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small steps in haskell

One of my biggest surprises when learning Haskell has been how my typical test-driven development steps fail: it’s easy to write a couple of tests and get them to pass gracelessly, but surprisingly quickly I run into a test that I can’t get to pass without actually being smart, forcing me to make a leap […]

experts and expertise

I want to talk about a couple of talks I attended at Agile 2009. Both relate to experts, expertise, and how one develops the latter to become the former. The first was given by Jon Dahl, on “Aristotle and the Art of Software Development”. You can see video and slides of an earlier delivery of […]

living code

Today’s Nature of Order experiment: see what the characteristics of living structures might look like when applied to software. Many thanks to the Agile Open California participants who helped me think through this; I’ll have a later blog post that talks about agile and living processes. Levels of Scale This is certainly present in the […]

alive games

I’m rereading The Phenomenon of Life, by Christopher Alexander, in preparation for reading the other books in the series. And, again, I’m blown away by it: if the book contained nothing but the pictures in it, it would be worth it. But, of course, there’s a lot more to the book than pretty (beautiful, profound) […]

creation and benefits of implementation patterns

From Kent Beck’s Implementation Patterns (p. 20): Once a set of implementation patterns has become habitual, I program faster and with fewer distracting thoughts. When I began writing my first set of implementation patterns (The Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns, Prentice Hall 1996) I thought I was a proficient programmer. To encourage myself to focus on […]