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

Fail Yet Succeed?

If you build EXACTLY what “they” tell you, you do it in the timeframe they ask for, and at the cost they wanted to pay, is that a successful project? The project is On time On budget Delivers the requested functionality No defects The team is ready for the next project Is it successful? “Yes,” you say. Rightfully so. But what if I tell you that the above project (project A) was followed by another...

  1. Posted on September 16, 2009 12:42:PM by Earl Beede to Practicing Earl
  2. Testing & QA, Technique, project management, humor, context, quality, requirements, Management

Construx Offers Free Training for Laid-Off Software Workers

http://www.construx.com/blogs/calendar After listening to doom and gloom economic reports for the past few months, we decided we would try to do something to brighten our little corner of the world. Here's our official press release about it: Construx Software has designated 25% of its public seminar seats free of charge to software workers who have been laid off. Construx seminars help software professionals improve their technical and managerial skills. Seminar...

  1. Posted on February 24, 2009 10:51:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. seminars, Economy, Free Training, events

Feedback from Stakeholders – A “Done” Criterion

Each of the previous “done” criterion had the need for the individual applying the criterion to make a judgment call as to the “doneness” of the work item under review. This gives it the power necessary to determine “done” in contextual situations. However, if a person only used one of the criterion—Sufficient to Proceed, Appropriate for the Environment, or Sanity Checks—that check alone can not give a good assessment of “done”. Together they have the ability to guide the “done” decision. To confirm...

  1. Posted on December 17, 2008 7:59:AM by Earl Beede to Practicing Earl
  2. Testing & QA, Technique, humor, context, requirements, done, Management

Sanity Checks – A “Done” Criterion

For every work artifact we create there is often a short list of attributes or questions that can help us determine if the artifact is done. This short list reminds us of classic patterns that have risen to become accepted truth and classic mistakes that continue to dog us. This list of questions or attributes is what I call a Sanity Check, a quick look to see if the work artifact done. For example, if I am remolding a kitchen, the question, “Does the stove, sink, and...

  1. Posted on December 5, 2008 12:54:PM by Earl Beede to Practicing Earl
  2. Testing & QA, Technique, humor, context, done, Management

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

Defining 'Done'

In software development, like many other areas of life, we need to decide when some item of work is done. The decision of "doneness" has wide impacts as under-done creates defects, downstream rework, and lost opportunity costs while over-done wastes time and resource and incurs its own lost opportunities. To be even more critical, in my review of documents from hundreds of clients I find that work items are often under-done in important areas and over-done in trivial ones. That is,...

  1. Posted on September 8, 2008 1:32:PM by Earl Beede to Practicing Earl
  2. Testing & QA, Technique, humor, quality, done