A Question Of Humbling Proportion

The road to hell is lined with convenient parking spaces. I said recently that we need fewer addresses and more routes. These slugs are attempts to get at what I think keeps going wrong for us -- in the trade, possibly in entire culture. There are numerous systems for software development out there competing in mindspace. (Stock word for these…

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Change Pro-Tip: All The Knobs A Little, All The Knobs A Little

Change Pro-Tip: All the knobs a little, all the knobs a little, over and over again, is how I've make my most successful changes, in code and organizations alike. A while back, I mused first about "Always Small, Always Improve" and I later elaborated "Always Small, Always Better, Always Wrong". Lo these two decades ago, we characterized eXtreme Programming as…

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Geekery Pro-Tip: Think Less, Sense More

Geekery Pro-Tip: I frequently remind myself: Think Less, Sense More. It's advice I give to me all over the place, from the most technical parts of the sociotechnical fractal to the most social parts of it. It's an odd thing to say, so we better dig in to it a little. I've recently come from a conference. This was a…

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TDD Pro-Tip: Design Until Nervous Optimism

TDD Pro-Tip: Before I write the first test in a new context, I usually design until I get to a state of "Nervous Optimism". A couple of days ago, I was party to some drinking geekery with my colleagues at a hookah bar restaurant dance club. It was the end of a long day, and we were unwinding and being…

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TDD Pro-Tip: Stay Aware Of Testing Data

TDD Pro-Tip: I stay very aware of my testing context's data, and specifically of what data is opaque and what data is transparent. Those terms, transparent and opaque, need a little explanation. Sometimes the code I'm testing doesn't vary based on the entirety of its input. A trivial example, the function that validates the date of an order DOES NOT…

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Refactoring Pro-Tip: I Optimize Scannability, Then Readability, Then Writability

Refactoring Pro-Tip: I optimize my code for scannability, readability, and writeability in that order. I won't argue my case in detail, there's a video if you'd rather watch me make it instead of reading it, and I'll just sketch the case briefly here in the muse. http://geepawhill.org/optimizing-a-program-and-programming/ When I'm coding, I notice that I spend significantly more time scanning the…

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The Whole Geek: Geekery Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

A thing that happens to me a lot. I want to say, "Yeah, that's not how that works," about some over-simple explanation, usually something around using inorganic reasoning about humans. But when I go there, I know we're gonna go instantly to vast areas of study & insight that most folks aren't comfortable with. And it's exhausting, and I've limited…

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