Sunday, December 25, 2011

Google Hangout should be great !!!

I am not a big fan of Facebook, Google+, Orkut (if it is still there).
I like Facebook only because of the interesting videos that my friends share and liked.

Anyways, this one is about Google+. I do not like that either.
But now Google has given me a compelling reason to like it.

Google Hangout

Although I have not tried it yet but according to the videos that I have seen it allows you to have a video chat with more than one person. This feature  in Skype is a paid feature and was not available yet on Google Chat yet.

Chrome Webstore - Cool Addons

Chrome's Webstore is very good place for the people who do not own a iOS or Android based devices.
Chrome allows you to install App into the browser, just iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android based devices.

Angry Birds was my very addon to be installed on Chrome.

another new addon, I came across was Type Fu.
Type Fu is a typing tutor app. Although it is part of the Games category but I would rather put it in Productivity or Education category.
This can be also be a concentration test for you.

Lyrics for Google Chrome is another good plug-in because I listen to most of my music on GrooveShark.
I wish similar plug-in exists for May be, I will request it to be integrated.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bitnami & AWS experiment

I have already played a little with the bitnami stacks.
My favorite one is Redmine, followed by Ubuntu virtual machines.

I am now working on getting Bitnami stack running on the AWS.
Once my subscription is processed, I am planning to have Redmine, Wordpress & Tracks stacks running on the AWS EC2.

Bitnami Cloud provides an integration with AWS which I think should make deploying the new stacks very easy on AWS.

I also came across websites similar to Bitnami like VMWare VAM (Virtual Appliance Marketplace), JumpBox & Webuzo.

I will keep the further updates posted. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Redmine - Best to begin with

As I work through my journey for the project manager experience, I learned about an open-source project management application called Redmine.
I found the application to be really user-friendly and flexible.

I can summarize my working experience with Redmine with below pointers:

1. Configure the SCM repository in Redmine. Redmine will pull up the updates into the SCM automatically and display it in the browser which is helpful for the review purposes.
2. Capturing Code Review comments after installing the Redmine Code Review plugin. Administrator/manager can define a custom tracker called "Code-Review" for the code-review comments for easier differentiation between bug/feature and code-review comment.
3. After installing the Redmine Commit Relation Editor plugin, we can explicitly associate the code changes with the trackers defined in Redmine
4. Redmine can also automatically associate the SCM commit comments to the Redmine's issue. e.g. If the developer puts a comment in the SCM commit message as "fixing #55", in Redmine's repository tab, it would display the link to the Redmine issue and also display the commit details on the Redmine issue as well.
5. In Redmine, the administrator / manager can explicitly map the SCM user-id to the Redmine user-id, thereby helping the code review to relate the developer and the change.
6. Redmine has the Forum features which can be helpful for maintaining the design discussions or the root cause analysis process which can be handy for future reference when we come across the same issue a few months later or we have questions about the thought-process while coming onto a decision in the past.
7. Redmine also has Calendar feature which can be used for tracking deployments, maintenance windows, Promotional events, Vacations, etc.
8. Redmine's Roadmap feature can be useful for tracking the progress on the releases and its individual requirements.
9. Redmine has a very user-friendly time tracking mechanism as different from the usual home-grown time tracking tools.
10. Redmine can also version control Documents & files.
11. Redmine also has a in-famous News & Wiki feature that can be used for internal team communication.

Missing features / Concern points:
1. One project holding multiple SCM repositories.
2. Built on ROR (Ruby-On-Rails), so maintenance / trouble-shooting can prove to be difficult, if you do not hold resources with these technology in your team.
3. As the dependency on Redmine grows and the application becomes critical for the team, Redmine-administator role would be a necessity.


I have been researching a little over the internet to find some best practices in the Onsite Offshore Communication.
I must say that I was not surprised that there isn't much about this on the internet, considering the fact that there is no silver bullet for overcoming the everyday communication gaps.

Anyway, although I was looking for something on Onsite-Offshore communication best practices but I stumbled upon "Pragmatic Outsourcing" site. This website is majorly about the different learning from the different outsourcing initiatives that the author Nick Krym has experienced.

I found the website quite interesting and although I did find the statement "Just like many other destinations, not only drink bottled water but also brush your teeth with it" a little funny. But please do not take it otherwise but I do understand the warning was related to the health concern.

The blog seems to be updated regularly and glancing through the content I definitely think that this site goes into my bookmarks for a regular visit.