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Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Testing Concurrent Programs

Posted by suntzu on October 5, 2006

In a recent article titled “Testing Concurrent Programs, Brian Goetz writes about testing concurrent code and explains why it is not for faint of hearts. The first step toward testing the behavior of concurrent programs is to isolate concurrency to well-defined portions of the code, such as into workflow managers, resource pools, or work queues.

Enforcing thread-safety of objects inside those concurrent constructs is the responsibility of the application. The best way to achieve thread safety of objects interacting with concurrent program elements is to make those objects immutable. If an immutable object interface is not feasible, Goetz suggests making such objects effectively immutable:

Goetz also makes a few suggestions for testing classes whose states are modified by concurrent threads. The most interesting suggestion is to take into account the probabilistic nature of concurrent errors in testing

A good post.  Must read


Posted in concurrency, Design, People, Startup | Leave a Comment »

Impact of Massive Multiplayer On-line gaming (MMOG) on social networks

Posted by suntzu on September 29, 2006

The author starts by categorizing the places where social networking takes place. First is your home and second is your work place. He (actually Howard Schultz of Starbucks fame) identifies another space which is besides your home and work. He further analysed why Massive Multiplayer Online gaming is going to occupy the third place since MMOG satisfy the following parameter

  • Neutral Ground: players are not obligated to play; joins and quits are not significant events i.e. total freedom
  • Leveler: Social status is irrelevent
  • Conversation is Main Activity
  • Accessibility & Accommodation: Activity occurs 24*7*365
  • The Regulars or Loyal gamers: Regulars or so called devottes (or loyal gamers) are those who give the place its character, and attract new individuals.
  • A Low Profile: The population of online games follow a parabolic curve. I.e. the loyal gamers/devottes remain while many move on to higher profile games.
  • The Mood is Playful: Playful and witty attracts crowd. Rarely are players overly serious which make an ideal evironment for social gathering
  • A Home Away from Home. MMOG possess a homely atmosphere, spiritual regeneration, feelings of being at ease and wormth

Over all an interesting post. worth a read

Posted in People, social netwo, social networking | 1 Comment »

Competing for Attention by Kathy Sierra

Posted by suntzu on September 15, 2006

Author suggests following ways to get attention from members, guests, students, potential customers, kids, co-workers etc.

  • The idea is that You need to be interesting than anything else in their environment. ie. You need to be proactive and there isn’t clear formula to be proactive. However, following are worth trying:
  • Be more visual. i.e. Use stimulating pictures or exciting charts so to say.
  • Break expectations. i.e. As long as you work are everybody else, its difficult to get attention.
  • Break patterns regularly. i.e. Keep finding somethings and keep changing them e.g. website, tutorial, forum design, color section etc.
  • Develop curiosity i.e. Brains are naturally addictive to questions or are curious. Use this feature.
  • Pose Challenge i.e. Ask questions that look interesting and difficult to answer.
  • Put some fun. Brain love fun.
  • Give your user higher experience. If your users are already good learners and if you can show that you would add to their expertise, they would listen.
  • Seduce you audience. This doesn’t mean sexual, by the way. Be seductive in what you do.

Author plays well with brain vs mind connection. Gives some practical examples. A nice to read post.

Posted in People, Productivity | Leave a Comment »

Why Smart People Do Dumb Things by Guy Kawasaki

Posted by suntzu on September 8, 2006

Four reasons to why smart, rich, famous and powerful people do dumb things – from book Why Smart People Do Dumb Things:

  1. Overbearing pride in self.
  2. Feeling of being entitled to anything they want.
  3. Excessive admiration of self.
  4. Unconscious need to fail: When you are about to be successful, you start fearing whether you really deserve it or not?

Same book go on further and elaborates on How do we rate the maturity of a person? You are less mature if:

  1. you try to be somebody that you arent and you cant be. So, Accept yourself.
  2. you dont get along well with others. So, Accept others.
  3. you got bad sense of humuor. So, Keep your sense of humor.
  4. Unable to feel pleasures out of simple things. So, Accept simple pleasures.
  5. you fail to enjoy the present. Remember, best insurance for tomorrow is the effective use of today. So, Enjoy the present.
  6. you keep cribing about your work. Appreciate your work.

Author snips out interesting snips from the above mentioned book. See full post if you are interested in examples and you want to know why or why not Guy Kawasaki is one of those smart people.

Posted in People | Leave a Comment »