Episode 186: Managing the Unmanageable with Ron Lichty

Craig fires some questions at Ron Lichty, co-author of “Managing the Unmanageable” and the “Study of Product Team Performance“:

  • Author of machine Language programming books “Programming the Apple IIGS in Assembly Language” and “Programming the 65816
  • Managing the Finder team at Apple – hired for stellar C++ coding ability and customer empathy
  • Software development is a team sport – including QA, a dedicated product manager / product owner and designers
  • After Dark and Flying Toasters at Berkeley Systems
  • “Managing the Unmnageable” is 9 chapters and around 300 rules of thumb and nuggets of wisdom (the creamy centre), the tools used to manage software development teams plus the authors own insights
  • There were very few books (7 at the time) on managing software developers (unlike project management and agile)
  • Fred Brooks – “The Mythical Man-Month
  • Situational Leadership – opens your eyes to delegating and supporting the people on your team
  • The most important rule – always be recruiting
  • The Study of Product Team Performance – effective onboarding correlates with the highest performance teams (yet 7% consider this to be a best practice)
  • Self organising teams are where every single member of the team is a leader from their expertise
  • A team created definition of done may be one of the most important practices in Agile
  • The frequency of standups correlates with the performance of the team
  • The Daily Standup was not intended to be a status meeting but rather a replanning meeting
  • Teams that have stories for their entire backlog are correlated with the highest level of team performance
  • Steve Bockman – “Practical Estimation” and “Predictability
  • Pragmatic Institute framework – the skills of a Product Management
  • Ambiguities in the requirements typically popup in the middle of the programming, which is why it is so valuable to have a Product Owner nearby to address these
  • Software development is a team sport – what gates teams is collaboration and communication – we need to nurture and provide support for that to thrive
  • We have two ears and one mouth and we need to use them in that proportion
  • We can’t over communicate in software development

TheAgileRevolution-186 (49 minutes)

Episode 171 – Beyond Legacy Code with David Bernstein

Craig is at Agile 2017 in Orlando, Florida and speaks with David Bernstein, author of “Beyond Legacy Code“, and they chat about agile technical practices:

  • Agile does have something to with software development
  • Agile 2017 talk “Create Software Quality
  • The real value of Agile is in the technical practices so we can build iteratively, but still very few people practice them
  • The future is already here, but it is not very well evenly distributed – the same applies to Agile
  • Companies are being consumed by their technical debt and they don’t even recognise it
  • What is always cheaper in the virtual domain is building quality
  • Continuous Integration makes the most painful thing in software development (integration) our greatest asset – this in turn gives us feedback
  • We don’t necessarily know there is a better way to do things – but there is a better way to do things
  • We traditionally think of software as a write once event, but it is write many – users want it changed
  • We think procedurally so object oriented code often ends up being procedural with a class statement wrapped around it
  • Test First Development – very few developers know how to write a good test because they haven’t been taught, it was intended to assist with refactoring
  • Studies show about 10% of people follow the Agile technical practices like XP, and only 10% of those are doing it correctly
  • The mindset of testing is different to the mindset of coding and they are mutually exclusive (in the same way we need editors when writing a book)
  • Refactoring is at two levels because we learn in chunks – we need to do while doing test first as well as in the large
  • The Art of Agile Development” – spend 10% of your time refactoring
  • Communication – say what, why and for whom before how – we think in implementation
  • CLEAN code – cohesive, loosely coupled, encapsulated, assertiveness and non-redundant
  • Need to understand what quality means in software
  • Troy Magennis talk “I love the smell of DATA in the morning (Getting started with Agile Data Science)

TheAgileRevolution-171 (34 minutes)

Episode 152: Communities of Practice, Onions, Bus Stops and Shopfronts with Emily Webber

Craig is at YOW! Conference and spends some time with Emily Webber, Agile Coach and author of “Building Successful Communities of Practice” and “The Agile Team Onion” and they chat about:

TheAgileRevolution-152 (33 minutes)