WebRTC implementation from Ericsson

Video on WebRTC enabled real-time voice and video communication web application from Ericsson lab.


The API documentation is here – https://labs.ericsson.com/apis/web-real-time-communication/documentation

This is direct browser to browser communication with no intermediate server.

Swarm Intelligence –Can agile teams learn some principles of self-organization from Swarm intelligence?

Swarm intelligenceis the collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems, natural or artificial. Swarm intelligent systems are typically made up of a population of simple agents interacting locally with one another and with their environment. The individuals have to follow very simple rules in decentralized control environment. They have to take local actions to optimize the value of their interactions with the environment and other individuals.  This will lead to emergence of “intelligent” global behavior.
Examples: ant colonies, bird flocking, animal herding, bacterial growth, and fish schooling.
Article on Swarm intelligence By Peter Miller in National geographic magazine –
Self-organization:  (Wikipedia definition )is the process where a structure or patternappears in a system without a central authority or external element imposing it through planning. This globally coherent pattern appears from the local interaction of the elements that make up the system, thus the organization is achieved in a way that is parallel (the entire elements act at the same time) and distributed (no element is a central coordinator).
 Understanding software development is complexity science problem. Complex behavior of agile team is difficult to understand. Agile software development teams can learn from understanding collective intelligence in nature.  Very complex behaviors can be coordinated by relatively simple interactions enabling emergent behaviors which cannot be created by individuals.
So can we develop swarm intelligence in agile teams?  Yes, we can but one important difference we have is that development teams are composed of knowledge workers not dumb ants and bees.  Knowledge workers can see the whole and relate how their individual actions can create something bigger than sum of their individual efforts (Systems thinking). Swarm intelligence as theory still applies but in a different way. Self-organized agile team requires a context, a goal and carefully crafted constraints to align purpose and efforts in right direction. 
Study of Swarm intelligence and theory of Self-organization in agile teams can help agile leaders in better understanding of agile principles and practices.

Lean Software Development Books

Books on Lean software development:

Three books from Mary and Tom Poppendieck. I enjoyed reading all 3 of them.

1) Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck

2) Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck

3) Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck

Kanban Applied to Software Development: from Agile to Lean

Lean and Agile complement each other.
If time-boxed fixed scope scrums are not the easy for the task focused team, Kanban can help in process and task visualization, reducing WIP, process improvements, focused efforts, reducing the waste, reducing the delivery time, realizing the value stream and generating continuous flow in development.

What is Kanban and how it can be applied to software development functions? – 
Good article from Kenji Hiranabe  in http://www.infoQ.com

Change in leadership style for leading 21st century knowledge workers

Today’s Software professional are smart individuals. They have different expectations and aspirations from the workplace.  People management practices need a change. What are the change required in leadership and management style and why? Excellent post from Martin Proulx is here

Still Managing like it’s  1992 ? Good luck with the Millennial s!

Power of Good Management – Two blog articles from Joel Spolsky

 Joel Spolsky  (Joel on Software)shares his experience on management styles which discourage innovation and creativity in an organization through command and control(Hit and Run) management – Two Stories by Joel Spolsky

Another interesting read on Command  and Control styles is the following article from him
Command and Conquer and the Herd of Coconuts  by Joel Spolsky

A lesson for all Manager who hide their inefficiencies to manage effectively by acting in Command and Conquer mode. These managers bring down the creativity and innovation in the organization, kill motivation and create an environment of distrust where talented people will  get suffocated. No matter, Product and People will suffer.