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The Reluctant Manager: Are programmers artists?

Many years ago I was working with a cross disciplinary team and made the bold statement that programming was a creative art. Those working in the arts didn’t agree with me. On my recent tour of Italy, I visited many large painted works and I find once again that programming is as creative as painting.

This leads to the management question of how do you manage artists? Read More...

Solar power for tank monitoring

One of our tanks is a little far away from a GPO for the tank monitor ( to be mains powered. I tried a commercial solution used to power wildlife cameras unsuccessfully but a little Arduino weather station power project did the trick. Read More...

The Reluctant Manager: What does your organisation care about

Does he love me I want to know
How can I tell if he loves me so
Is it in his eyes?
Oh no! You'll be deceived
Is it in his sighs?
Oh no! He'll make believe
If you want to know if he loves you so
It's in his kiss
That's where it is

Songwriters: Rudy Clark
Shoop Shoop Song lyrics © BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Three key dimensions by which software delivery is managed:

  • Quality
  • Delivery schedule
  • Cost of production
Typically we are told they are all important. Which while true, lacks the subtlety required to meet the real aims of the organisation. So how can you tell “That’s where it is”? What are the true priorities of your organisation?


OSX High Sierra - the missing utils

The missing utilities

Following the official demise of PPTP a few updates ago Apple seems to have continued retiring features in High Sierra. In particular High Sierra has dropped a couple of utilities that we dinosaurs still use:
  • telnet
  • ftp
Whilst old and not supporting the shiniest security models they are still needed for debugging and ensuring that backward compatible systems remain that way. Read More...

SCM Manager on a Mac with a Letsencrypt certificate

SCM Manager

SCM Manager ( manages source code repositories. It support GIT, Mercurial and SVN. Whilst initial installation on OS X was simple there were a number of difficulties in getting to a best practice installation. In particular using external certificates from Lets Encrypt ( was non-trivial. Read More...