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Can Great Britain run fully on renewable energy?

Krista Hyer wrote “In Great Britain, electrical power is supplied via the National Grid, which constantly and carefully balances supply against demand. This is a vital and high-stakes process—deviations of more than 1% in the Grid’s conditions can lead to infrastructure damage and power outages due to blown fuses. (Even deviations of less than 1% will have noticeable…”

Lego Telepresence bot: how not to try and build one

Tom Parker-Shemilt wrote “Four years ago, I built a Dalek-based telepresence bot (part 1, part 2), and I’d been idly thinking for some time that what I really needed to do was make a better follow-up, as a much better one could probably be done with Lego Mindstorms especially given the existence of the BrickPi board for interfacing…”

Three books every software developer should read in 2019

Patrick Tschorn wrote “Ok, that title is tongue-in-cheek clickbait, but here are three books which in my opinion are likely to broaden your horizon by offering surprising perspectives on the most powerful tool that you have at your disposal: your mind (and your body). I have found these books to be filled with interesting observations and pieces of…”

A Millennial Reading of the Mythical Man-Month

Alexandra Orth wrote “The biggest problem of The Mythical Man Month is that the valuable lessons are buried amongst a pile of historical technological references which severely bog down the text. Perhaps I should have anticipated this for a book written in 1975. Various lessons are still applicable, but it is so tedious to filter them out that…”

Spot Colour Puzzle

Patrick Tschorn wrote “I failed to solve the Spot Colour Puzzle at a recent team-building event. Time to revisit state space search and have some fun with Elixir. The puzzle consists of seven discs, each of which has six coloured spots. One disc is to be placed at the center and the remaining six discs have to be…”

Improving Life in Smaller, Heterogeneous Projects

James Uther wrote “A little while ago we were asked if we could do a talk on ‘developer experience’ at QCon. I volunteered. We were having lots of fun at the time building a CI/CD system out of Jenkins and Kubernetes, and using a bunch of hipster languages in the project and I thought I would be pulling…”

By Ed g2s [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons

How standing on escalators can be faster than walking

Tom Price wrote “The Holborn stand-only escalator trial In 2016, Transport for London (TFL) launched a four month trial preventing commuters from walking up the escalators during peak times outgoing from Holborn underground station on the Central line, where traditionally TFL advises customers to stand on the right and walk on the left. The results showed a throughput increase…”

Solving Zelda Puzzles Satisfactorily

Ceri Storey wrote “In the game Breath of the Wild, there’s a puzzle which in­volves a set of fans and tur­bines in a 4×5 grid, and you must po­s­i­tion the fans in order en­sure all of the tur­bines are spin­ning. Un­for­tu­nately, I’ve never really had much pa­tience for solving this kind of logic puzzle the old fash­ioned way,…”

Acephalic Agile—worse than Waterfall?

Andy Wilson wrote “When we formed LShift, we sat with a group of engineers and asked them what the new company would have to be like for them to want to join it. Their first request was that we get rid of a situation every developer is familiar with—mid-project, the Account Handler or Program Manager turns up to…”

On Platitudes

Ian Rogers wrote “I hope we can agree that ad hominem attacks in discussion are undesirable, but I’ll suggest that platitudes can sometimes be the other side of the same coin, it’s rebuke being delivered in a wrapper of inoffensiveness. “A remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be…”

By Rept0n1x (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

5 Whys considered harmful

Ian Rogers wrote “Adverse events happen – a website breaks down, a project doesn’t get delivered on time – and a  proposed technique to find ‘the root cause’ is to ask the “5 Whys”. Attributed to Sakichi Toyoda in the 1930’s and adopted by Toyota and other formal techniques it’s basically the technique of listing a fault and then asking…”

Just Enough Design

Ian Rogers wrote “On the one hand it’s become a bit of a cliché to say that Waterfall doesn’t work (in fact ‘waterfall’ may never have existed), but we know that rigid projects don’t deliver—when the level of resources is the only contingency in a project then budget overrun and missed deadlines (or lowered quality) become almost inevitable.…”