Maths challenge

January 6, 2014


My son was given this challenge for his school homework tonight: Pick a number in the range 2-100. Next, pick a number that is a factor or a multiple of the first, again using only the numbers 2-100. Continue like this, building a chain of numbers in the range 2-100 in which each number is […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Reflections on a day of mob programming

December 3, 2013


Last week one of the teams I coach was given a day to build a proof of concept for a new business idea. I thought that #MobProgramming might be a good fit for the day’s activities, so here’s what happened. There were five of us in the team for the day: three developers, one product […]

Posted in: extremeprogramming


October 9, 2013


I’ve recently been doing some coaching at the BBC in Media City, Salford. During the first couple of weeks my commute home always took 90 minutes; then on maybe one day per week I got home in 65 minutes; now it usually takes 65 minutes, and only occasionally (maybe one day per week) takes 90 minutes. I […]

Posted in: lean

On conference formats

September 28, 2013


Matt Wynne just blogged about conferences that have a high proportion of curated content, and how that can seem to create an undesirable rock-star culture in which very few of the attendees participate actively. I didn’t attend the conference that sparked Matt’s thoughts, but I do tend to agree with his sentiments. Here are a […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

The trouble with passwords

August 25, 2013


Recently I’ve been using other people’s computers a lot more often, because I’m working away from my home office most of the time. And because of this I noticed a serious flaw in the strategy I had used for choosing passwords: they were all the same! I had chosen a very strong password that was […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Query actions in Rails controllers

May 14, 2013


Recently some of my controller actions have taken on a definite new shape. Particularly when the action is a read-only query of the app’s state. Such actions tend to make up the bulk of my apps, and they can be simple because they are unlikely to “fail” in any predictable way. Here’s an example from […]

Why shorter methods are better

January 30, 2013


TL;DR Longer methods are more likely to need to change when the application changes. The Longer Story Shorter methods protect my investment in the code, in a number of ways. First: Testability. I expect there to be a correlation between method length (number of “statements”) and the number of (unit) test cases required to validate the method […]

Posted in: adaptability, quality

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