Monthly Archives: September 2010

Intelligence and Prediction

Cleaning my office today, I found a sheet of paper covered in my own handwriting. I had been somewhere without my journal when an epiphany had struck. I’m cleaning office now, and didn’t want to throw it away. Here it is for posterity, such as that may be.

One measure of intelligence is the ability to take a set of observations at varying degrees of confidence and accurately predict outcomes. The greater the intelligence, experience, and capacity for reason, the more detailed the predictions become, the more distant they can be and the fewer and less confident the observations upon which they are based.

When I was the Director of Technology at RESMARK, the president was my good friend and we would spent long hours planning and discussing strategy. One afternoon we were his office, discussing his weekly meeting with our investor. He told me of the struggles and debates in the meeting over our ship date and our budget; over perceived velocity; over staffing and technology requirements. Partway through our discussion, he said that the investor had asked him to produce a line-item budget breakdown.

I jerked upright, startled. Suddenly something was wrong. This request was not in keeping with everything I knew about the relationship between the investor and the president up this point. I reevaluated my assumptions, and nothing fit. Then one assumption change DID fit. I considered it, thought through the range of consequences and they all ended up at the same place. I looked at the president and announced, “You’re going to get fired in the next three months.”

I was right. About 10 weeks later, the president called me in and told me he had been let go.

Two Beautiful Things

Here are a couple of pages from my journal for today. These are two things I find beautiful, have studied, and can draw… but have only begun to understand.

Click for larger image

The formula on the left is the Y Combinator, derived in Ruby, by Tom Moertel. His writeup and explanation are on The owl is Aurora, a barn owl who lives and performs daily at Tracy Aviary.

Having time to just noodle around in a journal is something I’ve missed immensely. So great to have time for a life again.

TourBus 2: The Tourbusening

I’m speaking at Utah Open Source Conference! I will use up 55 minutes of your remaining lifetime talking about web load testing.

I am, of course, going to dust off TourBus. It was such a simple app that there wasn’t really anything to show off at MWRC 2009 and I am pleased to say that there still isn’t!

But you could help change that. Check out TourBus on GitHub, or better yet fork it and dig in.

Some features I hope to add in the next month:

  1. AMF support (testing Flex apps, anyone?)
  2. Proxy logging (tour the website yourself in a browser, then playback your browser session)
  3. Better (read: ANY) specs!
  4. Rails plugin, complete with generators and rake tasks
  5. Reporting and statistical analysis

Seriously, what’s not to like? Get in there and get forking!

P.S. For those of you watching the MWRC 2009 video and wondering, “Will I ever get the chance to see those ridiculous sideburns in person?” the answer is oh my goodness yes.