Software Development Best Practices Blog

New White Papers Now Available

We've recently posted more new white papers on our website. These are free to members (and membership is free). 5 Things Every Software Executive Should Know About Scrum The success (or failure) of Scrum is all in how’s it’s adopted. This white paper explores five key things software executives should understand when considering a Scrum adoption. It summarizes what Scrum can and cannot do and provides advice to software executives on how they can support the adoption...

  1. Posted on December 21, 2012 5:29:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Innovation, Agile, Scrum, requirements, white paper, white papers, Articles

New Software Estimation Survey

I’m working with Ryan Nelson and Mike Morris at University of Virginia to conduct a new survey of software estimation in practice. If you can take just a few minutes to answer some survey questions, this will help us get an update on the kinds of estimation practices people are actually using today. Here’s the link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/uvaestimationsurvey Thanks for your participation....

  1. Posted on March 21, 2011 2:16:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. estimation, Management, white papers, Articles

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

Why Requirements Weren't More Prominent in Construx's Classic Mistakes Survey

A reader of our 2008 Classic Mistakes White Paper made the following observation: I work in the Aerospace/Defense industry and have read your article called Software Development's Classic Mistakes 2008 dated July 2008. I am most interested in questioning the results of your most damaging classic mistakes overall that is tabulated in Table 8. I have read that up to 70% of project failures can be attributed to incomplete and...

  1. Posted on January 4, 2010 2:04:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, requirements, white papers, Articles

State of the Practice Survey

Construx has developed the State of the Practice Survey with the goal of better understanding which software practices really work, which really don't work, and identify trends in practice adoption. Survey participants will receive a summary report of the findings later this year in advance of the published report. I hope you will share your views about the state of the practices in your organization. No one outside Construx will see any of the raw data, and...

  1. Posted on July 4, 2009 9:21:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Management, white paper, State of the Practice Survey, Articles

Facebook Page

I now have a public Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/n/?pages/Steve-McConnell/198720075270&mid=8a4602G316afb94G1ae8a37G4c . I plan to use this page for small scale blog entries, updates on what I'm reading, announcements, and so on.

  1. Posted on June 22, 2009 11:13:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Articles

New White Papers

We've recently posted a few new white papers on our website, along with some existing papers. These are free to members (and membership is free). 10 Keys to Successful Scrum AdoptionScrum is a project management approach for Agile software development and is the most commonly adopted Agile approach in the industry today. Construx has worked with hundreds of organizations to implement Agile approaches including Scrum. We have helped numerous organizations to adopt...

  1. Posted on October 2, 2008 1:43:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Agile, Scrum, classic mistakes, Technical Debt, white papers, Articles

New Software Executive Report Available: Managing Core Development

One of my activities is moderating monthly discussion groups on software executive topics. The output of those meetings are captured in the Construx Software Executive Reports. Our newest report, "Managing Core Development," is now available. Here's an excerpt: “Core” code always refers to code that is in some way more central...

  1. Posted on June 2, 2008 11:39:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Management, white paper, Software Executive Report, Managing Core Development, Articles

Software's Classic Mistakes--2008

In 2007 my colleagues at Construx Software and I updated the list of classic mistakes from my 1996 book Rapid Development. Throughout 2007 we conducted a survey to determine the frequency and severity of these classic mistakes. In other words, we wanted to get a more quantitative sense of just how "classic" these classic mistakes are. More than 500 people responded to the survey. The majority of them were involved with web and business systems. A significant minority were...

  1. Posted on May 13, 2008 11:43:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Management, classic mistakes, white paper, survey, Articles