The Importance of Product Management

Another role or function that is often confusing to Germany high-tech companies is product management. Startups tend to get it right these days, but large organizations often remain unfazed by a lack of strong product management.

A product manager is responsible for defining the product innovation and associated business plan (strategic product management) as well as working out features to a level of detail (technical product management) so that they can be passed on to engineering. As the saying goes,

A product manager is responsible for building the right product, while an engineering manager is responsible for building the product right.

Continue reading “The Importance of Product Management”

CTO vs. VP of Engineering

In tech companies, startups and large companies alike, of the many roles you need to define, two seem to be particularly confusing to German startups: The CTO and the VP of Engineering role. Many German startups I’ve seen simply have a person titled CTO who does both (and sometimes neither). These two roles are very different! They require different skill sets and while temporarily one person may be able to fill both shoes, longer term they are better filled by two different people. In more detail:

Continue reading “CTO vs. VP of Engineering”

Escalating Levels of Complexity in Inner Source Projects

Yesterday, I discussed what makes a good pilot project in inner source. The main thrust of the suggestion was not to start with a big bang but rather to choose a relevant but not too large project. This begs the question of complexity of projects, specifically viewed from an inner source perspective. How should you escalate and grow your ambition for inner source projects? I see a 1 + 3 structure of levels.

Continue reading “Escalating Levels of Complexity in Inner Source Projects”

The Footbridge From Ghost in the Shell

These photos are of the iconic (and rather ugly) circular footbridge in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. This location (and many others in Hong Kong) were the set for scenes from the Hollywood movie Ghost in the Shell, an adaptation of the classic Ghost in the Shell anime franchise. The footbridge was the backdrop for a major battle between the heroine of the movie and a tank.







Many of the shots in the life-action movie were made in Hong Kong, presumably because Hong Kong is closer to the Tokyo of anime fiction than, well, Tokyo itself.

The Argument For a Moral Machine in Autonomous Driving

I have a strong aversion against letting people drag their feet from being responsible for their actions. I feel particularly strongly about this when delegating work to machines, which are not able to act using an appropriate moral value system. Starting a car and letting an autonomous driving unit take over is one such example: When faced with an impossible situation (run over an old lady or three children or commit suicide), it still has to be the driver’s decision and not a machine’s.

Continue reading “The Argument For a Moral Machine in Autonomous Driving”

ACM Hypertext 2019 in Hof, Germany

The ACM Hypertext 2019 conference will take place in Hof, Germany, on September 17-20, 2019. Here is the conference’s scope in its own words:

The ACM Hypertext conference is a premium venue for high quality peer-reviewed research on hypertext theory, systems and applications. It is concerned with all aspects of modern hypertext research including social media, semantic web, dynamic and computed hypertext and hypermedia as well as narrative systems and applications.

Regular paper submissions are due April 14th, 2019. Please submit plenty.

Summaries of The AMOS Projects Winter 2018/19

I just helped finish three AMOS projects, all with IAV Engineering, at TU Berlin (Prof. Schieferdecker). Below, please find the project summaries for the projects:

  1. FlyInn (a multi-modal app to manage a large array of embedded devices),
  2. Corridor Navigation (an app to provide multi-path navigation suggestions), and
  3. Adrenaline (an app for the motorbiking community to connect and share.

Continue reading “Summaries of The AMOS Projects Winter 2018/19”