What is a Stack Overflow?

Nugget of Knowledge for today:

A stack overflow is an undesirable condition in which a particular computer program tries to use more memory space than the call stack has available. In programming, the call stack is a buffer that stores requests that need to be handled. … It is usually defined at the start of a program.

I like this definition from Whatis.com. Succinct and to the point. Read their article for more.

Framework Vs. Methodology

It’s a common question that came up again today. I thought I’d articulate it as succinctly as possible…

A methodology is a set of principles, tools and practices which can be used to guide processes to achieve a particular goal.

A framework is a loose but incomplete structure which leaves room for other practices and tools to be included but provides much of the process required.

See why Ken Schwaber refers to Scrum as a Framework. He explains:

The word “framework” means that much is not specified and must be devised by those using the framework. I equate Scrum to the game of chess. You can read the official rulebook for chess. The moves, players, sequences, scoring, etc. are all specified. Learn them. Then you can play chess. Maybe your chess game isn’t so good, but you can study great games, strategies, and tactics, and practice to get better and better. However, you are playing the game of chess, so you don’t have the option of changing the rule book. If you change the rules, it’s not chess any longer. Just learn how to play the game with excellence, which is enough of a challenge.

On the other hand Extreme Programming (XP) could be considered a methodology as it is more prescriptive in its approach and its environment. It promotes a set of rules that should be followed.

Watch or Listen to TED

I’ve really been enjoying my daily commute recently… all thanks to TED. Whilst driving I’ve been listening to a variety of fascinating talks about all kinds of topics courtesy of my smartphone, a podcast app, Bluetooth and my car stereo.

I am now more knowledgeable in ‘areas’ and ‘specialisms’ I hardly new existed but, more than that, I feel inspired by the passion of the speakers – many of whom have dedicated their life to their chosen field of study.

Most of you will already know about TED.com but in case you don’t TED self describes as:

TED is a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 110 languages.

You simply cannot fail to expand your mind and intellectually evolve if you listen to TED. The talks are generally 10 – 20 minutes long so its not difficult to listen or watch 2 or 3 a week. Yes, ‘eat up’ all those talks on subject matters of interest BUT also surprise yourself by tuning into talks on subjects that don’t seem of interest… you’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn.