Vanishing Volatile: Threading and References

Posted November 15, 2019 by Brett Schuchert in Learning

Overview Recently we came across a need to use volatile. At the time my spider senses were tingling; I wasn’t sure. We confirmed that it was in fact necessary. Then we improved the implementation a touch, which removed the need to use the keyword. The Beginning I joined a mob while it was in the middle of […]
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TDD: Purposes and Practices

Posted November 14, 2019 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

Test-Driven Development (TDD) is frequently misunderstood in ways that cause needless struggle, delay, and upset. Misunderstanding and misrepresentation have been painful enough that developers have cried out in frustration, sometimes declaring the whole practice harmful, pointless, or even “dead.”
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Shortest Longest Red

Posted September 3, 2019 by Joshua Kerievsky in Extreme Programming, Learning, Software Design, Test Driven Development

To measure how long they were “in the red”, Ward suggested that one programmer in the pair take on the additional responsibility of being the time keeper. They’d keep time of any period during which one or more tests were red.
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Are tests valuable?

Posted October 31, 2018 by Jessica McCay in Learning

During my time as a developer, I have come across wildly differing opinions on testing. Many would say that you absolutely, without a doubt, should write tests around the code you write. Others felt that testing was a waste of the developer’s time and energy. When I first began programming, I did not like writing […]
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Skills Inventory

Posted October 18, 2018 by Mike Rieser in Coaching, Learning

A team is asked to take on a special project but they feel uneasy because they lack all of the skills necessary for a successful outcome. Have you experienced that problem before? Perhaps a Skills Inventory could help. This is a skills inventory I helped a team create in the past (I’ve redacted their names […]
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How long is too long for a build?

Posted July 6, 2018 by Brett Schuchert in Continuous Delivery, Learning

Synopsis Short builds enable responding to change, continuous code improvement, and keeping your customers happy. When the build slows beyond certain thresholds, there are predictable responses by a team that lead to slower builds, lower code quality, and continuous code rot. We’ll look into why this is, why it is worth investing in speeding up […]
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A Few Tips for Mob Programming

Posted June 20, 2018 by Tim Ottinger in Learning, Mob Programming

Mob programming is great stuff! We have found it to be the best way (so far) to teach technical skills to teams of programmers, and the best way for them to continue developing and teaching their skills well beyond our workshops. Here are a set of tips that help us to make mobbing more successful […]
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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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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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