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March 28, 2008

36 hours in Berkeley

About 3 weeks ago my older daughter and I went for a walk up to Indian Rock (not far from my house). While we were sitting there a guy claiming to be a New York Times photographer took our picture. Honestly I thought he was just taking pictures for a random newspaper but it turns out he was actually from the NYT and here is the picture.

Here are the two shots inlined:

Posted by Chris at 09:22 PM

March 26, 2008

Just finished "The no asshole rule"

I thought this book was pretty vague. For every "do" the author had a "don't" so it gave no predictable recommendations. I liked some of the stories but in general I recommend you skip this one.

Posted by Chris at 10:32 PM

Just finished "Predictably Irrational"

It was not bad for an academic writing popular press material. But I don't think it was as good as the black swan, freakonomics, moneyball, or the wisdome of crowds. It kept me interested but not captivated, worth a couple bart rides.

Posted by Chris at 10:29 PM

Year of Living Dangerously Abstract

Our abstract has been posted for the scrum gathering this year:

Wednesday, April 14, 2008, 3:30-5 p.m.
The Year of Living Dangerously
Presenters: Steve Greene, CSM, and Chris Fry, Ph.D, CSM, SalesForce.com

Many software organizations today ask “How do we make an agile transformation and what benefit will we get?” Should you transition your organization to agile all at once or proceed more iteratively, team by team? This talk describes salesforce.com's year of living dangerously where we moved our entire R&D organization to an agile model. The key difference in our approach was to throw the switch on 30 teams all at once. Most agile experts thought this was a crazy approach, however, in the end our transition became one of the fastest and largest agile transitions. In just 3 short months we moved our entire team from a waterfall-based approach to an iterative, Scrum based methodology we’ve named ADM (Adaptive Development Methodology). Over the course of the year we have refined and measured our progress and learned many lessons. This approach was a great risk for the organization that has ultimately delivered dramatic results and extraordinary business value.

Our methodology combines both Scrum based project management and XP style continuous integration practices. Our Technology team uses this methodology to regularly deliver 3 to 4 major releases a year to over 41,000 customers via more than 140 million transactions per day. We will present our approach to the agile transition, the business value that we have achieved and the results of our team-wide survey sampled every quarter. If you are still in the midst of or are starting a large, multi-year agile transition, you may want to consider going "all in" after this talk.

Posted by Chris at 10:50 AM

March 23, 2008

A review of starbuck's use of ideas

Here's what Jeff Jarvis has to say:

Following Dell’s Ideastorm, Starbucks has opened a forum — also powered by Salesforce.com — where customers can make suggestions then discuss and vote on them. Starbucks, of all companies, with its loyal and opinionated customers, should have been doing this years ago. Every company should be doing it now.

If auto companies had this five years ago, we’d all have told them to force their radio manufacturers to include a damned 39-cent plug so we could hook up our iPods. If airlines had it today, we’d tell them how to get out of their customer-service mess. Why does listening to your customers sound like a web 2.0 idea? It should be a business 1.0 necessity.

Posted by Chris at 08:22 AM

March 19, 2008

My Starbucks Idea

Starbucks just released their customer interaction forum on the force.com platform and ideas technology. It was really fun to see a public site go live backed by salesforce. Check out mystarbucksidea.force.com

Posted by Chris at 07:32 PM

March 14, 2008

Getting started developing on the force.com platform

A lot of times people ask me how to get started developing on the force.com platform.

It's really easy and free to start playing around with visual force and apex code. You can create a hello world web service, or just try out the language.


A free developer site to work in.

A quick example.

Posted by Chris at 08:40 PM

March 11, 2008

Fortunate Son

I just finished Fortunate Son by Walter Mosley. It's a modern parable about race relations and fate. It reminded me a little of 'peace like a river'. I give it 3 and 1/2 stars.

Posted by Chris at 09:53 PM

First, break all the rules

I just finished First break all the rules by Buckingham and Coffman. Here's what I want to remember:

Focus on a person's strengths, minimize their weaknesses, don't change people. Here are the questions they correlated with excellent managers at a wide variety of companies.

Base Camp: What do I get?

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
2. Do I have the materials and equipment to do my work right?

Camp 1: What do I give?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday?
4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, care about me as a person?
6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

Camp 2: Do I belong here?

7. At work, do my opinions count?
8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
10. Do I have a best friend at work?

Camp 3: How can we all grow?

11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
12. This last year, have I had opportunities to learn and grow at work?

Loved the book, highly recommend it.

Posted by Chris at 01:56 PM