Tech thoughts for June 16th 2018

  1. Docker and Kubernetes: Major software vendors are now using Docker and .  Kubernetes is an open-source container-orchestration system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. It was originally designed by Google and is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. This means that you don’t need VMWare and probably won’t need Linux or Windows licences. Vendors ship their software in Docker contains which are preloaded, preconfigured with Ubuntu and all the software stack. The host is controlled by Kubernetes.   This is a great way to roll out patches. One speaker from IBM claimed that they can now patch complex systems in minutes rather than hours. RedHat have OpenShift which is an alternative to Kubernetes.
  2. GDPR: 80% of companies don’t think they will be fully GDPR complaint before the end of 2018 – it’s a long journey and to a large extent it’s never complete and has to become Business As Usual.
  3. Compressing time to value“, this can be achieved through Self Service Applications and Automation.
  4. Continual Touch“, this is a business model objective where you try to be constantly working in partnership with your customer to provide a service. It’s an extension of cloud and SaaS (annuity model hosting).
  5. TIM WOODS“, I’ve read a lot on Lean-Agile over the years but somehow this brilliant acronym hadn’t come to my attention. It spells out the areas where waste happens in a business.

    T – Transport – Moving people, products & information
    I – Inventory – Storing parts, pieces, documentation ahead of requirements
    M – Motion – Bending, turning, reaching, lifting

    W – Waiting – For parts, information, instructions, equipment
    O – Over production – Making more than is IMMEDIATELY required
    O – Over processing – Tighter tolerances or higher grade materials than are necessary
    D – Defects – Rework, scrap, incorrect documentation
    S – Skills – Underutilizing capabilities, delegating tasks with inadequate training

  6. Security concepts – “Session Break” and “Secure Proxy”: These are useful concepts for keeping backend systems secure. Session Break means that a process can’t talk directly end to end to achieve a given outcome. For example, a customer might place an order via a website. Instead of having the website write the order directly to the fulfilment system it places an XML or JSON representation of the order on a file server. An entirely separate process then picks up any new order files.  This helps protect the backend fulfilment database as the web application doesn’t have any access to that database.  Secure Proxy is similar, it means that external users login to an application using a  set of user credentials that are only valid on the proxy itself. The proxy then forwards requests to the backend or maps the external user to an internal user. This again protects the backend application.

Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions

By Gayle Laakmann McDowell published by CareerCup

This looks like a really useful book for new developers attending job interviews. I think it’s also useful if you are responsible for recruiting and interviewing developers.  I wouldn’t suggest using any of the examples given in this book in an actual interview for obvious reasons but having seen the style you can create your own similar questions.  In my experience if you do this then it’s essential to test the questions on a few of your existing developers to benchmark the questions and see what good looks like.

Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions
At £25.36 it looks expensive but if it helps you get a top developer job or recruit a good developer instead of an average developer it will pay back within minutes.
My interview advice for those attending and running interviews is always to relax and try and enjoy the experience. It’s a chance to learn about other people and other companies and learn from their experience even if you are initially unsuccessful.
If you have any great example Developer Interview questions or you’ve been asked a tough question that you are not sure of the answer to leave it in a comment below and I’ll try and give you some feedback on it.

Click here to view this on Amazon.co.uk
Price: £25.36


Minutes Template UK?

Integrated meeting minutes and agenda template.

Integrated meeting minutes and agenda template.

One of my most popular blogs last year was my UK Minutes Template.  At the time I just wrote about a Minutes Template that I’ve used a lot over the years but I’ve got lots more examples that may be more appropriate to different styles of meeting.  Over the coming weeks I plan to compile a few more example templates for meeting minutes and write a follow-up blog.  I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got a great meeting minutes template that you’d like to share.  I’m happy to edit any templates you send over to remove company details and make them generic.

I’d also love to know what formats best suit people, I’m assuming Microsoft Word but may be people are increasingly using Apple Pages or Google Docs.