Refactor Your Tests

TDD Pro-Tip: I spend considerable effort making it possible not only to implement a test I want, but to make that test easy to read, to write, to run, and to debug. I’ve talked a lot about five premises of TDD. The money premise, the steering premise, and the chaining …

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Thicken Yourself

Coaching Pro-Tip: Thicken yourself. Do that by pursuing the backstory of any idea whatsoever that has nothing to do with your trade. That’s it. No thread.

Refactoring: Side-by-Side v. In Situ

Refactoring Pro-Tip: As soon as I move beyond small-scope refactorings, I ask whether my change would be easiest side-by-side or in situ. Before we even start this conversation, remember remember remember: easiest nearest owwie first, and keep repeating it. This conversation happens after we’ve found everything we can do in …

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From Procedural to Human

Yesterday, we talked about Alice’s City On The Hill and her approach to getting there. I offered, instead of the Alice approach, an approach that was Human, Taken, Local, and Iterative. Today, let’s consider this business of Procedural -> Human. Every system for making software is a mixed system, with …

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Alice’s Approach To Change

Change Pro-Tip: It’s common, but mistaken, to believe that some change I want to make will be procedural, given, sweeping, and final. Let’s imagine someone, we’ll call her Alice. Alice is a mid-level manager, a department head let’s say, neither quite at the top nor quite at the bottom. She’s …

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What We Can’t Change

Change Pro-Tip: We can’t (purposefully) change what we don’t sense, what we don’t talk about, or what we assume can’t be changed. I remind myself of this one a lot, because it’s easy to forget in the middle of the circus that passes for professional software development. Changing things means …

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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". …

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