XP Day 2008: Debugging Pair Programming

At XP Day 2008 I proposed an open-space session on pair programming. Specifically, I wanted to explore the reasons why programmers might not want to pair, or find it such an unpleasant experience that they’re put off doing it again. Judging by the great number of people who turned up and stayed for the session, […]

DRY up your Cucumber Steps

Update (13th Jume 2012): This is an old, old post that still gets a lot of hits. I don’t recommend this practice anymore. Instead, I recommend composing Ruby methods that carry out these actions. For more details, please see The Cucumber Book. A while back, I asked the Cucumber team for the ability to call […]

“Total Programming” and the XP Team

Pair programming brings a great many benefits to a team that’s truly mastered it. Those of us who are lucky enough to have experienced working on a really effective XP team know about that almost magical thing that starts to happen when the barriers between different members of the team break down, egos and code […]

Is the Value Fetish Killing Agile Teams?

Last weekend I was at CITCON Europe, a great opportunity to meet some of the leading minds in the agile software movement. One intriguing new term I heard a few times was “value fetish”. Let me try to explain what I think it means, and discuss the implications for agile teams.

Scrabbling up the Learning Curve

A few months ago I was at the peak of my powers. I was leading a team of ten C# developers building a huge project on Microsoft’s .NET platform. I had been working on the Windows platform for years, and there was rarely a question from the team I couldn’t answer quickly and confidently, drawing […]

Story Driven Development – Just Another *DD?

Bryan Helmkamp, who maintains the handy little library webrat, did a talk recently at GoRuCo 2008 which explains his experiences using RSpec plain-text stories to build ruby-on-rails applications in a manner he calls ‘Story Driven Development’: Before code is written, the team produces executable scenarios for a user story.

9 Techniques to Save you from the Bug-Swamp

How many unresolved bugs are there in your system right now? Yes, yes, smarty-pants: the ones you already know about. Ten? Fifty? Two hundred? More?! I find it frighteningly common to see teams let a huge backlog of bugs build up. They set up a trusted system like Jira or Bugzilla and then use it […]