Episode 145: Working Effectively with (Legacy) Code with Michael Feathers

Craig is in Atlanta at Agile 2016 and catches up with Michael Feathers, author of “Working Effectively with Legacy Code” and they talk about the following:

  • Working Effectively with Legacy Code originally started as a book about Test First Programming but morphed into a book about the techniques for refactoring code in legacy systems
  • The Pinned Progress Curve – for many people there is no incentive to change so the mean gets larger between the status quo and good practices
  • Agile Alliance Deliver:Agile conference
  • Organisations that have technical founders have a very different character to their work internally, need to make knowledge of the quality of software more pervasive – the business need to understand more about the technical side, and the developers need to understand more about the business
  • Code that has excessive error handling typically has other design problems – benefit in thinking about whether certain things should be treated as errors or not
  • Entropy happens in all systems, including code, so technical debt is not a surprise, need to make the case for hygiene, putting a dollar amount on technical debt does not add much value
  • Use low impact probing to determine whether code is dead
  • Potsel’s Law – an implementation should be conservative in its sending behaviour, and liberal in its receiving behaviour
  • State of quality is improving and there is more recognition to build quality in
  • Property based testing is becoming more prevalent as we move from object oriented to functional languages
  • Holacracy was designed by a software person, Sociocracy talks about applying democratic principles to governance, these are all interesting experiments
  • It can be hard to recognise if something is intrinsically difficult or not something you are familiar with
  • We weren’t really battling waterfall, it was the lack of any process at all…

TheAgileRevolution-145 (33 minutes)

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Episode 133: Rules Are For Pussies!

Craig and Renee are both in Sydney and catch up around the kitchen table to discuss a bunch of things happening in the Agile universe:

TheAgileRevolution-133 (76 minutes)

Episode 131: Program Management Envato Style with Adrian Fittolani

Renee, Tony and Craig are at Agile Australia and sit down with Adrian Fittolani from Envato and discuss program management and monte carlo simulations. Renee also makes an estimate that is super accurate!

  • Envato – a marketplace for creative assets
  • Lisa Frazier talk at Agile Australia “Leadership in the Digital World
  • utilise bottom up program management at Envato, they have 4 main themes as a company and use self organising themes to meet those themes
  • had to evolve from co-located teams as could not find local resources, they now have any person working in any team wherever they are and make that work, they try to keep teams in close timezones and use asynchronous communication tools, have a policy to work anywhere and additionally a policy to travel and work from anywhere in the world for 3 months
  • the teams responsibility is to radiate program status, currently using a short document with a timeline view
  • launch wall for important items kicking off in the next 2 weeks – helps eliminate surprises
  • project is where more than one team is involved, form a circle around the project (like holacracy)
  • Renee and Craig’s talk at Agile Australia “Coaching Nightmares: Insights We Can Learn from Gordon Ramsay
  • Adrian’s talk at Agile Australia “Better Project Forecasts without Estimates – The Monte Carlo
  • monte carlo simulation- replace subjective estimation techniques that most projects use and rather use a lean approach of takt time to model a project teams delivery
  • takt time – the drumbeat, the time it takes for a process to deliver to another process (e.g. how often a car comes off the production line or how often a story is delivered)
  • value of monte carlo is that it is non-subjective as well as allowing you to decide on the spread of risk you are prepared to take
  • Adrian’s article “Agile Project Forecasting – The Monte Carlo Method” and the associated link to the Takt Time Project Simulation spreadsheet

TheAgileRevolution-131 (28 minutes)

 

Episode 111: M&Mailbag

peanutmmCraig and Renee, sitting in a shoe-box sized hotel room in Sydney eating peanut M&Ms, decided to rustle through the mailbag and answer a bunch of outstanding questions.

Note: this episode is not sponsored or endorsed by M&Ms but we certainly enjoy their product!

Crossing The Chasm

  • more and more organisations seem to be crossing the chasm to Agile, but too many are still just doing and not being Agile
  • inimal viable product (MVP) is still the trend word, the next stage is Minimal Viable Experience and then Minimal Viable Robustness to Minimal Marketable Product and finally Continuously Evolving Product
  • Enterprise Transformation Meta Model
  • Agile is a true north concept, not sure that you will ever get there

Suggested reading list on where to start with Agile:

What certification should a new Scrum Master get:

Building your own scaled framework

  • Holacracy and Reinventing Organizations
  • need to answer questions around ensuring quality, growing capability, benefits realisation, etc…
  • at what level do the questions need to be answered
  • Minimal Viable Organisations
  • scale on the operational cadence of the problems of the organisation, not following a framework
  • how often do we check that our approach is meeting our needs

Visualising business analysis in a Scrum team

  • 3 Amigos approach
  • call it what it is if you’re sprint length is longer than it is
  • focus more on Kanban flow

Reading List

  • Renee is reading about climate change (and how that applies to Agile) including “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein
  • Craig is reading “CTRL-SHIFT” by  Jessie Shternshus and Mike Bonifer

TheAgileRevolution-111 (71 minutes)