If something is too complex to understand, it must be wrong

Recently, I was invited for a podcast interview by my brilliant colleague João Rosa. It was my first podcast interview (yes I was excited and nervous), and it has been keeping my mind busy ever since I received that calendar invite. The idea was that we would discuss a heuristic and see where we’d end up after 30 minutes. The heuristic for my interview was ‘If something is too complex to understand, it must be wrong.’ 

My first reaction was “Yes! That’s actually a heuristic I regularly use myself; what a coincidence!”. As hours and days went by, I started to notice that something was changing in my convictions. After some careful consideration and hours of contemplating, I can now say that my expert opinion regarding this heuristic is: “It depends”. (Ha! Surprising answer for a consultant, right?)

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TIL that AWS Lambda terminates instances preemptively

TL;DR: There’s a lot of articles and blog posts on preventing or shortening cold-starts for AWS Lambda instances. I learned that AWS Lambda forces cold-starts to happen nevertheless by terminating active, running instances every two hours.

AWS Lambda is an event-driven, serverless computing platform delivered by Amazon. It runs code in response to events and manages all the computing resources required by that code. In their responsibility for managing computing resources, it is known that AWS terminates idling Lambda instances. I discovered that AWS also terminates active, running instances, and quite predictably so.

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EventStorming; Core concepts, glossary and legend

Recently on Twitter Chris Richardson asked if anyone has created a consistent and comprehensive glossary for EventStorming core concepts.

I replied saying that #EventStorming is fuzzy by design. There are standard core concepts, and depending on the context, we use different words for the post-its. Because with that fuzziness, you get more insights. I call it just enough structure to let transactional conversations flow and create a shared mindset and tons of new insight—a shared pool of understanding. However thinking back at past workshops, and from skimming the EventStorming book checking out the core concepts, Chris has a point, we lack an excellent consistent glossary of the core concept, also specific per type. This post describes my take on EventStorming core concepts written down in a consistent and comprehensive glossary. Just be sure to try and avoid jargon as much as possible, as it sets up the unnecessary insider-outsider distinction.

I have moved the content of this blog to the DDD-crew GitHub page, were it will be updated by the community.

https://github.com/ddd-crew/eventstorming-glossary-cheat-sheet
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Cypress – Don’t Let the Dialog Stop You

Nowadays, Cypress is rapidly becoming the standard for UI test automation. With cross-browser support being available as per early June 2020, we at Xebia see the traction growing and growing. We’ve recently contributed to this growth by open sourcing a plugin that ensures that Cypress tests can deal with file download dialogs from the browser. In this blog, we explain the background and how we approached it.

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Automated cross-browser testing with Playwright

Introduction

Automated browser testing is essential for asserting the quality of the code you deliver when developing web applications. Some defects only become visible at the point when you tie everything together in your application. You want to catch these defects as early as possible to minimize the cost of fixing them. There are a lot of great tools out there to help you with this and I would like to highlight a tool named Playwright.

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Enable your custom background on Microsoft Teams

Microsoft just shipped an update for Microsoft Teams. It has the option to insert one of a set of predefined images. And a hidden one to add your own!

With a lot of people working from home now, we’re giving the world a peek into our homes. It may not always be the most representative. You may not have a dedicated room (like me) and sit at the kitchen table. The option to inject a picture of your office or your favorite spot in the mountains is super useful.

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Thriving in a complex world of uncertainty, ambiguity and volatility

Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity – VUCA – or simply a catch-all phrase to say “it is crazy out there”. Living in a VUCA world means we have to think differently about how we organise our organisations and projects. It is important that any organisation is able to quickly adjust their plans and structure if the environment requires to do so. As the COVID-19 pandemic shows us our environment can change in a snap and have huge consequences on any organisation. Working in a VUCA world might sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be. When you are aware of your strategy, the surrounding landscape and have the ability to learn quickly, I feel that any organisation can thrive in this VUCA world.

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