software development

It is Time to be Optimistic About Software Development

September 12, 2009

A significant part of software literature is devoted to stories of software failures. The best classics of our industry like Fred Brooks’s “The Mythical Man‐Month” are based on the analysis of the failures of software projects. Software engineering was created as a way to reduce the number of abandoned projects and keep budgets and timelines […]

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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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The Stupidity Threshold

August 25, 2009

Alan Skorkin has a good post about how people tend to use concepts like YAGNI and TDD to justify whatever they are doing, instead of thinking about what they are doing: Every practice you use, including TDD and YAGNI has a certain threshold which I call the stupidity threshold. While you’re using the practice as […]

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Bad Example for Test‐Driven Development

August 13, 2009

Uncle Bob has a point with respect to “generic code and specific tests”, but the example he gives for supporting his argument (“Prime Factors Kata”) is a poor one. In fact, it supports the argument against Test‐Driven Development, which is that it pays too little attention to design and that design is an after‐thought of […]

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The Problem with the Software Craftsmanship Concept

July 23, 2009

The idea of software craftsmanship is very appealing. It elevates the art of programming and sends a message that programming is a lifelong dedication to improving one’s skill and aspiring towards perfection. All that is good and noble about programming is embodied in the term “software craftsmanship”. But the history behind the term “craftsmanship” troubles […]

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Stretching Software Development Skills

July 15, 2009

While conducting interviews, I keep running into programmers who seem to be very specialized, but know little outside that zone, even if that knowledge is very related to their work. That is, they know a programming language and framework and they can program all day in that, but they are not very knowledgeable in databases, […]

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Managing Followers of the Old Way

July 3, 2009

Mike Cottmeyer has a good article on transitioning to Agile: It’s important when we introduce something new that we spend some time figuring out what the people around us need to be successful. These folks have families… they have kids in college… they have financial obligations. You are not just asking them to change… you […]

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The Dangerous Software Quality‐Cost Argument

July 2, 2009

There is an argument, which I am very sympathetic to, that quality lowers cost and increases the speed of software development. Unfortunately, quite often, the proponents of this argument miss out a phrase, “in the long run”. And because they do not tell the whole truth, it avoids dealing with real business concerns. It is […]

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Software Development Blogs

June 29, 2009

Jurgen Appelo has the latest edition of the top developer blogs up. Surprisingly, I have jumped from 149 to 127 despite having a couple of months where I hardly wrote anything at all, and also after a move to WordPress that seems to have dropped my RSS subscribers by half. I have been noticing the reduced […]

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