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{ Monthly Archives } February 2018

How retrospectives ban shoes

At the end of each sprint, we hold a retrospective. The book “Agile Coaching” by Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley says: An iteration retrospective should help the team explore the following: What insights do they have from the last iteration? What areas do they want to focus on improving? What ideas can they act on […]

No True Humpty-Dumpty

Words change meaning. Technical words change meaning. Sometimes, you need to check out a specific commit of a word’s meaning from the version control, to add context to a statement. “I’m talking about Open Source in its early meaning of Free Software without the confusion over Free, not its later meaning as an ethically empty […]

It’s about the thinking

At some point in the past, programmers used to recommend drawing flowcharts before you start coding. Then they recommended creating CRC cards, or acting through how the turtle will behave, or writing failing tests, or getting the types to match up, or designing contracts, or writing proofs, but the point is that in each case […]

There is no browser, only Zuul

My short-lived first plan for a career was in Physics. That’s what my first degree was in, but I graduated with the career goal “do something that isn’t a D.Phil. in Physics” in mind. I’d got on quite well with computers as a hobbyist, and the computing and electronics practicals in my course labs. A […]

To become a beginner, first become an expert

We have a whole load of practices in programming that only really work well if you’re already good at whatever the process is supposed to help with. Scrum is a process improvement framework, but only if you already know how to do process improvement. If you don’t, then Scrum is just the baseline mini-waterfall process […]

machoo – Object-Oriented Programming in Object-Oriented Programming in the GNU HURD

For the last few weeks, my when-I-get-to-it project has been machoo, which is sort of an object-oriented system on the HURD but mostly an excuse to learn about how Mach messaging works. I decided to build a Smalltalk-style “give me any old selector, and I’ll do something with it” messaging system on Mach, which is […]

Discovery

I think the last technical conference I attended was FOSDEM last year, and now I’m sat in the lobby of the Royal Library of Brussels working on a project that I want to take to some folks at this year’s FOSDEM, and checking the mailing lists of some projects I’m interested in to find meetups […]