March 2020

Local Change – What and Why

The change-harvester uses these five words to describe the properties of successful change: human, local, oriented, taken, and iterative. Let’s talk about “local”. See the previous post “Human Change” here These muses turn in to blogs + podcasts, and you can subscribe to them at .) When we say we want our changes to be local, we’re talking about neighborhood, some rough concept of nearness, in multiple dimensions. We want a proposed change to be “within reach”. Remembering humanness, […]

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Human Change – What and Why

Today, let’s talk about the change-harvesters use of the concept-cluster we describe with the adjective "human". We advocate that both the what and the how are best centered around the humans in our systems. The change-harvester looks at changes — in code, in individuals, in teams, in process & flows, in organizations — and sees that ,successfully applied change is human, local, oriented, taken, and iterative, often enough to adopt it as a general approach. So let’s do “human”. The

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Multivalence for Change Harvesters

I want to talk about value today, and especially want to consider an idea I call multivalence, which seems quite central to putting the change-harvesting ideas to work. I recently chanced across a timeline convo that by asked what we should call things it would be good to achieve that weren’t things that were directly visible to the customer. “What do we call valuable things that aren’t ‘value’?’ The answer I gave: “value”. Meanwhile, in another part of the forest,

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Lining It Up That Way (Rant)

The reason it’s so important for you to see 100 lines of code on your screen is that you have arranged the code so that 100 lines seems like a sane quantity. What you’re doing is working against your own capability. The reason it’s so important that no one interrupts you for six-hour blocks is that you have arranged the code so that six-hour blocks seem like a sane amount of concentration. What you’re doing is working against your own

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TDD on the Front End

A recurring respondents’ theme is “TDD is irrelevant in front-end code”. It’s easy to offer/receive this comment combatively, but I think a little more rich discussion of the factors involved might bring us to new and different positions about UI and TDD. Most folks who offer that are living in some sort of JS world: their code is client-side scripts attached to html pages to render various contents received from another application. Their browsers are in effect frameworks, inside of

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The Change-Harvester’s Value

The change-harvester’s take on “value” is quite different from the software trade’s “standard” view. To get at that difference will take us a little time. Three differences stand out for me just now, and they have to do with 1) definition, 2) distribution schedule, and 3) temporal stability. I want to take a look at these in a particular context: "the long story". (Aside: I’m mildly sick today, so it’s gonna spill out a little more slowly. It’s dumb to

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Readability And Scannability

I distinguish quite strongly between “readability” and what I call “scannability”. I think that our trade’s pedagogues, even our very good ones, conflate the two, and in so doing inaccurately describe programming and ineffectively prescribe remedies. Maybe the way to approach the idea is through your experience of seeing. Humans — most vertebrates, in fact — rely heavily on "seeing". The fabric of our experience is richly visual. A large portion of our neocortex is given over to it. Its

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