crash: Stock Market explained to my 14 year old daughter

On August 08, 2015 my wife and I decided to get out of the stock market 75% into bonds.  Leaving 25% in the market.   We made this decision because my daughter will be going to private high school for 4 years and very shortly she will need money for college. We asked ourselves 3 questionsContinue reading “Prediction of 2015 bubble and crash: Stock Market explained to my 14 year old daughter”

reading: Infrastructure As Code

Slides: Book Preview: ” With Early Release ebooks, you get books in their earliest form—the author’s raw and unedited content as he or she writes—so you can take advantage of these technologies long before the official release of these titles. You’ll also receive updates when significant changes are made, new chapters as they’reContinue reading “reading: Infrastructure As Code”

Making a difference in the large corporate world

While chatting informally with some co-workers, I heard some of them talking about their frustrations about not feeling recognized for their work or working on projects they don’t think makes a difference. Corporations, which usually mean people in management roles, value those individuals who go beyond doing what they are told to do and lookContinue reading “Making a difference in the large corporate world”

Corporate Efficiency : “Humans Are The Problem”

I sometimes say in jest that in the corporate world the “humans are the problem”. Communication, expectation and difference in perspectives are some of what causes executions of projects to not work. This is a response to frustrations expressed by people on my team that “other” people are doing things the “wrong” way. I findContinue reading “Corporate Efficiency : “Humans Are The Problem””

Android Development: Troubleshooting Nested Fragment

I am working on an Android app which takes the menu data from API display the dinner, drink, dessert menu and allows a customer to add items they are interested in into a ‘cart’ for the wait staff to look at and discuss the item the customers are interested in. I’m using the projectContinue reading “Android Development: Troubleshooting Nested Fragment”

Trello to track life goals

I use Trello to keep track of my long term life goals.  I setup ‘organizations’ for ‘health goals’, ‘work goals’, ‘money goals’, ‘family goals’. Then setup boards for each goal. I still use Remember The Milk for single task todo.   Using Trello allows for multiple taks for each goal.  I also look over all theContinue reading “Trello to track life goals”

What Makes Us Happy And Motivated At Work?

It’s that time of year for me to reflect on why we are here working everyday.  Please chime in with your thoughts. What motivates us to be happy and motivated at work? Money Recognition Being valued Making a difference in the world and self motivation Money is a great motivator, it’s an enabler for futureContinue reading “What Makes Us Happy And Motivated At Work?”

As A Leader, Do You Communicate Enough?

Heads up… Do you communication enough with your direct reports? What about your peers in the same group? What about other peers across the company? And your management chain, 1 level, 2 level and ultimately up to your CEO? How often should you communicate? What is the most effective way to communicate (email, face toContinue reading “As A Leader, Do You Communicate Enough?”

Why I’m re-energized to work at Yahoo! after Livestand iPad app launched

The Livestand from Yahoo! iPad app launched on Nov 2nd and became the #1 News iPad app and #2 overall app on the iTunes AppStore in 1 day.  Today on Friday Nov 4th,  it became the #1 app in 3 days on iTunes.  You should try it yourself and compare it with Flipboard and ZiteContinue reading “Why I’m re-energized to work at Yahoo! after Livestand iPad app launched”

Actively Maintain Your LinkedIn Profile : Ask For Recommendation Early

Something I started doing last year is to ask for recommendations on my LinkedIn profile while I’m still working at the company.  Instead of only doing so when I have already left the company. LinkedIn’s value is the business contacts and also an online resume with real recommendations from people who are also on LinkedIn. Continue reading “Actively Maintain Your LinkedIn Profile : Ask For Recommendation Early”

Self Monthly Review: 3rd Month Of Being Solution Architect For Media

I have a reminder to myself to review whether I’m doing what my job description is defined as Here is the job description and how I rate myself from 1 (needs work), 2 (meets), 3 (exceed) • Evaluates new technologies; builds prototypes if necessary 1 : I barely do any of these right now asContinue reading “Self Monthly Review: 3rd Month Of Being Solution Architect For Media”

Soft Skills Of A Software Architect

I will not try to repeat what a software architect is, you can read it here at wikipedia There are various types of architects. Solutions Architect Enterprise Architect Application Architect Systems Architect A large part of the duties of an architect in a large organization is to design and to communicate.  In my experience asContinue reading “Soft Skills Of A Software Architect”

NYT: 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology +2 Of My Own

This article from NYT has been on the top 10 technology most emailed since December 29, 2010.  Almost 16 days now. Read it at 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology Here is my take and I’ve added 2 more 1. GET A SMARTPHONE Also Why: I use my Blackberry for calendar, musicContinue reading “NYT: 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology +2 Of My Own”