Industrial-strength Agile, or YAM?

ZDNet posted an article http://www.zdnet.com/article/agile-computing-in-search-of-the-next-level/ “Do we need “industrial-strength’ Agile computing.  Basically, the idea is that it’s time to move beyond Agile, perhaps a synthesis of Agile, Lean IT, and DevOps.

I disagree.

yam

Yes, Agile needs to be replaced, but I question whether YAM, “Yet Another Methodology” is the right answer, or simply another long rut on the road.

The irony is that software development is actually a highly social process, and a successful social process does not come about from formal methodologies but rather innate or trained social skills. Psychological skills like listening, non-violent communication, team building, etc.

Yes, processes are needed, but typically only when members in the process are corrupting the process. And therein is my estimation of the problem — we, as humans, are usually not proficient at socialization. Or we come with our own agendas (and fears) that corrupt the process. Or frankly, both. The fourth kind is the worst, which any developer that prefaces his/her title with the word “senior” has experienced: a highly skilled anti-social engineer who manages (pun intended) to put forth their own agenda with varying affects, from disillusionment, “it’s just a paycheck”, to more devastating affects.

The one and only test you need that you are working with the latter kind is when he/she says “don’t take it personally.” Because a successful social process works only when people are personally vested in their own goals and accomplishments and the goals and accomplishments of the other people on the project.

What we need are less methodologies and more training in how to be functionally social with the effect being that even fewer methodologies are needed. Yes, we still need to be skillful at our technical work, but if we don’t figure out the social process, then everyone (the customer, the QA dept, the developer, the manager) will continue to create failed or mostly failed projects–either personal-subjective or product-objective or both.

The only way out of this loop is to develop social skills — not the BS that management inflicts on you with week long “retreats” (if you are so lucky/unlucky) but real skills where we acknowledge each other as human beings with diverse and often divergent goals and at the same time agree to collaborate on something and have the skills to work out the differences in a way that doesn’t rip out the human in us but instead leaves us feeling validated, recognized, and with our honor and dignity, if not elevated, at least left intact.

Thanks for reading. 😉

Marc

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Setting up Beaglebone Black with Debian and SSH with Windows

bbb2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things you’ll need:

Hardware

  1. Obviously, a BeagleboneBlack and 5V power supply
  2. An HDMI compatible monitor
  3. USB keyboard
  4. Ethernet cable
  5. Ethernet router (usually your DSL/Cable modem will provide extra Ethernet ports)
  6. Micro MMC card – I’ve been using SanDisk 32GB cards,
  7. A computer able to read micro MMC cards.  Most computers and laptops have this ability, you may need MMC to microSD adapter, or use an MMC USB reader like this one.

Software

  1. An image of Debian.  As of this writing, I’m using Jessie.  Download BBB images from here: http://beagleboard.org/latest-images
  2. 7-zip for extracting the .xz image downloaded in step 1.  Download from here: http://www.7-zip.org/download.html
  3. Win32DiskImager, for creating an image on a uMMC card.  Download from here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/?source=directory
  4. PuTTY SSH client for “remoting” into your BBB.  Download from here: http://www.putty.org/
  5. WinSCP SFTP, SCP and FTP client for Windows, makes it a lot easier to copy files between Windows and Debian.  Download here: https://winscp.net/eng/download.php

Steps (somewhat terse):

  1. Install:
    1. 7-zip
    2. Win32DiskImager
    3. PuTTY
    4. and WinSCP.
  2. Using 7-zip, unzip the Debian image
  3. Using Win32DiskImager, write the image to the uMMC card (make sure you don’t write it to your computer’s hard disk!)
  4. With the Beaglebone powered off, insert the uMMC into the micro SD slot
  5. Connect the Ethernet cable, USB keyboard, HDMI monitor to the BBB
  6. Plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into your router (which your computer should also be connected to, either physically or wirelessly.)
  7. Plug in the power to the BBB

When Debian boots, you should be able to log in with the username “debian” and the password “temppwd”

At the prompt, type in “ifconfig” and press enter.  You should see something similar to:

eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 7c:66:9d:53:cd:97
inet addr:192.168.1.42 Bcast:192.168.1.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
inet6 addr: fe80::7e66:9dff:fe53:cd97/64 Scope:Link

Note the “inet addr”, for example, above, it is 192.168.1.42

Launch PuTTY and for the host name, enter “debian@” followed by the IP address of the BBB, similar to this:

bbb3

 

 

 

 

Click on the Open button at the bottom of the PuTTY window.  You will need to acknowledge (click on Yes) the prompt that comes up “Continue connection to an unknown server and add its host key to a cache”.  Enter the debian password (temppwd).  You should something similar to this:

bbb4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations!  You are remotely connected to the BBB!

Open WinSCP and edit the session settings, similar to this (replace the IP with your BBB’s IP):

bbb5

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the Login button (you will probably need to confirm the “Continue connection to an unknown server and add its host key to a cache” question again).

You should now be able to use WinSCP to transfer files between your Windows computer and the BBB!

bbb6

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you want to do next???