Money:Tech Panel: Open Source and Finance

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion at the O’Reilly Money:Tech conference. We discussed the extent that the financial technology community had embraced open source. Other members of the panel were Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, James Altucher who founded StockPickr, and Graham Miller of Marketcetera. I was representing free financial open-source software developers in … Read more

Global Game of Software Development

The global collaboration perspective on software development is a stark contrast to the preference for face-to-face communication during development activities.Steve Bate · February 10th, 20182 min read You should expect to see developers putting on headsets when they start up their development tools – to listen and respond to the voice over IP (VOIP) chatter from peers … Read more

Pragmatic Agility

There was an interesting discussion during the Agile Toolkit Podcast interview with Dave of the Pragmatic Programmers. I’ve transcribed a few of the comments about agile methodologies below. Dave Thomas: I think agile methodologies have adopted their own venom. And to that extent, I’m pulling back, away from, the individual agile methodologies. I believe very, very strongly in agility. … Read more

Do You Write Green Software?

QCon 2007 was a great opportunity to hear the architects of some of the largest Internet sites discuss the challenges they’ve had. One particularly interesting challenge was discussed by Dan Pritchett, Technical Fellow at eBay, Inc. He spoke about the challenges of providing enough power and air conditioning to eBay’s data centers. I’m not sure how accurate … Read more

APM Tooling Survey and XPlanner

Trail Ridge Consulting has released the results of an agile project management tooling survey performed in late 2006. Apparently, APM tools are being widely used by both small and large organizations although the primary reasons differ with the size of the organization. It was interesting to me to see that card-based approaches are used less often than dedicated APM … Read more

Are You an Effective Software Developer?

In a recent article I wrote about preferring Effective Software Development (ESD). I prefer being effective over being labeled as “agile” (whatever that might mean to you personally). This preference raises many questions for me. How do I define effectiveness? How do I know if I’m being effective or not? How can I become more effective? Is … Read more

Pair Programming Benefits and Costs

pair programming

A new pair programming study (Arisholm et al. 2007) indicates that that the practice neither increases quality or reduces costs, in general. The results of this experiment do not support the hypotheses that pair programming in general reduces the time required to solve the tasks correctly or increases the proportion of correct solutions. On the … Read more

Agile Without a Name

There’s been much discussion and debate in various forums about the evolving use of the word “agile” to describe software development. Some people involved in the discussion have suggested creating a new term to replace “agile”. In most cases, I don’t support replacing terminology. However, the term “agile” seems to have suffered so much semantic diffusion that it’s practically meaningless. Speaking … Read more

Technical Debt: The Threshold of Acceptable Pain

Why do some teams allow technical debt to accumulate and others are better at recognizing the debt and actively reducing it? One possibility is a skill difference. This skill difference could be the result of differing experience or differences in intelligence. In any case, the theory is that a more experienced, skilled team will generally … Read more

We’ll Be Agile Later

James Shore wrote an interesting blog article called “Voluntary Technical Debt”. He and Dave Woldrich are developing a commercial service called to support distributed agile teams. Shore describes how he and Dave cut corners with their initial implementation, intended to be a “spike”, because of time pressure to demonstrate the software at the Agile 2006 conference. … Read more