Feb 082012
Padding estimates and promises

A few days ago, we uncovered an opportunity that depended a lot on timing. If we could get it going in five days, we could exploit it… if it took longer than that, the timing was going to impact some other strategic concerns. I asked a developer for an estimate of the effort, and he said it would take ten days to complete. About my own estimates I have always been sensitive to suggest my own estimates to other developers. My estimates nearly always scared others, but I had a [read more…]

Jul 052011
Who struggles embracing unit testing?

Today I want to share with you a blog post that I just loved reading over the weekend: “Why bother writing unit tests?” by Justin J. Moses. Take a minute and jump to it… and then we can come back and talk a little more about what you have just read. (Go ahead… I’ll wait here.) Thanks for coming back! First, let me start by saying I love hearing someone else’s history with unit tests. The energy that Justin showed in writing about kicking and fighting his way into becoming [read more…]

Jun 152011
"Producing" Software

What is it to “produce”, specifically in the domain of software? We speak of productivity in business all the time, so let’s start by linking productivity with “producing” and “production”. The Theory of Constraints, a production system most often linked to manufacturing, uses three metrics – inventory, operating expense and “throughput”. Though the first two are not as obvious as they may sound (and are topics for other posts in the future), “throughput” is the rate at which a system produces “money” (or products we can sell, or software we [read more…]