Month: May 2018

The Age Of Blurgs

Let’s define blurgs. A ‘blurg’ is an event where a programmer understanding of "what my code does" is not "what my code does". Blurgs are an everyday part of programming, of course. We are more often "interim" than at a sign-off point. But I mean to restrict for this conversation the idea of a blurg to being a programmer-program disconnect that occurs at a sign-off point. (a sign-off point is different for different teams. Most of the folks I work …

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Skeptical About Method: Another Stab

I’ve said in a bunch of different ways how skeptical I am of method. In software-for-money, applying method — structure, process, technique, algorithm, recipe, formula — seems to me to be so rarely successful across contexts as to be, idunno, the great collapsed souffle of the entire geek trade. By the time our abstraction-level has gotten high enough to incorporate the successes we’ve seen, it is also so high as to incorporate many or most of the failures we’ve seen. …

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Please Go Find Out

So. I dropped out of the conference scene by and large for a few years for a variety of reasons. The last couple of years I have been returning to it. I’m just home from two conferences in three weeks. I am not an extrovert, at conferences, I like to hang around with individuals or small groups. And I am drawn to smart weird people, because reasons. I am one of those people who prefers intimacy and authenticity in my …

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Always Small, Always Better, Always Wrong

Always Small, Always Better, Always Wrong. This is the mantra for anyone who seeks change in virtually any genuinely complex environment. I’ve written a lot about small and better, but not so much about wrong, which is what I want to take up today, but first, a little refresher. The complex systems I deal with professionally all fall under the simple problem statement: "make software for money". Those systems include lots of different aspects and layers. Two of these, at …

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Slicing Stories? Don’t Use Horizontal Layers

I’ve had some questions & comments about yesterday’s tweet: there are a million ways to slice stories. All the ones that slice it by layers are mistakes. Michael D. Hill (@GeePawHill) May 11, 2018 That’s natural and good and thanks to one and all. When one tweets a one-off like that, all pithy and telegraphic, folks who may not “already speak the lingo” can be mystified. I’ll take a few tweets to spell it out a little further. A little …

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I&I: What Increment & Iterate Means

I genuinely believe that nearly all the woe in software development, the whole socialtechnical enterprise, derives from the belief that we can sidestep increment & iteration, "a little better now" and "we’ll change it again later". This applies to the purest coding geekery, and it applies to the schmooshy marketing, and it applies to the structures and process. It applies everywhere we make changes, and in software, everywhere we make changes is everywhere. When I make attacks on certainty, i’m …

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