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Last week we open sourced a new project called Owl  Owl takes a different approach to site monitoring in that you can get a feel for how your servers are doing at just a glance. No complex graphs of bandwidth or network latency, just color coded blocks that show you the one thing your users care about: how fast your site responds.




Owl has a simple set of screens for adding new sites and even setting up alerts via IM and Twitter. Check out the readme on our github repository to get started!

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Active Realtime_cropped.jpg

We launched Phase I of Realtime in order to prove a few concepts - namely A) that we could create an extensible infrastructure that efficiently taps into the activity happening on and B) that there was interest in this sort of thing.  Before we launched, we knew the technology was sound, but we were pleasantly surprised to the positive reaction external and internal audiences had to the prototype. So, we embarked on Phase II with the aim of improving design and incorporating different types of data.


I'm happy to announce the availability of Realtime, Phase II at Realtime is to showcases what people in a given city are searching for, registering for, and the results their viewing on right now.  The goal of the site is to help you make a decision about what event you might like to participate in by showing you what's popular in your area.


Here's a screencast explaining Realtime's features:

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I read a blog post last year from Mountain Goat Software about the importance of feedback devices in an Agile workspace.  They serve to reinforce a sense of "one-ness" when the team gathers together to solve mutual issues such as Production fires, or when builds are broken.


Here's what one of our teams started doing when emergency issues arise in our Production environment:


1.  The Scrum Master for Team Ramrod (yes, it's named after a transformer) posts a sign at the entry point to the team's sitting area indicating to a would-be visitor that the team's busy fighting a fire.




2.  And, in the spirit of visual queues, we put a virtual fire on the projector wall in the team's sitting area:


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Creative Interviewee

Posted by JeremyGThomas Apr 6, 2010

At the end of an interview today I was handed a pair of socks by the interviewee:




It's by far one of the most creative things I've ever seen in an interview.

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