Category Archives: team tools

OCLUG and “The Art of Community” by Jono Bacon

I have started reading this book, I am about half way through.
I have already found useful info that I can use in OCLUG.

I consider my role as President of OCLUG to be similar to the role of Community Manager that Bacon describes. The committees that we struck at the AGM have “objectives” that would be “objectives” for the club, as the book defines them. We would need to add other objectives as defined at the AGM and in recent board meetings, but this is a great start on a “Strategic Plan”.

As someone said in a committee meeting recently, “talking about mission … again”. Well, maybe. Jono Bacon considers a Mission Statement to be useful, but I think we have one already. It’s somewhere in the minutes and I will make it more prominent Real Soon Now(tm, but not by me).

The book is a detailed how-to, a tool for planning, executing on the plan, tracking progress on the plan, and reporting. In fact, I intend to take his notes on “Reporting”, and use them at work. I will also apply his recommendations on reporting transparently at work and in the club.

Speaking of work – Bacon even tells a story of what not to take from work and apply to community, thereby highlighting that this can be an issue, and to remember it.

I appreciate the work that Jono Bacon has put into this book. It will be a reference that I will keep and refer to, and recommend to others involved in leadership of any sort of community, from festival to software project.

I must note that my copy is missing all its “Figures”, which probably means it is a pre-release copy. I am curious to see several of them, (What does the “dot” family look like?) but it has not hindered my learning.

I have learned about organising a group from one of the best – Toastmasters International – and from numerous short training courses. This book brings together a lot that I have learned, packages it for theoretical consistency, and adds new material that I can act on. And I still have half of it to read yet.

Learning about Git


Git was invented by Linus Torvalds to use with the Linux kernel. There were performance and political, aka licensing, issues with the previous version control system that the kernel used. Continue reading

Learning about Subversion

Origins of Subversion

The Subversion project was initiated by CollabNet in 2000. The goal was to create a new version control system to replace CVS, with some bugs fixed and some features added. Continue reading

Agile Ottawa: Nov 9 – Tips for a smoother running sprint

Location: Adobe’s offices on Preston St, just south of the 417

– Networking: 6:00-6:30pm
– Presentation: 6:30-8:00pm
– Heart & Crown afterward

Presenter: Steffan Surdek

Steffan is one of the co-authors of the IBM Press book “A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum”. I have read this book and it succinctly covers all the main topics you will need to address with Agile teams in multiple locations. I look forward to meeting Steffan and hearing his presentation.

November meeting details and outline of the presentation.

The ‘for’ task and other stuff I didn’t know about Ant

Migrated. Originally posted: 2008-02-03

While searching for Ant ways to loop over a bunch of builds and do the same thing to each, I recently had a look at Ant 1.7. It has been out for over a year, so it may show up in distros any time now. Debian will have it in “sid”, or you can use it from “sid” unstable now if you need it.

I also found out some interesting Ant tasks: <foreach> and <cc>, and the Ant subprojects Antlibs and Ivy. Continue reading

Codestriker – Peer Code Review with software support

Migrated. Originally posted: 2008-01-01

There are a lot of people out there who would like to do code review at their company, but there is no time for the meetings. Now there are several software products that allow you to do the code review without the meetings. Continue reading

Languages to consider for your next project

Migrated. Originally posted: 2007-12-23

The Bugzilla project has recently discussed whether to continue writing Bugzilla in Perl. As far as I can tell, they are not likely to abandon Perl, but there was discussion about what language would be best.

I am mentioning this because Build Systems have some of the same characteristics as Bugzilla: Continue reading

Corporate Memory is important

Migrated. Originally published: 2006-07-15

An article on reminds us that keeping staff over time is important for a high tech company. That’s why game development companies “keep making design errors”, according to Ernest Adams. It’s interesting to look at his list of game industry goofs. How many happen at non-game companies? Well, burning out your workers happens in many high tech companies, and the resulting problems are just as big as in the game industry.