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Archives for Lean / Agile

out of control

As I’ve mentioned before, we often play Burnout Revenge after lunch at work. Not always—we play board games once a week, we recently got a nice Rock Band setup, and several people have started playing ping pong—but Burnout Revenge continues to be our go-to game. A month or two ago, we unlocked a Formula 1-style […]

getting my next action list under control

One checklist item when starting my new job was setting up a new Things installation. (I have separate work and home installations, with the home one synced to my iPhone.) And, most of a couple of months in, the differences between the two are pretty striking: my Next Action list at work is a lot […]

composing, decomposing, and recomposing methods

Applying Compose Method After I wrote that post on precedence, map, and function composition in Scala, I started to wonder: I’ve been thinking that I should experiment more with applying Compose Method. That refactoring recommends that, if I start with the original version of my code, data.foreach(s => writer.addDocument(createDocument s)) then I should extract the […]

gospel morality: matthew 8-9

And now we take a break from the context-free sermonizing, and turn to narrative. Specifically, about Jesus curing people right and left; hard not to like that! And, consistent with what we’ve seen earlier, he doesn’t want word getting around about his actions. (Though, as you might expect, it didn’t really work out that way…) […]

looking back at my first year at playdom

It’s been a little more than a year since I joined Playdom, so I figured I should collect my thoughts about how it’s gone so far and get ideas about what I might want my next year to look like. Looking back, it’s kind of amazing how many different things I’ve done over that last […]

the rational optimist

I just finished reading The Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley, and I’m finding it both interesting and interestingly unsettling. Its subtitle is “How Prosperity Evolves”, and it’s a look back at various aspects of human development from an optimistic libertarian point of view. Basically, his thesis is that new ideas lead to new niches for […]

making a mockery

One of the things I got out of Agile Open California this year was a decision that I should work harder at removing database access from the unit tests for our Java code. It will probably be a pain, but I’ve dealt with legacy code before, I know the basic ideas of what to do, […]

agile open california 2010, day 2

Another good day, and as always a quite successful conference: I came into the conference with two areas in which my testing doesn’t feel right, and I came out with concrete suggestions for what to do next on both of those; my off-the-wall session went much better than I could reasonably have hoped for; and […]

agile open california 2010, day 1

I’m seeing a lot more familiar faces at Agile Open Northern California 2010 than I had been in previous years: before, I’d always been surprised at the low percentage of repeats, but this year I’m seeing people I know everywhere I look. So: glad others also find this valuable enough to keep coming back! (Or […]

agile and social game development

(Disclaimer: I in no way speak for Playdom.) There’s a certain strain in the criticism of social game development that has always sounded bizarre to me, and I think I’ve finally understood why. It’s really a two-fold strain: on the one hand, it complains about the metrics-driven approach to game development that social game studios […]

why the linkblog?

I promised a post on why I created my linkblog, but then I forgot to talk about it in my recent Reeder post. The primary trigger was in fact my increased iPad usage: I find it annoying to read others’ link roundup posts on the iPad/iPhone, and it’s also a bit of a pain to […]

tdd and javascript

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been having a lot of fun at work playing around with JavaScript and CSS. But there is one area where I’ve been failing miserably: for the first time in years, I’m writing very few tests while programming. I’m working on a legacy code base, with all that entails, but that […]

habitable software

There’s been lots of discussion recently about the fact that certain computing platforms are less open than some people would prefer, with many people being up in arms about this fact. Once, I would have been one of those people; these days, I’m not (though seeing the reduction in openness does make me sad), and […]

gdc 2010: tuesday

When showing up at GDC, I leafed through the booklet to see if there was anything I’d missed. And, indeed, there was: it seems that the online schedule builder had left off most or all of the keynotes for the summits! (Or at least did when I looked at it last week, I guess that’s […]

mass effect 2

The original Mass Effect was one of the games that pushed me into buying an Xbox 360. I played through it quickly and had a great time, though for whatever reason I haven’t spent much time thinking about it since then; BioWare seems to make games that push my buttons very well but don’t put […]

tiki farm constraints

(First, a few notes: 1) I have a conflict of interest with respect to the game I’m discussing here. I haven’t worked on it and I don’t have any particular inside information about anything I’m speculating about here, else I’d have to be rather more careful about what I write, but obviously I want it […]

random links: december 6, 2009

How to lose an argument online. I’d been thinking for a while that ‘hardcore’ was only useful as a term in a polemic I had no interest in making. Three false constraints on game design challenges. I’m reluctantly coming to the conclusion that I won’t be able to avoid playing Dragon Age. (But I’ll hold […]

random links: november 24, 2009

Gerald Weinberg is, sadly, in poor health. Never tried doing Rock Band vocals this way… (Takes 15 seconds or so to actually start.) (Via @dan_schmidt.) R.I.P., Brother Blue. (Via @scottros.) The difference between motion and action. (Via @harlan_knight.) An unforeseen design problem. (Via @shawnr.) Nice perspective on slow programming languages. Glad to see non-Miyazaki Ghibli […]

pomodori

So far, the talk I attended at Agile 2009 that has had the most impact on me was Renzo Borgatti’s talk on the pomodoro technique: I’d heard a bit about the technique before, enough to know that it tells you to break your work up into 25 minute chunks and to try to really focus […]

random links: november 8, 2009

Michael Feathers on testable Java. Good advice, that is of course relevant far beyond Java. Quite the Venn diagram. (Via @kateri_t.) James Paul Gee on games and teaching. (Via @HackerChick.) Lots to think about here; I hope the VGHVI folks can help me figure it out. A remarkable meandering about games, genres, Japan, and countless […]