Sharpen Your Knives

You’ve heard the old adage about the lumberjack who—in order to cut a tree in an hour—will take 45 minutes to sharpen the saw? This old analogy really needs updating: Not many of us are all that familiar with the logging industry.

I like to instead use the metaphor of the chef who sharpens her

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Good Design, part IV: The Role of Tests

We’ve seen how refactoring becomes the primary design activity on an Agile team. Diligent, confident refactoring is possible to the degree that the code is tested through an automated test suite. If the tests don’t cover a portion of the code, a defect may be introduced when that code is altered. If the tests are

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The Framework That Changes Everything

Scrum changes the way everyone in your company interacts and will likely influence your organizational structure.

When an organization considers “moving to” Scrum, it’s easy to think that Scrum is a new process that just needs to be learned and

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Good Design, Part III: Refactoring

Remember this?

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Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

“This year,” says your friend (who’s never run a 5K), “I’m going to do a marathon.”

“Yeah? How are you going to do that?” you inquire, trying to sound polite and curious rather than incredulous.

“Well, I haven’t figured that out yet…but I’m looking at maybe Chicago or

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Good Design, Part II: Code Smells

Last month we talked about good software design and introduced the notion of code smells. Code smells are names given to those instinctual thoughts you have whenever you look at a chunk of less-than-elegant code. Some are subtle, and some really stink.

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Good Design

I’ve learned not to assume a team has experienced a variety of software design skills. Some are writing elegant functional-paradigm code in archaic, challenging languages. Others are writing strongly-coupled, heavily-commented, and procedural static methods in Java or C#.

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Stop settling. Collaborate instead of cooperate.

“We need you to help this team. They are struggling to deliver. But don’t worry; you’ll love this team. There is no conflict and they are willing to help each other.”

I was assigned as the ScrumMaster for this team many years ago, and this is how my boss described the team I’d be a

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