Category Archives: software-engineering

On UML

A little context: I got introduced to UML in around 2008, at an employer who had a site licence for Enterprise Architect. I was sent on a training course run by a company that no longer exists called Sun Microsystems: … Continue reading

Posted in agile, architecture of sorts, design, software-engineering, sunw, tool-support | 2 Comments

Discipline doesn’t scale

If programmers were just more disciplined, more professional, they’d write better software. All they need is a code of conduct telling them how to work like those of us who’ve worked it out. The above statement is true, which is … Continue reading

Posted in C++, learning, software-engineering | 6 Comments

The feature constraint

If you’re in a purely software business, your constraining resource is often (not always, not even necessarily in most cases, but often) the rate at which software gets changed. Well, specifically, the rate at which software gets changed in a … Continue reading

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The Logical Fallacy

Nary a week goes by without seeing a post by a programmer, for programmers, on the subject of logical fallacies in arguments. This week’s, courtesy of hacker news, is not egregious, enlightening, or indeed different in any way from the … Continue reading

Posted in brute-force, software-engineering | 3 Comments

Why 80?

80 characters per line is a standard worth sticking to, even today. OK, why? Well, back up. Let’s examine the axioms. Is 80 characters per line a standard? Not really, it’s a convention. IBM cards (which weren’t just made by … Continue reading

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The ABC of Software Engineering Research

About this paper The ABC of Software Engineering Research by Klaas-Jan Stol and Brian Fitzgerald, published October 2018. See link for full citation. Notes There are too many ways in which terms describing research methods in software engineering get used, … Continue reading

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More speed, lower velocity

I frequently meet software teams who describe themselves as “high velocity”, they even have graphs coming from Jira to prove it, and yet their ability to ship great software, to delight their customers, or even to attract their customers, doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Business, performance, process, software-engineering | 4 Comments

Coming to terms with fewer terms

I was on a “Leadership in Architecture” panel organised by RP International recently, and was asked about problems we face using new techniques like Microservices, serverless and machine learning in the financial technology sector. The biggest blocker I see is … Continue reading

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What’s better than semver?

Many software libraries are released with version “numbers” that follow a scheme called Semantic Versioning. A semantic version is three numbers separated by dots, of the form x.y.z, where: if x is zero, all bets are off. Otherwise; z increments … Continue reading

Posted in software-engineering | 4 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in advancement of the self, software-engineering, TDD, tool-support | 1 Comment