Should you do it now or should you do it later? Strike while the iron’s hot or wait and see? In the context of development, this isn’t always an easy decision. You may not have the bandwidth or resources to finish that uber-feature right now when you have customers breathing down your neck about bugs that really should be classified as feature requests. You can opt to develop a solution that is tactical and not strategic; deferring those strategic decisions until some later time is a perfectly valid and meaningful form of planning. The biggest issue with deferring a decision is that circumstances can take the momentum away from you, and dictate any future path that you can take.
Continue reading Sometimes you need to kick those decisions down the road
Unit tests are good; that’s the accepted truth and you won’t find many developers that disagree with that statement. Yet we live in a world where there are projects running in production that don’t have unit tests. In fact, having crap tests, like having unmaintained documentation, is, in any reasonably complex codebase, arguably worse than having no tests at all. What then is the point of unit tests? Subjectively, I find that unit tests can be used as a measure of understanding what you’re trying to deliver.
Continue reading What's the point of unit-tests
I’m a long time Microsoft DOS/WFW/95/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/10 user on the desktop; I can make it sing and dance exactly to my tune. Where other people complain about Windows, or get frustrated by it; I never have a problem. Now, Windows isn’t perfect, far from it, but it’s a basically a tool that causes me minimal friction, letting me get on and solve interesting problems; I don’t use it in production, just for my desktop. Last summer, I got so annoyed with the corporate build of Windows 10 that I submitted a requisition for a Macbook Pro; I’m not actually sure which model it is, but it has a touch bar and 16Gb of RAM. Now that I’ve been using it for about 5 months I thought I’d jot down my thoughts about the transition. My last long-term experience of the Mac was back in 2007/2008; does it create more or less friction a decade later?
Continue reading Migrating to MacOS for work
You’re about to embark on a new project; the business has specified what it is they want, and now it’s up to you to build the thing. Often the business can’t articulate what it is they want, or they know the destination, but they can’t see how to get there. The technical team needs to get them to a better place than where they are right now. The working software over comprehensive documentation statement from the agile manifesto doesn’t really address the nuances of how most businesses are; but it leads us to an important point.
Continue reading Stop overthinking it
Are you a great tech manager? It’s that time of year again, and I have been exposed to a few articles that suggest there are a bunch of questions you can answer which can judge your performance as a manager. A lot of them are binary questions which elide the issue; in the real world is it’s a little more nuanced than that.
Continue reading HR systems don’t work, they just make you worse