Dr. Jalal Kiswani, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Computer Science
  • IT Advisor (Agile, DevOps, Software Architecture, and Java Technology)
  • Entrepreneur

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Opinions

Personal Opinions

Self Improvement

If you improve your self 1% everyday by reading, practicing, improving on your mindset, or doing anything that could make you better, then after one year, you will be 3 times better than the person you are today.
Note: Inspired by the 1% rule of "Atomic Habits" book.
Sep 30, 2021

Quality

Everybody knows the importance of quality, however, people always tend to sacrifice quality, why!! because its expensive.
If you demand quality, you need to afford it.
Sep 8, 2021

Enjoying your work

If you are not having fun doing your work, it could be one or more of the following (Ordered):

  1. It could be your current job responsibilities (Discuss it with your manager)
  2. It could be your direct manager (discuss it with the HR if enterprise, or the Top Management if small organization)
  3. It could be your organization culture (Adjust yourself or leave the organization)
  4. It could be your attitude (You should be honest with yourself and work on improving it)
  5. You could be in the wrong career (Change your career path).
Enjoying what you do is the first step in having a successful and happy life, don’t settle for less.

Aug 22, 2021

Learning vs Getting Advice

Get knowledge and learn from anyone, that's great, but be sure to take advice from only the people who practiced and/or witnessed situations relevant to your context. An advice from the wrong person may cost your goals.

July 31, 2021

Do Things for Fun

Doing things for fun, and being highly paid for that, is one of the most blessing gifts in life. Don’t just work, have fun doing your work.

July 26, 2021

Don't Code, Write Stories

People don't like to read documentation, but they really enjoy read stories.
I believe that the best developers write code that is really enjoyable to be read by other fellow developers, they write it as stories.

June 9, 2021

Be Student All the Time

Be student all the time, no matter what expertise you have or degrees you gained, this will make you a better person by being more knowledgeable, more valuable, and most importantly, more humble.

June 9, 2021

Be Result Oriented

Being busy all the time is not a cool thing, and doesn't reflect how important is the person; in fact, it could be a critical sign that shows issues in time and resources management.
Most of the successful people I know have a plenty of time to do a plenty of things without affecting their productivity.
Focus on results, not processes, be Result-Oriented.

June 25, 2021

Who is the “Expert”?

I have been thinking a while for the true definition of “Expert”.
According to Cambridge dictionary: “Having or showing a LOT of knowledge or skill” However, "a lot" is relative, so I was looking for a criteria that could measure that, and I have concluded the following list that could be part of it :

  1. Top in Field: The person is in the top 5% of his/her field in his/her region, and is well recognized by the other experts in his/her domain.
  2. Success Stories: Has a TRACK of implementations(skills) or consulting (knowledge) of many significant problems in different contexts that were hard to be solved by the average Senior people in his/her specialty.
  3. Actual Experience: Most of the time relating to cases from his/her own experience.
  4. Solid-Knowledge: Most of the time has hard evidences (theoretical and practical) that are easy to be understood and accepted by the average people and the other experts in his/her domain.
  5. Highest Rates: Most of the time, getting paid the Highest Rates in his field in his region.

June 8, 2021

Employees are the Business

Your employees are the most important factor in your business success, you should give them respect, coaching, support, and good pay (as much as you can afford).
Without doing that, eventually you are out of business.

June 7, 2021

Don't Confuse "Old Technology" with "Mature-Stable Technology"

Before judging if a technology is old, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is it compatible with the new trends and technologies (such as Microservices, Containers, DevOps, and Cloud Computing)?
  2. Does it receive a continuous updates and batches from its vendor or implementor(s)?
  3. Does it have a good IDE support?
  4. Does it have a good community support where you can find answers to your issues or inquiries instantly?
  5. Does it have a good number of resources (specifications, books, articles, blogs, …etc)?
If the answer to all the above is “YES”, then the technology you are talking about is a “Mature and Stable Technology”, not an “Old Technology”.
Be careful, and don’t be a fashion-based software developer or architect.

June 1, 2021

Creativity is in Every One of Us

Last week, I shared a question with my connections, if creativity could be taught? I face this question every day, with my students, my employees, and my customers.
The responses to my question varied between, Yes, No, and something in the middle.
My personal opinion is:
if you get 4 years old children, and put them in a place with anything (papers, sand, water, tissues, .. ), they will start creating cool stuff in a very creative and innovative way, simply because we are all gifted with Creativity and Innovation in our DNA.
However, this gift will be either Enhanced or Constrained by the ecosystem surrounding us (home, school, culture, and environment), the thing that will affect our capabilities for ever.
So, back to the original question, can creativity be taught? The same question could be reflected on other questions: Can Intelligence be taught? Positivity ? Persistence ? and Consistency ?
In my personal opinion, the answer to all the above questions is: Yes. But, if it could be taught, why companies do not do it? Why big companies always pick innovative, creative, smart, and hardworker people?
The ultimate answer is: Because its Expensive and Risky process on the business.

May 11, 2021

Everything Requires Refreshment from time to time, even your Social Media Network

Since 2005 until 2019, my network grew to around 5000 connections, from different domains, regions, and cultures.
The thing that turned my LinkedIn newsfeed to something that is irrelevant to my interests, in addition of showing personal news for people who I don’t know; also, it had a lot of dead connections of my friends’ old profiles.
So, in 2019, I decided to rebuild my network from scratch, so I removed all the old connections, and started to build my network.
Since that time, I have started to see relevant contents to my interests again, in addition to the news of my friends.
Everything requires refreshment from time to time, even your social media network.

May 10, 2021

DevOps CICD Pipeline Options in Real-Life

In CICD, here are the Continuous Delivery pipeline options in real-life implementations:

  1. Deploy
  2. Build Artifact -> Deploy
  3. Build Artifact -> Push artifact -> Deploy
  4. Build Artifact -> Build Container -> Push Container - > Deploy
  5. Build Artifact -> Push Artifact -> Build Container -> Deploy
Note: I didn’t include Test Automation and Security stages for simplicity.

April 3, 2021

In the Software Development, you have to face your technical fears

If you keep running away from your technical issues, they will keep chasing you, and they will wait until you go live, then they will take you down; don’t wait until that moment.

March 29, 2021

The True Definition of Clean-Code

Your code should be a story that is enjoyed to be read by your fellow developers.

March 13, 2021

“You Should Have Faith that Everybody will do the Right Thing”

During my professional career, I have witnessed, worked, and applied different management styles: the American style, the English style, and the Centralized style.
In my opinion:

  1. The American style is a “result-oriented” approach, which Is based on the concept “You should have faith that everybody will do the right thing”, where a team member can pick his/her own process if he/she can deliver results faster. While personally I think its an amazing style that empower people and encourage innovation, having the wrong people in the team can easily vulnerates the system.
  2. The English style: which is based on “Process, Process, Process”, and “Documents”. Where during the whole process-document thing, the team power is consumed, and the focus on results could lost.
  3. The Centralized style: While this style, could introduce expected results and could ensure good deliverables (assuming having a good leadership), it cant scale, it could make the team careless, losing loyalty, and acting as passive members, where they only obey orders, and avoid any type of innovation or positive initiation.

March 7, 2021

Java, Object Oriented, and UML

I always believed that my top three reasons of my passion of the software development are: Java, Object Oriented Programming, and UML. With this wonderful combination, sky is the limit in Software Engineering Reusability.

Feb 21, 2021

In the software development industry, delivery is what really matters:

If you have all the available academic degrees, professional certificates, and/or many years of experience, good for you. But what really matters, that how you can utilize all these qualifications to deliver high-quality software systems that provides the values promised to internal or external customers.

Feb 8, 2021

A Software/System Architect Should Always Have Hands-on Experience

I have been building end-to-end software applications for almost two decades now (almost daily), and I doubt that any software/system architect could be able to make a good architectural decision without having a continuous hands-on experience on the various technologies and trends.
Without having such experience, an architect wouldn’t be able to understand the pains and gains that could face the technical team, which may lead to projects/products failures, caused by the gap between the theoretical architecture and the practical implementation.

Jan 28, 2021

Don’t follow trends, implement only what is needed

In the software development industry, adopting new technologies and trends without having a clear justification to solve current problems or reducing cost (time and resources), will most likely increase the overall overhead of software development projects and will definitely create a new level of challenges.

Jan 20, 2021

Hire open-minded people who are passionate to learn; attitude, knowledge, and skills could be part of the learning curve

Trust me, most of the many successful people you have met in your life, had negative attitude and bad habits at some points in their lives, but because they are open-mind enough, they have been able to improve their personality and attitude and become what they are today. During my professional life, I have gotten the chance to work-with, interview, and hire hundreds of engineers in the software development industry. In the beginning, we were looking for people with good skillset. Then we started to look for positive energy and good attitude. But now, after almost 20 years, I would look for two main things: (1) being open-minded, and (2) passion of learning. Open-minded enough to improve in all aspects, such as starting to carry a notebook and pen to write all the notes, to focus on quality, deliver all your personal and professional tasks on time with minimum following up, and receive any criticism from your colleagues, customers, and stakeholders as hints to improve your tasks, and maybe improving some aspects of your personality. Being open-minded is a great gift, if you don’t have, start working on it

Jan 12, 2021

SIMPLICITY

The secret is always in SIMPLICITY.

Dec 30, 2020

In the Agile world, Its all about "Enough", not "Complete"

In the current trends of digital transformation and agility, it is all about what is "Enough" to proceed to the next step/action/phase, not what is "Complete". This includes: 1- Enough Features 2- Enough Design and Architecture 3- Enough Documentation 4- Enough Testing 4- Enough Security 5- and Enough Infrastructure However, the main challenge here, is defining "Enough", which could be part of the process itself.

Dec 15, 2020

Agile is not just a ward

Saying that your organization is Agile is not enough to be Agile, it has to apply Agile principals and practices in the right contexts to be so.

Nov 21, 2020

“Work Smarter not Harder” is half of the advice

What if the distance in the picture is only 10 meters and this is a one lifetime task, would you invest in shaping the box to be faster!! In fact, trying to work smarter in this case makes it harder. The full advice should be: “Be smart on when to work smarter not harder”.

Nov 1, 2020

Your feeling about the organization is most likely coming from your direct manager

When you like or hate the organization your work for, think twice, because most likely you like or hate your direct manger, not the organization it self.

Sep 28, 2020

As a manager, how do you handle the employee who always objects?

Last week, I asked one of the best managers I have ever knew: How do you deal with the employees who objects most of the time on the work process? His answer was: First, you need to know why he/she objects, is it because of his/her leadership skills and good ideas to implement, or to cover his/her weaknesses. If it is because of the first reason, then most likely, putting this person in the right place, could make a good difference for the person and the organization. But if it is because of the other reason, then I think you all know the answer.

Sep 9, 2020

Agility is about value

Agility doesn't mean rushing things out, it means deliver values faster.

Aug 29, 2020

Working with Smart People

Working with smart-people is one of the priceless gifts in life, if you have it, enjoy it.

June 10, 2020

Software Architecture Complexity

In Software Architecture, complexity doesn’t vanish, it could be only transformed from shape to another.

June 6, 2020

Right Technology and Process!!!

If you struggle with the technology, and you try to make it work, DON’T, it is the wrong technology for your team. And if you struggle with the process, and you try to make it work, DON’T, it is the wrong process for your culture.

May 3, 2020

Agile in Context

Agile is not the Agile you think? When management or business people say Agile, they mean to be responsive faster to market as a part of their digital transformation move. On the other hand, When IT people say Agile, they mean implementing an Agile process in their software development, such as: XP, Scrum, or SAFe. So be sure to understand the context first before discussing Agility!

June 16, 2020

Again, Microservices vs Monolithic!

Again guys, the most important (and maybe the only) measure that can tell whether a software architecture is a monolithic or micro-services based, is how it is deployed, not structured, period.
If you structured your application into a modular approach (as components or web-services), congratulations, that might make it cleaner, but if you still deploy once, it is a monolithic.

June 4, 2020

Is your organization really Agile enough?

In this era of technology disruption, if an enterprise wants to stay in the market, it should know and respond to customer-needs quickly (Digital Transformation ) , and to do that, it should deliver values faster (Agile Culture) , and to deliver faster, it needs a new approach (Agile Process) and ownership (DevOps). Faster delivery and ownership requires teams parallelization and resources isolation (Microservices). Taking one part of all of the above is like buying car-wheels only (One Component), and not a full car (the Whole System) and expecting that you could reach your destination faster.

May 23,2020

One of the funniest things in the software development industry is the Delivery Time

The traditional process of planning software delivery is:
1- Customers request vendors to deliver in 1-3 months claiming that business/operations will struggle if they didn't operate in this period.
2- Vendor commit to deliver in this period assuming that they will lose the contract if they didn't do that.
3- Management will push project managers to avoid penalties, project managers will push technical leads, technical leads will push the technical team to deliver.
At the end of the day, the project is delivered in 6-18 months, everybody is happy , and a new project is started.
Note: the funny thing that: customers, vendors, management, project managers, and technical leads are most likely aware of the actual delivery time from the beginning, but they like to have some action :)

April 20, 2020

Open-Source vs Closed-Source Security

Is open-source technologies and systems are less secure than closed-source? One of the worldwide trends in technology nowadays is to use open-source software technologies and systems (OSS). This trend is adopted because of many reasons, including: (i) cost reduction, (ii) maturity, (iii) and learning resources. However, the main criticism of OSS is security, but is it really justified? A research paper published by IBM in 2005 [1], shows that open source projects are not less secured than closed source projects, in fact, sometimes it can be better. For instance, the most secured operating systems on earth are Unix-based systems, which either open source (such as RedHat, Sun-Solaris, and Ubuntu) or use open-source kernels (such as IBM AIX and HP-UX). Another example is the hypervisor software used by Amazon for their cloud services virtualization, where they used to use Xen, and now moved to KVM, which

both are open source (full story can be found at [2]). So, is it really less secure!!!
June 31, 2018
Certificates

Professional Certificates

  • Oracle Certified Expert, Java Server Faces.
  • Sun Certified Java Programmer.
  • Sun Certified Java Developer.
  • Sun Certified Java Web Component Developer.
  • Sun Certified Java Business Components Developer.
  • Sun Certified Java Associate.

Startups

Entrepreneurship and Startups

Publication

Research Papers

  • [2021] Jalal Kiswani, Sergiu Dascalu, and Frederick Harris, Jr. "Cloud Computing and Its Applications: A Comprehensive Survey", International Journal of Computers and Their Applications, Volume (28), Issue, Pages 1, 3-22, ISCA.
  • [2020] Jalal Kiswani, Sergiu Dascalu, and Frederick Harris, Jr. “Cloud Applications Adoption: User Study From Industry and Academia”. Proceedings of the ISCA 29th International Conference on Software Engineering and Data Engineering (SEDE 2020), October 19-20, Las Vegas, NV.
  • [2019] Nikkolas J. Irwin, Anthony Bennett, Kevin Carlos, Jalal Kiswani, Cynthia R. Harris, Sergiu M. Dascalu, Frederick C Harris, Jr. "ARIA 3.0: A Modern Approach to Web-based Music Festival Registration Systems" (1,107 K). Proceedings of the ISCA 28th International Conference on Software Engineering and Data Engineering (SEDE 2019). EPIC Series in Computing, Vol 64, Pg 215-224. September 30-October 2, San Diego, CA.
  • [2018] Jalal Kiswani, Sergiu M. Dascalu, and Frederick C. Harris, Jr. “Cloud-RA: A Reference Architecture for Cloud Based Information Systems”. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Software Technologies (ICSOFT 2018) July 26-28, 2018, Porto, Portugal
  • [2018] Jalal Kiswani, Muhanna Muhanna, and Abdallah Qusef, “Smart-EIS: An End to End Enterprise Information Systems Framework”, Journal of Computer Science, Volume 14, Issue 12, Pages 1638-1659.
  • [2018] Jalal Kiswani, Sergiu M. Dascalu, Muhanna Muhanna, and Frederick C. Harris, Jr. “Clowiz: A Model-driven Development Platform for Cloud-based Information Systems”. In the 6th International Conference on Multimedia Computing and Systems (ICMCS 2018) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.
  • [2018] Alex Hansen, Kurt Andersen, Brittany Sievert Jalal Kiswani, Sergiu M. Dascalu, Frederick C. Harris, Jr. “Let's VR: A Multiplayer Framework for Virtual Reality” Proceedings of the ISCA 27th International Conference on Software Engineering and Data Engineering (SEDE 2018) October 8-10, New Orleans, LA.
  • [2017] Jalal Kiswani, Muhanna Muhanna, Sergiu Dascalu and Frederick C. Harris, Jr. “Software Infrastructure to Reduce the Cost and Time of Building Enterprise Software Applications: Practices and Case Studies”. Proceedings of the ISCA 26th International Conference on Software Engineering and Data Engineering (SEDE 2017) October 2-4, San Diego, CA
  • [2017] Jalal Kiswani, Muhanna Muhanna, and Abdullah Qusef. “Using metadata in optimizing the design and development of enterprise information systems.” In the Information and Communication Systems (ICICS 2017) 8th International Conference on. IEEE, 2017.
  • [2016 ] Qusef, Abdallah, and Jalal Kiswani. “Project Manager Roles in Software Information Systems: Case Studies from Jordan.” Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Driving Forces of the Global Economy. Springer, Cham, 2017. 223-227.

Contact Me

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