The Battle of Grocery Shopping Tech:
Innovations in supermarket smart carts

Never have grocery prices been so high. The sting of inflation makes parting with hard-earned cash even more painful after a sub-standard shopping experience. This article focuses on the high and low points of three in-store technology solutions intended to remove friction from grocery shopping. While these technologies do nothing to curb out-of-control prices, they do minimize or eliminate some of the things shoppers hate most — like waiting in long checkout… Read More »The Battle of Grocery Shopping Tech:
Innovations in supermarket smart carts

Pete Rose and Software Rearchitecture:
Yup, the two are related

Children of the ’70s may remember Pete Rose, aka Charlie Hustle, as a superb, hard-charging Cincinnati Reds baseball player with a Popeye physique. Millennials may remember Rose as the Reds’ manager banned from baseball forever for betting on games. A spectacular, Rudy Giuliani-like fall from grace. What does Pete Rose have to do with software rearchitecture? Plenty. The most fraught words a CEO will hear from a CTO are, “We need… Read More »Pete Rose and Software Rearchitecture:
Yup, the two are related

Deconstructing a Poor Product Management Decision

Peapod Digital Labs, the eCommerce engine for Giant Foods, recently released a doozy of an ill-conceived multi-order feature. As a consumer, I shake my head at Giant’s carelessness. As a technical professional, I understand why and how bad releases occur but I’m unsympathetic. Peapod Digital is a highly competent shop with processes in place to prevent such disasters. The multi-order feature enables customers to keep multiple grocery carts open. A… Read More »Deconstructing a Poor Product Management Decision

10 Sins of the Founders:
Fire, Aim, Ready

Regardless of the approach, an entrepreneur’s initial idea is invariably incorrect. Since the initial attempt is bound to fail, the audacious ones have the right idea to quickly release products without wasting time over-analyzing. They toss s*%@ against a wall and see if it sticks. Chemistry ultimately determines the success or failure of a startup. Do the founder and executive team possess chutzpah and humility in equal measures? If so,… Read More »10 Sins of the Founders:
Fire, Aim, Ready

6 Keys to a Killer Cover Letter:
Half-ass this important communication at your own peril

Call me anachronistic, but job seekers who neglect to include optional cover letters miss a huge opportunity to wedge a foot into the corporate door. Artful cover letters enable applicants to stand out, providing narrative color that enhances otherwise drab resumes. The term “cover letter” is itself anachronistic. In pre-digital days, this letter served as the “cover” of a printed, mailed resume. In the days of mailing resumes in an… Read More »6 Keys to a Killer Cover Letter:
Half-ass this important communication at your own peril

6 Recruiting Software Epiphanies:
Art versus science in hiring

Never has it been easier for job-seekers to apply for open positions. LinkedIn’s “Easy Apply” feature enables a candidate to verify a few auto-populated fields, attach a resume, and click “Apply.” Companies offering these easy applications are undoubtedly inundated with them and guaranteed to receive scads of resumes from unqualified and/or disinterested candidates. Q. What’s a poor Human Resources professional to do? A. Separate the wheat from the chaff. With… Read More »6 Recruiting Software Epiphanies:
Art versus science in hiring

Applying AI/ML to the Fatal Flaw in Online Grocery:
Injecting quality into order fulfillment

Two weeks of receiving zero bananas in my online grocery pickup is a crime in my banana bread-obsessed household. I suspected a COVID-related supply chain snafu but called the store to check. The online grocery website requires customers to select either green or yellow bananas. When one type of banana is out of stock, the surrogate grocery shoppers do not routinely substitute green bananas for yellow ones, or vice versa,… Read More »Applying AI/ML to the Fatal Flaw in Online Grocery:
Injecting quality into order fulfillment

The Importance of Klara and the Sun For Data Science Workers:
An understated novel that tackles big AI issues

Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro probably didn’t intend his quietly intense, metaphysical science fiction novel, Klara and the Sun, to be a didactic tale for Data Science workers. For those of us professionally orbiting or embedded in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Ishiguro’s haunting story subtly addresses many of the challenges and controversies in the field today. Klara, an “Artificial Friend” (AF), is the eponymous narrator of this tale. AFs exist… Read More »The Importance of Klara and the Sun For Data Science Workers:
An understated novel that tackles big AI issues

Ten New Professionally Relevant Nonfiction Books:
Business and life lessons in peculiar places

It delights me when a nonfiction book I read for pleasure and not work unexpectedly provides professional insights. It’s a double whammy. Sure, I can learn the lingua franca of technology management by reading business bestsellers like Good to Great (Hedgehog concept) or The Lean Startup (Build-Measure-Learn-Pivot concept). Often, however, books not classified as “business” yield the sweetest and rarest inspirational nuggets. I chose each nonfiction book on the following… Read More »Ten New Professionally Relevant Nonfiction Books:
Business and life lessons in peculiar places

Subtractive Versus Additive Software:
Striving for simplicity while ensuring utility

Using training wheels to learn bike riding is officially passé. Ryan McFarland closed the training wheel coffin with his 2007 invention of the Strider, a bike without pedals, brakes, or a chain that children ride Fred Flintstone-style. This innovation, where key bicycle parts are removed, is a demonstrably better way for young children to learn to ride. A recent Washington Post article (April 15, 2021) begins with the Strider bike… Read More »Subtractive Versus Additive Software:
Striving for simplicity while ensuring utility