Some experience with uncertainty

I’m a big proponent of trying to live with and take embrace of uncertainty when you can. I’ve been saying “It’s just how things are - try to cope with it instead of fighting it”. Inspired by Dan North and his excellent talk: Embracing Uncertainty.

But lately I’ve been on the other side… where I was craving more certainty. As often before I found myself screaming for things that’s been asked of me before. “Give me a status! Give me a plan!” I heard myself begging.

I realized two things: it’s hard living with uncertainty and the smallest status (however uncertain) is better than no certainty at all.

No status = all statuses

As you might or might not known I’m in the process of moving to Indonesia. Right now we are waiting for the work permits and subsequently the visas to get into Indonesia....

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What My Fair Lady can teach us about communication

I have a confession to make: I’m a sucker for musicals. Especially those old ones with those jolly tunes. One of my all-time favorites is: My fair lady. Since I like these old musicals it happens from time to time that I find myself singing the tunes. Out loud. The other day it happened again, but this time it was actually appropriate. In fact; the song I was humming told me something about visualization.

Here’s the scene: Eliza Dolittle have is fed being taught how to speak properly. And leaves the professor that tries to teach her. She leaves the house only to find a young man (Freddy) that loves her madly. He tries to tell her so. In oh so many long, beautiful and complicated words. So Eliza sings the following song:

The lyrics is brutal and to the point:

Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of...

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A session on Open source software at Microsoft

I got invited to do a Summer-session on Open Source from a developer perspective. It was my friend Dag König that invited me and I had great fun, both preparing and doing the session.

I even pulled of a demo of a life-time, in my opinion. We’ll come to that later.

If you think about it the journey that OSS has done in the .NET and Microsoft community has been quite remarkable. Just a couple of years ago the words “Microsoft” and “Open source” could not be mentioned in the same sentence. Now you can fire up a virtual machine in Azure with Linux and the complete LAMP-stack on it. On top of that there’s a number of prominent people promoting open source and alternatives to Microsoft recommendations and technologies - from within Microsoft.

That’s cool in my book. It can be improved of course. But it’s the...

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Move files at regular intervals on OSX

I’ve been starting to use Automator for some tasks that I commonly do and it’s actually quite capable although a bit convoluted and secretive.

In this post I’ll describe how to “write” a little task that moves files from one folder to another on a set schedule. I’m using this to move photos from my DropBox-folder to my SkyDrive-folder. This is done since I sync photos to DropBox and it fills up after awhile. And yes - I understand that this problem will come back for SkyDrive.

Ok - here we go:

Automating moving files

The trigger happy Automator robot

Open Automator - I still have a problem with that cute robot holding a bazooka. I want to move files not blow them to heaven come. Well, well - open the Automator application.

You are now greeted with a big dialog that asks you to...

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CodeBetter - a new home for part of me

CodeBetter - a new home for part of me

I started this blog about 8 years ago. It now contains 830-ish posts (this 831, I think). I have also just passed 20,000 tweets:

With my 20,000 tweets, I wanted to say a big “Thank you” to all you tweeps that I’ve learned from so much. And a shout-out to @MikaelOstberg — Marcus Hammarberg (@marcusoftnet) August 8, 2013

During this time, I have not drawn too much attention to myself, in my opinion, and by no means have become famous or well-known.

But some truly awesome things have happened during the last years that are directly related to the fact that I’ve been exposing my ideas, thoughts, and failures on the net. Most of the things that I have learned during the last years have also come from me interacting with different awesome thinkers - not...

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Repost - Some tools for improved focus, improve teamwork and faster delivery


I noticed that CodeBetter is slowing down. Maybe dying. I’m preserving my post from there, here to my site.

Original post

At one of the teams I’m coaching right now at Tradera (Swedish Ebay-branch) we are experimenting with increasing our focus on delivering completed work. We have had a big goal (technical upgrade of the complete site in a very short time) and there’s been some challenges to get the focus and team working together, towards this goal. Which has led us to try to experiment with some new practices and visualizations (board and backlog etc) and is summed up with a new question that we ask ourselves at our daily standups (you’ll find it under the Daily Standup heading if you’re in a hurry :)).

These a just a couple of practices that together has proven useful for us. In this...

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Repost - Mob programming – full team, full throttle


I noticed that CodeBetter is slowing down. Maybe dying. I’m preserving my post from there, here to my site.

This particular post makes me very proud to repost here, since it’s apparently one of the first posts ever written on mob programming, not by Woody Zuill - the father of the concept.

Original post

One of the things that fascinates me with our industry is that you can learn new stuff, things that throw your current ideas on end and even provokes you – every day. For my first blog post here I thought I share such a concept that have surfaced to my mind the last couple of months.

Being offered to blog for CodeBetter was nothing I expected and I’m deeply humbled, a bit proud and somewhat nervous. So I thought the best way of handle those feelings was to...

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Setting up a new development machine without pressing Next a single time using Chocolately

Up to now I have sadly not have time to look into Chocolatey. I know what it is but I haven’t played with it. As the time grew closer to set up a new development machine I thought I’d give it a run Chocolatey a run for it’s money.

Could my entire development environment be installed using a script? That is - from a bare-bones Windows installation could I run a script and get everything I needed in place.

This was a real challenge since I don’t know (nor want to learn) any powershell and consider myself to be a newbie Chocolatey user.

This post describes my journey.

Getting a virtual windows installation in place

I use OS X and VirtualBox to run virtual instances of windows. Creating a virtual image is simple enough in VirtualBox and then you can attach an .iso-file...

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Rules versus guiding stars ... and a lot about soccer

Rules versus guiding stars … and a lot about soccer

In Sweden, there’s a radio show every summer, every day. It has the creative name “Summer”. It has been playing every summer since the 50s and is a Swedish institution. The concept is simple: invite Swedes who have done interesting things in the past year or so and let them talk about their lives for 1.5 hours, mixed with music of their choice.

This year, I’ve only caught a few of them, and the one I’ll tell you about now I only heard 5 minutes of. The program was hosted by the former manager and coach of the Swedish National team in soccer - Lars Lagerbäck. He has had a great career as a coach but has always been very shy and in the background, so you don’t know much about his leadership style. Obviously, he did...

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Export all images from a Word (.doc) document .. and rename them

Export all images from a Word (.doc) document .. and rename them

During the summer, I faced a challenging task for the book: “…and also, if you could hand us all the images in the book, thank you very much. Oh yeah, if you could name them CH01_01.png, CH01_02.png, etc., it would be great.”

Yes, I felt a bit overwhelmed.

Since Kanban In Action now spans 13 chapters in different .doc files, I immediately realized two things:

  • Marcus, you’re foolish for not tracking these images somewhere.
  • This is too massive to handle manually.

This post details how I tackled the problem. It took me about 2 hours in total.

Export all files in a Word document

The chapters are written in .doc format (for some reason), but I remembered that the newer format .docx is essentially just a zip-file. Maybe, just maybe, that could...

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