#TIL: How to Present PowerPoint Slide Show in a Resizable Window

Full screen is great if you don’t need notes. Until today, if I need notes I just minimized the tools and gutter while presenting. And then I discovered this:

Slide Show > Set Up Slide Show > Browsed by an individual (window)
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© Scott S. Nelson

My Pinned Wiki Post Template

If you use this, please link to this blog post.

This is our Wiki

There are many like it, but this one is ours.

Our wiki is our guide. We support our wiki through comments and additions.

Without updates, our wiki will become outdated. Team members will become frustrated when information is missing or no longer correct. Being a good team member includes being a contributor to the wiki.

That cool reference you found that you will always remember? One day, when you need it most, you will forget it.

That awesome solution to a code or design issue that is perfectly clear and understandable now will look like a foreign language in 2 years (months, weeks, sometimes even hours). Add an explanation to the wiki.

When in doubt if something should be added to the wiki, add it. It can always be deleted later.

This is your wiki. Keep it clean but not too lean.

The Architect
(A serious parody of The Rifleman’s Creed )

(“Obligatory WIki Photo” by cogdogblog is marked with CC0 1.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/?ref=openverse.)

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© Scott S. Nelson

Agile is not Ready, Fire, Aim

(Disclaimer: this article is not about what Agile is, the term is used only for blatant marketing purposes. Some principles were violated in the writing of this post)

A colleague of mine recently said something to the effect of “the goal of agile is faster delivery”.  This is a common misconception fostered by the improved velocity that agile teams can achieve in the context of enhancing software with new or improved features. The goal of agile is higher quality software, where quality is defined as meeting the intended functionality in a reliable manner. (lots of paraphrasing there, so please don’t flame me about accuracy). Another root of this misconception is that people who do not participate in agile projects (sometimes referred to as chickens) want agile to be about time-to-market (I’m working on a longer rant on that topic alone). Just like some people want agile to eliminate the need for planning and documentation, not be because these things are not critical (apologies for the double negative), but because they are tedious. They are certainly not mindful, because one focuses on the past and the other on the future, and we all want our features right now. Agile without planning and documentation leads to technical debt (something I grumbled about recently, with more to come).

Technical debt is the driver behind this particular rant, as I recently observed the creation of an equivalent jumbo mortgage with an early balloon payment due. In the same recent article linked earlier I mentioned how sometimes a platform migration is driven by a desire to get out of unacknowledged tech debt. In this instance, I witnessed the debt being incurred as a result of the migration. Specifically, the approach was taken to manually migrate data that was in immediate use while configuring the application without documentation in order to get into production as quickly as possible (the root cause of most tech debt). The idea was to migrate the rest of the data later. This migration, like many these days, was from one SaaS to another. The secret to a maintainable and extensible SaaS application is including flex fields in the data model. These are fields that have no pre-defined purpose so that customers can use them for customization and the vendor can avoid the hairball that results from customizing for each customer. The downside to this data model is that if the customer changes default labels and makes heavy use of the flex fields without documenting all of these changes, the data migration effort increases several-fold.

So, here is a real-world example of the impact of technical debt in a compressed timeline that is easy to follow: Short cuts were taken to quickly “realize value” from a new platform, and then to fully taken advantage of the platform subsequent efforts are increased, resulting in a much higher total cost and longer timeline to completion to get that short term win. None of this is the result of bad people or malicious intent, in fact, quite the opposite. It is the result of a “modern” business culture that has evolved to focus on quarterly earnings. It also explains why businesses that really want to innovate either do so before their IPO or go private to get back on track. It’s not because software can’t be done right in a standard corporate structure, but that “Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility”.

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© Scott S. Nelson

Self-Examination before Exaggeration

In nature, animals only puff themselves up when they feel threatened. This phenomenon is called Deception.

While there are valid situations to exaggerate to make a point, ask yourself who you feel threatened by before you do. If the answer is “no one”, stick to the facts, or you may end up needing to defend your claims.

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© Scott S. Nelson