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, which comes just after 9am, when the gates of the show open for the day.

Between 9am and 6pm the day goes in waves. Visitors flow past like a never ending stream – CeBIT attracts more than 300,000 visitors each year from every corner of the world. As an exhibitor one fields questions, has pre-arranged meetings, and tries to slip off from time-to-time to grab some food or see something of CeBIT oneself. Continue reading “CeBIT – Reflection on Day 3”

CeBIT – Reflections on Day 2

by Prof Barry Dwolatzky

Nithia Govender, Tjad Clark and Mohammed Badat at CeBIT 2013

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 National Pavilion. (Isn’t it strange to travel thousands of kilometers to meet fellow South Africans!) There are 14 companies on the Pavilion, most of them are small and innovative with an eye on the future. Continue reading “CeBIT – Reflections on Day 2”

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 Man U game and another one involving Dortmund. I gave up at half-time – didn’t see the controversial referee’s decision that resulted in my team being knocked out of the Champion’s League.

Anyhow – none of this has anything to do with CeBIT! Continue reading “CeBIT – Reflections on Day 1”

CeBIT 2013 – Day 1

Chancellor Merkel Opens Polish Pavilion at CeBIT 2013

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 to have a South African National Pavilion at CeBIT – sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). Continue reading “CeBIT 2013 – Day 1”

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 of people in sufficient numbers – “nerds and rich people”. The “nerds” bring the creative energy, the ideas and the technical expertise upon which startups are created. The “rich people” are investors willing to provide the funding. Continue reading “Is Braamfontein set to become Africa’s Silicon Valley?”

Is it time to re-establish Software Engineering on firmer foundations?

by Prof Barry Dwolatzky

Software Methods are like a fashion show


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.


SE #1: I remember the arguments we used to have a few years ago. You tried to convince me that Agile was a recipe for disaster. I think you were very keen on RUP at the time.

SE #2: That’s right. I was very young and immature then. I’ve got a much deeper understanding now of how software development really works, and I have absolutely no doubt that Lean and Kanban have all the answers for me.

Continue reading “Is it time to re-establish Software Engineering on firmer foundations?”