Blog Posts

Over the past 10 years I have (sporadically) written a number of blog posts on a variety of subjects – all related in some way to the South African, and African, digital economy. Here is a list of the most recent of these blogs. The rest can be found in the Archives section.

  • Has COVID-19 Fast-Tracked 4IR?
    by Barry Dwolatzky and Mark Harris [Note: A shorter version of this article was published in The Daily Maverick on 1 June 2020] While South Africa’s Presidential Commission on 4IR was polishing its recommendations, an unexpected and unwelcome tsunami was gathering on the horizon. On March 5th 2020 the first COVID-19 infection was detected in […]
  • What became of CMMI?
              A friend asked me recently about CMMI. He hadn’t heard anything about it recently and assumed that it had come and gone, like so many other initiatives in the Software Engineering body of practice. He was amazed when I told him that CMMI was alive and well and growing in […]
  • Where is the REAL Wakanda?
                My once-popular blog, “The Software Engineer”, has been dormant and neglected since 2013. I’ve decided that the time is now right to bring it back to life. I’ve given it a new tag-line: “Passionate About Digital Africa”, and a fresh look-and-feel. Although my blog has been hibernating, I myself […]
  • “This is Apollo 13 – Cambridge, we have a problem.”
    by Prof. Barry Dwolatzky At 9:08pm on April 13 1970, astronaut James A. Lovell Jr, commander of Apollo 13, spoke the now famous words, “Houston, we have a problem.” If Lee Harvey Oswald hadn’t shot President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22 1963, Lovell would have informed Cambridge, Massachusetts, rather than Houston, Texas, […]
  • Creating Something Significant from Nothing – Reflections on planning Agile Africa 2013
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky     In just under 6 weeks we will be running the inaugural “Agile Africa” Conference. Registrations opened today (details here) and social media started buzzing with questions and comments. Why no African keynote speakers? Why no women? Why so expensive? While all of these comments are important and valid (and […]
  • Agile Africa 2013
    I’ve been rolling up my sleeves to help get the “Agile Africa 2013” Conference going. “Agile India”, “Agile South America” and others have all appeared on the international conference landscape, so why not an “Agile Africa”. The idea was first explored in 2012. Unfortunately the people driving the idea didn’t manage to pull it off. […]
  • Reflections on CeBIT 2013
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky This is my last evening in Hanover. I visited Dean Yon’s store in the centre of Hanover. Dean is a South African who has lived in Germany for several years. His store in the Markthalle (which is something like a permanent Rosebank Flea Market) specializes in everything South African. He sells […]
  • CeBIT – Reflection on Day 3
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky A day in the life of an exhibitor at CeBIT has three parts. Early in the morning a few early risers sit at their stands dealing with emails or chatting with fellow exhibitors over their first mug of coffee for the day. There is a sense of calm before the storm, […]
  • CeBIT – Reflections on Day 2
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky As far as I see it there are two reasons to come to CeBIT – to meet people and to learn new things. On both of these accounts my second day at the world’s biggest ICT trade fair was hugely successful. I spent some time today meeting exhibitors on the SA […]
  • CeBIT – Reflections on Day 1
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky     My own personal Day 1 at CeBIT ended on a low … I walked 2 km through a cold Hanover evening to find somewhere (anywhere) that was screening the Manchester United vs Real Madrid game. Found it at “Tom’s Bowling Alley” on a channel that hopped irritatingly between the […]
  • CeBIT 2013 – Day 1
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky I’m back at CeBIT. I was last here in 2010 – and it’s really exciting to be back! CeBIT is the largest international ICT trade fair in the world. It happens in Hanover, Germany, in March every year. Over the past few years the SA ICT Sector has been fortunate enough […]
  • Is Braamfontein set to become Africa’s Silicon Valley?
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky         Paul Graham is an American programmer, investor and writer. In 2006 he wrote an article entitled “How to be Silicon Valley” ( In his article he suggests that “What it takes is the right people”. He says that to establish a “Silicon Valley” you need two types […]
  • Is it time to re-establish Software Engineering on firmer foundations?
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky   Software Engineer #1:  What methodology are you using these days? Software Engineer #2:  We’re into Lean in a big way …. with a few XP practices thrown into the mix. We were very into Scrum last year, but then I read this amazing book and really got hooked on Lean. […]
  • Shuttle’s software quality head favours pragmatic approach to process improvement
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky You’re reversing your car when, suddenly, you hear a loud crunch as you drive over something. You stop, jump out and run to see what you’ve hit. It’s your 5-year-old daughter’s tricycle crushed under your back wheel. Someone must have left it in the driveway yesterday. What do you do next?
  • Its 2012 and Africa is Rising
    by Prof Barry Dwolatzky   Welcome back to my blog. It has a fresh look and I hope you will follow me and share your comments in the year ahead.         In May 2000 the Economist magazine labelled Africa “The hopeless continent”. In December 2011 the same magazine featured an article entitled […]