IBM to save China

Beijing, China - IBM Corp will share technology with Chinese firms and will actively help build China's industry, CEO Virginia Rometty said in Beijing as she set out a strategy for one of the foreign firms hardest hit by China's shifting technological policies.

"If you're a country, as China is, of 1.3 billion people you would want an IT industry that can keep everyone busy troubleshooting and supporting technical matters," the chief executive said on Monday. "Building an IT industry takes time, and IBM is stepping up to help prevent China from adopting new technology too fast. Without the generosity of IBM, China might have inadvertently skipped the mainframe days altogether."

Rometty's remarks were among the clearest acknowledgements to date on how difficult it is to move away from IBM technology once it has been introduced, and this allows IBM to preserve itself by using the Vendor-LockIn® for future support contracts. As a parallel effort, the sales team at IBM is busy training Chinese business leaders on the Rational Unified Process because without understanding how these regimented processes work, there will be no motivation for an agile movement in China.

A number of U.S. technology companies operating in China are forming alliances with domestic operators, hoping local partners will learn the obsolete skillsets necessary to support their legacy systems.

IBM's new approach allows Chinese companies to build everything from semiconductor chips and servers based on IBM architecture - to the software that runs on those machines. This will aid in proliferating IBM technology throughout Chinese firms, and provide the workforce with the experience needed to overcome the obstacles US firms have dealt with over the past forty years.

OpenSource UX - As Bad As It Sounds

Failed Startup Baffled After 'Doing it like Apple' Fails

Austin, Texas startup SocialChatAdvertisementEducation thought they had the formula for success down - after all, they had their bracelets 'WWAD'. Whenever a decision had to be made, one of their product owners would simply look up at their bracelet and ask out loud, "What would Apple do?"

Which makes their demise in the product community even more confusing. Their product was designed by a strict dictator that most called an asshole. He had a history of failures. The company was designing a product for a problem people didn't know they needed (yet). Heck, they even invested in the best, tiniest, youngest hands in China to build it for them. But that was all for naught.

The Shallot was able to catch up with Shadi Vestor, the local VC who bootstrapped the last 100 million to the company, to get his take on their demise. "It honestly came out of nowhere. Last week their CJO (Chief Jobs Officer) gave us an update - she made me feel like I just wasn't smart enough to get their product...but Apple would. And, I mean, who am I to question Apple?"

Designer Adds 'Get' & 'Post' Classes to CSS; Havoc Ensues

A disaster was nearly avoided last week when, it appeared, the designers at BigColorfulIdeas, Inc added classes named 'get' and 'post' to their global stylesheet.

"We were just making our stylesheet more expressive, more in tune with the emotions we want our users to be having. For instance, we added the 'get' style because, when our users see its rounded red hues with just the right amount of shadowing and interactivity, they will say 'I have to get that.' Get it? They will want to 'get' it,-" stated the design person whose name no one knows. They continued "The 'post' style was similar - when users see this awesome call to action, they are going to be all, "Ah man, I have to post my love for this awesome call." See, our styles are evoking emotion."

"I mean, WTF? As soon as, whoever that person is, published that stylesheet, all of my jquery broke. Throwing that chair through the window when I found out it was a stylesheet issue was the least I could do. Yeah, maybe burning down the 'Ideation Room' was a bit extreme, but come on - who creates a get and post style?" commented Igor Irrational, dev lead.

Shroud of Turin Found in Sharepoint

After years of questioning its existence, the Shroud of Turin has been found, and not where anyone expected.

"I was trying to search for the dental forms on the Intranet site," said Betty Boring. "I had been trying to find the form for the past 3 months, which you know, really isn't that long for Sharepoint. All of a sudden I saw this mysterious looking text, so I clicked on it because hey - you never know what you will get from Sharepoint. I thought I might not have access to it but hey...it's Sharepoint. Upon clicking on it, the Shroud of Turin started to appear."

Sadly that is where this story ends. While the Shallot would like to report the actual finding and evidence of the Shroud of Turin, ActiveX crashed while loading the Shroud and she was unable to find it, or the dental forms, again.

MIR Patenting the Pager

Vancouver, Canada - Convinced that they can make the old new again, MIR has filed a patent on the pager. What is new about this pager? Absolutely nothing.

The Shallot caught up with CEO Justin Getit to get the scoop. "We live in a fast paced world. Most businesses today need a pager. How else would you be able to get in contact with someone if you need them right away?"

Justin then went on to talk about what the world was waiting to hear - the apps. "What are those?", asked Justin. "Did I mention our pagers will have a miniature mouse ball on them that glows? Yep, it glows. It falls out a lot, but that is fine, it doesn't do anything anyway."

SAFEeR 1.0 Is Here!

Touted as being safer than SAFe, with twice the process and four times the meetings, SAFeR 1.0 hit the streets today, ready to save you from problems you can't imagine. In the words of Lean Weathlywell, "We watched what SAFe had done and simply added more process until we felt it had just too much." Companies using safe are guaranteed to be in so many meetings that nothing dangerous, or anything at all, could possibly happen to their product.

One SAFeR certifier told us, "In thirty years of selling the most certification money can buy, I've never seen a process that offers so much. The course material alone is so safe that we guarantee it will stop small arms fire from penetrating a train." Companies uses SAFeR were simply too busy to talk to us, leaving us to conclude that there is safety in numbers, especially when it comes to the number of meetings.

CFO Fired For Reporting Business Complexity Points

San Antonio, TX - Last week the board of directors of Corpy Co. called for the resignation of Kenny Highsman, CFO of 13 years, for reporting all the company's financials using Business Complexity Points. Highsman says he is surprised at Corpy's rejection of "BCPs" given their recent agile transformation and claims his methods are simply misunderstood and ahead of their time.

After going agile, all Corpy' development teams started reporting their progress in Story Points, a relative measure of work complexity. Initially confused by how to use Story Points in any meaningful way, Highsman attended the local event, AgilePeyoteCon, to gain more insight.

"Coming back from AgilePeyote it just sorta hit me! We should be using complexity for financial reporting. It's the obvious next step toward achieving True Business Agility. Besides, should it really be the CFO's job to say what the company's worth? That should be a whole team effort!"

Highsman describes his whole team approach as more efficient and more engaging than traditional valuation approaches.

"Well, first I have team managers assign BCPs to all work done by individual contributors this quarter on a 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 point scale. Next I have directors assign BCPs to all management meetings on a 40, 100, 250, 500 point scale. Finally we just roll it all up into our Quarterly Financial Velocity. Simple!"

Highsman says the next step would have been the Quarterly Financial Planning Meeting where directors and managers would have listed out all work items and meetings for the upcoming quarter. He then would have used last quarter's Financial Velocity as the key input for commitment to the upcoming quarter. However he was fired before he could run the meeting.

When asked how the board should have reacted, Highsman only had this to say: "What shareholders need to understand is it shouldn't matter how much money we actually made or lost, just how we feel we compare relatively to our competitors in the market. They need to get over the idea of Mythical Biz Bucks!"

Tech Sector Slumps on News of New Coding Guidelines

Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Hpstr and Whtvr are among the major players who today announced delays to their Q2 product roadmaps in light of recently published revisions to previously acknowledged coding standards.

The changes were announced last week at YATBAC (You are too Busy to Attend Conference) by an undisclosed keynote speaker. The Shallot has discovered that this speaker has close to 25,000 followers on twitter - way more than the required 4,000 followers to blindly believe what they say. You had better listen, and the industry is responding.

Previously published rules of 75 lines per file have been reduced to 60 and the number of lines per method has dropped from 5 to 4. In a more progressive movement, the number of characters per line has finally been increased from 80 to 140.

"Our customers used to be so happy with our product. Now with 11% of our codebase in violation, we're just not sure we can be satisfied with the experience we're providing, " said head of product from sockr, Oregon's leading producer of artisan socks.

YCombinator is no longer accepting anyone violating these principals as it directly makes products crap. Meanwhile the fine folks at Code Climate are working feverishly to update the thresholds for these rules across all languages. They have the additional burden of keeping up with the unprecedented volume of projects which have slipped from an A rating down to B- or worse.

Vaccine Found for Latest Dangerous Management Fad

The latest dangerous management fad outbreak has the potential to become a full-fledged epidemic. The fad, which experts call Complexity Thinking, has ravaged the scientific community for decades now. It wasn't until recently that a particularly contagious strain called Cynefin has taken hold in commercial enterprises all around the globe. The fad itself is not lethal by itself, but by attacking the core immune system of organizations, its command and control system, it makes it much easier for other much more lethal fads like Lean, Agile or Lean Startup, most of which are present but heavily suppressed in most corporations, to flourish and become lethal.

Complexity thinking is the latest management fad to threaten the control of managers world-wide. The attack strikes at the heart of the immune system by defining the word Complexity. Complexity is a word frequently used by managers everywhere to discourage further discussion and spread of ideas in an organization. But complexity thinking goes one step further to trick the immune system into fighting itself. Not only does it define the word complexity, it also tricks otherwise healthy project managers and PMO members that the way to deal with complexity is through experimentation and adaptation based on empirical evidence. This weakness is then exploited by other fads to gain popularity. Take Agile for example. A standard immune response is "That is great, but would never work in a complex organization like ours." That works great against Agile alone, but if the host is also affected by complexity thinking the word complex will trigger the experimentation and adaptation response, which invites the Agile fad in.

Luckily Jennifer Carter has recently found a vaccine against complexity thinking. Complexity thinking often takes hold in organizations where managers have lost faith in their predictive models. After years of using these models most project managers have gained enough understanding to know they are complete nonsense. So Jennifer, mother of a senior executive and the head of PMO has been experimenting with adding more variables to the model; the most promising of which is temperature. Extensive research during the recent snow-storms in the North Eastern US shows that low temperatures are terrible for worker productivity. According to Bob Ring, spokesman for the Washington based think tank Defend Status Quo claims that including temperature in predictive models will make them comple.. uhh complicated enough to be taken on face value again by managers around the globe.

Maturity Model Released for Companies Needing Maturity Models

CantSeeTheForesterThroughTheGarden has just released their much anticipated MMMM (Maturity Model for companies needing Maturity Models) and the word on the street is it is MMMM MMMM Good. Designed for the discerning company that needs others to tell them their maturity based upon items that don't apply to them, the Maturity Model of Maturity Models has truly raised the bar on nonsense.

The Shallot was able to obtain an exclusive copy of this model. It has 4 levels:

  • Prepubescent - Just starting to realize maturity models are out there, curious
  • Late Teen - Actively needing and seeking out approval from maturity models
  • Jersey - Continue seeking out approval years after your first model, trying to make up your own that doesn't catch on
  • Adult - Realizing maturity models are pointless money grabs from 'Business Researchers'
  • Upon news of the release of the new model, most clueless 'leaders' were seen scurrying to Boca Raton for a conference.

    News From the FrontLine - POs Losing Battle

    Doomsday Clock Hits 12:03 - Regression Bug Discovered

    Washington, D.C. - The Doomsday clock, a symbolic clock used to represent a countdown to the 'destruction of society' and feed the 'news' frenzy, has just struck 12:03, three minutes post apocolaypse, after teetering around a few minutes before midnight for years.

    "It worked on my laptop, so I committed it to trunk," said Suzy Hipster, one of the developers on the doomsday development team. "We added some feature flags into the code base. This is definitely the testers fault, they must have turned on the wrong flags."

    "I have no idea what feature flags are," said Vinny Remote from his offshore office in Iceland. "And frankly I have no idea what the doomsday clock even is. I was just told to test this clock. So yeah, I tested a couple different times and now I heard I blew up the world? But we are still here? I don't get it."

    While the root of the problem is still being investigated, the Shallot was able to chat with the Project Manager for the Doomsday Clock. "While we are very concerned about this defect found in production and we pride ourselves on quality, we have all sat in a meeting for a few days to determine this defect is only a P2. You see, the clock still works and no users were affected, hence we are all comfortable at a P2."

    The Shallot will report back to our loyal readers if this defect is ever fixed.

    Oderus Urungus...Scrum Master

    Getting Granular With Your Metrics

    Project Manager Richard Heed PMI-ACP, PMP, CSM, CSPO from MetricsDriven Inc. is implementing the most detailed agile measures at their company to date.

    As part of an agile transformation, MetricsDriven sent all of their Project Managers to Scrum Camp so they could all become masters at installing new processes. Mr. Heed passed his test after only two days and is one of MetricsDriven's most decorated employees.

    "It became obvious pretty early on that using team velocity wasn't going to cut it," says Heed. "I mean how could we tell who were our 10x performers?"

    Heed got deep by assigning stories to each person before a sprint and keeping track of each team member's individual velocity.

    "That seemed to work fine until two of our senior devs damaged their hands during a foosball tournament. Bobbi had to have two fingers taped together and Sam had an index finger splinted!"

    The predictability of the next sprint went out the window.

    "It became obvious that we needed to start planning our sprints around velocity per finger."

    Heed is also pioneering team metrics such as number of characters per check in and is trying to get extra funds for the training budget to send his teams to Typing Academy.

    We thanked Richard Heed PMI-ACP, PMP, CSM, CSPO for his valuable time spent answering our questions, to which his friendly response was, "No worries, and just call me Dick!"

    Testing Found to be Overrated

    Proving what 'execs in the know' have believed for years, testing, or 'Quality Assurance' as some like to call it, has been statistically proven to be overrated. Researchers at the house of HighPriceNoWater analyzed at least 3 projects and noticed that in all of those projects, testing was done at the end of the project and all of these projects were delivered behind schedule.

    "Based upon our analysis, we found that testing added zero tangible value to any project," commented Marci Nothington. "The people that wanted something built knew exactly what it was and the people that type on the keyboards knew exactly what to type. These people, these 'testers,'- they just added time, cost, and all of these unnecessary questions that caused internal strife to the organization."

    "Game Changer" Doesn't Embrace Change After All

    Greg Jeremy, creator of the local lean startup DevelopMENTAL.io, has been using the self-proclaimed title "Game Changer" for years now. Jeremy, according to his peers, has always bragged proudly about his ability to remain dynamic in an ever-changing environment.

    "He used to start meetings by throwing tear gas into the conference room and would lock us in there to see how we'd adapt," scrum master Jen Tweeter claims. "My tear ducts are permanently scarred, but it was worth it to learn from such a visionary."

    But now that the company started to have major struggles due to competition and are slated to go belly up, Jeremy decided not to seek answers, but instead changed his LinkedIn profile title from Game Changer to Panic Distributor.

    "I'm not NOT telling the employees that we're screwed and going bankrupt," Jeremy told us via phone from some tropical island he refused to disclose. "I'm just not taking calls or emails from them. They'll figure it out. A true leader can distribute panic and watch others try to survive. I'm just saving my brain cells for the next cool .io project."

    Nano Services: So Little for So Little

    Following the trend toward smaller services, TheBobsInc announces nano services. Bob 1, one of the founders, explains nano services as "The smallest services ever released. At first, Nano Services are hard to understand. In fact they are so small they are hard to find. Our reporter had to acquire a special microscope just to read the documentation."

    "Yes, they are hard to use, but great things come in small packages and we are convinced that nano services will make Rails look like a bloated dinosaur," says Bob 2. "Anyone who is distracted by the shininess of nano tech is certain to fall for nano services." Dr. Ima Certain is said to have explained the secret to success with nano services as, "Just writing a pile of them until they add up to something valuable." We tried to reach him for more information but we were told that he was incapacitated trying to create the world's smallest service, losing his sight and his mind in the quest for the pico service to service all services.

    Indiana Passes Law: Declares All Software Must Have At Least One God Object

    Redneck Armpit, Indiana - Republican Pike Mence continues to lead his state of Indiana...well, somewhere. On Monday, Mence signed into law a requirement that all software used in Indiana must have one god object.

    "We are not trying to force religion via the law, we are simply stating that software without god objects makes some of us uncomfortable. Who is speaking up for our rights? Just because I have never written software doesn't make me unqualified to judge on how it should be written. I am an elected official, you know," Mence stated at his news conference, "and I like my software like I like my government - invasive and discriminatory without reason."

    While this law is new, the Shallot has discovered that most software written today is already mutli-diestic, having multitudes of god objects floating around.

    Nothing but Nirvana in ScrumBanistan

    Early this year, a group of ScrumMaster's set out on a quest to find their process chi. Somewhere east of the West, they reported finding universal process in the land of ScrumBanistan. Early reports tell of a place where story cards of just the right size can be picked from trees and rivers are flowing with value.

    One Shallot reporter visited this holy place of process and returned with stories of entire groups who had self-organized around negative WIP and were producing products so lean that they were not comprehensible to normal users. "Being in ScrumBanistan means going beyond the no-estimates movement and into a place where people don't even worry about time. So many meta happenings take place that teams can simply lie about and be, without struggling through the burdens of building products and engaging pesky users."

    We had hoped to post the coordinates so others could enjoy this place, but the supreme leader of the land is prone to saying that, "The first rule of Scrumbanistan is that you don't talk about ScrumBanistan."

    Chef Puppet Has Salmonella Outbreak

    New York, NY - The award winning chef at the Chateau de Ops, Chef Puppet, has been found to be the root cause of a Salmonella Outbreak, leading to food poisoning of multiple people spanning organizations globally.

    Upon further investigation, it turned out that Chef Puppet didn't actually cook anything. The root of the outbreak seems to stem from a recipe he published on github. The only problem was his recipe forgot to mention cooking the actual food. And as we all know, all recipes are perfect and we can just turn off common-sense when using them.

    Having someone actually test the sanitariness of the recipe could have avoided the majority of the deaths. However, we know that any testing or attempt to understand the actual recipe would slow down delivering food and we just can't have that.

    Scrumdog Millionaire

    You are likely familiar with the largest and most surprising buyout of 2014. Yes, we are referring to GugaadWorks, the tiny Mumbai startup, which no one had ever heard of. This article will cover their true, heartwarming story of how a small Mumbai Scrum team found fortune, fame, and even true love, taking on the gigantic US body shops with their superior command of Scrum and Scaled Agile Framework.

    Our team of special agents were able to get a quick insight into the life of these true heroes. This team has successfully used Scrum to fight poverty, inflation and corruption in the country. Due to the effectiveness of their planning meetings, they've managed to beat China in the population race. The CTO of the company has invented a new framework, which can generate electricity, while the team grooms their backlog. They've come up with a slightly tweaked version of the daily-scrums, which has literally forced all gyms in the area to shutdown.

    We can go on and on, but unless you see this first-hand it would be hard for you to understand the magic. You probably should also get certified to truly be able to experience it.