The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 174 - 16 August 2016
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In This Issue
KM Smorgasbord
Agile2016 Takeaways
MOOC on "Moving to the Cloud"
Vulnerabilities in Car Remotes
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

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Knowledge Management Smorgasbord
Four key annual conferences related to knowledge management, co-located as usual in Washington D.C., are now just three months away: KMWorld 2016 (Nov. 14-17), the Taxonomy Boot Camp (14-15), Enterprise Search & Discovery (15-17), and the SharePoint Symposium (16-17).

The registration page for KMWorld offers all the options to attend one, two, three or all four conferences -- although of course you will have to carefully pick and choose which sessions to attend if you sign up for overlapping events.
Agile2016 Takeaways
The Agile2016 conference was held in Atlanta on July 25-29. Hemant Elhence and Vinayak Joglekar, respectively CEO and CTO of Synerzip, an India-based software development outsourcer, held a series of free seminars in the following days to present their "takeaways" from the conference -- including a session in Austin, which we attended.

Agile2016 had 2500 participants from 42 counties, and 19 tracks with a total of 270 sessions of various formats over 4½ days. Here are some of the key points reported by Synerzip:
  • The Standish Group found that agile projects have a 39% success rate (where time, cost, quality and functionality are as expected) overall, vs. 11% for waterfall projects. For small projects, the numbers are 54% vs. 44%, and for large ones it is 18% vs. 3%.
  • Including an upfront "big design iteration" or "sprint zero" doesn't help, and detracts from the concept and the benefits of Agile.
  • Agile sometimes gets bogged down in the "ceremonies" of the approach. These are like "training wheels" for agilists, who should graduate to more flexible approaches with Kanban flows and variable-size teams.
  • A speaker presented some great DevOps anti-patterns, which would be even funnier if they weren't real.
  • Bottom-up estimation based on story points is not very useful. Statistics on the number of stories completed per iteration are better predictors.
  • Management asks for unrealistically high precision on project cost forecasts -- ask them back if they have a highly precise estimate of value.
  • "Stop moving information to those with authority, move authority to those with information."
  • Visual test automation has become difficult to do with responsive designs (where the user interface adapts dynamically to the device size and browser capabilities), so new tools are needed and a few are emerging.
  • Scaling agile to multiple teams is tricky, see the Nexus framework for that.
Synerzip's slides, with much more detail than above, are publicly available here.
"Moving to the Cloud" on Coursera
Dr. Sara Cullen at the University of Melbourne (Australia) has produced a massive online open course (MOOC) on cloud computing on the Coursera platform. You can now enroll to start the six-week course on September 26. One of the 15 short video lectures in Week 2 is entitled "Insights on Cloud Challenges" and features Claude Baudoin.
Another Security Vulnerability
If you have a car with a "keyless entry system," a fancy term meaning that you remotely unlock the doors by pressing a button on the key fob, chances are that the code being sent is always the same and could be captured by an eavesdropper who would then be able to remotely unlock your car. The vulnerability affects over a hundred million cars from Audi, Volkswagen, Seat, and Skoda, according to a paper by researchers at the University of Birmingham, presented last week at the 25th USENIX Security Symposium in Austin, Texas. The paper also analyzes a more secure "rolling code scheme" used by other manufacturers, and shows that it too can be attacked.
Seen Recently...
""The target is [to] support a million devices per square kilometer."
-- Rahim Tafazolli, head of the Institute for Communication Systems at
the University of Surrey (England), commenting on the challenges
of meeting the increasing demand for Internet bandwidth