Stick around long enough in the consulting business, and you might notice something I will coin the Arxta-Moment in this blog entry. I’m pretty sure, I’m not the first one to notice this, yet, I’m unaware of someone giving it a name. Let’s explore some history, and look for some advice from Jerry.Continue reading My Arxta-Moment
Over the years, I have seen many companies struggling with paying off technical debt and legacy code. Heck, I produced legacy code within a 45-minute session at a code retreat on my own, so consider me guilty as charged as well. Over the years, I have seen a pretty tiny fraction of companies actually managing their technical debt. So, here are a few stories that I oftentimes share from these companies and how they tackled technical debt and legacy code – with no claim for this to be a complete list of things that might work. Please add any additional advice you want to share in the comments.Continue reading How to handle technical debt?
A few years back, I ran a public course in Düsseldorf, Germany. While looking through my options for one of the evenings, I noticed a public Coding Dojo run by the Softwarkskammer group there and decided to have some coding fun in the evening. During the dojo, I had an experience with one of the attendees that I keep on sharing every now and then.
I think I wrote up on this a while ago. Since I keep on referring to that experience, I thought maybe a reflection on what I think happened a few years later, might be helpful.Continue reading “I’m an architect.’
A couple of times, I found a particular pattern of interaction from a team with some other group (or team) useful. I would not recommend it all the time, but there appear to be appropriate use cases every now and then. Since I didn’t cross similar thoughts in the Team Topologies book, I thought it useful to write up as inspiration for others. Let me introduce the ambassador to a team.Continue reading Team interaction pattern: the ambassador
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to join Craig Larman at a client for an informed-consent workshop on Large-scale Scrum (LeSS). Ever since I took his class in 2015, I was interested in how he starts off a LeSS adoption – or potential LeSS adoption, I should say. He asked me to do a write-up.
We had overall four days at the client. The first day was half Legacy TDD and half Impact Mapping. For day two and three we were off-site from the client with about 30 employees from different departments including finance and controlling, organizational development, and the CEO. The final fourth day we spent back at the client answering questions, and a three hours all-hands introduction to LeSS.Continue reading Informed-consent workshop on LeSS with Craig Larman
Recently I was reminded about a blog entry from Kent Beck way back in 2008. He called the method he discovered during pairing the Saff Squeeze after his pair partner David Saff. The general idea is this: Write a failing test on a level that you can, then inline all code to the test, and remove everything that you don’t need to set up the test. Repeat this cycle until you have a minimal error reproducing test procedure. I realized that this approach may be used in a more general way to enable faster feedback within a Sprint’s worth of time. I sensed a pattern there. That’s why I thought to get my thoughts down while they were still fresh – in a pattern format.Continue reading Testing inside one sprint’s time
During the Agile 2014 conference in Orlando, I talked a lot with Matt Heusser. Over the conference we bounced back and forth one or another idea. In the end, we had an idea for a new book: Save Our Scrum. A self-help book on many of the troubles we see out there happening with this wide-spread approach. We had the vision to base some of the lessons we learned in our consultant work, and see how we may help others with this. That’s the whole vision.
Skip forward one year, and we made some progress. We finished off the first few chapters with a more general introduction to Scrum itself alongside with some of the problems we are seeing. At one point we decided to put out what we had created thus far, in order to receive feedback from the people that are seeking such help. That’s why we recently put it up on LeanPub, so that folks can get access to it, and help us continue the momentum with great feedback.
Matt and I are pretty busy in our consultant work. That slowed down progress a bit in the past months. Right now, though, we seem to be in a writing burst with new content created constantly throughout the week. We started work on getting down the nuggets – that’s what we call the little lessons from all over the world with teams struggling with Scrum.
That said, if you get the book now, you will receive weekly updates – that’s what we promise you. Every week we publish anything that we have created throughout the week. We hope to keep progress flowing. I think this week both of us each worked on getting down at least four nuggets. That’s eight new lessons for you to read. If we can maintain this progress, we expect a good draft finished by end of September.
But, wait, there is more. You can get famous by helping us. We opened up feedback channels. We created a Slack team for open discussions. This is not limited to typos and missed commata, but you may also leave us your thoughts on nuggets that we forgot there, or share struggles that you have to improve our book.
We really look forward to your feedback and ideas and suggestions to advance our book. Hope you will enjoy it. And if not… well, at least you know some channels now to let us know.
Every once in a while I read something like this:
Yeah, [TDD|BDD|ATDD] is great. But how do you convince [your manager|your employer|your colleagues] to get the time to do it?
In the past week I decided that I need something to point folks to when this questions comes up again. So, here it is.
This morning, when I took a look at twitter, I noticed a direct message from Michael Bolton on my latest blog entry on learning:
In your blog post on learning, you’ve left out community, and bafflingly to me, practice.
Wholeheartedly I thanked him for the idea for today’s blog entry.Continue reading More learning as a professional
Testers and programmers are much more alike than some people think they are. Many of us work in organizations, some of them large. There are several dynamics in these larger systems that have an impact on our habits, shape our culture, and influence our private lives.
There is something to say about professionalism, and the practices of our craft. Where and when should we learn about such stuff? Let me tell you my personal story. Though I will refer to software testing, pretty much the same also holds for programming, and most programmers I have seen in the organizations out there.Continue reading Learning as a professional