Laptop with code on the screen Agile Development: Focusing on the Health of Your Code

In Scrum, the product owner and the ScrumMaster are supposed to drive sustainable development. But there's a third force missing from the formula: the health of the code itself. We often forget that our code is also a member of our team, and we have to be concerned about its health and well-being as much as any other team member. That means using practices to develop good code from the beginning.

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
Branching example Picking the Right Branch-Merge Strategy

A good branch-merge strategy facilitates processes among multiple developers and is the basis for any well-functioning DevOps pipeline that uses continuous integration. Let’s explore branching strategies, merging strategies, and how you can put them together in a way that’s right for your team in order to bring quality features to production faster.

Alan Crouch's picture Alan Crouch
Partially open computer showing a bright screen Software Development: An Industry of Amateurs

David Bernstein says the software industry is an industry of amateurs. It's a young field, and he doesn’t think it's yet graduated into a true profession. Here, David contrasts the software industry with other, more established fields, and he talks about what software professionals need to do in order for the industry to become accepted and esteemed.

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
A developer and a tester looking at each other warily Examining Cross-functionality Bias on Software Development Teams

Cross-functionality means having all the necessary people and skills on one self-organizing team. Unfortunately, the execution of cross-functionality is often biased. The main traps we fall into are misunderstanding the value of specialization, hero worship, and not “walking the cross-functional talk” as organizations. Let’s examine each of these pitfalls in the hope that your teams may avoid them.

Natalie Warnert's picture Natalie Warnert
A partially open laptop shows a colorful screen, photo by Ash Edmonds When Software Development Becomes a True Profession

David Bernstein describes the software profession as an industry of amateurs. He argues that it does not yet have many of the things that a true profession has, such as a defined path of entry or good apprenticeship opportunities. A big reason is that computer programming hasn't been around as long as other industries, but what else will it take for software to rise in the ranks?

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
Three different colored keys 3 Keys to Mastering Test-Driven Development

From his decade of teaching thousands of professional software developers how to be effective with test-driven development, David Bernstein has learned that there are three key ingredients for mastering TDD: understanding what it really is, making code reliably testable, and getting hands-on experience. Let’s look at each of these factors to see what it takes to use TDD effectively on your projects.

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
Sticky tags that say "Hello, my name is," photo by Jon Tyson What's in a Name? Build Better Software by Naming Classes and Methods Clearly

One of the most important things to pay attention to when writing software is how we name our symbols. Data and behavior should be named in a way that represents the essence of what we're trying to do. Naming affects understandability and reflects code quality, so use names that clearly communicate your intentions, and refactor those names when your intentions change.

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
Icon showing an automated system Why You Need to Be Doing Continuous Integration

It’s usually easy and inexpensive to set up a continuous integration environment for either an agile or a waterfall project. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of CI is the elimination of the integration phase that existed in traditional waterfall projects, where we typically slip the worst on deadlines. But there are many other benefits to continuous integration that you may not have considered.

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
Gardening photo by Benjamin Combs Find Your Metaphor for Agile Software Design

How you think about software design can have a big impact on how effective you are when you do it. All of us have different criteria for success, and some of them aren’t even conscious. We have to figure out what resonates for us so that we make the right choices, and we can get a clue about the right choices for us by looking at the metaphors we use when we talk about software.

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
Changeable code The Value of Test-Driven Development when Writing Changeable Code

Writing changeable code makes it easier and more cost-effective to add features to existing software. Writing changeable code doesn’t take longer, but it does require paying attention to certain things when building a system. It's important to have a good suite of unit tests that support refactoring code when needed, and test-driven development helps you create independently testable code.

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein


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