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We are not fucking competent

We are not fucking agile. Stop talking to me about Agile.

—Boss of one of my mentees, in a 1:1 career advice session.

Though I wasn’t in the room at the time, here is my response. Feel free to use it.

Continue Reading »

In part 1 we talked about naming as a process. We talked about how legacy code is really defined by its poor legibility, and that reading is the core of coding. And we talked about how working effectively with legacy code is simply the process of having an insight, writing it down, and checking it in.

Later parts have gotten us to a target that Does the Right Thing.

Now let’s look deeply at the fifth transition in names, from Does the Right Thing to Intent. Continue Reading »

In part 1 we talked about naming as a process. We talked about how legacy code is really defined by its poor legibility, and that reading is the core of coding. And we talked about how working effectively with legacy code is simply the process of having an insight, writing it down, and checking it in.

Later parts have gotten us to an Honest and Complete name.

Now let’s look deeply at the fourth transition in names, from Honest and Complete to Does the Right Thing. Continue Reading »

In part 1 we talked about naming as a process. We talked about how legacy code is really defined by its poor legibility, and that reading is the core of coding. And we talked about how working effectively with legacy code is simply the process of having an insight, writing it down, and checking it in.

Later parts have gotten us to an Honest name.

Now let’s look deeply at the third transition in names, from Honest to Honest and Complete. Continue Reading »

In part 1 we talked about naming as a process. We talked about how legacy code is really defined by its poor legibility, and that reading is the core of coding. And we talked about how working effectively with legacy code is simply the process of having an insight, writing it down, and checking it in.

Later parts have gotten us to a Nonsense name.

Now let’s look deeply at the second transition in names, from Nonsense to Honest. Continue Reading »

In part 1, we talked about naming as a process. We talked about how legacy code is really defined by its poor legibility, and that reading is the core of coding. And we talked about how working effectively with legacy code is simply the process of having an insight, writing it down, and checking it in.

Now let’s look deeply at the first transition in names, from Missing to Nonsense. Continue Reading »

Many people try to come up with a great name all at once. This is hard and rarely works well. The problem is that naming is design: it is picking the correct place for each thing and creating the right abstraction. Doing that perfectly the first time is unlikely. Let’s talk about evolutionary naming. Continue Reading »

Improving the Perfection Game

Other people’s insights are crucial when you want to get better at something. One of the best ways to get those insights is the Perfection Game. But one part of the game has always bothered me: the numerical score for the performance. I think I’ve fixed this problem. Continue Reading »

Gender bias in my hiring history

I have hired a lot of people. I have hired more men than women. I have also hired a greater proportion of female applicants than male. Both of these are critical to understanding the bias in my field (software development) and what to do about it. Also, both are indirect results of something else.

Most of the industry optimizes hiring decisions for individual performance. They assume the best company performance comes from strong individual performance.

They are wrong.

Continue Reading »

I can change the rate at which I learn things. So can you. It doesn’t depend on topic or natural inclination. It doesn’t depend on intelligence. It’s all in how I set up my learning experience.

I am not a professional instructional designer but I pair with them. I am a professional coach. And I am a professional learner. Here are the techniques I use to learn, instruct, and coach more effectively. I hope you find them useful. Continue Reading »

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