The Fear Trade Off


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As a programmer working in a team in a professional arena, you will sooner or later find yourself drowning. You underestimated your task. You are stuck and you are losing confidence in your ability to complete on time and to … Read more

The Importance of the Functional Specification


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Functional specifications are important. We all know this, or at least we all acknowledge that we are supposed to think they are important. We are supposed to always write one, or if someone else is doing the writing then we … Read more

Back to Basics – Readability


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nio leyendo libros

Arguably the most important skill in a programmer’s arsenal, yet possibly the one which he receives the least training in, is the ability to write readable code. This skill was barely touched on during my formal education, and I don’t … Read more

Advice on Public Speaking


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Public Speaking Bullhorn Megaphone Communication Ideas Advice

Although a career in programming may not require a great deal of public speaking, the chances are that at some point a programmer will need to speak in front of a group of people for one reason or another. Maybe … Read more

The Natural Planning Model


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Perhaps my favourite technique from David Allen’s excellent book, Getting Things Done, is something he calls the Natural Planning Model. This is an informal approach to project planning which can be used on projects of any size or type. … Read more

A Proposed Approach to Estimating


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“Estimation (or estimating) is the process of finding an estimate, or approximation, which is a value that is usable for some purpose even if input data may be incomplete, uncertain, or unstable.” (Wikipedia)

Estimating how … Read more

Code Smell Confessions


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Code smells offer us a convenient way to identify, classify and address bad code.

The phrase was first coined by Kent Beck, while helping Martin Fowler with his famous book, Refactoring. A code smell is an indication of bad … Read more

Take a Break


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barbados

I returned home yesterday following a week-long holiday in Barbados. It’s a beautiful island, but more importantly having a week off work gave my brain, and the rest of me, a chance to rest and recuperate.

Most of us accept, … Read more

Done Done


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done done

At one of my first jobs, as part of my introduction to the team, my new boss sat me down and bluntly told me:

Please don’t tell me something is done, unless it is actually done.

A few years later, … Read more