Refactoring in the wild

I’m please to see James Shore’s chapter on No Bugs online. It’s a great explanation of how the XP practices reinforce each other to support the development of excellent code.

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Michael Jackson: a Lost Masterpiece

But thankfully found again. Through a series of circumstances too complicated to relate, I’ve recovered (after its perambulations of six years or so) my copy of Michael (A) Jackson’s Software Requirements and Specifications: a lexicon of practice, principles and prejudices. (SRP in what follows)
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Teaching and learning design using TDD (#GOOSgaggle)

On Sunday Gojko Adzik and I joined forces to run an Open Space session at GOOSgaggle on how we might work using TDD to improve our abilities in software design. Three things (after the break) have suggested to me that this might be important –

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Kent Beck and Software G Forces

At ScanDev 2010 last week, Kent Beck spoke about Software G Forces (slides from an earlier version of this talk are here. Observing that the move in our world is towards more and more frequent releases to users, Kent asked the question — what does this mean for our organisations? (agile in organisations this was the focus of the track - he said he’d tackled the implications for teams and team practices in earlier versions of the talk).

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Smalltalk code snippets in blogs

Preparing to write something on Smalltalk, Java, and the activity of design, I’ve been looking for a code formatter/syntax highlighter for the site. Glad to have found Alex Gorbatchev’s Syntax Highlighter, which does the job nicely, except that it’s missing a Smalltalk renderer (brush in the program’s terms). So here is one, which I’ll be tinkering with in the days to come, which does a comfortable if basic job of highlighting. Examples (plus the code of the brush) after the jump…
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On Practice

Spurred by the discussion of Kata at QCon London, and reminded by a nice tribute to Pablo Casals in the Guardian this weekend, some thoughts on practice in music and software development. To start with, here’s Casals: when asked why, at the age of 93, he still practiced for three hours each day, he replied:

“I’m beginning to notice some improvement.”

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Agile in Europe (#scanagile #scrumgathering)

Some reflections on two recent agile conferences I attended (and ran sessions at). Both very stimulating, with a great deal of learning going on. Both raising questions for me in several directions.
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The Scrum Picture is Wrong (#scrumgathering)

Blogging from the Munich Scrum Gathering, so here’s a rare Scrum-focussed blog, though (of course) there’s a lot here that parallels other thinking in the Agile and Lean world. The Scrum Picture is Wrong: well, not wrong, but incomplete. Misleadingly, dangerously incomplete. It’s easier to say it’s just wrong, and this is why.
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Improv for Agile Coaches - 21 November, London #acguk

As you’ll know if you’re reading here, I’ve become excited by the way theatre Improv can inspire us as agile coaches. One direct result of this is a day-long workshop I’m organising with Mike Sutton through the UK Agile Coaches Gathering, which will be run by Tom Salinsky. We’re working with Tom on structuring the day around ideas and outcomes directly relevant to coaching practice: collaboration, innovation, status and influence. It’s going to be entertaining, fun, inspiring and useful, and it’s a snip at £65.00 for the day. Saturday 21 November, Highgate, London: more details here.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in Agile Development, Adoption

I’m reading - and enjoying - Alfie Kohn’s classic, Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A, Praise, and Other Bribes. It’s definitely a one-issue book, but that’s not such a bad thing: what’s more, it’s one of those rare works which is both pleasurably readable and impeccably referenced: three hundred pages of text, a hundred of notes and bibliography, so if you want or need to follow up on the research results which inform every argument Kohn makes, you can. [1]
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