A Teeny Augmentation To User Stories

This seems valuable to me:

Story Mapping Gives Context to User Stories.

Yes, I know that one is supposed to start out on Agile using only its 'purest' form, and adapt it only after experience tells you which way to jump, but this has got to be A Good Thing (hasn't it?!)

Tags: Agile

More About Finding Unused Jars

Following on from How To Find Unused Jars?

There is the strangely-named JBalboa.

It is a separate static-analysis tool that can discover which jars in a given directory are never used and find which Jar(s) a class can be found in.

There is a GUI:

And there's a command-line mode, as well.

There's also JBoss' Tattletale: "Betraying your project's naughty little secrets."

Runs on the command line or via an ant task.

Useful stuff!

Tags: Tools

Why Java, Indeed…

Following on from my earlier Professionalism In Our Industry? postings…

I came across this today:

I looked to see if it was dated April 1, but it's not.

Apparently, this became a daily WTF.

Maybe the poster was asking how to mock the return value from Rnd(). Maybe.

Tags: Tools

Three Interesting Reads

Following on from Best Book I've Read In A Long Time…

I'm working my way (dipping into each as the mood takes me, so in no particular order) through these guys:

Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum
Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams
Agile Estimating and Planning

The thing that all these have in common is that they give you the feeling that the authors have "been there, man."

They also have a feeling of optimism: "the solution is in here, just look harder."

I like this feeling!

I have to disable my cynicism chip, but that's probably all to the good ;-)

On the bad side, they make me feel like I have wasted a career :-(

It's not that I want to be a Project Manager, heavens no!

it's just that I want to work with a project management team that has read and understood the messages here. <sigh emphasis='heavy' />

Like that's going to happen anytime soon!

Here in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia; not the one in California), Prince2 is going great guns in Government circles (which is practially all that there is around here…). As I said before: there seems to be a 'spirit of "hey it's not working, let's throw more X at it"'

Tags: Agile, Books


I just received an email from one of the 2008 NZOUG conference organisers, saying in part:

…more than 80% of the people attending your presentation at the 2008 NZOUG conference said it was either 'Very Good' or 'Excellent' :-)

Nice to know that the presentations were well regarded!

Anyone For Curry?

Just knocked up this little beauty and thought I'd share it with the world:

def fmt = String.&format
def fmtDate = fmt.curry('%tY/%<tm/%<td')

def now = new Date()

(-3..3).each { println fmtDate(now + it) }

I liked it, anyway; there's a lot of Good Stuff going on here…

How To Find Unused Jars?

This is something that should be brainlessly easy, IMHO.

Anybody on the JVM team listening out there?

Until this becomes a standard feature of the JVM, we have LooseJar.

It's been around for a while, but I haven't got round to writing about it…until now.

I can't say it any better than the original:

It works as advertised. Always a good thing!

Here's a quick example of what the JMX bean interface gives you:

Very useful.

Tags: Tools

Professionalism In Our Industry?

I'm an IT contractor. I go for lots of interviews. I get asked lots of questions…some strange, some difficult, some easy. Some piss me off!

Probably the question that gets up my nose more than any other goes like this: "You do a lot of presentations and article writing! You're just an academic in disguise." The supposition being, of course, that the world would collapse if I were to be let loose on their systems.

On hearing this, I generally take a deep breath and tell myself that hitting the questioner would not be conducive to landing the gig, and then I go on to try to disabuse the poor benighted soul of his/her misconception. I often use calm, reasoned responses like: "Why did you bother bringing me here? Just to insult me? What have I done to you?"

(I often tell myself that when I was teaching C programming at University, the interviewer was probably just learning to SPELL 'Sea' :-))

Every time I come out of such an interview, I feel sad.

Not just because I can see another gig opportunity going down the gurgler…it's their loss, after all!

No…I feel sad for our industry as a whole.

Lawyers, doctors, dentists, pharamacists and 'real' engineers are all required to undertake Continuous Education throughout their working life. For lawyers and doctors especially there is an expectation that they will contribute to learned journals and conferences. It is a mark of their professional standing to "do a lot of presentations and article writing."

In many cases, if they don't undertake audited amounts of CE every year, they get kicked out.

In the ICT world, one has to beg, scream and cry tears of blood to even get considered for training. Many people take personal time off from their jobs to go to conferences and courses. How sick is that!

Organisations like the ACS continually bemoan the lack of Professionalism in our industry. Well, here is something that needs to be dealt with. Urgently.

By the way: I have decided to create a new category for this sort of posting. I hope you enjoyed the first 'official' Rant!

Tags: Rant

Thought For The Day

Greatness emerges from a relentless march of imperfect improvements.

- James Shore, The Agile Startup: Build and Deploy

Tags: Agile

Pushing The Boundaries Of Modern Programming Language Design

Following on from my earlier Why Java? posting…

Infoq has a piece on the how Visual Basic 10 will have an improved compiler that makes underscores optional for most line continuations.

Apparently, "This represents a significant change for VB…"

Interesting stuff!

It's clear that through .Net, Microsoft is continuing to bring much-needed innovation to the IT world :-)

Tags: Rant