Skip to content

Technical Debt and the Cost/Benefit of Knowledge Retention

A rather rigorous, Financial-sounding title for a high-concept line of thought ... Thanks to Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror, for calling my attention to this article by Martin Fowler on Technical Debt: Technical Debt is a wonderful metaphor developed by Ward Cunningham¬†to help us think about this problem. In this metaphor, doing things the quick and dirty way sets us up with a technical debt, which is similar to a financial debt. Like a financial debt, the technical debt incurs…

Read More ...

KM Overcomplicates: Heisenberg Impact on a VBA Quickie

Got a simple request from one of the folks in Operations; we're sending out Excel spreadsheets for some quick data gathering, might we do a little basic input validation before they send in garbage that needs to be scrubbed? This person is very sharp, knows a decent bit about what is possible, and this is definitely not something that is worth a major project engagement; "throwaway technology", a particular fave of mine. His request was simple - just want to…

Read More ...

Best Practices for Process Documentation: Use Cases (3 of 3)

I've been writing about iterative documentation and checklists, and it's easy to see how these are applicable to a number of common IT processes ... Build a server Apply OS patches Move new code into production Initiate a project / programming request Unfortunately, there are plenty of other areas in IT that you think should / could have a definable process ... yet there is always some magic to them, a variable recipe that's difficult to capture in a cookbook…

Read More ...

Best Practices for Process Documentation: Checklists (1 of 3)

I've written before about process documentation and the need for checklists - especially for repeatable and complex processes that you may not perform every single day. A written process solves a multitude of issues: Security: For complex processes with integrated platforms, a detailed list keeps you from forgetting key settings, switches, and process steps that you might forget Reality: No matter how "advanced" or "highly engineered" these systems are, there is always something that must be done in just the…

Read More ...