IMPORTANT: Want a job at Innoveo?

We are searching for an excellent and motivated Software Engineer, with a focus on Java and Web Development, to support us in the development of our standard Software product -Innoveo Skye- at our office in Zurich, Switzerland. Some more information:

  • Web technology: (X)HTML, CSS, AJAX, JSF, jQuery
  • Basis technology: J2EE, Spring, XML & SOAP, Portal
  • Development: Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, Subversion, Maven, Tomcat, TeamCity, TDD, BDD, Scrum/XP
  • Languages: English and German

More information in this pdf (in German).

Do not hesitate to contact me if you need more information. And to spread the news!

Thanks in advance ;-)

Cross-posted on the Innoveo blog.

The soul of St. Barts

via Condé Nast Traveler

Condé Nast Traveler has published a very interesting article about St. Barts in June 2010. A very emotional article from a journalist who *really* knows St. Barts and its specificities, its “soul”. Not the St Barth (I prefer The French term ;-) of the magazines and TV shows, the one we have also discovered the last years, and that make this destination so unique. No show off, back to the roots.


Some abstracts:

And over the years, I have discovered a parallel, private universe on St. Barts, a completely different world from the one you see splashed all over the pages of magazines. […]

I remember the local vicar, Charles Vere Nicholl, saying years ago that St. Barts was more like a village in Provence than an island in the Caribbean, and he was right. Geezers playing pétanque, pastis, baguettes, Jacques Brel on the radio, every Peter Mayle cliché, but delivered without any of the stuffy uptightness of the mainland French. Imagine the laid-back, barefoot, sixties, hippie-ish spirit, what the French call décontracté, served up with just the right amount of impeccable taste, good food, and ridiculous attention to quality—perfection, non? […]

The stain of slavery, the sense that something truly evil happened, the seething resentment of injustice, is something you can still smell on other Caribbean islands but never on St. Barts. Here, the lingering darkness of history does not exist. […]

The island remains what it has always been—a place for libertines, hippies, and people who have inherited that early pirate spirit. "Except," noted Piter, "the hippies have grown up and smoke cigars now instead of joints." […]

One of the things I love most about St. Barts is the way the language weaves and flows with the division of the island. The windward quartiers (St. Jean, L’Orient) express themselves in a kind of Creole. The leeward side (sous le vent—places like Corossol and Public) speak patois. […]

The unadulterated joy and hope of our first trip had, over the years, been tempered by pain. The hope remained, strong as ever, and now some kind of wisdom had replaced the joy, which isn’t such a bad deal after all.

‘House’ season filmed with Canon 5D Mark II


We like very much the TV show “House”. I have seen a quite old news from May 2010, telling us that the whole season was filmed with a Canon 5D MarkII. Wow, interesting….

A Canon 5D Mark II has become the first video-capable DSLR to film a whole episode of a US primetime series. Greg Yaitanes, director of FOX broadcasting company’s medical drama series ‘House’, used the camera, a selection of Canon’s prime lenses and, the 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses to shoot its season finale. Speaking via Twitter, he said that this was to achieve a shallow depth of field and a ‘richer look’. He also said he ‘feels it’s the future’.

You can find also a Twitter-interview of Greg Yaitanes, the director of the show.

What is the difference in how it looks on a TV screen compared to a regular camera?

Greg Yaitanes: richer. shallow focus pulls the actors faces to forground [sic]

How many frames per second and why a Canon 5D Mark II?

GY: 24p and wanted it for ease of use in tight spaces.

Ok, seriously. Can you tell us something about the lenses you used?

GY: all the canon primes and the 24-70 and the 70-200 zoom

Did you have to change any of your working practices to fit in with differences between the 5D and a typical setup?

GY: some. focus was hard with these lenses but more “cine-style” lenses are being made as we speak.

Were you using CF cards for storage or some sort of mass storage mod? seems like you would need a lot of cards :)

GY: some 18gb or something like that card. gave us 22 min of footage.

How was the quality as compared 2 the traditional camera used in shooting?

GY: i loved it and feel it’s the future. cameras that can give you these looks

How did you manage to stabilize the camera in tight spaces? Any special kind of brackets?

GY: no. mostly gave it a hand held feel. or on a small tripod

I was very focused (!) on the “normal” usage of my 5D MarkII in the last months (enough to do technically ;), but this was definitely a good reminder that I can also do some videos.

French Provence – Hyères (02)

I have forgotten to continue to publish my portfolio about our trip to Hyères, south-east of France in the Provence region, trip we have done mid of April 2010… So after the first pictures in … June about Saint Tropez, some views of the Porquerolles Island we have visited by bicycles.

Porquerolles Island





Lean, Agile & Scrum conference in Zurich

As you may know, Oli (our VP Product at Innoveo) and myself participated last week to the 2nd “Lean, Agile & Scrum” Conference in Zurich, also called LAS 2010.

The topic this year: From the Scrum project to lean enterprise.

Interesting, isn’t it?


  • For me the clear highlight of the day was the presentation of Mary Poppendieck (she has written the first book about Lean development in the Software industry with her husband) – The tyranny of “The Plan” (presentation here). She explained almost all principles and bases that led to the creation of the Scrum methodology. Very convincing ;-)
  • I’ve heard now for three times quite in a row that experienced companies using Scrum are implementing very strictly the Scrum frame (no adaptation and/or tinkering), but are very careful with other Scrum best practices and lessons learnt that cannot be always replicated.
  • Again, we have heard very often how far it is absolutely central to have the software engineering and automatization parts under control by introducing such kind of agile approach. What they call “software craftsmanship”.
  • All were also confirming how long it takes to transform deeply a company ;-)
  • Some speakers were explaining how far they are still struggling with Agile Software Architecture. Seems that maturity in this field is coming quite at the end of the transformation process.
  • Heard also that Scrum doesn’t fit well to Maintenance & Support, and that Kanban is more accurate for organizing these activities (but not enough experience yet to confirm Kanban in this field).
  • Anecdote: the CTO of bbv (about 110 developers using Scrum since 5 years) said that it is not so easy to spread this kind of agile approach, as “Swiss managers like very much to command & control, which is absolutely against the aim of agile approach”. Not sure that this is so particular to Switzerland actually :-)

Mary Poppendieck

The thinking tool called Agile

Henrik Kniberg, presentation

The illusion of a “good tool”, Don’t blame the tool

Good tools are helping to:

  • visualize the workflow
  • limit work in progress
  • focus on quality
  • prioritize
  • empower
  • support continuous improvements

Using the wrong tool vs. using the tool wrong (both have nothing to do with the tool itself)

The aim of going agile has to be linked with the vision and values of the company => be careful to solve the right problem, i.e. the root causes and not symptoms

Agile is simple but hard!

Transforming BBV into an agile company

Marcel Bauman, presentation

Why changing to agile?

  • business requirements are changing a lot, customers are asking for very short projects where you can show step-by-step results, reqs are changing during the projects
  • fun for people and developers
  • young people are coming more and more on the market with agile teaching

Why Scrum?

  • standard method, most used in Europe

Bbv favors (manifesto):

  • individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • working software over comprehensive documentation
  • customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • responding to a change over following a plan

Scrum works only with:

  • source mgt, continuous integration, wiki, test env
  • need a lot of virtual machines and processing power
  • automate everything that can be automated
  • remote access (VPN) for all employees
  • XP as a base! => 40% of developers don’t like pair programming


  • no reporting on individual level, just project-level
  • incentive on team-level
  • pair programming interviews

The tyranny of “The Plan”

Mary Poppendieck, presentation

Key Success Factors for successful projects:

  • teamwork
  • deeply experienced people
  • focus on key constraint
  • decoupling
  • cash-flow thinking

In other words:

  • design the system to meet the constraints; do not derive constraints from the design
  • break dependencies
  • manage the workflow

Schedules based on experience are reliable. Schedules summed up from task breakdowns are guesses, hypothesis about the future.

Optimize Throughput, not utilization (coming from Queuing theory)!

  • minimize the number of things in process
  • minimize the size of things in process

Level the workload:

  • manage workflow, not tasks
  • establish a regular cadence

Limit work to capacity

  • timebox, don’t scopebox
  • pull, don’t push

Cross-posted on the Innoveo blog.

Participating to the first TEDx in Alsace

TEDx = independently organized TED event

It’s the first time that a TEDx event is organized in the region where I’m living. So the first TEDxAlsace will be organized in Mulhouse/Alsace/France on coming October 2 by Salah, a “very nice guy” I know since a while. The general topic will be “visions of the future”.

Quite a good program and interesting speakers planned.

About TEDx

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event.
The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

My interview (yeah, in French :-)

1. Pourriez vous vous présentez ? ( professions, secteur, passions, projets, parcours,…)

Didier, 38 ans, marié, un garçon de 8 ans, entrepreneur.

Je vis dans un petit village non loin de Mulhouse, mais je travaille à Zürich en Suisse, où j’ai cofondé mon entreprise, Innoveo, en 2007, après un très enrichissant processus de “spin-out”. Nous fournissons des solutions logicielles aux groupes d’assurance dans le domaine de la distribution. Notre vision est d’aider le business à implémenter leur stratégie d’innovation et de développement à l’aide de solutions technologiques adaptées, tout en injectant du “sens” dans notre travail. L’approche dite “Agile” nous intéresse énormément et nous nous trouvons dans un processus de transformation profonde depuis quelques mois, basée sur Scrum. Je suis également membre du Conseil d’Administration de Boomerang depuis plus de 12 ans. Je possède une double formation d’ingénieur en informatique (ENSISA) et de Management d’entreprise (MBA à l’EMLYON).

Mes passions se retrouvent dans mon blog (dans le désordre): l’entrepreneuriat, le leadership, les industries du logiciel et de l’assurance, Innoveo, la musique, la photo, la dégustation de vins. Et pour une petite île perdue aux Antilles, exactement à la frontière entre l’océan Atlantique et la mer des Caraïbes … Saint Barth ;-)

2. Est ce que vous connaissiez les événements TED et TEDx avant de s’inscrire au TEDxAlsace?

J’ai la chance de connaître deux personnes qui ont déjà participé au TED, Jeff Clavier et Loïc Le Meur, tous deux très connus dans notre petit monde de “geeks”. J’ai pu rencontrer Jeff et Loïc grâce à Marc Goldberg, mon ami investisseur chez Bryan Garnier et grand connaisseur de la “scène” technologique européenne.

Je connais donc le concept … et Salah, organisateur de TEDxAlsace. Le mélange des deux ne peut qu’être détonnant!

3. Quelles sont vos motivations et attentes par rapport au TEDxAlsace?

Simplement écouter et apprendre, faire de belles rencontres.

4. Si vous avez une question à poser à l’un des speakers de TEDxAlsace, qui serait le speaker? et quelle serait la question ?

Tout d’abord, merci à tous de participer et de nous faire partager votre expérience!

Une simple question à tous: un lien vers un post, un site, un article qui vous a marqué ces derniers mois.

5. Quelle question nous avons oublié de vous posez ? Et quelle serait la réponse ?

Quelle est l’entreprise et l’entrepreneur qui vous inspirent en ce moment?

Entreprise: Netflix, entreprise américaine de plus de 2000 employés mais qui possède une culture d’entreprise très particulière et innovante. Elle cherche par exemple à minimiser ses règles internes au fur et à mesure de son développement. Leur présentation de leur culture d’entreprise est publiée sur SlideShare (en anglais).

Entrepreneur: Jean-Claude Biver, Directeur Général des montres Hublot. Entrepreneur en série puisque qu’il repris avec succès 3 marques de montres de luxe dans sa carrière: Omega, Blancpain et Hublot. Excusez du peu ;-) Quelle énergie, quelle stratégie, et quelle approche marketing.

6. Vos liens internet : (Twitter, Site internet, blog, Facebook…)

Blog:       (depuis mars 2004)



Twitter:    (depuis juillet 2007)






…is really cool ;-) Some interesting new features (SEO & sitemaps, statistics, etc.) were released in the last months, as usual. Still bringing quite a lot of traffic for me.

I’ve reached again the half million views on my pictures during the first half of this year (in June), with some days with more than 7’000 views… From January to August, exactly 622’310 views on pictures and videos on About 80% of the traffic is going on Saint Barth pictures (what for a surprise !).

Not bad for an amateur as I in this area ;-)