Acephalic Agile—worse than Waterfall?

Andy Wilson wrote “When we formed LShift, we sat with a group of engineers and asked them what the new company would have to be like for them to want to join it. Their first request was that we get rid of a situation every developer is familiar with—mid-project, the Account Handler or Program Manager turns up to…”

On Platitudes

Ian Rogers wrote “I hope we can agree that ad hominem attacks in discussion are undesirable, but I’ll suggest that platitudes can sometimes be the other side of the same coin, it’s rebuke being delivered in a wrapper of inoffensiveness. “A remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be…”

By Rept0n1x (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

5 Whys considered harmful

Ian Rogers wrote “Adverse events happen – a website breaks down, a project doesn’t get delivered on time – and a  proposed technique to find ‘the root cause’ is to ask the “5 Whys”. Attributed to Sakichi Toyoda in the 1930’s and adopted by Toyota and other formal techniques it’s basically the technique of listing a fault and then asking…”

Just Enough Design

Ian Rogers wrote “On the one hand it’s become a bit of a cliché to say that Waterfall doesn’t work (in fact ‘waterfall’ may never have existed), but we know that rigid projects don’t deliver—when the level of resources is the only contingency in a project then budget overrun and missed deadlines (or lowered quality) become almost inevitable.…”

How intelligent is artificial intelligence?

Ayoub Bessasso wrote “Perhaps we should start with asking ourselves, has AI lived up to our expectations? From the general public’s point of view, the answer would be a resounding ‘no’. This is not new; frustrations with AI, and its apparent lack of ability to ‘just do what it’s supposed to do’, go as far back as its inception. The general perception of AI, and it what regard it is held by the general public, and researchers and developers alike, has always fluctuated. The answer to the question posed earlier would probably be quite different if we had a better understanding of what artificial intelligence is, and subsequently more realistic expectations of its capabilities.”

runt35 [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

How long does it take a developer to read a recruiter’s email?

Francesco Bianchi wrote “Search on Google the question “how long does it take a recruiter to review a resume” and you’ll get back @ 23,600,000 results. It’s evident that there’s a lot of interest for this topic and I remember it being a hot topic of discussion several times over the last decade. Even magazines like Forbes and…”

Electric railway journal (1914) By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Testing with Traces?

Matthew Sackman wrote “Most APIs and type signatures are hopelessly inadequate for capturing and describing a model. For example, consider a map and the signatures for put and get. Even if you have pure functional type signatures, the signatures on their own convey no information about what they do with a key and value during put. For this…”

Thanks to zmescience.com for photo

Programming is not a Performance

Ian Rogers wrote “Programming is more like writing a novel then executing a performance. No I don’t mean the likes of If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript  – I mean, apart from ridiculous job interviews involving a whiteboard and pen  (NB. LShift never does that) coding is very unlikely to be a performance in an instant of time. Usually when…”

Why bother testing?

Ian Rogers wrote “It’d be nice to be able to make a definitive case for the benefits of software tests, but I can’t due to this one question: Is it possible to prove the correctness of a program using tests? The answer is unfortunately “no of course not” and I’ll show why below. But all is not lost…”

By Btcpg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Practising Software Engineering

Matthew Sackman wrote “A tourist stops a musician on the streets of New York. “Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” “Of course”, answers the musician, “Practise, practise, practise!” In the book ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’, the author Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world…”