Thursday, December 7

Talk on Design Patterns in Melbourne

M elbourne Patterns Group Meeting
Went to the design patterns talk yesterday.

Steve Hayes turned up. He had just come back from India.

The test patterns talk ended up being a group discussion of the relationship between TDD and good O-O Design. We talked about what made good tests and what made good design.

Steve raised the concept of habitability which comes from the book Patterns of Software by Richard Gabriel.

"Habitability is the characteristic of source code that enables programmers, coders, bug-fixers, and people coming to the code later in its life to understand its construction and intentions and to change it comfortably and confidently. Either there is more to habitability than clarity or the two characteristics are different."

This struck a cord with me and I talked about treating your team members (both present and future) as first class customers who are entitled to find the components you write both easy to use and easy to maintain.

Related Information

Monday, December 4

Talk on Project Management (Agile and others) in Melbourne


rganized by the Content Management Professional Australian Community

The panel consisted of six project managers only one of which was using agile and he seamed to think that agile was a watered down version of XP. The panelists had very different backgrounds and could not seam to agree on much of anything.

There was agreement that communicating and building relationship with people was one of the key aspects of project management. Plus the rapid changes in technology within the IT industry makes yesterday's solutions obsolete very quickly and inflexible long range plans foolish.

One of the panelist highlighted the need to keep on asking 'Why?' in order to uncover the root cause of problem. This reminded me of the Toyota Way's practice of asking 'Why?' five times.

Update: Related Information

Upcoming Talk on Design Patterns in Melbourne

MPG Melbourne Patterns Group on 6th December  

Part 1 - Prototype Pattern by Dave Cameron
Specify the kinds of objects to create using a prototypical instance, and create new objects by copying this prototype. [Design Patterns, Gamma et al]
Part 2 - Unit Testing Patterns, by Khali Young
TDD is not about testing, it's about using tests to create software in a simple, incremental way. Not only does this improve the quality and design of the software, but it also simplifies the development process.
More Info - Home Page and Forum

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Sunday, December 3

Road to Serfdom

Just finished this book. Insists that centralized planning inevitably leads to corruption of the original intention of planning, destruction of freedom and moral decay of the individual and hence of society of as a whole. Friedrich Hayek would totally agree with Ken Schwaber about the need to align responsibility and authority. He would totally be in favor of the people responsible for implementing work being the ones to plan it.

Finished Reading Extreme Programming Explained

I have finished reading Kent Beck's Extreme Programming Explained 2ed.

He seems to have backed away from one of the most controversial aspects of extreme programming, the On Site Customer. The first edition practice of On Site Customer has changed to Whole Team which sounds much more like scrum's concept of cross-functional teams. He adds corollary practices which he says are difficult or dangerous to implement before completing the preliminary work of the primary practices of XP. Real Customer Involvement is a corollary practice that seems to be intended to partially offset the effect of ditching On Site Customer for Whole Team as a primary practice. It seams a lot weaker and Beck admits that most teams have real trouble getting adequate access to real customers.

He also is quite candid about the fact XP will not work unless the organizations real values as opposed to it's professed values are aligned with XPs values.

Reviews: BookShelved, WikiWiki