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Minimal IT newsletters 2010

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You can learn a lot about managing legacy IT from tidying your home.
The ongoing management of legacy systems is the last big problem in IT. It requires a level of co-operation that we have not yet achieved.
If everybody does exactly what they are meant to in a project, and delivers on time and to budget, the project is almost certain to fail.
HTML should be the first choice for most documentation produced in IT.
When you are developing a system, programming might be one of the last tasks in the project plan.
In our enthusiasm for our own profession, we make IT complicated and reduce value to IT users and owners.
Although very different, the IT industry can learn lessons from the movie industry.
Corporate IT will be challenged to adopt lower-cost approaches such as virtualization, Linux and Software-as-a-Service, but need to retain traditional corporate IT values such as security and integration.
A clearer view of IT will help the IT management challenges ahead.
Freemind is an easy-to-use open source mind mapping tool that can help you organise you thoughts.
Fully automated regression tests are worth the high costs required to create them, but require confidence and discipline to gain the value.
Our enthusiastic adoption of advanced development tools and frameworks has diverted us from the hard work of delivering effective system documentation.
There are general principles for the mismanagement of IT that apply at the level of the individual PC up to the entire enterprise.
Future technology makes it more important to manage well the IT that you already have.
The disruption caused by the Iceland volcano is a reminder of both the opportunities and responsibilities of IT.
There are important principles for integrating the components used to build an application. They are different from the principles used to connect one application to another.
If you gave different designers the same business requirements and the same technical constraints, what are the chances that they would come up with a similar design?
Although much of the code in a typical IT system adds little business value, there is a huge value in keeping it well maintained.
The time is right to adopt a less assertive, more down-to-earth approach to IT.
What would it be like if you were not a picture person?
XML is not just a data interface standard. It also solves problems in design, development and programming.
An effective framework for XML-based programming is relatively easy to develop.
Using XML-based programming simplifies web development, database handling and report production.
XML provides excellent capabilities for building test harnesses and test data, and helps structure systems to make them easier to test.
XML-based programming makes building complex new functionality from simple building blocks as easy as manipulating XML data.
Without care, XML can be difficult to understand, complicated to work with, and inefficient to process.
Is XML-based programming suitable for your project?
It is easy to lose sight of the basic benefits of project management.
Codes of conduct for IT professionals do not fully cover the conflicts inherent in IT.
To explain value, you have to look deeper than features and benefits, and understand how your products add value to your customers in a way that distinguishes you from your competitors.
It is time to move away from the big distinction between steady state and projects.
Last week I suggested that we need to break down the big distinction between projects and steady state management, and that we should manage more as steady state. This week I describe how.
How should IT management respond to the shift from PC applications to online services?
Specialists have an important role lighting up the dark corners that management can not see.
Management information systems provide a critical management function despite being deeply flawed.
Working from home frees you from the daily grind of 9 to 5 office life. Ironically, to cope with this freedom, you have to reinvent the daily routine.
Web services are not just an advanced technology for sophisticated web solutions. They also meet down-to-earth requirements like testing and integration.
If your development is optimised for delivering small increments, then you had better stick to small increments.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) has been one of the major contributors to the development of Western thinking, covering areas as diverse as logic, biology, philosophy and IT project management.
One of the big challenges for the long-term management of systems is deciding when to adopt new technologies.
Will IT jobs as we know them cease to exist?
There will be rewarding careers in IT for many years to come, but we need to be flexible and understand where the new opportunities will be.
Over the next few years, organisations will increasingly adopt outsourcing and everything-as-a-service delivery models. We need to understand how to respond to these changes.
How will the move to software-as-a-service (SaaS) affect enterprise application integration (EAI)?
To integrate software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications with internal applications, you need to think about integratability and control, not development speed.
Many standards suffer from creeping self-destruction. Should we do away with them?
Office Starter 2010 may tempt some people away from the full paid-for version of Office and away from free alternatives such as OpenOffice.org.
ConTEXT is a simple, powerful, open source text editor for Windows.
A postmodern interpretation can help us understand many problems in IT.
Picking the right words for IT is very hard.

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