Reckless Debt versus Strategic Debt

August 25, 2012

Chris Eargle has a great article explaining that the term “technical debt” comprises both strategic debt and reckless debt: Technical debt accrues interest, and it must be paid back lest the interest payments (lost time) become too high for product maintenance and future development. If immediate business concerns outweigh future business concerns, it makes sense […]

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The Resistance Against Requirements Specifications

November 21, 2011

Martin Fowler re-posted this article from 2004: Tests are always going to be incomplete, so they always have to be backed up with other mechanisms. Being the twisted mind that I am, I actually see this as a plus. Since it’s clear that Specification By Example isn’t enough, it’s clear that you need to do […]

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The Bun Protocol

January 21, 2011

Henrik Kniberg comes up with an idea to handle client requests: You have 3 options: Eat it yourself Give it to somebody else Throw it away This is the same strand of thinking as the Monkey Management gurus and the “Getting Things Done” people. In general, all of these have answers to the same question: […]

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When is It Good Enough?

November 29, 2009

Anecdotes are dangerous. Scott Koon has one about fixing a doorknob, linking it to the now-infamous Spolksy duct-tape programmer post and writes: Think about that the next time you reject a new programming tool because you think it might take too long to learn or it’s different. Instead of doing the hacky way you KNOW […]

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Wrong Use of Testing Metrics

November 27, 2009

Brilliant post on testing by Michael Bolton (emphasis mine): Bug Investigation and Reporting (time spent on tests that find bugs)Test Design and Execution (time spent on tests that don’t find bugs) Module Time spent on tests that find bugs Time spent on tests that don’t find bugs Total Tests A 0 minutes (no bugs found) […]

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All About the Duct-Tape Programmer

October 1, 2009

The programming blogosphere exploded to Joel Spolsky’s controversial article “The Duct Tape Programmer” which, as Joel said on Twitter, was meant to provoke people: Of course, nobody would read that or link to it. So I have to embellish. “Duct tape” instead of “simple, well-understood tools.” I was planning to write on it, but couldn’t […]

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Avoiding Software Car Wrecks

September 15, 2009

I.M. Wright’s post on risk management is worth reading: Software engineers do this all the time. They come up with a development schedule, unexpected issues come up, and they end up being late. Instead of informing their managers of the delay, they avoid facing conflict, rush the work, sacrifice quality, and slip the schedule, all […]

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Time, Budget, Scope

September 14, 2009

I understand what Glen Alleman is trying to do here when he insists that you can pick all three of time, budget and scope, but he totally misses the point: Put these estimates into a schedule, sequence the work. See what you get. Don’t like the outcome? Adjust One, Two, or Three of the variables […]

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Serialize Your Projects

September 13, 2009

Stephan Schmidt explains how doing several projects in parallel is counter-productive because of the high overhead costs involved. Projects must be tracked much longer, more documents are produced and must be tracked. All those status messages aggregate, flow upwards toward upper management, clog thinking and time. All those status messages flow to all stakeholders. Each […]

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Guy Kawasaki’s Engineer Lies

August 26, 2009

Guy Kawasaki had a series of posts where he called out various types of people (venture capitalists, engineers, marketers, etc.) on untrue things that they are used to saying. There are situations when using a tough word is appropriate, but this is one case where Kawasaki is just wrong. Most people are truthful most of the […]

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