Looking forward to attending NoSQL Live in Boston

by Mahesh Pai on March 2, 2010

I am looking forward to attending the  NoSQL Live event in Boston. Before attending, you might want to brush up on the current state of affairs in the NoSQL universe. Below are a few links that give you a comprehensive overview of the same.

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I just finished reading the story of Mohammad Yunus and Grameen Bank in the book titled Banker to the Poor: The Story of the Grameen Bank. It is amazing how he threw out many of the standard policies and practices that traditional banks implemented and invented new ones to meet the needs for the poor. Here are some examples

  • Eliminated filling out lengthy/multiple forms since the poor did not know how to read and write.
  • Abolished collateral since the poor did not have any.
  • Encouraged office workers/bankers to be out on the field to meet clients instead of them coming in.
  • Made loan repayments weekly instead of one large payment at the end because it was very difficult for them to save up a large money
  • Gave out small loans and worked with the customer to repay them
  • Gave loans to mostly women ( in Bangladesh it seems most loans were made out to me ), because they had higher rate of repayment

The list goes on. But what was impressive if his ability to question the status quo and the traditionally established processes. Expanding this to software markets, sometimes it is is very beneficial to question the current process in existing markets or understand which other possible customer population has been prevented from using the solution. If it looks like  there is a new way to doing things it is worthwhile putting thought into doing it.

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The cost of software maintenance

January 3, 2010

Author Robert Glass has collected a woderful list of many facts and some fallacies  found in the field of Software Engineering in his book titled Facts & Fallacies of Software Engineering. Here are some regarding software maintenance that I have observed personally :

Fact : Maintenance Typically consumes 40 to 80 percent of software costs. Therefore, it is [...]

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What makes software maintainable ?

January 3, 2010

Many folks have tried to define metrics to measure maintainable software. There are many things that can make software maintainable. In my experience software with the characteristics below are extremely maintainable.
1. It is easy to understand and well documented. When you open up a software module/package, if you can follow the implementation logic fairly easily [...]

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Keeping Software Lean

July 23, 2009

The term “Lean” has been used in the context of software development for a while now.  Lean Software Development and Lean Startup are two of the popular ones. I would like to use the term “Lean Software” to literally mean that. Lean software has the following characteristics

They do not have any unwanted/nice to have/”cool features [...]

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When Unit Testing is not a good idea

July 22, 2009

It is universally accepted now a days that Unit Testing is a good idea. However, there are a number of situations when unit testing is not a good idea. Below are 2 such scenarios

Changing APIs/implementation
New technology/Language etc. which does not have good unit testing support structure

Changing APIs
Unit Tests are most useful when you have written [...]

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Lean Startup

June 28, 2009

Eric Ries at Lessons Learned has started developing the concept of Lean Startup.  You can read his thinking in this blog post at http://startuplessonslearned.blogspot.com/2008/09/lean-startup.html .  In summary, he says Lean Startups have these 3 characteristics.

They use of a commodity technology stack (Open Source Software stacks/platforms etc. ) to build their products/services
The practice of Agile Development [...]

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New Search Innovations

June 15, 2009

Wolfram Alpha (http://www.wolframalpha.com) and Google Squared (http://www.google.com/squared)  are two new computing services that try to present search results in a structered, factual format. Wolfram Alpha claims to be a computational knowledge engine.  What this means is that instead of searching the web and just returning links to pages, it searches and computes through its own knowledge [...]

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Design and User Interaction

May 31, 2009

I came across this very interesting presentation on design and user interation.
http://www.slideshare.net/tmo/the-web-in-the-world-presentation

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Inside Druker's Brain

May 31, 2009

A few weeks ago, I read Jeffrey Krames’ book “Inside Drucker’s Brain”. It is a short and simple introduction to management guru Peter Drucker’s thoughts and philosophies on Management. It covers all his important ideas like Leadership & Execution, Strategy, Innovation, Management etc. This is not a comprehensive treatment on Drucker’s teachings, but a quick [...]

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