Managing Programmer Productivity

Posted December 11, 2017 by Tim Ottinger in Amplify, Culture, Learning, Mob Programming, Tech Safety

Several decades ago, the software industry was obsessed with counting lines of code per programmer per month. That metric practice famously drove teams to create bloated, defect-ridden software products. After only a few years, the practice was abandoned as detrimental. Sadly, the biases and flaws behind that practice are with us still, influencing our practices […]
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Make Your Testing Affordable

Posted November 28, 2017 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

It’s great to have reliable tests in your pipeline to avoid escaped defects and to shorten the feedback loop for your programmers. Sometimes the build-and-test processes becomes a productivity-limiting problem. What do you do when your test suite takes too long to run?
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Reasons for Extracting Methods

Posted October 12, 2017 by Tim Ottinger in Extreme Programming, Refactoring, Software Design

When we are refactoring, and especially when we are teaching refactoring, our partners are surprised to see us extracting methods which are only (currently) called once. There is often an assumption that the only reason for extracting a method is so that you can call it from multiple places in the code base.< /p> While […]
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Make People Awesome through Real Work

Posted April 5, 2017 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

Typical training workshops are informative and can be a lot of fun. Teams get away from their normal work for a week or so, try out new technologies and techniques on prefab examples, give the instructor a quick rating, and then go home to their normal jobs. Is this the time for traditional classroom training?
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What Should We Measure?

Posted November 17, 2016 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

The Agile world is awash in metrics and measures, but most provide little benefit to teams. What if we could change our set of measurements to support safer software development, continuous improvement, happiness of our project community, and careful craftsmanship? In short, what are some Modern Agile metrics?
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Small Things

Posted July 14, 2016 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

Large changes are hard. Hard enough that they seldom happen, outside the context of a crisis. What if changing wasn’t a traumatic event but a lightweight, continuous process?
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Grist for the Mill

Posted February 16, 2016 by Tim Ottinger in Anzen, Anzeneering, Coaching, Culture, Estimates, Learning, Mob Programming, Tech Safety

Let’s say that I ask you to calculate all the happy prime numbers between Planck’s constant and the speed of light expressed in meters per minute. Did you immediately start reciting numbers to me? Odds are that you did not.
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Over-Starting and Under-Finishing

Posted August 18, 2015 by Tim Ottinger in Agile Transition, Anzen, Anzeneering

Here is a story board to consider. Is it healthy? Is it being well-operated? New scrum practitioners may say that it looks great if that’s the first day of the sprint, but indicates serious problems if it looks like this on the last day or two.
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Stop Per-Person Swimlanes

Posted June 19, 2015 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

Kanban boards (AKA “story boards”) are used by most Scrum, XP, and Kanban teams. They are a kind of Big Visible Chart used to visualize the work of the team in a straightforward way. As useful and simple as they are, in practice many are set up in ways that discourage teamwork and collaboration, ironically […]
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Does Technical Debt Cause Employee Turnover?

Posted October 20, 2014 by Tim Ottinger in Anzeneering, Culture, Learning

One of the ongoing discussions in our eLearning is on the topic of Technical Debt. Does technical debt cause employee turnover?
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