úterý 17. listopadu 2020

Project Cookbook: One tough product decision appetizer

Recipe from tsykora's Project Cookbook.

This appetizer is a brilliant choice for basically any multi course menu you are going to prepare. It combines all the beautiful flavours into one delicious delivery. Doesn't matter who exactly is preparing this one but you will need:

1x Product Manager

2x Managers/Leads from any team - depends on the taste of consumers

1x Well prepared document with risks and benefits

1x 15 minutes long meeting

1x Summary email with results

This one is all about preparation and quality of your ingredients. I definitely do not recommend to stew 1x Project Manager on 1x 15 minutes long meeting without 1x Well prepared document with risks and benefits shared in ADVANCE. In some cases if you need to be quick in the kitchen you can also use 1x Well prepared email instead of document but the result might be slightly different.

So, start with putting together 2x Managers/Leads from any team who are dealing with a special problem. Most of the times there is a clash of priorities and decision has to be made. Such decision is tough and usually not possible to be done without 1x Product Manager. If possible and if you are lucky you will have 1x PM and 2x Managers that work together very well. Put them out of the fridge gently and let 2x Managers talk.

Meanwhile prepare 1x Doc with risks and benefits. You need the decision about appetizer but you are not able to do it alone. Doc needs to be washed, dried, cleaned and cut on small pieces. Talk about benefits and risks openly and do your homework. Once you are finished, put this Doc together with 1x PM into a bowl and let it rest for 1 to 2 days if you are not in a big hurry.

Once rested, the PM should already absorbed the flavour from the Doc and this mix is prepared for 15 minutes long meeting. Better check before the meeting whether PM really absorbed all the flavour from Doc because if not you will have to boil everything for 30 minutes or even an hour.

Now - put everything into one big pot - PM, 2x Managers, Doc and 15 minutes meeting. You will have to boil it slowly and stir with wooden spoon. If it's too hot, immediately lower the heat level by using a small joke or telling that everybody is on the same page and pulling in one direction. If that does not help you will need to put the pot out of the cooker for a moment and let it cool down. If the decision has been made you are 90 % done at this moment and you can congratulate yourself. 

Bring in a promise that you will serve 1x Summary email with results with the rest of the family and start serving. The family can be small, medium or even very large. If you serve the very large family, keep things simple though and make sure you spend extra time during preparation of 1x Summary email with results.

And that's it - here you go. This appetizer is recommended for all dishes and in some cases you will need it either way. Sometimes the cooking time might be a bit longer, depends on the ingredients and how much strong taste you want for the appetizer. Also, if you are preparing this for a wider family you will need more ingredients. Use 4x or 6x Managers if needed and have ready even STRONGER 1x Well prepared document with risks and benefits. Then it should all work out well. 

Bon Appetit and let me know how your cooking went!


Introducing Project Cookbook series

Hello everybody,

I have a feeling that sometimes I am running in circles and face the same issues repeatedly. What pisses me off is the fact that it takes a lot of time and thinking how to tackle a certain situation over and over again as well. That drives me absolutely crazy -- when we all were in a certain problem-solving event 1 year ago, this time it should take 50 % less time to solve it based on the previous experience, right? Right, but that's not happening. Without blaming anyone I found myself running in circles and trying to invent the solution that has been kind off FORGOTEN over time; probably due to workload or too wide focus on various issues flying around at the same moment.

I will write a small Project Cookbook -- mainly for my personal purposes and hopefully with a decent smile on my lips while doing so.

As for usual meal recipes you will ideally need quality ingredients and not forget anything from the full list otherwise the result might not be as tasty as you would expect :)

My recipes: 

One tough product decision appetizer

Overwhelmed soup by too many ingredients (preparing)

Main course from release blockers backlog (preparing)

Baked project triangle served with one vertex fixed (preparing)

Well done QE steak with customer satisfaction dipping sauce (preparing)

neděle 7. června 2020

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and RTX 2070s for serious science while gaming

Hi there!
At the end of March 2020 I've joined BOINC project (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, https://boinc.berkeley.edu/). The primary reason was my personal interest and also the internal feeling of helping scientists fight COVID-19 using my PC.

I'm currently providing computational power for two projects: CPU for http://boinc.bakerlab.org/rosetta/ and GPU for http://www.gpugrid.net/. As for June 2020 both projects are running and computing tasks that are tightly connected to addressing COVID-19.

I've spent a few days by fine-tuning my setup in order to provide my PC power to scientists BUT at the same moment not to interrupt my normal working/gaming flow.

I don't own anything crazy nor any "NASA PC" but still have a decent new rig: 8-core, 16 threads AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3,6 GHz (4,4 turbo), 16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM and, most importantly, of course, ladies and gentlemen, beautiful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB!! which is - quite accidentally to be honest - the THIRD best GPU for connecting into the computational grids.

Source: https://www.primegrid.com/gpu_list.php, 7th June 2020: top rankings of fastest GPU models, cross-platform comparison:
  1. (1.000) TITAN V
  2. (0.711) GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  3. (0.603) GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER
... and since TITAN V costs almost as an older small car in the Czech Republic and 2080 Ti is still more than double the price of my 2070s I am sure I made the BEST possible choice here.

Anyway, enough of showing off and let's get to the point of this blog post. Am I able to play some games and crunch tasks for Rosetta project at the same time? YES. Absolutely!

I was a little bit worried about COD Modern Warfare and using 50 % of Ryzen 7 3700X for Rosetta project at the very same moment(s) but it works like a charm. In practice, I am seriously using 8 threads for BOINC calculations while gaming on ultra settings here and FPS stays always above 90 and in average sits around 110 FPS value. Crazy. It is obvious that RTX 2070s does the heavy lifting here but... still... I did not know whether I will have to suspend Rosetta tasks every time I am about to play the most recent games or not. The power and throughput of CPU does not stop to impress me.

Temperature of CPU sits around comfortable 60-65 Celsius degrees. In order to avoid a lot of noise caused by CPU fan maxed out and my PC trying to fly away from my desk I switched off Gaming Turbo Boost option in BIOS and also disabled Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO). After this, CPU sits on core 3,6 GHz and fan RPM stays more or less constant AND quite silent. Which is very important factor for me as I have my PC on the table and right next to me. Before switching of those two settings, CPU was overriding it's core clock frequency from 3,6 GHz to anything between 3,6 and 4,4 according to the needs and immediately increased fan RPM and noise level significantly.

When I don't need my GPU anymore I enable GPUgrid project tasks in BOINC client and let the 2070s do the work. Maaaan, 9 TFLOPs of power in this graphic card speaks it's own language and I just gather the credits and badges on GPUgrid :D Some potential vaccines and protein structures are being calculated on my PC right now. Hopefully we will find something useful with other 4.5 million contributors around the world.

(7th June 2020) 
399th place in GPUgrid (Czech Team)
2415th place in Rosetta (Czech Team) 
World rank: 358,599th out of 4,417,167 (91.8817 percentile) 

Only 8,2 % of contributors around the world provided more resources than me so far - and I've just started :) I will try to update the progress here periodically.

If you are interested about helping scientists fighting (not only) COVID-19, check out: http://boinc.bakerlab.org/rosetta/ and https://www.gpugrid.net/. "You don't have to be scientist to do science." :)

pondělí 25. prosince 2017

Running Yousician on Fedora 27

Spending beautiful Christmas time at home town with my family kinda "forced" me to grab sister's acoustic guitar instead of my electric Ibanez -- that is resting in my apartment and waiting for me to get back to it together with 2 more pounds after one week long unstoppable overeating.

Alright, enough of boring context. If you want to successfully run Yousician app on your Fedora 27 you will need to do this after downloading archive from Yousician page and file extraction:

$ sudo yum install libcxx.x86_64

Hopefully works for you :)
Happy jamming!

středa 18. května 2016

Do managers deliver nothing or everything?

Firstly, you may ask, what kind of a topic is this and what it does at my blog... like: "What? Does he really want to write about managers? About work? What the...?"

Let me explain. Last summer (2015) I switched to managerial position at work. By managerial, in my particular case, I mean true people management. Important to distinguish because we also have technical team leaders and sometimes a manager is also a team leader and is responsible both for people and for the product. I'm coming from Quality Engineering world and I am so lucky that I have an awesome technical team leader by my side so I can fully focus on people and don't need to split my effort.

So, approximately 10 months of "experience" now (lol!) -- I'd love to deliver 15 years of true managerial experience condensed here but you will need to wait 14 years for me to be able to do that!!

After these moths I started to feel I finally have a topic to write about, something I can deliver and share with you. It's my personal experience, it might be silly, it might be obvious, it might be... you know what? I don't care what it might be and I will just jot it down.

Do managers deliver nothing or everything?

I've been doing QE work for 3,5 years. Before that I was working 2 years part time as a Java developer for a very small company. Before that I was playing with code, trying to program simple games, learn new languages, etc. for let's say at least 4 years. It means 9!! years of "full" delivery!

I was delivering tangible results. The code. The working prototypes. The small game. I was able to see results of my work IMMEDIATELY! This is so awesome at programming and it still fascinates me. You sit down, type the code, compile, run and you can actually SEE! what you did, what you created and you can see it just NOW!

But these days it's a completely different story and to be honest I wasn't completely comfortable with that switch and I am still not 100% comfortable with delivering intangible results. It's getting better and better every day, especially while you are hearing any kind of positive feedback and when you are assured that your steps and moves were right and, during the time, those changes led to general improvements.

This is my REWARD now! You know, humans, as dopamine-driven creatures would love to see results immediately every time. I personally believe that as a manager you need to go out of your comfort zone and simply accept the fact that actions you are taking at THIS MOMENT will cause impact in the near or far FUTURE. If you can't deal with that, don't do people management. It will harm the people around, the team and most importantly, you.

My day is different and my feelings at the end of a day are completely different. For almost a decade a was falling asleep with a warm feeling that I delivered something today. New code, new test written, new function implemented, something verified, checked, delivered presentation on technical stuff, etc. It's so cool when you are commuting back home after 5 added customer-related tests into the product test suite. Good job [me], you say while looking out of a bus/car window.

Now -- it's another story :) Meetings, ton of meetings, meetings with people, meetings with teams, projects, face-to-face, one-on-one and all these buzzwords. But ask yourself -- what did I do today? What did I deliver? Was that nothing? Or everything?

Can you even deliver something while talking to your colleagues? What if the talking (OMG and LISTENING!! as well) itself is now your delivery? How can you capture that? How can you feel rewarded? Can you? Did you deliver something? Something real?

Time helps! I love time! Time also scares me while I am getting older and older and see how fast time goes around. But time helps me here. Time is here to show me I did something good and I did something wrong and gives me the opportunity to learn from that. After some time though, naturally :)

I believe, as a manager, you need to be looking at your actions and at your deliveries retrospectively. This is so tough when you are starting! Because you don't have any reference points so far and you need to be very patient, unfortunately. If I ever have a new manager by my side I will explain him this fact first to mitigate starting frustration that might come and strike.

Remember that your actions will take time to be reflected and you will be REWARDED LATER! Wait and continue delivering "SEEDS"! Same as a tree or beans. Beans are even faster :) You plant it and you need to wait to see results and sweet fruit. In the end it's so simple. It's just unnatural because of "no-dopamine-now" effect :)

So, to close it somehow, do managers deliver nothing or everything?  


At this particular moment it might seem they deliver nothing but in a long run they can deliver a lot. Empowering and helping people around is so powerful and that's why I chose this path. It feels like I go through a dense forest with many trees where I can't see anything... and after some time there are days where I leave that forest and suddenly standing at the top of the mountain! Finally.

pondělí 2. května 2016

Urge to commit

Apparently, I've been looking for something worth writing about for more than a year. Finally, got something that hit my mind last weekend and I can't stop thinking about that particular feeling.

The feeling I'm talking about is: URGE TO COMMIT

I don't even know why I'm writing this and it's probably just because I think I've found something new, at least within myself and within my mind. Something that's been hidden to me... until now.

What comes now is rather raw recording of my mind stream:

  • The whole thing I'm writing about is simply open source and open source contributions
  • In the past I didn't get and wasn't able to understand the motivation of people coding open source "just for fun", after work, in their free time
  • Now I know it's not "just for fun", at least not for me
  • But I wouldn't definitely do it if it's not fun :)
  • I want to stay educated, to stay with technology trends
  • Gain some plus points and kind of "GitHub fame" and reputation
  • I'm still so fascinated by this century, by computers, by the internet, by all technologies around
  • I'm familiar with only a ridiculously tiny fraction of IT knowledge (NoSQL stores, caching and related topics) so I want to do something with it and focus on it

  • Now, when I have my own project, I feel strong internal motivation 
    • to continue with anything that I've started 
    • to deliver something 
    • to contribute somehow to the whole world and make the world a bit better -- piece by piece, step by step, inch by inch 
    • to inspire others 
    • to give an opportunity also for someone else who is interested to contribute and to learn something new
    • simply put -- TO PAY BACK
      • There has been many people helping me with my studies, programming, bachelor/diploma thesis, pushing me further, etc.
      • I use open source every day and naturally, I want to create something that can be used by others
    • to CREATE and not only consume (PC games, movies,...), create something that will stay here even when I'm not here any more 
    • to help others (users, developers,...) with a tooling we are creating once it will be done and fully functional

  • Relax
    • I wouldn't do this if it's too demanding and not fun
    • 10 months ago (June 2015) I switched to managerial position at work but I have to admit I still love coding and it still fascinates me
    • I relax my mind because I don't need to do any context switching and I still love to be dived into one problem and solve it
    • I love how rewarding coding is -- code, run, fail, fix, run, see results! You can see results of your work immediately and it's such an awesome feeling! (Dopamine shots) 

There is nothing more to be added here. I will update those lines once I see more internal drivers or come up with more ideas for sharing. You will see more technical stuff about our project soon here at my blog but it wouldn't be here without all these feelings I've written above.

úterý 13. ledna 2015

Do I suffer or benefit from polyphasic experiments now?

Hi readers!

It's been a while I didn't write a word. Not because I don't like you... I simply like League of Legends a bit more than you :) Just kiddin'.

The topic for today is again: polyphasic sleep. I want to share my very recent day-to-day experience and try to think loudly whether this is a benefit or a serious drawback.

So what the hell is happening? Actually nothing except the fact that I am not able to sleep more than 4,5 hours in one solid block.

Yes, every single night I regularly wake up after 4,5 hours of a sleep. For example when I fall asleep around midnight today you can very probably see me playing LoL or writing posts like this around 4:40 AM tomorrow early morning.

I can't control it. I open my eyes around 4:30, look at my mobile phone, realize it's 4:30 AM for real, sit on the edge of my bed, slowly stand up and go to the bathroom to wash my face. Turn on my PC and quickly decide what I will be doing.

1) Programming -- I am able to be very productive for next 2,5 hours.

2) League of Legends -- I am able to succeed in more matches than usually because I stand against players who has been playing for the whole evening and night and they are tired. I am very precise during my game play, make less mistakes, decide faster -- win more games. That's something which ensures me that e-sport is a real thing.

Wasting of a time bro! You say? Uhm, not really. I relax the same way how you watch TV but this is much more active way of relaxation and gaming is improving cognitive brain functions. Good for me, not for you, passive TV watchers :)

Then I usually go back to bed and sleep another block. 1,5 - 3 hours. Then I wake up, do my morning routines and go to work.

I am not tired, I am fresh, full of energy, I have very good mood.

What is the drawback then? Why am I writing about this?

Later during the day this thing will catch you. Tiredness usually strikes hard around 2 PM (after lunch + circadian rhythm). That's the time you need to do your 20 minutes long power nap which is not always possible and you end up struggling with your own brain and body that desperately need their power nap.

Also, sometimes, I am tired after long day, after party, after whole day long volleyball tournament and I want to sleep at least 8 hours. But I can't. This is crazy and you feel a bit weird. You have to do something for that damn 1,5 hour and then fall asleep again. Or try to...

Taking caffeine in any form (even a green tea) after 6 PM is NO-GO for me. It totally destroys my rhythms and I am unusable next day.

I still don't know whether this is a problem, or not. Still investigating. Overall I feel that I have more free time. At least +2 hours approximately every day and I am still productive at work and at a time I need to.

Will see in the future, I will keep you in a loop.