Improving Wetware

Because technology is never the issue

Agile requires discipline

Posted by Pete McBreen Thu, 12 Oct 2006 18:50:00 GMT

Brian Marick shares his thoughts about the value of clean code. He supports the idea that the Agile approches require a lot of discipline Agile depends critically on programmers keeping the code clean.

What evidence do we have that Agile works?

Posted by Pete McBreen Tue, 10 Oct 2006 18:51:27 GMT

Steve Yegge has some good questions about how good is Agile development and how do we know for sure about how good it is. He sees quite a lot of religion in the Agile approaches, something I noticed a lot of while writing Questioning Extreme Programming.

To date we have not done any really good experiments to validate whether the claims of the Agile approaches are credible, sure we have lots of anecdotes, but no evidence either way.

An interesting design failure

Posted by Pete McBreen Mon, 09 Oct 2006 19:48:56 GMT

Bruce Schneier poinmted to an interesting failure mode for ATMs. Given that the ATM is a case study in the Use Case Course this is one failure mode we did not consider.

  • The man then punched a series of numbers on the machine’s keypad, breaking the security code. The ATM was programmed to disburse $20 bills. The man reprogrammed the machine so it recorded each $20 bill as a $5 debit to his account.

It seems thatthere is a default password to allow the installers to program the machines.

I thought by now we would have learned NOT to have default passwords on systems.

Guess my answer to this

Posted by Pete McBreen Sun, 08 Oct 2006 18:55:44 GMT

Over on Coding Horror, Jeff Atwood asked Is Software Development Like Manufacturing?

Remembering the users

Posted by Pete McBreen Sat, 07 Oct 2006 16:05:54 GMT

A great article by Kathy Sierra about how easy corporations of all sizes focus on internal stuff and forget to make sure that their users are getting great software.

Can "Thought Leaders" change their mind?

Posted by Pete McBreen Thu, 05 Oct 2006 20:13:20 GMT

This was prompted by a comment from Dave Rogers, reminding me that I have been away from writing for too long. After reading he article I was prompted to think about the circumstances under which someone who is recognized as a leader in the field of software development could change their mind about something…

The way IT is set up, there is a real penalty for realizing that you want to change, but at the same time the technology is changing so fast that we all need to change. Hence the leading Java gurus are unlikely to become the leading .Nyet gurus, even though for most practical putposes Java is indistinguishable from .Nyet.