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Uncertainty and Improvement: Harnessing the Desire to Improve

Aug 16, 2018 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

"I'm implementing a user story and I see a way to improve/refactor the existing code while I am at it. Should I do that?"

"I've completed implementing a user story and want to clean up the code I've written. Should I do that?"

"I have an idea for a better way to solve this problem. Should I implement it?"

"This piece of legacy code is complex and painful. I want to rewrite it. Should I do that?" 

 

Do any of the above questions sound familiar? I've heard them on many projects and on many teams. The questions reflect both a desire to "make things better", as well as an uncertainty as to the boundary of "what's ok to change". I wish there was a simple answer. Sometimes there is, but often there is not. How do we decide if, when and how to implement improvements?

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Agile Training, Revisited

Jul 12, 2018 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

 

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”

- attributed to Heraclitus

 

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Continuous Integration… Canary or Barn Cat?

Jun 07, 2018 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

One of the staple technical practices of agile software development is Continuous Integration (CI). A continuous integration environment provides fast feedback on the state of your code. In a typical configuration, the CI tool is configured with a "job" that monitors the source code repository for commits. When a commit is made, the job:

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Groundhog Day

Apr 19, 2018 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

Recently, a friend and I were sharing our love for the movie Groundhog Day. In this movie Phil, a disgruntled, cynical weather reporter (played by Bill Murray) visits a town to report on the emergence of the groundhog and whether this indicated 6 more weeks of winter. Of course, Phil has a terrible day and everything lives up to his cynicism. When he awakens the next morning… it is Groundhog Day all over again. Phil gets to live the same day over and over again… until the experience forces him to grow into a better version of himself.

 

This reminiscing got me to thinking… what lessons are suggested by Groundhog Day that help us in our roles on software development teams…?

 

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