Software Development Best Practices Blog

New OnDemand Course - 10x Software Development, 2nd Edition

How do you maximize team productivity? Decades of research have found at least a ten-fold—“10x”—difference in productivity and quality between the best teams and the worst. The studies have collectively involved hundreds of professional programmers across a spectrum of programming activities. Specific differences range from about 5:1 to about 25:1, and in my judgment, that collectively supports the 10x claim. Moreover, the research finding is consistent with my experience, in which I have...

  1. Posted on April 26, 2017 10:54:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. 10x software development, 10x

New OnDemand Course - Scrum Overview

Hello, Steve McConnell here. We are always updating our Construx OnDemand training, and I’m happy to announce a new course: Scrum Overview. Scrum enables software development teams to address complex adaptive problems, and in this course you’ll learn Scrum’s elements—its roles, events, and artifacts—as well as their purpose: how they’re all bound together to make Scrum hum. In short,...

  1. Posted on February 14, 2017 5:23:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Agile, Scrum

Agile Transformation - Keys to Success

I wanted to let you know that I've posted a two-part series on Construx's experience with Agile Transformations, pitfalls, keys to success, and so on.  The videos focus on two models that describe the transformation issues we have seen on the ground. You might have seen one or both of the models before, but they aren't often applied specifically to Agile adoption work. The focus of the videos is on showing how these general models specifically apply to Agile transformations. We have...

  1. Posted on March 9, 2016 2:44:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Agile, Scrum, software development, 10x software development, software engineering, 10x

17 Theses on Software Estimation (Expanded)

This post is part of an ongoing discussion with Ron Jeffries, which originated from some comments I made about #NoEstimates. You can read my original "17 Theses on Software Estimation" post here. That post has been completely subsumed by this post if you want to just read this one. You can read Ron's response to my original 17 Theses article 

  1. Posted on August 18, 2015 4:51:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. estimation, Management, Management practices

Understanding Software Project Size - New Lecture Posted

I've uploaded a new lecture in my Understanding Software Projects lecture series. This lecture focuses on the critical topic of Software Size. If you've ever wondered why some early projects succeed while later similar projects fail, this lecture explains the basic dynamics that cause that. If you've wondered why Scrum projects struggle to scale, I share some insights on that topic.  I believe this is one of my best lectures in the series so far -- and it's a very important topic. It will...

  1. Posted on August 6, 2015 8:36:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development

17 Theses on Software Estimation

(with apologies to Martin Luther for the title) Arriving late to the #NoEstimates discussion, I’m amazed at some of the assumptions that have gone unchallenged, and I’m also amazed at the absence of some fundamental points that no one seems to have made so far. The point of this article is to state unambiguously what I see as the arguments in favor of estimation in software and put #NoEstimates in context.   1. Estimation is often done badly and ineffectively and in an overly...

  1. Posted on August 2, 2015 4:20:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. estimation

#NoEstimates - Response to Ron Jeffries

Ron Jeffries posted a thoughtful response to my #NoEstimates video. While I like some elements of his response, it still ultimately glosses over problems with #NoEstimates.  I'll walk through Ron's critique and show where I think it makes good points vs. where it misses the point.  Ron's First Remodel of my Kitchen...

  1. Posted on July 31, 2015 6:22:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. estimation

#NoEstimates

I've posted a YouTube video that gives my perspective on #NoEstimates.  This is in the new Construx Brain Casts video series.     

  1. Posted on July 30, 2015 9:13:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development

Human Variation Introduction - New Lecture Posted

In this week's lecture (https://cxlearn.com) I introduce the topic of human variation. I start by describing the general phenomenon of 10x variation. I briefly overview the research on 10x. I describe the problems that 10x variation presents for research in software engineering. I go into the specific examples of the Chrysler C3 project and the New York Times Chief Programmer Team project. And I summarize a few of the software...

  1. Posted on July 21, 2015 4:58:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development

Performance Appraisals in an Agile Organization

Performance appraisals are a part of life in nearly every organization, and yet no one likes them1. Bad performance appraisal processes can seriously harm your organization's ability to recruit and maintain talent. Individuals being reviewed worry about whether their contributions will be recognized, and the impact a questionable appraisal may have on their career. If they believe they are continually treated unfairly...

  1. Posted on July 7, 2015 7:54:PM by John Clifford to Retrospectives