Category Archives: Uncategorized

Manifesto for Agile Estimating

We are uncovering better ways of estimating by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value:

  • relative estimation over absolute
  • predictability over speed
  • consistency over (fake) improvement
  • done items vs progress of on-going items

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

My Smart House Adventure – 3 years later

it’s 3 years since I wrote the first IoT program (“Hello, World!” in IoT reads “blinking LED”) and all the devices are still up and running.

I missed the 2 years update, I could blame COVID-19 for it, that would not be true, never mind.

In the meantime, besides the trivial (and the most useful) on/off control of light switches and plugs in various factory formats, the focus was on remote heating system control – thermostat.

The base software is working on ESP32/ESP8266 dev boards, but the architecture is dependent on internet connection (which was surprisingly stable, but still) something to be avoided – it’s acceptable that you cannot control the thermostat if the internet it’s not working, but not so acceptable to have the heating system off when the internet it’s not working.

I used this winter’s long nights were used to solved this architectural issue and the (first) result it’s an all-in-one thermostat controller that has the temperature/humidity sensor and the relay control in the same box.

It’s was not a smooth ride and I still have the GPIO0/relay flicker at power-on (known issue on ESP8266, I could bet that in one of the last week long evenings it was working properly), but as Voltaire, the French writer, said, “The best is the enemy of the good.”

This is how very first one is looking, hopefully the software is a lot better than the hardware/layout (I really need to find a proper case).


General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. and International forces in Afghanistan, four-star general, is credited for creating a revolution in warfare that fuses intelligence and operations: I tell people, Don’t follow my orders. Follow the orders I would have given you if I were there and knew what you know”

Monkey Habits

As soon as a capable black monkey on its own initiative and effort will develop a desert from scratch into a record yield plantation, a white monkey from a backward stagnating place will arrive. The white monkey will take over leadership and start to teach the black monkeys on how to grow bananas. This will continue until performance dives to the low bottom and the black monkeys are blamed of all that. The white monkey is promoted to upper tree branch and forgets for a while to interfere with daily activity.

Do you have a pointless job?

What’s the point of your job?

If you spend your days in wasteful meetings, or send emails that create yet more worthless emails in an endless loop, you’ve likely asked yourself that very question.

People from all walks of life have pondered the meaning of work—and some cultures have come up with some creative ways to define tasks that have little substance or social value.

So if you think you’re merely paid to look busy, you’re not alone. In fact, there are three categories of pointless jobs. Is yours one of them?