My Stuff

2010 Conferences

OSGi DevCon @ JAX London

February 23 - Keynote titled OSGi in the Enterprise: Agility, Modularity, and Architecture’s Paradox


March 22 - 25 - Tutorial on Modular Architecture

Über Conf

June 14 - 17 - Sessions titled Turtles and Architecture and Patterns of Modular Architecture


July 26 - 30 - Two sessions on rich mobile applications and one on agile development. Half day tutorial on software process improvement.

Tweets @ Twitter

re: #apple event "We sold more iPads than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line." 2012-09-12

re: #Apple Event ""Our notebooks now rank #1 in the US in Market share in the last three months." 2012-09-12

Right on. I just won a Best Buy drawing worth $1000. Either that or I won a shiny new virus by clicking the link. Hmm...what to do. 2012-08-29

The #osgi alliance response ( to the @mreinhold #jigsaw announcement ( 2012-08-29

Good Q&A with @mreinhold on project #jigsaw. Modularity will change the way we design and run apps! 2012-08-28

LinkedIn Profile

The opinions expressed on this site are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.

Stars & Craftsmanship

Filed Under Agile, Development |  

The first day of Agile 2009 is in the books. While it’s great that the conference is packed with amazing sessions, it also means that it’s not possible to take it all in. Today’s highlights for myself included Programming with the Stars and the Software Craftsmanship tutorial led by UncleBob.

The Stars contestants did a great job and it was interesting to see the pairs work through some simple problems in such a short timeframe. It’s amazing what they were able to accomplish in only three and a half minutes. Languages represented in the contest included Java, Groovy and C. It’ll be a lot of fun to watch this play out through the remainder of the week.

Immediately after Stars, it was time to talk about the craft of software development. UncleBob is always an entertaining speaker who brings a lot of energy and passion to the stage. He began by highlighting his three laws of agile development (while also citing the sources from which he culled these nuggets of wisdom, which I have omitted here).

  • In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning indispensable.
  • A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.
  • …the document-driven, specify-then-build approach…lies at the heart of so many…software problems.

He then went on to talk about general best practices, including some pretty thought-provoking comments. He spoke of incremental improvement, never being blocked, avoiding big redesigns, going fast demands going well, and the importance of clean code. The discussion certainly resonated with me, and the irony in which he presented the material kept the atmosphere light. Two of his quotes caught my attention.

When talking about the importance of TDD versus fancy architecture and design documents, he stated:

If you have a great design, you’ll still be afraid to change the code. If you have a suite of tests, you won’t.

This isn’t to imply that design isn’t valuable, but that our emphasis on spending a lot of time designing the system might be a big misguided. Instead, the real measure of progress is working code and a rich suite of tests means we have the courage to ensure that code remains clean. Then, when talking about testing, he stated:

Manual tests are like me handing you the source code without a computer and telling you to execute it.

He acknowledged that some manual tests are important, but that most manual testing should be exploratory. Acceptance tests, unit tests, and many other forms of tests can, and definitely should, be automated. All in all, a great kickoff day for what stands to be a great week.


3 Responses to “Stars & Craftsmanship”

  1. Dew Drop – August 25, 2009 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew on August 25th, 2009 12:52 pm

    [...] Stars & Craftsmanship (Kirk Knoernschild) [...]

  2. Agile 2009 - Day 3 : Software & Technology on August 27th, 2009 6:35 am

    [...] a great first day, day three at Agile 2009 is a wrap. I have some general observations about the conference, but [...]

  3. Conclusion of the Stars : Software & Technology on August 28th, 2009 7:30 pm

    [...] additional Agile 2009 coverage, see Stars and Craftsmanship and Agile 2009 - Day [...]

Leave a Reply