Scaling: Local vs Full Vertical scaling

It’s funny, isn’t it? Everybody is still talking about ‘scaling agile’. A whole industry has been created on the premise that large companies need process structures to help them manage pushing very large projects through huge sets of development teams. Luckily, the DevOps movement (and the continuous delivery movement, I’m not sure they’re really separate) … Continue reading Scaling: Local vs Full Vertical scaling

Specification By Example Training

On the 24 an 25 of May, my colleague and I organised and attended the Specification By Example course of Gojko Adzic at our company. We both very much appreciated Gojko's book on the subject, and much of what he says fits very well with the style of dealing with requirements that I've used in … Continue reading Specification By Example Training

XP is Classic Rock

A while back I had a little fun comparing Agile to Rock'n'Roll. It's still one of my favourite posts, and after my recent talk on the benefits of TDD, I got the idea that the best follow-up on that is something about the XP practices. Test Driven Development with Bonnie Riatt The first artist that … Continue reading XP is Classic Rock


I recently wrote here about the benefits of failure. One of my recent failures reminded me about the importance of success. I thought that to be nicely circular enough to warrant a new post! You see, while it's important to embrace failure - how else are you going to learn? - it is just as important … Continue reading Success

On Discipline, Feedback and Management

Change is hard. If we know that about 80% of organisational change programs fail, then it's easy to appreciate just how hard. Why is that? And, more importantly, what can we do to make it easier? Recently, I saw a tweet come by from Alan Shalloway. He wrote that, back in the days, people were saying: … Continue reading On Discipline, Feedback and Management

A Cucumber Experiment

Having used the GildedRose recently as the subject of a coding dojo, I thought it would also make an interesting subject for some experimentation with Cucumber. Cucumber is a tool that allows you to use natural language to specify executable Acceptance Tests. The GildedRose exercise, originally created by Bobby Johnson, can be found on github, … Continue reading A Cucumber Experiment

Setting up Selenium with Maven

In the team I'm currently working with, the need for regression testing was becoming obvious. The team is working on a web MVC-type framework, and has been running into the results of limited testing: quality wasn't just low, it was unknown. The usual excuses were there, pressure to release, and interruptions by unplanned work. Usually, … Continue reading Setting up Selenium with Maven

My First Coding Dojo

Last week Wednesday, I organised my first Code Dojo! For those that are not familiar with the concept, a Code Dojo is when programmers get together to exercise their craft by solving a problem together. The problem is called a 'Kata', analogous to the way these concepts are used in the Karate world. As a … Continue reading My First Coding Dojo

Code Cleaning: A Refactoring Example In 50 Easy Steps

One of the things I find myself doing at work is looking at other peoples code. This is not unusual, of course, as every programmer does that all the time. Even if the 'other people' is him, last week. As all you programmers know, rather often 'other people's code' is not very pretty. Partly, this … Continue reading Code Cleaning: A Refactoring Example In 50 Easy Steps

Ken Schwaber Tech Talk

I've just finished watching a Google Tech Talk by Ken Schwaber: Scrum et al, through the 'running agile blog. This was the first time I've seen Schwaber talk, though I've been reading his blog. It was a good talk, with plenty of humour, and some very recognisable stories. Some highlights (paraphrased from memory, I'm lazy): … Continue reading Ken Schwaber Tech Talk