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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 606 features our interview with Marco Faella, author of Seriously Good Software: Code that Works, Survives, and Wins. Marco and I discussed quality, craftsmanship, and how being a passionate coder and academic mix. 

Marco Faella teaches advanced programming at a major Italian university. His published work includes peer-reviewed research articles, a Java certification manual, and a video course on Java streams.   (more…)

Tugboat in the Chicago River

Tugboats have to be dependable and reliable.

While I was contemplating the discussion of the second of the three core capabilities for teams to prosper after the COVID-19 lockdowns are lifted, I got an email from a friend asking why I did not think the business environment would return to where it was a few months ago. While reading my friend’s email, I got a breaking news text reporting the World Monetary Fund saying they expect one of the steepest recessions on record.  Last evening I read a piece from Goldman Sachs discussing whether the slowdown would follow a V or U pattern (the U pattern will take longer to recover). The experts all agree that the future will be different. In any scenario, there will be dislocations and a new reality; that new reality will require teams to prosper. Teams that focus on an outcome of efficiency, dependability, and effectiveness will have the clearest path. One positive is that all of the core characteristics are demonstrable.  (more…)

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The SPaMCAST 595 features our interview with Vladimir Khorikov. Vladimir and I geeked out on unit testing and his new book, Unit Testing Principles, Practices, and Patterns. Our conversations covered the gamut with a discussion of writing from first principles, understanding and tuning the signal-to-noise ratio in unit testing, and tests that are better at proving the negative than the positive.  (more…)

I have observed several recessions including the Dot.Com debacle and more recently the financial crisis. They are not fun. One of the classic behaviors of enterprises (big and small) during these times is to manage the bottom line through the one lever they have the most direct control over, cost. According to statistics published on Fortunly, about 300,000 software development related jobs are outsourced annually in the United States – a downturn will exacerbate this flow. In order to meet the new austerity that awaits us on the other side of the worst of COVID-19, software development teams and organizations are going to have to re-focus on measuring and improving three core capabilities. They are: (more…)

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The SPaMCAST 594 features our interview with Dennis Lewis.  Mr. Lewis, author of Behold the Cryptopreneurs, and I talked about how blockchain and cryptocurrencies are changing all types of software development. Dennis provides great advice for technologists and entrepreneurs that is immediately actionable (without violating social distancing). (more…)

 

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SPaMCAST 576 features a discussion on learning and experimentation with Kim Pries.  Kim has coded, tested, lead, and is an author. He has also delivered pointed advice as the Software Sensei.  Today we discussed the relationship between learning and experimentation which is at the heart of growing as you practice software development. (more…)

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SPaMCAST 546 features our interview with Michael Milutis. Michael and I talk about putting people back in charge of their careers. Michael provides advice that every listener can put to use immediately and in the long run.

Michael’s Bio:

Michael Milutis is an INFP and IT generalist committed to human capital development and continuous learning within a shifting technology landscape. (more…)

A life cycle is a series of floors!

Story mapping is a technique for visualizing and organizing a product backlog.  Story maps are useful for identifying a minimum viable product, for planning releases, for finding holes in the features product management needs and even for finding extraneous functionality that finds its way into every grouping of work. Story maps are so useful that they often thought of as a silver bullet. However, they are not a tool for every scenario that a team (or team of teams) might find itself facing.  All software products follow a fairly typical product lifecycle. Software products are created, enhanced and extended, maintained and then retired. While every piece of software follows this path, not every team participated in every stage of the life cycle. Story maps are not equally useful in each stage. (more…)

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SPaMCAST 481 will feature our essay on the Life Cycle of A User Story.  A user story – a brief, simple requirement statement from the user’s perspective – tends to follow a loose life cycle.  That life often begins even before the word ‘user story’ gets mentioned and typically by people that don’t understand (or care to understand) the concept of a user story. We zoom in from 40,000 ft down to user stories in 500 or so words!  

Read other entries on user stories by following this link: https://tcagley.wordpress.com/?s=user+story

The second column this week is from Kim Pries, the Software Sensei, Kim discusses using the Extended Backus-Naur Form as a tool to extract information out of nebulous text.

Last but not least, Jeremy Berriault brings his QA Corner to the cast.  In this entry, Jeremy discusses why QAs/testers should be given space to manage their own workflow. Jeremy has recently moved the QA Corner to https://qacorner.blog/

Re-Read Saturday News (more…)

No Uncertainty Here!

Uncertainty has a significant impact on both the business and engineering of software development (in all of its myriad forms).  Wikipedia provides an operational definition of ‘uncertainty’ as, “a situation which involves imperfect and unknown information.” Defining and understanding uncertainty is important because it is a common condition across the entirety of the software development life cycle.  The big BUT that follows the statement that uncertainty is common is that it is often unremarked or ignored, which are rarely useful responses.  Recognizing the uncertainty in any scenario is useful in selling ideas, planning, motivation and in development.  Over the course of the next several articles we will explore uncertainty across the life cycle; however, we begin with some of the sources of uncertainty and why it matters.

There are typically four macro sources of uncertainty: (more…)