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This may be good for vegetarians, but is likely to be a disaster for the cow population.
Horses uses to be quite common. People used them for transport, motive power, etc. When the internal combustion engine was invented and cars became cheap(er), these horses were no longer needed. Most of them were slaughtered for cat food. If this non-bovine "milk" becomes popular, the same fate is likely to befall the dairy cows.
(I make no comment on the morality or otherwise of eating animals or animal products)
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
-- 6079 Smith W.
"I have no idea what I did, but I'm taking full credit for it." - ThisOldTony
"Common sense is so rare these days, it should be classified as a super power" - Random T-shirt
AntiTwitter: @DalekDave is now a follower!
Went to Vlissingen yesterday to watch "The Forgotten Battle" (De Slag om de Schelde) in the CineCity cinema.
This is one of the most expensive Dutch films ever, made in co-production with Netflix, it might appear on Netflix after about a year.
For the occasion they had parked an original Sherman tank outside the cinema which had about a dozen holes in it from anti-tank weapons. We also made a bike trip around Vlissingen and saw a lot of monuments to remember what happened during the heavy battles in this region in WWII. There was also an original "Biber" mini submarine on display on the boulevard that was used in the shallow waters of the Schelde river.
The movie did not disappoint, although I would like to have seen more scenes playing in the southern part of Zeeland (where my roots are), they could have skipped the part playing on the Eastern front in Russia as far as I'm concerned.
The emphasis of this movie however is not on the battles, although there are some gruesome realistic scenes, but more on the personal experiences of the main characters, an English glider pilot, a Dutch girl and a Dutch boy that fought on the side of the Germans.
A positive point about the movie is that not all Germans are depicted as being cruel Nazi monsters.
OK, my company decided that we are Agile. Fine, I've been in agile shops before and it worked but this has a few oddities. OK, many oddities. My C# niche has always been leading edge technologies. I tend to write BIG C# AJAX base Intranet or data processing Windows Services. I could go on about the reasons my development fits the agile model poorly but I end up with two questions. In a large company (> 3000 developers), my previous (Db master) manager created a very small (< 10), very highly skilled team that provided a service to the to the rest of the company. (We never had layoffs, our team was too lean.) With the re-org, we lost critical skills and knowledge including our C++ guy, our Db cultural knowledge and LF who is a as red as I am blue, but I love her for her mad skills... that I can't describe but rely on. The team is no more than 8 people now. I'm a C# expert writing YAML and PowerShell scripts for AWS. Our Db guy does his thing and helps me. We have RPG specialists because we also consume data from iSeries machines. We are told that we all interchangeable and all should be able to do any of the tasks in the backlog as they come up in priority (or write user stories). This interchangeability of skills seems absurd but is "easily" fixed by "Knowledge Transfers". (Seriously? No one can even test my software without my technical help.) Knowledge transfer? I've spent years upping my C# skills from MS ecology to .Net Core, Open Source, git, AWS, etc. If needed though, I'm supposed to be able to do a Knowledge Transfer to any other team member so they can work on my ... their project. Same thing with them doing a Knowledge Transfer to get me up to speed with RPG, iSeries or the crazy SQL that T writes. So where did that idea of identical skills on the team come from? It seems like on surgery day, the anesthesiologist, vascular surgeon and the neurologist decide what role they want to do... maybe pull in a nurse to do the skull opening.
I think that idea came from the one thing you already mentioned. You have had no layoffs and someone in HR noticed that your team hasn't had any layoffs. So they wonder why you are too lean and then they think like most people in management that a coder is a coder is a coder and you are all interchangeable and they begin to think hey lets make them cross train each other so we can make them even more lean. and the cycle repeats until the team goes away.
Having been part of one of these teams that was highly qualified and doing great work. And watching it happen where we had to cross train each other. It sucks.
To err is human to really elephant it up you need a computer
This interchangeability is supposed to be a feature of Plan, Build, Run or maybe Agile. It's not coming from HR. The company has only been able to hire one contractor with the C# and AWS skills I've worked to develop. Ain't gonna be no cross training to a SQL specialist or RPG person.
As a (possibly) self promoting note, the Ravings en masse[^] (just above the quotes on the page) has a lot of quotes - the ones on the right side are mine. Also, one on the left (guess which one?). I don't expect anyone to like them all . . .not even me.
That might be a management failure but some of the skills were developed in house. You can't hire them. How are you going to hire a C# AWS Lamabda specialist? Worst of all, our C++ specialist who designed the system 20 years ago... and is going away, is a real live genius. Are they supposed to hire a backup for all of us? I was supposed to transfer one of my systems to another team. It never happened because the resources simply aren't there to take on a fault tolerant WAN project I took two years to develop.
So, am I supposed to teach everyone my AWS, C# skills? Not gonna happen.
What I have done that management should have is I have interviewed everyone I could about the critical processes only they knew about, recorded on Zoom. No one knows that. Still, no video is not going to teach anyone my skills.
I make videos just to show how to test and use my Intranet pages I make. ... I don't do simple. That is not what my team does either.
So, am I supposed to teach everyone my AWS, C# skills? Not gonna happen.
Maybe not everyone, but surely you want at least one other person to be able to step in if you're not available. Or do you not take vacations, have a daughter who's graduating, a son that's getting married or parents celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary? If so, what's the plan when Something Bad happens within your bailiwick? Do you have to leave off your family/personal time and deal with it?
What's the plan when your C++ guy goes away, who can fill in for him? It doesn't sound like you'll be able to hire in to replace him. All that specialized knowledge is going with him. If you were management, what would your plan be to be able to continue to provide service to your customers when he leaves?
Maybe rather than the proctologist/dentist example given elswhere, consider that both a cardiologist and a brain surgeon would be able to assist in a mass casualty situation. And both are continuously training the next generation, and you should be, too.
Nope, no backups and it's unlikely that you can hire that kind of .Net AWS expertise. Our CloudFormation requirements are nutso partly from lack of Cloud support personnel and residual panic from a ransomware incident. I took two days of PTO (Pretend Time off) for my son's graduation and still did a 60 hour week. My motto is "no rest for the wicked" but I'm leaning towards "work till you drop" as it is the only way I can see to solve my professional and personal problems. ... I exercise during Zoom meetings as it is the only time I have for it.
As for the C++, I made videos of what I could. No one really knows about them though and I'm not sure I'm telling. Also... he was a genius. A dangerous thing to rely on in an IT group.
From a rational and logical point I agree completely. But we're talking Management here...
This pre-supposes that the company are prepared to invest time, money and resources into 'cross-training'.
What if they aren't?
What if they are so out of touch with the jobs you are doing that they literally don't understand it or what it entails and aren't interested in finding out? Because then they might have to pay you more...
I have to put up with this management-wish-fulfilment crap on a daily basis.
"Just teach so-and-so how to do it (wave of hand) - how do I teach so-and-so when they have no knowledge of the subject whatsoever, no interest in learning it and no time from their own work?
Will be interested to see what happens when I retire next year....
All this training others to do your job. You can do that, but 1 month after you get them trained, they get another job with another company. You cannot pre-plan life. Like most things, you deal the hand given you at the time. Crap happens.
Meanwhile while you are training, you are losing money in time spent on another dude that could just as well take off next week.
And don't start me on Agile, the nanny philosophy...talking about what you should know and do without the crowds. Oh, the waste of money and time.
The original concepts for Agile were based on one programming Language (I believe it was Java).
And I don't believe the DBA was EVER imagined to be interchangeable with programmers.
Neither was the team lead, or the customer representative.
I say this because you are correct, it is kind of insane, in todays technology stack, to expect anyone to know every piece of technology.
On the other hand, Agile is supposed to be "anti-fragile", meaning the steps to recompile and redeploy a system after any change MUST come along for the ride.
So, the natural tendencies of people is specialization. And we sometimes forget that at any given point, someone green should be able to come in, build the system, and test it without fear or favor.
That's the CONFIDENCE in the system that I believe Agile was solving (at least that's the core part of it we leveraged).
Now, when you bring in all of those "specialties", you are trying to run a very complex system in a lean manner. And if you are a HUGE company, then I would DOWNGRADE the rule to say "Anyone from X Development team (RPG), should be able to come in, and replace the previous X developer".
So, Everyone is REPLACEABLE, not not interchangeable. These could also be called Domain Experts, or Domain Developers in my book.
The Utopia your company seems to be aiming for has a cost to it. From my perspective it will either cost too much to maintain, or it will cost too much turnover to maintain, and yet another company will FAIL Agile, and Blame Agile for the failing.
Finally, I will remind you that the guys who created this were worried about MONOLITHIC systems that would become fragile over time because the knowledge that created them had left the building, and anyone new was fundamentally (or should have been), paralyzed by FEAR over compiling a system that had not been touched in DECADES, and needed the confidence to know that nothing was missed. So even a small change could introduce bugs. Hence the "Testing" (more like panic checking)... That's My Opinion, and I was an early adopter of MOST of their ideas.
The history of economies is one of specialization. In a shop that has its fingers in as many pies as yours, thinking that the developers should all be interchangeable reveals a shocking level of ignorance.