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Showing posts from September, 2011

Thoughts on The Lean Startup

 I had the opportunity to get a review copy of The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries. I learned a few things from the book, but the most surprising thing was that what, on the surface is a book targeted at business people, entrepreneurs in particular, actually had a lot to offer developers and project and product managers who work at all sorts of companies. In addition to reviewing many of the lean principles and practices familiar to anyone who takes agile software development seriously, this book also makes a case for how practices that work for developers (like testing) also make a great deal of sense at the business level. To be sure the tests are different, but the idea of having measurable expectations is something all agile developers who have written a unit or integration test should be familiar with. Eric Ries shows how this same approach makes sense for determining the direction a busi…

Why SCM Patterns is in Patterns Format

I recently had an opportunity to speak to an undergraduate software engineering class. The professor for that class, Danny Dig has a very interesting practice of asking practitioners to speak to the class over Skype when an appropriate topic presents itself. Danny invited me to join then when they were discussing software configuration management and version control.

During the session Danny asked me why we used pattern form for the material in  Software Configuration Management Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration was in pattern format. At the time I might have quickly answered that I was interested in patterns and the book was based on patterns we'd written. But aside from being a too flippant, and not terribly profound. that answer isn't actually right.

There are two aspects of patterns that make them well suited for software configuration management practices, especially those at a team level:
 Patterns describe things people have done successfully, and we wa…