…and isn’t about me (or probably you)
An important debate in politics is the importance of privacy - in particular when or if privacy should be traded off in order to combat terrorism. In discussion I often hear people say things like “I have nothing to hide”, or as a friend of mine put it “the NSA doesn’t care about insignificant people like you or me”. In this essay I argue that this thinking is deeply flawed, as it isn’t our privacy that we should be primarily concerned about, but instead the privacy of various kinds of bothersome people. Compromising privacy undermines their actions, which will undermine the foundations of a free society.
“Big Data” has become quite the rage in the last year or two. While the hype is annoying, I do think it represents an important shift about the role data plays in our world. Earlier this year I put together an infodeck on Big Data to introduce the various aspects of Big Data: how the world of data is changing, and our responses: extraction from more sources, new tools for handling the logistics of data, using agile approaches to manage data projects, the challenges of proper interpretation of data, and the opportunities of new visualizations. For a video treatment of similar territory, you can watch a keynote that Rebecca Parsons and I gave at QCon London in 2012.
Adopting agile software development is neither a quick nor easy path. Diana Larsen and James Shore (experienced agile coaches) have come up with a way to think about how teams progress through stages of fluency in agile thinking. The path begins by focusing on value and then progresses to delivering and optimizing that value. Diana and James outline the benefits of each stage and the what investments you need to make to get there.
I’ve been involved in enterprise software for two decades and while we’ve seen huge technological change during that time, the relational database has been a constant figure. Previous attempts to dethrone relational databases have failed, but some people think the new rise of NoSQL databases will finally consign relational databases to history. While I think relational databases are going to an important part of the landscape for a long time, I do think that there is a big change coming in the database field.
I’ve been collaborating with my colleague Pramod Sadalage, on exploring and explaining this shift. For a quick introduction into what is happening, take a look at our infodeck on why we think the future is not so much NoSQL but more that of Polyglot Persistence. For more depth take a look at our new book: NoSQL Distilled. On this site you can find more material by looking at the nosql guide.
I discovered ThoughtWorks in 2000: then a small American company whose
philosphy of software development was remarkably similar to my
own. Now we’ve grown to around 1500 people world-wide, but kept the
values that make us special. My colleagues have built critical systems
for many clients in that time, and I’ve learned many lessons from
them. While doing this, we found we often didn’t have the tools we
needed, so we started to build them. This led to open-source tools
such as CruiseControl and Selenium, and to products. We have
Mingle for project collaboration and mangement, Go for Continuous
Delivery, and Twist for automated functional testing.
Despite the Great Recession, the last couple of years have been our
most successful - and we are always looking for more people to join