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Ivan the Terminator

Will the revival of artificial intelligence lead to a new cold war? The Pravda reported recently that this “Iron Man” should replace humans in battle. The Russians are catching up…

Coordination: Traditional vs DevOps

Working in a DevOps team is extremely different from any other environments. In almost every aspect it’s different: culture, organization, roles, decisions and co-ordination. In this blog, I will zoom in one of  these aspects. I will discuss the dimension of coordination.

Before talking about co-ordination in DevOps teams specifically, let’s have a deeper look in how activities are co-ordinated in an organization.

Essentially, we can say that there are two basic concepts on how we co-ordinate. In the below figure, professor Julian Birkinshaw, of the London Business School, shows these two aspects:

  1. Coordination achieved through Bureaucracy;
  2. Coordination achieved through Emergence.[1]


Coordination achieved through Bureaucracy

The word ‘Bureaucracy’ has become tainted and talking about bureaucracy mostly got negative connotations. When the concept of Bureaucracy was created, it was seen as the rational legal form of organizing, call it a democracy if you want.

There were lot of countries as well as organizations and companies, which were run by autocrats and dictators. So, Weber came up with [Read more…]

Viv’s Secret Sauce: automating the automators

Dag Kittlaus co-created Siri and now he presented something better.  Yesterday at the Techcrunch Disrupt event he showed a life demo of ‘conversational commerce’. A term coined by Chris Messina of Uber. Kittlaus took his phone and said things like “Pay Adam for the beers of yesterday”, and in a split second it was done. You might argue that Amazon Echo  could do the same (if their API talks with ‘Venmo’, the microservice that Viv is using). But  forget about the compeScreen Shot 2016-05-10 at 09.10.55tition between Cortana, Watson, Echo, Siri and Viv. What  is pretty amazing is shown in the slide left, when Kittlaus opened the curtains behind the interface. Viv is building a software program in real time, including the representation, each time a question is asked.

“When it understands intent of user, it generates a program as needed,” Kittlaus said. This is Viv’s secret sauce: Dynamic Program Generation. “Instead of having to write every code instructed, you’re really just describing what you want it to do,” said Kittlaus. “The whole idea of Viv is that developers can go in and build any experience that they want.

Here you can watch the whole demo:

How to teach integration development to management with Legos

The old saying goes: “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. In that sense it’s rather strange that a lot of the IT projects I’ve witnessed have skirted around the combined integration testing between two teams.

Usually this becomes apparent when the product is being demoed for the first time. The teams show how the two systems connect with each other. Then it’s time for the questions. I’ve got a pre-selected bundle of questions that I ask:

  • What happens if the system A tries to send information to system B but the system B is down? Is the message queued or is it lost?
  • What happens if the system A is sending information to system B but the data connection breaks during the send? Is the entire message resent? Is there a possibility that some of the data has reached system B and for instance the message’s unique id number is already filled?
  • Does system B send back any confirmation to system A? What if this confirmation is not sent? Will system A retry its message?
  • Does the system A allow system B to change anything? Is the integration push or pull or does it work with queries?

These questions might seem obvious and the answers to them should be obvious as well. If the development team can answer them right away with good arguments, the situation is good. However if any of them are answered with a blank stare and “well…I don’t really know” then the situation is bad.

[Read more…]

McDonald’s interactive placemat

In the Netherlands, McDonald’s want you to make music while eating your Big Mac.The fast food chain in the country has unveiled a placemat, called a McTrax, that allows customers to bang out tunes as they dine. This digital placemat was introduced as a cool way to help foster creativity in McDonald’s restaurants. While the mat itself is simply made of paper, it’s printed with conductive ink that allows you to connect your smartphone to transform your entire tray into a DJ station.

Agile is not the answer to everything!

CynefinA tool is a tool, it fits within a certain domain. I do not use a ladle to get my nails into wood and I do not stir my soup with a hammer (both might work to a certain degree, but are not specifically fit for it).

During the trainings I provide for colleagues and clients I often get the question “Where does Agile not work”. Funnily enough the question always focusses on the negative, as if the person who asks wants to disqualify Agile. I would love to one day be asked the opposite, but many people still struggle to get into the Agile mindset and might be looking for things to justify not getting there.

As I said, Agile is seen as a mindset, a way of working. It is not so much a tool, as it is an approach to solving things. So where does Agile work and what is not it’s domain?

[Read more…]

Artificial Intelligence on a stick

Anyone wanting to add some deep learning to his machine? It’s easy to do, now that they’ve put it on a stick.  It’s called the Fathom: a standalone, ultra-low power neural network compute accelerator inside a standard USB stick.

Fathom converts trained offline neural networks into embedded neural networks running on the ultra-low power Myriad 2 VPU.

Core Diagrams – A Design Language for Enterprise Architecture

In part 3 an operating model was selected based on a capability mapping of the business model design.  In this article, a design language for creating an ecosystem to support the operating model will be covered.

Core Diagrams – Ecosystem Visual Modeling

Once the operating model is selected, a Core Diagram is produced that illustrates the platform ecosystem which delivers the capabilities needed to support the enterprise architecture.  The Core Diagram’s main purpose is to graphically represent the systems capabilities and connectivity in a single, comprehensive reference.  The Core Diagram is the blueprint that answers the question:  “What does an enterprise architecture look like?”  The Core Diagram components include [Read more…]

New Report: Mastering Digital Disruption with DevOps

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.53.08Today we’re launching the closing piece of our research series on disruptive innovation: ‘Mastering Digital Disruption with DevOps‘. In the earlier works we sketched the design principles of the new competition. Two-sided market players are taking over control in every market and a new wave of platform innovation is to be expected: The blockchain.

There are no easy fixes. Startups are faster, more engaged and more customer obsessed. The only way to tackle the incompetencies of incumbents is to change the way the organization works: Its culture, its management, its obsession with bureaucracy. How should incumbents respond to these kind of market changes? The answer we present in the closing (fourth) report is:


1 Innovate management

2 By doing DevOps

3 In order to become anti-fragile


Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.29.10

The long term objective is to create an organization that gains strength form disruption. A state of Antifragility. Nassim Taleb has introduced the concept of the black swans. Well, the black swans have arrived and there are more to come. Antifragile organizations are welcoming them.

Want to master Digital Disruption? Download our new report on Disruptive Innovation and read all about DevOps as a strategy for management innovation here.







Are you a Viking?

012 - Yola & Co And the Viking Laws-1

During my travels I am always looking for links with the Agile world. There are many examples where a more iterative and value driven mindset is used to achieve certain goals and I use these examples in my work and teachings.

Other Agile experts also have this professional deformation and we meet up on Agile Coach Camps and other Agile events. One of those Agile friends is Rolf Dräther (Happycentric) whom I met on our Agile Coach Camp NL (ACCNL16) this year. Rolf had taken a trip to Norway and was intrigued by a postcard he found there. The postcard showed him the Viking Laws and [Read more…]


Connected, by Luke Gilford, is a portrait of a woman grappling with aging, self-perception, and transformation in a technologically optimized world. Jackie (Pamela Anderson) is a burnt-out AuraCycle instructor in the midst of a midlife crisis. She’s obsessed with self-improvement podcasts (voiced by Jane Fonda), and she is soon drawn to an advanced yet enigmatic wellness spa that promises to enhance her mind, body and soul. Guided by her effortless and nubile mentor, Luna (Dree Hemingway), Jackie will give up anything to feel “connected” — to herself, to the future, and to a precarious sense of perfection.

The Internet of Healthcare – Sector Spotlight

There are a lot of articles available discussing the potential that the Internet of Things can bring to both consumers and companies. In this article, I’d like to discuss how the healthcare industry specifically stands to gain from the Internet of Things, looking specifically at healthcare payers and providers.


Healthcare Payers

Healthcare insurance companies, similar to insurance companies in most other sectors, stand to reap the most benefit from the data aggregation and analytics that IoT can help provide. Understanding whether a patient is engaging in high or low-risk behavior requires [Read more…]

Hide and Seek with a GoPro

DevOps is greater than Automation

For me, DevOps is more than just automation or implementing certain tools.  Conceptually, DevOps is not just implementing Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Selenium, or writing unit tests in your language of choice.  DevOps is also not: agile specific, a prescriptive series of tasks and or tools to implement, a prescriptive methodology to be implemented.  DevOps is not having ‘deployments’ occurring every day.  DevOps is: a philosophy, a way of being, a way of operating, a goal that is never really achieved.  DevOps is ‘run-rinse-repeat’ methodology, or the standardization and repeatability of your processes.

When I did a quick search for ‘DevOps’ on Google, I got interesting search resultswith several advertisements for tools, along with the Wikipedia  article for DevOps.  I am going to choose to ignore the fact that the Wikipedia article  doesn’t do justice to my opinion of the DevOps philosophyand I feel it is somewhat short-sighted.  A quick perusal of the article, for the uninitiated, makes one think that if you implement an Agile development process, leverage the cloud, and introduce some tools, you are now ‘doing DevOps’.

Let’s Explore

As I stated earlier, DevOps is a philosophy, a way of operating, a way of thinking about the day to day activities within an organization, and identifying [Read more…]

Blue Eyed Me

This is the world of the 99-cent lifeform. Like a social media profile or an online shopping list tailored to our hobbies, we collect genetically modified pets, engineered to look like their owners.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? The Corporate Learning Quest

Source: Corporate Learning (Emily, 2012)

“Have a vision of life that inspires you, and then try every day to grow closer to the fulfilment of that vision.” This beautiful quote by Deepak Chopra got me thinking about future goals, the learning process and it’s link to the corporate world.

How many of us have been asked during our childhood “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always had a standard answer. “I want to be an engineer like my dad”.

Will I respond the same way today? What are my options? [Read more…]

Woman on Hong Kong subway melts down when her phone battery dies


Why I stopped filling out online surveys for free?

Ever since Amazon gifted me a $50 voucher for filling out a survey about their cloud services, I have stopped filling out surveys for free (with the exception of when it’s for a good non-profit cause), and I recommend you to do the same. The simple reason is that I want to help teach all organizations that my sincere opinion about anything is my asset that I am prepared to sell, but not to give away for free. Nowadays, I always reply to any free rider survey request with a question, “what’s in it for me?”, but I rarely get an answer.

That’s not so strange, because there is still a wide-spread misconception that actually asking customers what they think is all that is needed to create customer satisfaction.  This is no longer the case, but the issue is even bigger, because it’s really about me sharing all of my personal data. [Read more…]

Kisses in Tokyo

“ili is a voice translation device that translates your words instantly in a touch without connecting to the Internet. Dean, who is from the UK and doesn’t speak Japanese, uses ili to communicate with Japanese women whom he has never met before to ask for a kiss.

We don’t need a common language. We can communicate with anyone in the world even if we don’t speak the same language. Say goodbye to all language barriers!”

The above advert was branded as ‘sexual harassment’, but has been revealed as a stunt, after the CEO admitted the video was staged.The women in this video are all actresses; no one was forced to act against their will in any way.

From Human Resources to Human Value

DSC_0951-2As the world around us keeps spinning, every spin brings change, some small, some disruptive, some life changing. Let’s say the company you work for decides to make a transition to an Agile way of work, this will add more direct value to the product and will increase time to market for that product or increment. This will have a big impact on the people working at that company.

In this blog I want to emphasize on the impact on Human Resource, traditionally called, HR.

HR has a key role to the company’s transition to Agile. For instance [Read more…]