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Archives for Lean / Agile

what does “agile” mean to me?

I’ve had a few experiences recently (e.g. at one of the GDC talks that I attended) where somebody uses the word “agile” to describe a process that doesn’t sound particularly agile to me. So I figured I’d take some time to try to understand that difference, and in particular to think about what attributes will […]

bug trackers are anti-agile (though less anti-gtd)

Once again, I find myself at a job that uses bug-tracking software (JIRA this time, as in my previous job; the job before that used Bugzilla); once again, I’m finding that the bug-tracking software gets on my nerves. And, it turns out, gets on my nerves specifically because of ways in which that software seems […]

an apple-focused personal history of computing

When Steve Jobs died, I felt I should write about him. Probably about Apple, really: I don’t know anything about Jobs, but Apple (the company and its products) occupies a surprising amount of my psychic space. It took me quite some time to get around to writing the post, however; and, when I started typing, […]

apple, google, and hp

I don’t normally blog about current events stuff here: that’s just not the kind of blog that this is, and that’s not exactly a niche in desperate need of filling on the internet. But, to somebody in the tech industry who lives in the same town as Google’s home office (they’re about a mile and […]

notes on books

Some tangentially related notes on recent experiences reading books: When I was thinking about getting an iPad, I wondered what format I should buy books in. I was thinking the contenders were Amazon’s proprietary format versus ePub books (sadly largely with encryption in both cases); but when I actually got the iPad, I discovered that […]

being on call

At work, our service has been in a pre-alpha mode for the last month or so. Which has been a fascinating experience, one that I’ve never been so heavily involved in before: in the StreamStar group, we were selling a product rather than running a service, so there wasn’t the same visibility into how well […]

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 […]