Geek Shopping Heaven in Singapore

Funan DigitalLife Mall

I somehow added the blog post about the Funan Mall to my Hong Kong post when it is actually in one my favourite cities in the world, Singapore. As per my last blog post, I visited Singapore for the second time in Oct 2014 and it is great place to visit. It is clean and safe for tourists with lots to do especially as a stop over destination.

During my stay I visited the Funan DigitalLife Mall which is a techy’s dream shopping destination.

This is a shopping mall with 6 floors dedicated to all things techy, perfect for the geek in me (and you!) It is a great place if you are looking to buy cameras, computers etc. The prices are comparable to the UK but the range is huge! I also noticed the odd Hair Salon to leave your wife whilst you browse all the tech!

Funan DigitalLife Mall

Funan DigitalLife Mall

altAi99KQl1vynof0eZLwSMizo8gq5xIAZ3geRa96ZkYB0j

Funan DigitalLife Mall

5 interesting things about my recent trip to Hong Kong

I was fortunate enough to spend 5 nights in Hong Kong and 4 nights in Singapore in October 2014. I had an absolutely fabulous time and whilst in Hong Kong I jotted some notes down on things I found cool about my trip so here they are.

The Giant Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha)

Giant Buddha

Giant Buddha at Ngong Ping

I think this ranks as one of the most amazing things I have seen in terms of a place of interest. Perched on a hilltop on Lantau Island this was once the world’s largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue. It stands at 26 metres tall and is an awe inspiring sight.

I took a 25 minute cable car ride (Ngong Ping 360) from Tung Chung to the tourist village in Ngong Ping which includes souvenir shops and eateries.  I highly recommend this to anyone visiting Hong Kong although I would avoid this on a National holiday as my wife and I queued for 3 hours to get on the cable car in the heat (32C) but it was still worth it!

The Escalators

Yes I am being serious, they make noises to inform you that the end of the escalator is near and there are bright signs warning people to mind their toes! Sadly I did not get to go on the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world due to the pro-democracy protests happening on Hong Kong Island.

The Hyatt Regency at Tsim Sha Tsui

We chose the Hyatt due to it’s close proximity to shops and the MTR and we were not disappointed. Our room had a harbour view which was amazing especially at night time.

Harbour View from the Hyatt Regency TST

Harbour View from the Hyatt Regency TST

The hotel was of a very good standard and the buffet breakfast was excellent. One of the most convenient and differentiating features of the Hyatt was the smartphone you could use for free! I used it heavily throughout my stay and it included free national, international calls to the UK as well as free Internet.

The Pro-Democracy protests

The main demonstrations against the Chinese government affected my ability to visit some of the areas on Hong Kong Island specifically Central and Admiralty.

During my visit some protesters gathered near our hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui and we came across them peacefully sitting on the ground as this picture shows.

The stand off between police and protesters began to get more serious as we left Hong Kong for Singapore. The situation is still unresolved at the time of writing this blog post.

Pro Democracy Protesters in Tsim Sha Tsui

Pro Democracy Protesters in Tsim Sha Tsui

The MTR (Mass Transit Railway)

The MTR is Hong Kong’s equivalent of the Underground in London and it was really easy to use, clean and efficient. I was really impressed and I purchased an Octopus card which I loaded with credit to get around Hong Kong. We even used the underground stations and subways to walk around to keep cool and avoid people trying to sell us dodgy watches.

The stations are spotlessly clean, the trains are air conditioned, with plenty of space in the carriages. Signs and announcements were in English and you also get excellent mobile phone reception so you can receive calls, check your email and surf the web.

The London Underground could learn from the MTR in Hong Kong.

Visit Hong Kong!

I highly recommend a trip to Hong Kong!

Implementing Continuous Delivery Series by ThoughtWorks

I thought I would share some really great slides from ThoughtWorks on Continuous Delivery. The slides are part of an ongoing series.

You can sign up here for updates: http://info.thoughtworks.com/putting-continuous-delivery-into-practice.html

Part 3 – All About Pipelines

Part 5 – Deployment Patterns

 

Your Personal Kryptonite

You are an aspiring superhero who is honing your powers to help your colleagues and company to be successful. You gain satisfaction from your efforts and experiences as you learn and grow as an individual in your team.

Superman with his invulnerabilities and superpowers was affected by a fictitious radioactive element called Kryptonite. In the presence of Kryptonite Superman was no longer “super” losing all his powers, susceptible to injury and at the mercy of his enemies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryptonite (yes there are other types of Kryptonite – I am talking about the green variant :P)

During your career you will come across someone or something that is your Personal Kryptonite. Exposure to your Kryptonite can be for short periods or prolonged periods.

“Your Kryptonite” makes you feel weak as you lose the “powers” that you are trying to make use of to achieve both your own and your team’s goals.

In software delivery teams your Kryptonite is also likely to affect your fellow team members if it is affecting you, some examples being:

  • Long standing unresolved blockers
  • Individuals inside or outside of your team
  • Environmental issues

How do you deal with your Personal Kryptonite? Here are some suggested approaches:

Avoidance

In an Agile delivery team if Avoidance is taken literally avoiding your Personal Kryptonite is not a great option as you are still being exposed to it. One of the core values of XP (Extreme Programming) tells us you should have Courage so you should look to deal with your Kryptonite head on?

Another way to look at this option is to eliminate your Kryptonite, I am not advocating harm here! One of the options Scrum Masters / Development Managers / Project Managers should consider if resources are under-performing is to remove them from the team for the greater good. However this does require courageous behaviour from someone in the team especially if the effect of Kryptonite is not obvious.

Reduction

This option is to figure out a strategy to reduce the impact / exposure to your Kryptonite. If your Kryptonite is a person then before looking at elimination you should look to grab a coffee with the individual to air your concerns. The goal should be to work together to resolve any issues by talking them through.

  • Feedback to the individual needs to be constructive as otherwise there is a chance the effect of your Kryptonite actually becomes worse.
  • Look for common ground and use this as a starting point.
  • You may find that the person is oblivious to the effect he/she is having on you or the wider team.
  • Discuss how the individual is affecting both team and individual effectiveness and how you feel?
  • You may find your own actions / interactions may need to be changed?

If the outcome of your chat is not positive and your feedback is ignored, the next step is to raise this with the Scrum Master or the Line Manager who should be looking at the Avoidance approach above.

Prolonged exposure to your Kryptonite is fatal

As with Superman prolonged exposure to your Kryptonite is going to affect both you and your team. This exposure will lead to your team becoming disillusioned, demotivated and not performing to the best of its ability.

How Secure Is Your Cloud?

How Secure Is Your Cloud?

A nice infographic on Cloud Security

Deloitte predicts for 2013 #infographic

Media_httpwwwdeloitte_ynevf

 

UPDATE: Posterous has lost all my uploaded images :(

UPDATE: It appears that I am unable to upload any pictures as I tried to replace an image that appeared as a broken link.

I haven’t written a blog post for a while and I decided to look at ideas for some blog posts. I noticed that a number of images I had uploaded are appearing as broken links 😦

I am hoping the answer is not to re-upload all these.

Note to self visit your own blog although I do expect better from Posterous.

 

OneNote 2013 on Windows 8 slate #win8 #surface

I am a big fan of OneNote and use it on my desktop, iPad and Windows Phone. The iPad version of OneNote is fairly limited and I have been looking forward to the Windows 8 version especially a version that supports touch.

Here is a great short video on OneNote 2013 on a Samsung 7 series slate:

I am hoping that this version on the new Surface device is going to be amazing. One thing that I have attempted & failed on my iPad is to try and take handwritten notes using a stylus. OneNote 2013 allows the use of touch as well as a stylus, it will be interesting to see whether you can actually take notes properly.

The coolest thing I saw was the radial menu – something very unique and designed for proper touch based use – UX is an area Microsoft have in the past struggled with.

Win8onenote
Win8onenote

The keyboard layout for thumbs is also something new.

Win8thumb_keyboard_layout

I am really looking forward to using OneNote 2013 on Surface – I am hoping it will not disappoint.

IT Transformation, Big Data, and Security #infographic from EMC World 2012

Cioinfographic
via emc.com

More of a “serious” infographic from the CIO Summit tackling Big Data and Cloud.

Audi A6 Bi-Turbo TDI 0-62 in 5.1s and 44.1mpg = nice!

The most potent Audi V6 TDI ever to enter production powers executive class Audi models to 62mph in a fraction over five seconds and returns up to 44.1mpg

Now this looks like a very nice motor indeed and fast too.

More infomation from the Audi UK site: http://bit.ly/M1SUlz