To Olympus: Replatforming on the Cloud

VP of People, Opreto

2 minute read

There is a particular synergy that springs from engaging an agile software development agency as an integrated software partner, and having them platform your software into the cloud. The sum of the two is truly greater than its parts. When launched together, the entire tech saga becomes truly epic for your business; you are freed to focus on your business, and we carry you up on our back. Do not fret, good citizen, we’re here to help.

8-bit Makes a Better Programmer

VP of Operations, Opreto

3 minute read

In the realm of modern programming, with its high-level languages and sophisticated development environments, the art of programming an 8-bit microcomputer might seem like a quaint, if not obsolete, pursuit. However, diving into the world of assembly language programming on such a system isn’t just a nostalgic trip down memory lane; it’s a journey that offers invaluable insights and a deeper appreciation for the inner workings of computers.

Threat Categories, Attack Patterns, and Countermeasures: Safeguarding Against Cyber Vulnerabilities

2 minute read

Recently, our community in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, experienced a harrowing cyber attack on our healthcare system. The electronic systems that the hospital system relied on suddenly became useless, forcing workers back to the rudimentary pen-and-paper methods. This sudden regression in technology not only disrupted healthcare operations but also painted a stark picture of our vulnerabilities in the digital age. This incident was more than just an inconvenience; it was a dramatic step backward, highlighting the urgent need for resilient cybersecurity measures to protect our most critical services and data.

I Went to a Remote Cabin to Hunt Deer and All I Found Was Agile

VP of People, Opreto

5 minute read

I was stunned to realize my father in law, a man in his 70s, is a practitioner of Agile. I found this out at Deer Camp, the remote off-the-grid cabin in the thick woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the men of my wife’s family gather every year to hunt deer. I went there with the expectation of a digital cleansing of some kind, I think, or some grand hermitage away from civilization. But instead I found reinforcement for everything we do in my high tech job @Opreto, and realized during my time there that our hunting cabin uses good Agile practices. It seems clear to me now that something I thought of as modern is actually quite old, and that an “agile team” approach to deer hunting is as natural as an agile approach to software development, although there are arguably fewer websites disclaiming this fact to hunters than those proliferating on blogs about software development.

You’re validating email addresses all wrong!

VP of Technology, Opreto

7 minute read

Ever tried entering your email address, only to receive a “Please enter a valid email address” error? Frustrating, right?

There’s a lot more to email validation than just spotting an ‘@’ and a ‘.com’. Dive into the world of RFCs where email addresses are not just strings, but a complex interplay of rules and standards. From the subtle nuances of RFC 5321 and 5322 to the curious world of quoted strings and dot-atoms, we’re tackling the real challenge of validating emails. Because let’s face it, nobody wants to be told their perfectly good email is “invalid” – especially not by a machine.

Escape from Agile

VP of Operations, Opreto

2 minute read

I discovered Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom a couple years ago, via the Philosophize This! podcast. In this work, Fromm dissects the human psyche’s intricate dance with freedom and authority. His thesis pivots around a paradoxical tendency in human behaviour: the flight from the liberating yet daunting responsibility that freedom entails, seeking refuge in authoritarian structures.

While Fromm was reacting to the rise of fascism in Europe at the height of World War II, having fled Nazi Germany himself, it occurs to me that some of his observations are relevant to a matter more mundane: the resistance we often encounter to fully embracing Agile principles.

Cognitive Biases in Agile Estimations and How to Avoid Them

7 minute read

Cognitive biases, often unconscious influences on human judgment and decision-making, can significantly distort the accuracy of Agile estimations. These biases, like invisible bugs in our mental software, can lead to errors that affect the outcomes of project planning. Whether it’s anchoring to the first piece of information heard or overly optimistic predictions about project timelines, they can subtly undermine the efficiency of even the most experienced Agile teams.

Agile Software is an Immortal Jellyfish

VP of People, Opreto

4 minute read

Anyone who has ever purchased software is aware that it must be updated occasionally to a new release, with new features and security and performance updates. And anyone with a huge reliance on the work facilitated by that software is acquainted with reading changelogs to stay current with changes that have been made, as the changes may often impact the end user and how they use the tool. Software should never stop moving or be allowed to become static. The moment a codebase stops changing, it becomes vulnerable to software rot; a gradual decline in responsivity and updates with respect to the changing environment in which it resides.

Metrics as Beacons, Not Scorecards: My Take on Software Metrics

VP of Technology, Opreto

1 minute read

Metrics in software development are like fire - handy but dangerous if not handled correctly. Let’s get into a topic that deserves a brighter spotlight: the Hawthorne Effect. This phenomenon describes how people change their behavior when they know they’re being observed. Knowing that metrics like sprint velocity, build frequency, test coverage, or codebase contributions are being scrutinized can shift the team’s focus from delivering value to gaming numbers.

DevOps for Robotics

VP of Operations, Opreto

6 minute read

DevOps, a set of practices designed to automate and integrate the processes between software development and IT operations, has transformed how we deliver cloud and web applications over the past decade. Although the language used to illustrate these practices in books and courses is rather particular to that technical domain, the principles can apply more broadly. The world of robotics—specifically, mobile robots like self-driving cars and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs)—is a domain the usual language of DevOps doesn’t immediately conjure, but where its concepts can nonetheless flourish.