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Nigel McNie
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Nigel McNie

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Developers using @MongoDB, sick of trying to read JSON in the shell? Try mongodb-tabular, which gives you table output http://bit.ly/RPPNTH
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#kiwifoo in four words: discover people worth knowing. Reflections of a first timer.
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I enjoyed developing this. Watch the video to see how it works, it's pretty slick!
PDF and Video Sharing Launches! Posted on January 13, 2012 by Dan. We're delighted to announce the launch of buzzumi content sharing. Now easily upload and share PDF presentations and YouTube vide...
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Hate skype? IRC too obscure? Twitter to abrupt? Check out the new service Phi and I have been working on. http://bit.ly/uWEBKX
Realtime Conversations Made Easy (my latest job). Permalink | Tags: tech, buzzumi, disasters, eqnz, mahara. Why is it so hard - technically - to have a realtime conversation with people all over the w...
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A year on from the Christchurch earthquake, we've learned a lot about using tech in disasters. Now it's time to close the loop.
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Sprained ankle at football last night, can't walk on it :(
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Well at least it wasn't your wrist, and you can still type :-)
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Nigel McNie

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Want to know how to end the "developers vs sysadmins" war? Come to my talk on continuous deployment tonight at 6pm! http://t.co/sakVWTf
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I'm the kind of person that never fully believes anything, especially not myself... I'm sure there are many cases were continual deployment is a benefit, but also cases, where it is bad thing.

I use the Chrome nightlies, and every couple of weeks it'll break and I can't use it at all, other times it'll break and some features don't work (like, the address bar stopped working once, and the menu bar stopped working another time). I know that Chrome has very good automated tests, and if you look at the commit log, many commits include unit tests, and most of the bug fixes come with unit tests. But stuff still falls through the cracks.

With the Chrome Canary builds, fixes for badly breaking changes have normally come out in a few hours (a very good thing).

I think with mission critical - especially life dependent systems - continual compiling, testing (unit testing, + meaty testing). Often, even if there are no known bugs, testing needs to continue for a long period of time before deployment - and even then there will be bugs after the fact.

But I guess, the whole premise doesn't apply to most mission critical (not the finance term - because finance is just a big arse raping competition) systems, because these are usually embedded in firmware, and it is EXPENSIVE to deploy.

I will therefore agree conditionally, that continual deployment is a good thing for all (99%) of web based systems - because no matter how much separation of concerns you have - a web system is content based, and even the business logic is an integral part of that content. And content needs to be updated. Fast.

Big finance simply fails at software (I could get specific here, but won't), and I think its part of the whole financial way of thinking. Finance companies tend to have slow releases, and yet, their modern systems are riddled with bugs.

The bugs are generally never fixed and teams of operational personnel exist purely to fix the problems that the systems cause.

Software developers COST A LOT. If you can save money today by firing 5 programmers (or get them working on something else), you only need to hire ONE person to fix the problems in the system. (Add one person every second month, and it soon become 20 people - but that's the FUTURE, that's not NOW). We need to make money NOW.

Typical short term finance company thinking.

I think finance is the area that could most benefit from your methodology.
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Nigel McNie

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I went to the Global Atheist Convention. Many people asked me why. Now that I've been, here's my response to your questions.
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It's hard for a government not to take sides on religion, and even in some so-called secular countries, sides often do get taken. For instance, where is the line drawn between a new religion and a cult? It is very hard to take a stance there. China for instance will accept many main-stream religions as long as members register, but will not tolerate what they see as disruptive, for instance, the Falun Gong.

The USA is a prime example of not-quite-secular. Organisations can receive tax credits simply from being a religious organisation. They don't even need to give aid in the community. In my opinion, whether or not a church/temple/mosque etc. receives special tax treatment should be based solely on the community work they do, not just because they are a religion.

Another thing that people should watch out for (IMHO), is that traditional religions are not the only thing people can be religious about. For instance, many people have beliefs that their programming language is superior, and that others are insuperior, and these are based mostly on feelings, and what a programmer is comfortable with.

The problem with trying to achieve pure atheism within oneself, is that we all hold beliefs with little or no basis in fact - and we have to - because we simply don't have the time to test each and little theory. I think it is important to constantly challenge our own beliefs, whether or not they are religious ones. The problem with religious beliefs, is that many are taught that questioning it shows a lack of faith - and that doing so could lead to eternal damnation. But religious beliefs are not dangerous per se; we each have our internal moral compass, and most mainstream religions do discourage violence these days (including Islam), but there are violent sects within most religions (even Buddhism).

But, personally, I believe (and this belief is also not based on evidence) that holding a belief in a divine entity is similar to believing that even if you drive your car at 160km/h every day, you won't get killed because "I never crash".

But to mock somebody for their belief is a hypocritical thing, because we all have these sorts of beliefs. If you think you don't, you're not thinking hard enough.
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I've folded my startup. Our mistake: under-estimating how hard it is to compete with Excel. Here's my post-mortem.
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Sorry to hear. See you back at Catalyst? :-p
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How do you convert an existing software project to use continuous deployment?
Continuous Deployment: Reprise. Permalink | Tags: tech, continuousdeployment, continuousdelivery, startup. Here are my current slides (which include my speaker notes) for the CD talk I've been doi...
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Indeed. Luckily, I think it's within our power to control. If we take the initiative and get it as far as staging, it removes a lot of objections.

From the other side, well perhaps I should develop a version of this talk for managers. Would be great to go into a meeting of managers and fight the good fight on behalf of developers, and not have to put up with their decision at the end of it. Outside consultant for the win!
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Am now giving my talk on Continuous Deployment two more times: the Lean Startup group on September 9, and the .net usergroup on September 14.

Will be interesting to see how the ideas are received at each group and what kind of objections come up :)
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If anyone wants to know about Continuous Deployment (i.e. deploying direct from dev to production many times a day safely!), I'd like to re-give the talk I did at Perlmongers last week (with improvements based on feedback). Any user groups wanting a speaker? Businesses with staff education programs?

You can get a taste for the talk here:
http://bit.ly/pFK2tP
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the app is rolled out with capistrano, only the software stack is maintained by puppet - well and DB content is replicated to the prod couch manually too.
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Have him in circles
115 people
Shane Elliott's profile photo
Paul Walker's profile photo
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I make webapps. Am trying to make a business on top of one. Turns out that's harder. Wish me luck!
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