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Archive for November, 2007

Better Testing Through Behaviour

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Just finished my talk on Better Testing Through Behaviour at OSDC 2007. All in all it went pretty well.

The presentation is available as is the paper.

Chris sent me some pictures of my talk, here’s one.

Tom at OSDC 2007

There’s been some posts (good and indifferent) resulting from the talk:

And for those interested, the slides for OSDC 2007 are available on SlideShare, photos on flickr.

Written by Tom Adams

November 27th, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Wide vs. Deep

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Via Gruber comes Wide vs. Deep:

I’ve got this theory about what it’s like to be a manager and what it’s like to be a developer and which role suits a particular individual best, and I think it explains pretty well why I deeply, profoundly hate the former and dearly, truly love the latter.

A few years ago, the company I work for decided that I was such a good programmer that I had to stop doing it immediately. I was now to tell other programmers what to do, using all the social delicacy and interpersonal self-confidence I’d built up over two decades sitting in a dark room and staring at a monitor. I was being promoted into management.

I’ve often wondered why this happens to people, and written about it before. Far too many people think development is a dead end game, and that you must “move up”. I personally know only a handful of people who have more experience than me and are still developers. This is a real shame for our industry, the customers and those who consume our work loose, as do those who could learn from them.

I’m not saying that good developers can’t be good managers (I’ve known some good ones myself), just that it takes a lot of effort to be do both well (hopefully you’re not doing both at the same time). The opposite is also not ideal, where we end up with bad developers becoming bad managers.

Written by Tom Adams

November 22nd, 2007 at 8:16 am

Posted in Technology

Scoodi in the news

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Scoodi, the Rails site I worked on a few months ago, and which Workingmouse is still developing, has got some good press:

Craigslist has become wildly popular for being completely free, using a simple design, and being easy to use. Users all around the United States and also in other countries have helped to build a community where goods and services can be bought or sold, jobs can be listed and discovered, and where people can find out who and what is in their local area.

Now, Scoodi, an Australian startup, takes the free marketplace concept to new heights with its social trading platform, through the use of a stylish web 2.0 design and a focus on the importance of re-using and recycling over our current “throw-away culture.”

Source: Scoodi – Social Community Trading

Written by Tom Adams

November 16th, 2007 at 7:00 am

Posted in Ruby,Technology

Technical Debt

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A nice summary on technical debt. I’ve noticed (again) on the current project I’m on that there is a limit (measure in 1-2 weeks) on how long you can go before reigning debt in, i.e. before it becomes unmanageable.

The term “technical debt” was coined by Ward Cunningham to describe the obligation that a software organization incurs when it chooses a design or construction approach that’s expedient in the short term but that increases complexity and is more costly in the long term.

Ward didn’t develop the metaphor in very much depth. The few other people who have discussed technical debt seem to use the metaphor mainly to communicate the concept to technical staff. I agree that it’s a useful metaphor for communicating with technical staff, but I’m more interested in the metaphor’s incredibly rich ability to explain a critical technical concept to non-technical project stakeholders.

Source: Technical Debt

Written by Tom Adams

November 13th, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Agile