How many points are there in a five-point star?

This article fascinates me. The author presents what he himself describes as a “five point star”, then asks people how many points there are. The most common answer is not five! Gojko Adzic » How many points are there in a five-point star? For the most common answer to be 10, there must have been …

Continue reading ‘How many points are there in a five-point star?’ »

Doctor Who story chronology

Over the Christmas break I have been indulging my passion for all things Doctor Who. In particular, I have been reading some Doctor Who novels (largely featuring the tenth Doctor), and listening to some Big Finish audio plays (largely featuring the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Doctors.) Working out how they fit together has been …

Continue reading ‘Doctor Who story chronology’ »

IBM’s BPM Zero Project: RESTful Worflow Management

From an SOA architectural view, Business Process Management and workflow orchestration seems an obvious component of a large system. However, when I see this idea moved wholesale into the world of REST, I worry that a significant point has been missed. InfoQ: IBM’s BPM Zero Project: RESTful Worflow Management The part of BPEL workflow orchestration …

Continue reading ‘IBM’s BPM Zero Project: RESTful Worflow Management’ »

Smart = Agile++ ?

Despite some concerns for the direction of the term, I consider myself an “agile” software developer. Recently Ivar Jacobson presented a conference session during which he discussed the idea of “smart” as some sort of successor to agile. Smart = Agile++ by Ivar Jacobson From the above summary there seem to have been some good …

Continue reading ‘Smart = Agile++ ?’ »

Filtering Twitter, One Tweet at a Time

From time to time I have a burst of interaction with twitter. However, the single-site nature of the basic twitter user interface means I often forget to visit the site, and I certainly do not want to receive a SMS text message for every twitter update. It seems a solution may be at hand. A …

Continue reading ‘Filtering Twitter, One Tweet at a Time’ »

TDD: Does it make you slower?

I use Test-driven Development (TDD) all the time. Although my immediate work colleagues have “bought in” to the idea, I sometimes find my self explaining about it to other people in other situations. A common question is whether the extra effort of writing all those tests slows down the overall development process. Mark Needham has …

Continue reading ‘TDD: Does it make you slower?’ »

QCon London

QCon looks like an interesting conference. I can’t justify spending over £1000 (plus travel and accommodation) for it, though. How is it that conferences can charge so much when so much information is available for free on the web? InfoQ: QCon London Update: 3 Months Away, Tony Hoare, Martin Fowler, Dion Hinchcliffe

Describing RESTful Applications

I have read a lot of faux-REST APIs recently, which are essentially just HTTP/XML or HTTP/JSON remote services, and still need a client to be pre-built with specialist knowledge of URI structure. “Proper” REST allows a server to change its URIs however and whenever it likes, with client applications seamlessly adapting to the change. InfoQ …

Continue reading ‘Describing RESTful Applications’ »

100 Mindhacks to Make the Most of Your Brain

A brilliant list of 100 simple things to do to get the most out of your brain. I’m sure we all do some of these, but likewise, I’m sure that each person could probably benefit from doing some different ones as well. 100 Terrific Mindhacks to Make the Most of Your Brain – Find Schools …

Continue reading ‘100 Mindhacks to Make the Most of Your Brain’ »

Agile process drowns in meetings: kickoffs and walk throughs

I have noticed this phenomenon during our “planning poker” estimation meetings, and to some extent in retrospectives and other meetings about iterations, planning and progress. Each time a meeting is held, the number of attendees increases slightly, and the meeting (sometimes imperceptibly, but the cumulative effect is there) slows down. This slowdown leads to a …

Continue reading ‘Agile process drowns in meetings: kickoffs and walk throughs’ »

More thoughts on defects in an agile process

There are a lot of things to like about the Lean movement and the Toyota production system, but I worry that blanket application of their principles to software development may be misguided. Just as with other metaphors used to build a mental model, the metaphor of software development as a factory has big holes in …

Continue reading ‘More thoughts on defects in an agile process’ »

Project management using “Finger Charts”

We have a large project wall, on which paper/card stories, bugs and tasks progress from submitted through to tested. This is great for a quick view of state, but the physical movement of tokens does not help in tracking and analysing progress. Akshay Dhavle suggests the use of “finger charts” to get a better and …

Continue reading ‘Project management using “Finger Charts”’ »