Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Free Open Source Software in your company

The vast majority of companies in software industry struggle to cut costs down while trying to keep quality of software high, but this is not easy to accomplish. Software development is radically different from any other industry you may want to consider for a comparison; in order to be a successful firm neither large investments nor brute force are strategic assets.

The new wave of millionaire start-up businesses prove that besides a brilliant idea, user experience, great design and definitely competitive time to market are critical. Consider the main resource of any business: employees, as an example. Increasing number of employees does not ensure goals are achieved either faster or even with better quality (back to the start-up mention, Instagram started with less than ten employees). Nevertheless, hiring top class experts in this business may be the added value: experience and talent are essential when building intellectual value.

Cutting costs down and taking advantage of expertise, that's what triggered the adoption of Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in this industry.

Professionalism and passion of huge number of communities of developers are among the main reasons for company to rely on FOSS. Not just because by adopting software components ready to use accelerates production and delivery, but also because quality uses to be assured by an army of skilled volunteers.
On the other side, bringing FOSS into development processes must be done with care. Free software doesn't mean free of control. FOSS is always released with a license, and it's responsibility of the adopter to comply with constraints of that license.

If you are interested in attaining compliance to FOSS licenses in your company and develop processes to facilitate the purpose, maybe it's worth having a look at "The Handbook of FOSS Management".

In this book you will find clear content to understand what tools and processes are needed in a company. I appreciated the definitions: FOSS-IN (bringing FOSS in a company), FOSS-OUT (releasing FOSS developed in a company) and useful ideas to audit software projects (like building a pedigree database to identify uniquely software source code).

If you want to know more on this topic, have a look a these compliance tools at Linux Foundation.
And you, do you know any other book or guideline that describe FOSS management in a company? Please comment.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A technique for persuading people

This is a nice example to show how you can subtly persuade people to do what you want them to do. This short video tells about the experience of famous director Steven Spielberg when at the age of 15 had to face a troublesome situation.

This contribution basically suggests that in order to persuade people, first one need to match people's needs against own personal abilities. Then remember:
  • The objective is meeting people's basic needs. 
  • Look into your own resources and capabilities to meet others' basic needs
Hope you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My 10th Toastmasters speech: What is life like

I am here today with a humble purpose, I want to share with you a simple reflection to help you improve your life. And I am here because it is useful for me therefore I thought that this may be interesting for you to know.

I would like to ask just one thing. Take a few seconds and think about something you hate to do. Something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Let’s make it easier. Something that happened this very morning. No no, it’s not a meeting or that uncomfortable mail.

What, can’t you find anything? I will help you with something you really cannot stand. From the very beginning of your day. And ladies and gentleman, that is the very beginning of the day. You hate waking up in the morning. Who doesn’t?

Now let’s make it even worse: what if you have to get up on Monday? Isn’t it quite uncomfortable to get up on Mondays, after a pleasant weekend with your family or friends? Yes it is. Mondays are there for you to be annoyed. But of course I can find something even more terrible than that. And it’s getting up early in the morning on Monday back from vacations. Wow, that’s pretty hard.
Of course there are hundreds of ways to make it worse. With rain, coffee's over at home, your car is broken or you can’t find your keys. You have headache and must attend a meeting. No hot water in the shower. Or... all these things altogether.

Small tragedies. That’s just an example of those kind of little things you will bump into during the day and along the path. To this you may want to add a quarrel with your parents, a misunderstanding with your partner and bad behavior of your children. Rain on weekends, too much work, stress, disappointing situations, people late, compromises, the mortgage, the car, responsibilities and one thousand of other things. We are used to live life in rush. Everyone has his own little secret to get over all these unpleasant situations and enjoy life as much as possible. I do have mine.

When it’s difficult to get up in the morning, or I am puzzling over personal issues, discussing with someone, too busy at work or troubled by any uncomfortable situation, this reflection helps me going back to relax in my mind and consider things for what they are.

My method is a real recipe for a lot of situations, and not only benefits me, it may have effects on people all around. It all started once when discussing futile things with my wife,I took a breath and suddenly said that. A moment of silence please. I said: “Why should I worry about that? Life is a party, and I want to live it like a never ending party”.

After that, I suddenly felt better, relaxed, as if all the stress had melt away. I thought about it and took it seriously. Life is a party. You don’t think so?

This is guy is crazy, you might be thinking right now. Ladies and gentleman, yes I am. For me life is the biggest party of the whole universe. I wish everybody may live life as such. Let’s have a look.

Who am I to say life is a party? I can prove you. Here’s my CV.
  • 18 shared flats across my life with over 50 mates 
  • Hundreds of birthday parties and celebrations at students’ houses
  • Salsa and bachata dancing parties 
  • Liters of wine and gallons of beer drunk all over parties. Hangover expert
  • Absolutely senior as a party attendant and great socialization skills.
  • Hire me!

We love parties because there is food, drinks, music and people. We may dance, sing, laugh and be serious. There are plenty of people you don’t know, some of them you know, funny and boring ones. You may get late to the party or be on time. Whatever the party is, it’s always full of surprises. Parties may be boring or not. Parties are made for lovers, and for haters too. Parties give a meaning to our lives.

Life is expectation, like before a party. When you are expectant for something to happen, when you are excited and when you put a lot enthusiasm and effort for a big outcome. It’s when you wish to meet new people, make friendship, enjoy food and drinks. It’s when everything is ready to go to the party.

Life is full of surprises. When you enjoy talking and talking, getting into a new conversation and also being serious into a discussion. When you meet that person it was a long time since you met last time. This is only at a party.

Life is supporting people, like in a party when you notice that girl in the corner alone, because she knows nobody, and you go next to her, speak to her, introduce to your friends because she’s shy and she doesn’t want to be under everybody’s eyes. You want the party to be a party for her too.

Life is awful moments, like in a party. When you notice that your friend drank to much and he’s silly and boring. When he starts crying about her girlfriend, and that he cannot forget her and he must go right away. When he is so drunk, or it’s you or it's me, so drunk, someone is there to bring you to the toilet to help you vomit.

Life is love. Because I met my wife at a party.

I am at the end of my presentation and I just want you to do something. Do it for you. Every time it’s difficult to get up in the morning, you are angry at someone, you are stressed by your work, you feel sad for something not really important... Every moment you spend of your life in a bad mood, always remember that probably it’s not that important. Celebrate with others all the good things of your life. Remember every time you get prepared for a party, a wedding party, a birthday, your company summer party. Keep the expectation high in life as if going to a party.

Always remember the main ingredients to make a great party. Food, wine, and great organization. Music, a DJ and rhythm. Ice cubes, glasses, and good spirit.
But overall, the main ingredient: people, because every moment of your life is good to share with others, when you are old...

...when you are young...

...and when you are very very young.

Because life is a party.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The creative process

Companies spend a lot of money in finding the best creative people, strategists, advertisers and brilliant —and expensive— talents. Besides, you can find hundreds of resources dealing with the challenge of thinking different, self-improvement trainings, coaching sessions, brainstorming exercises, breaking ways of working... Actually some tutorials may be really inspiring, and the more material you collect, the more aware you are about the behaviors to maintain and to avoid in order to enhance your inspiration.

But never forget, that a relaxed attitude often helps to have the possibility to produce wonderful combinations and the craziest ideas. This is the reason why people have great ideas in the bathroom. So take your time and experiment, mix experiences from different environment and increase your background, even randomly. You can never tell where that astonishing discovery may hide. Live.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

iPad update and family quarrel

My mother sustains that my father —he's 73 years old and owner of his first Internet connected device ever since August: the new iPad— only wanted to "have that red spot disappear" (the notification of firmware update). She also added that she's upset because in the last four months he's been stuck to his iPad the whole day, and that he gets angry at the tablet because he wants to learn more and more but he still commits errors.

My father replies this is not true and that he uses the iPad just from time to time along the day to discover what sickness is associated to his symptoms.
My mother sustains he's lying, and that he's getting day by day more nervous and that at his age he shouldn't spend his whole time in front of a screen.

The New iPad: linking generations

She tells me, in an underhand manner, that he was updating the firmware and had a terrible panic attack when the iPad wouldn't switch on. He got angry and started shuddering and sweating. Then, with the intention to go straight to the first electronics shop to have it fixed, she tried to retain him on the door suggesting to call me (an engineer) looking for a suggestion.

She says, I notice her touched voice on the phone shaking, that he wouldn't because I would laugh at him, and it seems like he whispered her "Go to Hell" leaving the house angry to go to the shop. I have been informed that the shop didn't know how to manage the issue.

My father admits that tomorrow he will have his iPad back in his hands. His son suggested him to bring the iPad to Apple assistance center next to the house.