Why I Strive to be a 0.1x Engineer

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There has been more discussion recently on the concept of a “10x engineer”. 10x engineers are, (from Quora) “the top tier of engineers that are 10x more productive than the average” Productivity I have observed that some people are able to get 10 times more done than me. However, I’d argue that individual productivity is… Read more »

Team Efficiency is Irrelevant

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The most common reaction I hear when I tell people about mob programming (or even paired programing) is “How can that possibly be efficient?”, sometimes phrased as “How can you justify that to management?” or “How productive are you?” I think that efficiency in terms of “How much stuff can we get done in a… Read more »

Modern Extreme Programming

Posted by & filed under ContinuousDelivery, XP.

There was a recent discussion on the Extreme Programming mailing list kicked off by Ron Jeffries saying he wants his XP back. The implication being that Extreme Programming is no longer practised, and that most “Agile” organisations are actually practising Flaccid Scrum – some agile process but little of the technical practices from Extreme Programming…. Read more »

Minimising the Risk of Data Damage

Posted by & filed under Conferences, ContinuousDelivery, XP.

One of the more interesting questions that came up at Pipeline Conference was: “How can we mitigate the risk of releasing a change that damages our data?” When we have a database holding data that may be updated and deleted, as well as inserted/queried, then there’s a risk of releasing a change that causes the… Read more »

Isolating Test-Data in Production

Posted by & filed under Conferences, ContinuousDelivery, XP.

Alex and I recently gave a talk at Pipeline Conference about our approach of testing in production. With our limited time we focused on things we check in production. Running our acceptance/integration tests, performance tests, and data fuzzing against our production systems. We also prefer doing user acceptance testing and exploratory testing in production. In… Read more »

Monitoring Check Smells

Posted by & filed under ContinuousDelivery, XP.

I have become increasingly convinced that there is little difference between monitoring and testing. Often we can run our automated tests against a production system with only a little effort. We are used to listening to our automated tests for feedback about our software in the form of test-smells. If our tests are complicated, it’s… Read more »

The Unruly Mob

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At work, we’ve always pair-programmed all our production code, so we’re already pretty bought into it being a good idea to have multiple people working on a single problem. I previously wrote about some of the reasons for pairing. Mob Programming Recently, having inspired by a talk by Woody Zuill, we decided to give mob-programming… Read more »

Continuous Deployment and the Unforeseeable

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Can you afford not to do continuous deployment? Continuous deployment is the practice of regularly (more than daily) deploying updated software to production. Arguments in favour continuous deployment often focus on how it enables us to continually, regularly, and rapidly deliver value to the business, allowing us to move fast. It’s also often discussed how… Read more »

Delete your Tests

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Tests, like any code, should be deleted when their cost exceeds their value. We are often unduly reticent to delete test code. It’s easy to ignore the cost of tests. We can end up paying a lot for tests, long after they are written. When embarking on a major re-factoring or new feature it can… Read more »

Thoughts from #pipelineconf

Posted by & filed under Conferences, ContinuousDelivery, XP.

This week I attended #pipelineconf, a new one-day continuous delivery conference in London. I did a talk with Alex on how we do continuous delivery at Unruly, which seemed well received. The slides are online here There were great discussions in the open space sessions, and ad-hoc in the hallways. Here’s a few points that… Read more »