Stephen Owens' Blog

Notes from Identity North
I spent part of a couple of days this week at the Identity North conference here in Toronto and there was a lot of really interesting discussions. I was struck by the mix of people from a range of sectors coming together to discuss identity and the role it is playing in the development of online services. Of particular interest were these presentations. Digital Identity in Estonia ...
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Heartbleed and OpenSSL Statement
The ThoughtWire platform does not directly incorporate or use OpenSSL. Nevertheless, information security is extremely important to ThoughtWire and we started a thorough investigation immediately after the OpenSSL vulnerability was announced on April 8th. Additional Details: ThoughtWire uses Forgerock's OpenAm for authentication, which was not exposed to this bug (see: ...
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Step 1 Gather Information - Step 2...
Historically empiricism started in the Renaissance, at least in western civilizations. For me, it started with one of my first mentors, a wonderful manager who was a physicist by training, but working on textile graphics systems. He always stressed the importance of understanding the data before trying to reach conclusions. Whenever I was faced with a particularly tough bug I'd go walk...
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Load and Circuit Breakers
This circuit breaker design pattern shows how a software component that acts like a circuit breaker can be used to protect high volume systems from uneven availability across distributed functionality. The basic idea is to insert this new component between two subsystems where failure in one could adversely affect the availability or performance of the other and it is desirable to detect a...
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Agile and Non-Functionals
I thought this post laid out an interesting paradigm for how to integrate non-functional requirements into story creation and estimation in an agile process. It shows how by thinking through the monitoring criteria for a given non-functional requirement you can make that requirement tangible. By extension it says something interesting about how to describe those requirements as part of an...
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