Dominic Umbeer / Blog

TLDR; Do you express your wishes and expectations towards your team? If the answer is no, it is a sign that you lead or manage implicit. It is a natural habit that leaders and managers need to be aware of and handle it. Plan and express expectations towards your peers. Help and support everyone to gather understanding. Handle communication more active; do it explicitly; it is your job!

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People sometimes ask me which development process I would recommend to their team. Unfortunately, the answer is not that easy because I believe that there is no golden bullet. A development process is individual and depends on the people, culture, leaders and stage of your business.

But, there are four attributes that every solid development process should fulfill. The list is no particular order.

  • Involvement 
  • Focus
  • Transparency
  • Commitment

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Do you know that feeling after reading a book or an article that you can’t remember the important key parts or concepts anymore?

Can you remember the last time you wanted to tell your friends or colleagues about your new knowledge and while you were explaining it, you figured out that you can’t bring the particular parts together?

Do you also mark a ton of text passages in a book, but haven’t learned anything at all?

I can often answer these questions with Yes. And the worst thing is that I haven’t realized it for a long time. I discovered these problems while I was participating in the Coursera course “Learning How to Learn”. And the whole concept about this phenomena has an explicit naming, illusion of competence.

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Recently, I talked to an experienced developer and CTO. He asked me to tell him two attributes that I’m looking for when hiring people.

Quite a hard question, expressing all your thoughts and ideas in two words, right?

I told him that I always look for passion and discipline. This article should give you an understanding why I believe that these are the most crucial attributes of a developer.

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Recently I was a bit confused about the behaviour of the Google calendar app when I subscribed to the calendar of one of my colleagues. Why? Their calendar appeared in the “My calendars” section in Google’s calendar app even though the calendar wasn’t mine.

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I have talked to a couple of developers recently, both in interviews and informal conversations at lunches and meetups. Many of them were complaining about their current work situation, mainly about the company’s culture and how they are integrated. Most of them had actively tried to change their situation within the company without success (as I understood it from their stories). For them the next logical step was to cancel the contract and to leave the company. To be honest, this behaviour is understandable.

What I don’t understand, however, is what happens next.

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Morning Keynote

Unfortunately I couldn’t watch the keynote due to a system outage the day before. But I got a short summary from several guys and the opinions were really divided.

Some of them mentioned that it was really entertaining and that Mr. Dueck had made use of stereotypes in the IT industry to underpin common problems. But that was exactly the problem for some other folks - they expressed clearly that the use of such stereotypes was really annoying.

Nevertheless, I will watch and post the talk as soon as it is available on the web.

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Recently I went to the GOTO conference in Berlin and it was definitely another highlight in my conference calendar this year.

It was the first time ever for me at a GOTO event and I didn’t know quite what to expect. What I already knew was that the conference has a really good reputation and the speakers line-up is always amazing.

From the organisational and location side of things I can only express positive feedback - good food, nice presentation halls and the schedule was always on time. Maybe one small point of criticism was the slow wireless connection.

At the beginning I was a bit afraid that the conference would be too crowded, but my suspicions were not confirmed. The atmosphere was warm and encouraged conversations with other attendees.

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On the 23rd and 24th of October I attended DevOpsDays Berlin. It was the first time for me at any DevOpsDays event at all.

First of all I have to say thank you to all the organisers and sponsors for making such an event possible. The event is non-commercial and an entry fee of 150 Euro was absolutely fair.

The next highlight for me was the location. At weekends the “Kalkscheune” becomes a club and this was where I met my fiancée for the first time. So a good omen for me right from the start.

The atmosphere was really warm and familiar. There were not too many attendees, which made it easy to get chatting to several people quickly and have interesting discussions about various topics.

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This article describes how you can quickly install and run a single-node Cassandra cluster with Opscode Chef in a Vagrant box.

Anybody who doesn’t know either Chef or Vagrant yet should check out their websites.

Vagrant 1.4.2 with the Berkshelf and Omnibus Vagrant plugins is installed on my local machine. Berkshelf helps you manage your cookbook dependencies without maintaining your own repo, while Omnibus keeps your Chef version in your Vagrant box up-to-date automatically. Both plugins are very handy tools and you should definitely check them out.

Because I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, my first step was to find existing cookbooks and my search uncovered the following:

  1. A cookbook from the Opscode community website - http://community.opscode.com/cookbooks/cassandra
  2. Another cookbook on Github - https://github.com/michaelklishin/cassandra-chef-cookbook

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