February 19th, 2020
Code coverage can be a useful technique for discovering untested parts of your code base, but it makes for a useless target.
September 9th, 2019
There’s more to adopting trunk-based development than deciding to shun long-lived branches. You need a confident development team, a loosely coupled code base and efficient build automation to make it stick.
August 12th, 2019
Agile process tends not to generate the kind of metrics that management teams feed on. Should this be a problem?
July 22nd, 2019
Attempts at SonarQube adoption often fail to gain traction with development teams. The concern is that it presents a view of “code quality” that is not relevant to the problems teams face on a day-to-day basis. Does it measure the wrong thing?
June 22nd, 2019
Many of the apparent benefits of monorepos can be realised through improvements in engineering culture and architecture rather than adopting a specific approach to source code storage.
March 23rd, 2019
The problem with SAFe is that you can implement it without writing a single unit test or automating a single build…”scaled agile” may be an oxymoron.
March 8th, 2019
Sharing microservices across organisational boundaries is much harder than it looks. There are technical, operational, organisational and financial issues that need to be considered if you want to be successful.
February 24th, 2019
Standardisation does have a place, but it should be reserved for infrastructure and collaboration rather than languages and tools.
August 30th, 2018
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
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 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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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
How do you organise code ownership for services that do not align conveniently with team or organisational boundaries?
January 18th, 2016
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
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
As with any deployment automation, there’s a fair amount of duct tape and chicken wire involved in deploying a Windows Service remotely.
April 6th, 2015
The ability to collate and interrogate your logs is an essential part of any distributed architecture. This generally involves stitching together different technologies via configuration.
February 21st, 2014
Lean development’s “last responsible moment” should address uncertainty, not justify procrastination
Deferring decisions to the “last responsible moment” can help you to adapt to the inevitable uncertainty that comes with agile development. The risk is that it can become an excuse for uncertainty that undermines development velocity.
August 12th, 2013
Agile does not necessarily lend itself to management reporting. The few metrics it exposes are designed to support internal planning rather than external measurement. It can be tempting to re-purpose velocity as a measure of productivity, though this will only distort team planning without saying anything meaningful.
June 4th, 2013
Sharing services and APIs can appeal to a desire to reduce duplication and improve development efficiency. It’s a worthy ambition though the journey there can be littered with costly traps for the unwary.
January 15th, 2013
Large-scale development increasingly involves distributed teams as organizations seek to manage costs and leverage resources on a global scale. However, sharing code between distant development teams gives rise to problems that can only be addressed in part by processes and tools. You also need teams to communicate directly and build trust.
September 3rd, 2012
Technical debt may be a great metaphor to describe the corrosive effect of quick and dirty design decisions, but it can be difficult to identify, measure and manage.
April 30th, 2012
Developers and architects like to build things, so their initial impulse is often to flatten the place, lay some stronger foundations and build something impressive. It can be difficult to get them excited about incremental innovation, even when this is generally the most sensible approach from both a technical and commercial perspective.
April 11th, 2012
Despite all the best intentions, software reuse tends to be confined to third party frameworks and tools rather than being an integral part of the development process. Are we expecting too much from software reuse and should we learn to set our sights a little lower?
December 29th, 2011
Everybody would agree that quality is an important part of the software development process. However, the complexity involved in delivering quality is often poorly understood and the amount of effort it requires tends to be underestimated.
July 3rd, 2011
A proof of concept is often proposed as a way to quickly demonstrate viability. In most cases it does nothing of the sort and merely delivers a quick hack that can undermine good system design.
February 23rd, 2011
The Flex SDK does contain some support for build scripting with Apache Ant. However, as with all automated build management, some script hacking is required to get a smooth automated build working for an AIR application.
February 3rd, 2011
Estimates are, in essence, a kind of crystal ball gazing. You are making a series of educated guesses about how long something will take whilst often being hampered by imperfect understanding and squeezed by commercial pressures.