Development process

August 30th, 2018

How I learned to love the “Agile Industrial Complex”

There is a growing sense of unease around how larger organisations have implemented agile. In particular, there is a tendency towards centralised control that can be at odds with the agile preference for individuals over process.

January 27th, 2018

Can TOGAF and Agile really go together?

On the face of it, TOGAF describes a very different world to the agile preference for working software over documentation. That doesn’t mean that TOGAF is incompatible with agile, so long as you’re prepared to adapt its numerous building blocks.

November 18th, 2017

Technical debt is an overused and lazy metaphor

Technical debt may be a useful metaphor for describing how bad code design undermines productivity to non-technical audiences, but it does not help in understanding the longer term problems that affect code bases.

October 12th, 2017

What should a Scaled Agile “architectural runway” actually look like?

The Scaled Agile Framework talks about an “architectural runway” as the main deliverable for agile architecture, yet it’s vague on the detail of what this looks like.

June 19th, 2017

When does refactoring become rewriting?

Refactoring describes a very specific and controlled technique for improving code. The problem is that it is often used to describe wholesale changes to code bases that should be treated as a rewrite.

April 12th, 2017

Using Docker to build and deploy .Net Core console applications

Using Docker with .Net Core is initially straightforward, but to get beyond basic image building you will need to handle more than the simple scenarios demonstrated in quick-start guides.

April 3rd, 2017

Architectural governance can be used to foster innovation. No, really.

Governance doesn’t have to be all about byzantine process and suffocating approval boards. It can be used to provide clear permission for teams to innovate.

December 19th, 2016

Forget code coverage – test design should be driven by behaviours

Test coverage statistics are much loved by management teams and code quality tools. They tend to associate a high level of coverage with robust, well-managed code bases. Wrongly, as it turns out.

September 20th, 2016

What’s in a name? Three-lettered acronyms and their impact on development culture

Three-lettered acronyms can be a useful tool for providing brevity, but they can also give rise to a coded language that contributes to a cold and impersonal development culture.

June 28th, 2016

Should microservices share technologies and platform capabilities?

Should agile teams be encouraged to share capabilities or be given total autonomy over their technology choices? For larger organisations this can become a trade-off between economies of scale and speed of delivery.

May 22nd, 2016

How do you foster “technical excellence” in an agile development culture?

Technical excellence is one of those slightly nebulous phrases with many different interpretations. In an agile context this means removing constraints and it is more than just a team responsibility.

May 5th, 2016

Managing services that don’t have clear code ownership

How do you organise code ownership for services that do not align conveniently with team or organisational boundaries?

January 18th, 2016

Informatica Cloud development best practices

Informatica Cloud is a powerful environment but a pretty unforgiving one. Here are some best practices that I have picked up from implementing the platform.

August 11th, 2015

Most software architecture diagrams are useless

The best architecture diagrams act as a map – if an architect can’t express a system clearly and concisely then they probably don’t understand it properly.

June 12th, 2015

Deploying a Windows Service remotely with Powershell

As with any deployment automation, there’s a fair amount of duct tape and chicken wire involved in deploying a Windows Service remotely.