What to document in agile projects?

A posting in the Agile and Lean Software Development group on LinkedIn inspired me to think about the amount and type of documentation that should be created in agile projects. It is a misconception, if developers think that agile methods do not require any written documents. Here are a few (I think the most important)…
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Does responsibility mean to follow the rules?

There’s a misconception about responsibility that probably starts to establish in our brains during childhood. When we grow up, we get taught that responsibility means to follow the established rules of society (including our parents and the various educational institutions), which indeed is a good start. Now, the challenges we face in large software projects are…
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Self-organization in agile teams

For years, I was arguing against the believe that agile teams are actually self-organizing (like a flock of birds), because every practitioner knows that there is a lot of active organization and planing needed for a software project to be successful – especially in agile environments. If the management doesn’t care, the team will barely feel the…
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Howto: Modify block format options dropdown in WordPress (TinyMCE)

There is an easy way to modify the block format options dropdown in the WordPress editor. Simply add those lines to your theme’s functions.php (wp-content/themes/{name}/functions.php) and modify the list according to your needs: function extend_tiny_mce_defaults ($config) { // comma separated list of any block-level HTML tag $config[‘theme_advanced_blockformats’] = ‘p,h3,h4,pre,address’; return $config; } add_filter(‘tiny_mce_before_init’, ‘extend_tiny_mce_defaults’, 100);

David Parnas: Most of the software we see or buy is ugly

Nevertheless, in spite of such helpful articles and many textbooks on software design, software jewels remain rare. Most of the software we see or buy is ugly, unreliable, hard to change, and certainly not something that [Niklaus] Wirth or [Edsger] Dijkstra would admire. If published papers contain the secret of success for software, shouldn’t we…
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Configuring Ubuntu/Xubuntu and Apache 2 for local development environments

Most Web server howtos out there are concerned with production environments, where you need a high level of performance and security. As a developer who runs Apache 2 on localhost, you have other requirements, such as quick configuration and flexibility. It’s inconvenient to edit (usually copy & paste) your virtual hosts configuration and add entries…
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Niklaus Wirth about complexity

On both sides of this fence, complexity has and will maintain a strong fascination for many people. It is true that we live in a complex world and strive to solve inherently complex problems, which often do require complex mechanisms. However, this should not diminish our desire for elegant solutions, which convince by their clarity…
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Howto: Become a great Software Engineer

After working in the industry for over a decade, this is my personal summary of the key elements for a successful and satisfying career as software engineer (and a reminder to myself): Contribute to open-source projects – ideally applications or libraries you already use yourself. Don’t blame me, if you end up “working” in your spare time. Read…
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Howto: Write an iPhone app with PhoneGap

PhoneGap lets you write smartphone apps with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. No need to learn Objective-C or get used to proprietary C/C++ libraries. Sounds good in theory, but how easy is it really? I found the official documentation a little bit confusing, so I wrote this streamlined howto while I’ve been testing PhoneGap myself. If you got…
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