AI Artists Have No Idea What a Head Is, or How Arms or Hands Work

VP of People, Opreto

4 minute read

As marvelous as some of the images generated by the current crop of Stable Diffusion Generative AI models may be, there are subjects that it cannot render well. In this post, I will be visiting some of the nightmare fuel that Stable Diffusion can inadvertently produce. Specifically, I will be examining its inability to comprehend and generate bodies, heads, and hands. These are things that still need authorship by a human artist (at least for now).

Stable Diffusion As a Tool: The New Generative Genie

VP of People, Opreto

4 minute read

ChatGPT, Dall-e2, and Midjourney (and ilk) are having a moment. Their user growth is explosive, news coverage is fawning, mind share is off the charts. Their generated text and images are everywhere. There is no doubt that the Stable Diffusion Generative AI models that underpin these systems are a powerful tool for communication. But this efflorescence of Generative AI models trained on large datasets has also led to at least one interesting orthogonal experience as well. I refer to the special evolution of the hyper-modern and fascinating “generative genie” shared user experience in Midjourney.

How to Start New Agile Software Projects: Building Healthy Teams

VP of Technology, Opreto

6 minute read

Building a good new agile team for a software development project requires more than just finding the right skills for a cross-functional team; it also needs governance, security, and an immune response cycle to maintain the wellness of team dynamics over time. What are the vulnerabilities for working teams, and how should you structure agile teams from the outset to promote and persist their healthy operation, and allow them to thrive over time?

How to Start New Agile Software Projects: Building Good Teams

VP of Technology, Opreto

5 minute read

The software team; that diverse mix of personalities, knowledge, skills, and experiences, is at the center of every project. It’s the stuff that makes your project tick. It’s more important than a great requirements document, more important than a perfect software architecture, and more important than funding. Well… maybe not that last one, but without an effective team, you probably won’t be able to deliver on the vision that got you the funding in the first place.

Should It Always Be Agile?

VP of Operations, Opreto

4 minute read

Agile methodology was largely organized as a reaction to the perceived disadvantages of the Waterfall model of project management, and the various kinds of impact (personal, professional) it had on software developers. But the landscape at the time was complicated, and the reaction has been an overreaction. Agile software development is really great, and it has become a necessary component for the industry, and we write about it a great deal here on this blog. But there is more to be said about the systems that came before, and the ways they might be blended with agile, the New Kid on the Block, to achieve even greater things.

When Everything is Excellent, Nothing is Excellent

VP of People, Opreto

5 minute read

The current crop of generative AI (ChatGPT, Dall-e 2, etc) may be a blessing for individuals, but they could prove a pestilence for our civilization in the short term. For every door they open, it seems to me they also threaten to wipe away whole towns of visual artists and copywriters. And as consumers of information, we are doomed to be overwhelmed, our attention span drowned in torrents of content. Our eyes and minds will be overfull. Our time will be drained away by too much being said too well, and sharing platforms that monopolize our attention too well.

To Infinity and Beyond: The Efflorescence of SaaS

VP of People, Opreto

7 minute read

There are many software systems that can help your business grow and succeed; many of these have undergone capitalization and become well-known Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings, while some are open source software systems you can freely download, modify and host yourself. It is increasingly rare to commission and run software systems built to your specifications by software artisans. You might be asking yourself whether to pay the subscription costs for a SaaS product, or if you’re better off putting in some development and deployment work to host and support your own in-house systems. Well, there is a secret benefit to using SaaS solutions that makes it more appealing for nearly any use case, with one glaring exception where it makes more sense to run your own servers.

How to Start New Agile Software Projects: Selecting An Architecture

VP of Technology, Opreto

3 minute read

In my last post, I described the initial phase of determining the trajectory for a greenfield softtware project. Once you have established your vision and created a roadmap, the next step is to decide how the software system is to be built. This involves finding a suitable architecture for the system and devising a macroscopic design of the different components and interactions involved.