Cool things I read this week (25-Jan-2015)

I read. A lot. And I share the five best things I read every week. This week’s topics include Dave Thomas on the word ‘agile’ being subverted, deployment freezes and outages, a parable of two programmers, the rise of small businesses in the USA and a cartoon on anecdotal evidence.

1. Time to kill agile
2. Why deployment freezes do not prevent outages
3. The parable of two programmers
4. The rise of small businesses across America
5. A cartoon on anecdotal evidence


My notes:

1. Time to kill agile
Dave Thomas, one of the original signatories of the Agile Manifesto, thinks that the word “agile” has been subverted. I feel this so much – the adherence to some rituals and over-estimation of the power of tools in agile environments drive me crazy. On a related note, sometime ago Mike Cohn had posted his thoughts on the drawbacks of scrum. It feels like that “agile” has hit the idiot-adoption phase and some corrections are due very soon.

2. Why deployment freezes do not prevent outages
An excellent article on why deployment freezes do not prevent outages. At my present client, I insist on bi-weekly deploys to production. As a software tester, I think that keeps our risk low. Sure, the short term risk may seem high and the effort of rapidly testing the software seems like a grind. But the long term benefits to business are wonderful. And yes, this is counter-intuitive. Read this article to figure out why.

3. The parable of two programmers
I read this because it appeared on the first page of HN. I did not particularly like the story, but I am posting here because I agree with one thing. Good software can be made when developers are not utilized at a 100% capacity. I think the biggest problem I have at my current gig is that everyone (including the developers) assume they must always be building stuff.

4. The rise of small businesses across America
I run a small business. I frequent /r/smallbusiness. For me, this was a feel-good story of how craftsmen can carve their own profitable niche.

5. A cartoon on anecdotal evidence
I am so going to use this cartoon in some talk or presentation of mine. And yeah, Sunday Morning Breakfast Cereal rocks!


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