Saturday, October 21, 2017

Consider a simple thank you.


I recently witnessed a situation where someone put a huge amount of effort into a post to clarify a topic that many people are confused about. 

In the complex domain being discussed, they were not advocating their explanation as the complete (or best) solution... They were simply helping others to understand based on the specific context of the questions involved.

That person knows that that only one answer cannot solve a complex situation and believes that small steps matter. They are willing to respond in a way to help others instead of trying to correct an entire system in one post.

Many people understand that there will always be something to add or improve in a complex system or understanding.

When a poster creates an article to help others (or simply move the needle a bit), this does not mean they lack knowledge of other approaches or parts of the complex domain.

Please consider that sometimes simply thanking them will help keep everyone engaged and comfortable sharing and learning..... 

One-upping someone is not always necessary (or helpful)... 


How about just saying ... 

"Thanks for the insight"...  

Just a thought.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Human Senses - A Conversation Aid


Have you ever talked to a room full of blank faces?

These 4 base sets of human emotions are strong in other's communication patterns. 

Listen for them as a possible way to more effectively communicate with others.

The last slide has examples of the same question asked with emphasis on different human senses.  Enjoy.

Link: Human Senses Presentation on Slideshare






Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tech Post: Unit Testing for Distributed Systems


I recently came across this very interesting presentation and article related to Unit Tests for distributed systems and felt it was worth sharing.

Presentation:
https://www.usenix.org/conference/osdi14/technical-sessions/presentation/yuan

Article: 
https://www.usenix.org/system/files/conference/osdi14/osdi14-paper-yuan.pdf


From the technical article...
almost all (92%) of the catastrophic system failures are the result of incorrect handling of non-fatal errors explicitly signaled in software.

and this one...

in 58% of the catastrophic failures, the underlying faults could easily have been detected through simple testing of error handling code.

This sentence really caught my attention...
In fact, in 35% of the catastrophic failures, the faults in the error handling code fall into three trivial patterns: (i) the error handler is simply empty or only contains a log printing statement, (ii) the error handler aborts the cluster on an overly-general exception, and (iii) the error handler contains expressions like “FIXME” or “TODO” in the comments.

If you are working on distributed systems and are wondering where to put effort in automated testing, it might be worth grabbing a coffee and spending some time on this.

At a minimum, it might have you think about just scanning your code for the word FIXME or TODO in catch blocks and put an end to that !

There's more that I could add, but it's probably best if you just read this article for yourself.

https://www.usenix.org/conference/osdi14/technical-sessions/presentation/yuan

Enjoy