Software Development Best Practices Blog

Technical Debt Webinar–Archive Version Now Available

Last week’s webinar on technical debt is now available for download.

  1. Posted on September 27, 2011 1:42:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, Design, Maintenance, Webinar, Construction

Managing Technical Debt: Free Webinar

I’ll be giving a free webinar on Managing Technical Debt on September 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. Here’s the registration link: http://adtmag.com/webcasts/2011/08/construx-managing-technical-debt.aspx?partnerref=con5 Here’s a brief overview:“Technical Debt” refers to delayed technical work that is incurred when technical short cuts are taken,...

  1. Posted on September 8, 2011 5:15:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, Design, Maintenance, Webinar, Construction, events

Upcoming Free Webinar: A Technical Debt Roadmap

I’m excited about the webinar I’ll be leading on “A Technical Debt Roadmap.” It’s Tuesday, January 25, at 11:00 am Pacific Time. Check it out. Here’s a description: "Technical Debt" refers to delayed technical work that is incurred when technical short cuts are taken, usually in pursuit of calendar-driven software schedules. Technical debt is inherently...

  1. Posted on January 21, 2011 10:56:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, Design, Maintenance, Webinar, Articles, Construction

Origins of 10X – How Valid is the Underlying Research?

I recently contributed a chapter to Making Software (Oram and Wilson, eds., O'Reilly, 2011). The purpose of this edited collection of essays is to pull together research-based writing on software engineering. In essence, the purpose is to say, "What do we really know (quantitatively based), and what do we only kind of think we know (subjectively based)?" My chapter, "What Does 10X Mean" is an edited version of my 2008 blog entry "

  1. Posted on January 9, 2011 6:15:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, Technique, Agile, estimation, requirements, productivity, Management, Design, Maintenance, 10x, research, programmer productivity, Articles, Books, Construction

In Defense of the Bill Gates / Jerry Seinfeld Ad #2

Say what you like about the new Bill Gates /Jerry Seinfeld ads, I have to approve Bill's choice of bedtime reading. He's reading from Section 18.2 of Code Complete 2. (It's about 1:10 into the video.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBWPf1BWtkw I thought I was the only person who read Code Complete 2 aloud to put their kids to sleep!

  1. Posted on September 24, 2008 11:22:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Testing & QA, Design, Construction

Measuring Productivity of Individual Programmers

My last couple of posts on productivity variations among programmers and the Chief Programmer Team model gave rise to some discussion about hazards of measuring software productivity at the individual programmer level. Software engineering studies normally measure productivity in terms of time to complete...

  1. Posted on April 9, 2008 5:22:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, productivity, Management, Design, Individual Productivity, Construction

Giving Up

When is the right time to give up on a project, a design approach, or a requirement? What factors do you consider in coming to the decision that it is not in the organization's best interest to continue forward with the current approach? I know that the economically oriented folks will suggest that we look at the net present value discounted over the useful life period minus the initial capitalization and number of pizzas ordered per developer. Sure, that is a fine rational way to do it....

  1. Posted on April 3, 2008 7:12:PM by Earl Beede to Practicing Earl
  2. humor, requirements, fatigue, Management, Design

Productivity Variations Among Software Developers and Teams: The Origin of 10x

Some blog readers have asked for more background on where the "10x" name of this blog came from. The gist of the name is that researchers have found 10-fold differences in productivity and quality between different programmers with the same levels of experience and also between different teams working within the same industries. Individual Productivity Variation in Software DevelopmentThe original study that found huge variations in individual programming productivity was...

  1. Posted on March 27, 2008 10:15:AM by ThinkLogic ThinkLogic to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, productivity, Management, Design, 10x, Individual Productivity, Team Productivity, Software Teams, Construction

Technical Debt Decision Making

[This is an expansion of one of my comments on an earlier Technical Debt post] When you get to a point where you are debating taking on technical debt, people normally consider two possible paths, one of which is the "good but expensive" path and the other of which is the "quick and dirty" path. When teams reach that decision point, they often estimate the good path and the quick...

  1. Posted on December 12, 2007 11:18:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Technique, Technical Debt, Design, Maintenance

Technical Debt

The term technical debt was coined by Ward Cunningham to describe the obligation that a software organization incurs when it chooses a design or construction approach that's expedient in the short term but that increases complexity and is more costly in the long term. Ward didn't develop the metaphor in very much depth. The few other people who have discussed technical debt seem to use the metaphor mainly to communicate the concept to technical staff. I agree that it's a useful...

  1. Posted on November 1, 2007 1:06:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Technique, executives, Non-Technical Stakeholders, Technical Debt, Design