Thursday, 17 May 2012

Is definition of done no longer needed?

A while ago now there was a discussion about “definition of done” (DoD) with critics and supporters alike commenting on how they saw DoD and need or lack of.

The critics seemed to fall into 2 categories: those that believe work isn’t done until its actually deployed to production and those that did not see a need for DoD at all, where as the supporters generally reiterated the need for DoD and tried to explain its worth (which on twitter in 140 characters can be difficult), the most memorable tweet from these exchanges came from Hadi Hariri suggesting that DoD was akin to “agile mental masturbation”.

So are the critics right? is definition done not needed?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Is software craftsmanship a luxury most can’t afford?

I’m guessing that for a lot of developers out there the idea of software craftsmanship sounds fantastic and that they’d love to be able to do it but everyday they are facing deadlines to deliver software to a client and as such are under pressure to “just do it” rather than taking the care they would wish to.

I firmly believe that software development is a craft, whilst it has engineering principles it can at the same time be very close to art, much like a master carpenter who when creating furniture has specific techniques for creating different parts of that piece of furniture but what they produce when it is all put together is often viewed as a form of artwork.

What a master carpenter has though is usually time to exercise his skills to enable him to produce the best “product” that he can, people can see and appreciate what it is he is producing and therefore the time it takes to create it is better understood by the customer as they can see what has gone into the finished product.

Software, on the other hand, is viewed completely differently. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Developing my first WP7 app

Back in February I learned that Nokia & Microsoft had teamed up to provide free phones to developers that could show that they were developing applications for Windows Phone 7 (WP7), so I decided that this was too good an opportunity to miss and set about creating my first application.

I already had an idea about what I was going to write as had downloaded an application on my existing WP7, a HTC Radar, to help my son with his math but was frustrated by certain shortcomings such as no tombstoning and I believed that I could write my own app that would keep all the good parts of the existing app but sort out the things I saw as wrong.