Change Harvesting

The Correlation Principle

The correlation principle says that our productivity is tightly correlated with the internal quality of software. The two go up together, and they go down together, and you can’t trade away the one to get more of the other. Let’s talk it over. I remind us that geekery isn’t the main story right now, though you and I can use it as comfort food. Keep working on changing the world. We can do this. In fact, we’re the only thing …

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Iterative User Value

How do we iterate user value? How can we follow the "more smaller steps" approach and still deliver a positive experience for the user? Today let’s look at some ways to approach this problem. It’s important for me to remind you that, for me and many others, working for equity in the world is far more important than geekery. I regard this as a side-story. Stay safe, stay strong, stay kind, stay angry, please, because black lives matter, and we …

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Pathing: A Style of Laying Out Work

I do "pathing" when I project my work into the future: laying out a sequence of work steps, where each step ends with the code in a shippable state. More than design, and more than planning, pathing is a kind of work-style, and it brings me several benefits. Here in the US, citizens are out in the streets on a quest for equity, and the truth is that geekery just isn’t the main story. If you’re out there working for …

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Retrospectives: Variety is Key

I strongly recommend high variation in both format and facilitator of retrospectives. I don’t hear this take often, and I certainly don’t see it at a lot of shops, but I think it has tremendous merit. Let’s talk it over. I don’t wanna be pro forma, & I know I’ve mentioned this a lot, but I gotta say it again: for me, and for some of you, geekery is a side story right now, when people are out in the …

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Re-Balancing Made, Making, and Makers

Some years back I realized my most beloved parts of our software movement could be characterized as re-balancing our approach towards the triad of Made, Makers, and Making, and away from a prior focus only on the Made. Let’s schmooze about this. I once again point out: geekery isn’t terribly important right now to me. What’s important is my friends and family out there working on the crisis. Stay safe, stay strong, stay kind, stay angry. Black lives matter. I …

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Microtest TDD is Gray-Box

Microtest TDD is a gray-box testing approach, neither entirely inside nor outside the code it tests. Let’s talk that over. Before we dive in: Black lives matter. Stay safe, stay strong, stay kind, stay angry. Let’s not just embrace change, let’s initiate it. Any step you take helps, provided only that it’s doable, it’s not definitely backwards, and it’s not the last step. In the ’70’s, an important movement developed in testing theory, called "black box" testing. The idea is …

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Understanding Incremental Switchover

The incremental switchover approach is my default response to any transformation problem I can’t resolve in an hour. It’s the secret to successful brownfield development, but it’s not widely understood & used. Let’s take some time to understand it. As is my wont, I will again say that geekery isn’t really the most important story right now. I, and I hope you, understand this. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay kind. Stay angry. Work on equity, when you can, how you …

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The RAT: Rework Avoidance Theory

Rework Avoidance Theory, or RAT, is likely slowing your team down more than rework ever would. Let’s talk a little about that today. I am writing these geekery muses in a time of great turmoil, but for the most part they’re not addressing that crisis. They are momentary respite, for me, and hopefully for you. They’re not the main story. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay angry. Stay kind. Black lives matter. Rework Avoidance Theory is a cluster of related ideas …

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Turning Implicit into Explicit

Turning implicit understanding into explicit code is a great productivity & quality step. Let’s talk about some whys and hows for that idea. As we forge into the topic, please do remember, this is just comfort food, not the main story. I proudly support my friends & family who are working for change in the world, and encourage them to keep at it. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay kind. Stay angry. Black lives matter. An implicit understanding is anything a …

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Model-View, The Desktop, and TDD

Today, a basic topic: Model/View, the Desktop and TDD. Some geeky respite, and enjoy. We got a lotta work waiting for us after this break. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay kind. Stay angry. Black lives matter. Demand different. The basic idea behind all Model/View schemes, and there are several of them, is just this: draw a thick line between what your program does and how your program shows what it does. In other words, it’s a compositional heuristic, guidance for …

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