Every creature, living or artificial, is learning through the interactions with its environment all the time. It is learning not only from other creatures it interacts with, but also from the context in which these interactions take place. When an environment becomes defined by such contextual mutual learning through interaction, it becomes a creature in its own right - an entity famously named by Nora Bateson as Symmathesy. Today we talk with Jessica Kerr, a developer at Atomist and an expert in development automation, about the ways of transforming your development team into a symmathesy. When you finish listening to the episode, make sure to take a listen of Jessica’s own podcasts Greater than Code and Arrested DevOps, and to read her blog at http://jessitron.com.
To successfully lead a team, we must understand why our team members do what they do. To help us unpack that, we need to dig deep into their subconscious and explore their unconscious behavior which underlines most of human actions. Today we speak with Mike Bowler, a long-time Agile technical coach and a trained hypnotist with the interest in neuroscience and psychology, about techniques that help us understand unconscious behaviors. Mike explains the clean language technique developed by David Grove in the 1980s, offers a fresh look at hypnosis and links all of this to coding and software development. When you finish listening to the episode, make sure to visit Mike’s website www.unconsciousagile.com for more resources on unconscious behavior and hypnosis.
We all strive to be “full stack” developers, but many of us feel more comfortable with either back-end or front-end programming. Today we talk with Jan Jorgensen, a front-end developer who also enjoys mending legacy applications. Jan works in the Copenhagen based UX research company and is an expert in adding front-end tooling to render components in a monolithic rails app and taking advantage of modern tools instead of writing the apps from scratch. Jan breaks down the main characteristics of front-end development, discusses good practices, opens for us his toolbox and explains how all of this fits into the legacy code maintenance and upgrading. And as an extra, you’ll hear how nomadic lifestyle and coding go together!
What does legacy code mean to you? Is it a valuable code that is hard to change or a code you are simply afraid to change; a code that makes you money or a code you are ashamed of? In today’s episode we deep dive into the quest for the most interesting and influential definitions of legacy code with Amitai Schleier. Amitai is true renaissance man - a software development coach, legacy code wrestler, consultant, non-award-winning musician and award-winning bad poet. Amitai regularly contributes code and direction to notable open-source projects such as NetBSD, pkgsrc, ikiwiki, and qmail. When you finish listening to this episode, you should check out Amitai’s micropodcast “Agile in 3 Minutes”, his articles on legacy code and other topics, and last, but not least, you should relax with his piano performance of Medtner at the International Rachmaninoff Conference.
Lasting success is not measured by past achievements but by the ability to change and adapt to new developments and new demands. Nowhere does the change face more suspicion and distrust than in large enterprises with their established policies, practices and procedures, large bureaucracies, compartmentalized silos and, above all, undeniable past successes. Today we talk with Christine Chrys Sills, the Organization, Change, and Program Manager at Liatrio about DevOps transformations and how to bring change to large enterprises confident in their established ways.
The mere fact that any particular legacy code is still in use is a testament of its sustainability. Today we talk with Dr. Carola Lilienthal, the CEO of the Workplace Solutions and the author of Sustainable Software Architecture about the importance of a good structure for the durability of a software. Building upon her experience dissecting more than 300 software systems of various sizes, Carola shares with us her philosophy, methodology, tools and criteria for assessing the sustainability of a system and explains how to structure any software around its fundamental building blocks in order to achieve its durability.
The idea of a “lone genius” unleashing software marvels on the world is mostly a myth. Almost all good software is a product of the exchange of ideas, continuous discussions, and collaborations. Today we talk with Coraline Ada Ehmke - the creator of the Contributor Covenant and the laureate of the Ruby Hero Award - about the importance of kindness and empathy in coding. From creating safe spaces for discussions and exchange of ideas, through introducing empathy into understanding user needs and collaborators’ concerns, to creating a kinder programming language and the code itself - Coraline shares her thoughts with us on the whys and hows of kindness in software industry. When you are done with the episode, make sure to visit Coraline’s web-site.
The key to understanding real (rather than perceived) goals of any technological project is to understand the people served by that technology. Today, we talk with Alok Sharma, a founding partner of the technology project management consultancy firm Sharma Analytics. Alok gives us a deep insight into his tripartite approach to rationalizing, selecting, planning, and managing technology in small to mid-sized organizations. After discussing the three key elements of his analytical approach -- people, processes, and data -- he explains why understanding people takes precedence over the two other components if a project is to succeed. When you finish listening to this episode, check out Alok’s video blog which gives many insights to managers on how they should think about technology in their organizations.
We take mental shortcuts every day in order to save our energy while achieving satisfactory results. These shortcuts, or heuristics, are in fact so mentally economical, that we are mostly not even aware of them! Yet, we use them all the time. In this episode, we talk with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock about heuristics we use in software design and why is it important to be aware of them. Rebecca is an object oriented design pioneer and an inventor of responsibility driven object design. She currently serves as a director of the Agile Alliance Experience Report Initiative and as a president of the Wirfs-Brock Associates consulting firm. When you are done with this episode, make sure to visit Rebecca’s blog where you will learn much more about design heuristics.
Edaqa Mortoray grew up programming. From interface design to scientific simulations, including video games and development products, he has coded a bit of everything. He is the author of the book “What is Programming?” and he runs a successful programming blog and a podcast. We talk with Edaqa about why every member of software development team should know who their user is and what their needs are. He then shares with us some good practices for defensive coding in this age of global users. When you are done with the episode, and if you want to hear more about the user-focused software design, make sure to watch Edaqa’s class on Skillshare.
According to Evgeny Demchenko, technical debt and financial debt have many things in common - if used strategically, they accelerate growth, if not repaid diligently, they hinder it. Evgeny is a CTO of an O2O talent sourcing platform Top Twenty Talent and one of the organizers of the Beijing Python Meetup. He is specialized in building startups, managing complex systems and refactoring code. We talk with Evgeny about his passion for refactoring and he shares with us his technical debt philosophy, his workflow and his favorite tools of the trade.
Marcus Blankenship is a technical leadership author, coach and speaker, helping great programmers and coders to become great tech leaders of the future. He is the author of the book “Habits That Ruin Your Technical Team: Pitfalls and Solutions for Technical Managers”. Marcus tells us what technical leadership is and how technical-experts-turn-leaders can fight their impulses to resolve problems themselves and start empowering their teams to resolve them instead. After you finish with the episode, check out Marcus’s web site at https://marcusblankenship.com/ where you will find plethora of resources and workshops.
Johanna Rothman is a “pragmatic manager” and longtime leader in the software development community. She has written over a dozen books on various aspects of shipping successful software applications. On this episode, Johanna shares with us how she got into working with legacy code, how long does it take for a greenfield project to become a legacy project, do the resource limitations constrain or boost creativity and what is the role of management in a creative process. When you finish listening to the episode, you can check out Johanna’s website at www.jrothman.com where you will find an amazing collection of her workshops and training tools and materials.
Esther Derby started her career as a developer who loved machines and struggled with people. Now, she’s one of the world’s top experts in organizational dynamics and a leading thinker on bringing agility to organizations, management and teams. Esther playfully shares with us her intimate story of personal growth from being a satisfied solo coder to a team builder and gives us all some practical tips for learning skills that might be just outside our comfort zone.
In today’s episode, we chat with Lisa Crispin, Testing Advocate at Mabl, the co-author of the Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams and one of the most influential testing professionals in the industry. Join us to hear about the significance of the whole team approach, collaboration and feedback in testing, and how the cues of success through teamwork can come from even the most unexpected sources – including from the miniature donkeys!
In 2016, Taylor Jones was in a car crash that impacted his vision severely. After recovery, he has continued to code and design for the web even though he's blind. In this moving conversation, we talk with him about accessibility and how his development practices have changed.