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Soundbyte 225: Iron Sky

28 December 2015

I have been looking forward to this week for quite some time because I had hoped to be able to sit back and relax a bit. So far, I have had only partial success with that. Although I haven’t spent time working so far (apart from answering some emails and phone-calls), I found myself enjoying some intensive hikes though the local woods for the past days. This not only showed me that I need to work more on my physical fitness ;-), it also resulted in quality time with my wife and daughters.

Being a great admirer of Marcus Aurelius, I try use these periods to step back a little by trying to attain a stoic attitude towards the world around me, including all the inherent uncertainty and problems. During these long walks, however, I couldn’t help myself thinking about Luminis. I found myself looking back at last year and even imagining all kinds of potential futures. This proved once again how much I love my job! The beauty of stepping back from work for a couple of days, is that it puts things a bit in perspective. So I will not tire you with all my erratic thoughts and ideas, but just share some highlights.

Luminis in 2015

During one of the recent walks I sometimes do with Laurens, we discussed how challenging it is to capture the power and depth of “Empathy”, together with craftsmanship and entrepreneurship one of our organizational principles. Our conclusion at that time was that you had to experience it in order to understand it (which just shows that we haven’t mastered it enough to properly explain it). This also translates into one of the major achievements of 2015: the positive attitude and open minded character of everyone in Luminis in spite of all the challenges and uncertainty in the world around us. Obviously there is also a considerable list of more tangible achievements. To name a few: a successful DevCon conference, starting Luminis /Amsterdam, new offices for Luminis /Rotterdam, next generation of commercial products to market with Cloud RTI (and new products on the horizon),  more international projects in Scotland and continued development in the EdTech space with Yunoo and Summar.io to name a few…

Hats off to everyone…

Software Evolution

Because of my involvement in the INAETICS project during the last year, I was able to spend considerable time on the topic “software evolution”. This appears to be something like a ‘leitmotiv’ in my career in the field of software engineering. It appears that our profession is maturing to the level that we understand what it means when we say that ‘IT can be a competitive advantage’. Nowadays, this translates into broad terms like value, agility and time-to-market. Each of which represent challenges that have proven to be out of reach for any of the silver bullet solution strategies offered by vendors. These challenges were also encountered as part of discussions in the INAETICS research project. One of the insights that finally emerged, was to acknowledge the problem area of ‘Software Evolution‘. A topic which was identified by Manny Lehmann in the early 70’s and resulted in his famous, but strangely forgotten, ‘laws of software evolution’.

I believe that we will be faced with this problem time and again. And whether we dress up the solution with the latest fad (Microservices) or silver bullet (CQRS), we should be aware that there are deeper fields of expertise that we should not forget.
Stronger even: with the advent of the Internet-of-Everything (as a super-set of IoT) and the changed security reality, there are big things changing that cannot be solved easily.

As part of the INAETICS project, we concluded that solving the ‘software evolution’ will never be simple. We did see, however, that the modularity paradigm is key to controlled evolution. Furthermore we saw that an ‘Open first’ approach and an inclusive security design are mandatory as well. It you are interested in any of these topics, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to take this discussion to the next level with anyone…

Iron Sky

I have spend quite some time thinking about the music for this Soundbyte and, as you can imagine, all kinds of artists crossed my mind. Having suffered from the Top ‘whatever’ programs on the radio the last couple of days, I found myself listening more and more to all kinds of live jazz performances. One very impressive appearance is performed by Paolo Nutini with “Iron Sky” on the last North Sea Jazz festival. It’s a poem put to music, so I used the video with an overlay with the lyrics. Enjoy…

CU,
Snah

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