Whiteboard

Fresh, fast, and slightly messy ideas on technology and innovation.

NAMING ENGINEERING PROJECTS AFTER CROSSFIT WORKOUTS

Doug Fitzmaurice
Doug Fitzmaurice 6 Oct 2021
Operational Engineering Software Development

Every new project needs a name.

At Rowden, we happen to use CrossFit workout names. Project Loredo, Burt, Annie, and even Zeus, a new favourite.

To make the naming process easier for the project managers, I created a Rowden Project Name Generator. Generator is perhaps a bit cheeky as all it does it stick the word "project" in front of a workout name, but at least it does it with style.

The hardest part was getting a simple list of enough workout names. There are lots of sites with a few here and there, or with names and a lot of information spread out over hundreds of pages, but eventually I found a blog with 200 or so "Hero" workouts on one page. I extracted the names with a query run in the F12 Developer Console:

Array.from(document.querySelectorAll("div#content strong")).map(el => el.innerHTML).join(",")

After a bit of manual filtering to remove invalid entries and sort things nicely I had a list like this

["Abbate","Adambrown","Adrian","Alexander","Andy","Arnie"....

The page is a basic HTML page with a single heading, then a snippet of Javascript to update the name with a random entry from the list:

const field = document.getElementById("name");
field.innerHTML = names[Math.floor((Math.random()*names.length))].toUpperCase();

And we're done. As it's a single self-contained page it's hosted on Azure Storage which provides the simplest way to get a publicly accessible page. A CDN in front of it provides the Rowden domain and SSL certificate.

As a finishing touch I added an easter egg to the page when a particular name comes up....

Project moon

The Origins of the 'Software Factory'

Hannah Croft
Hannah Croft 5 Oct 2021
Software Development

Today I came across a NATO report dated 1968. Turns out this was from the world's first software engineering conference, of which NATO sponsored, and, as it turns out, this was where the term 'software factory' first emerged.

There's always a lot of talk about how Defence is adopting the parlance and practices of commercial tech industry and trying to drive cultural change. Terms like user-focused, agile, and iterate are fused with contemporary Sillicon Valley or Gen X popular culture aesthetics (think Kessel Run, Kobayashi Maru...).

As it turns out, though, maybe Defence was the one driving a lot of this in the first place. Stay cool!

Read the report here.

Wicked problem

Wicked Game: Multi-Domain Integration and the Problem of Complexity

Hannah Croft
Hannah Croft 5 Aug 2021
Multi-Domain Integration

How will the UK's future C4ISR system, what the Ministry of Defence describes as the ‘linking glue' to MDI, be realised?

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Writing

UK Defence Innovation: New acronyms and old ways of working change nothing.

Rob Harper
Rob Harper 10 Mar 2021

We are the lucky ones. We overcame the barriers to entry and are at the point of stabilising and sustaining our growth. However, without knowledge of the system, market entry would have been nigh on impossible.

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