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Showing posts from January, 2015

A Tool To Help You Estimate - Kind of

I think of Estimation is a necessary evil, but an evil all the same.  I read something once to the effect of, and unfortunately I'm paraphrasing as I can't find the original, "An estimate should inform a decision. If it is not informing a decision you should ask yourself why you're estimating in the first place." I can't remember where I read it, or who to attribute it to, but the premise resonates with me.  I've stuck the original quote up at work and bring it up if I'm asked for a frivolous estimate.  Obviously I don't feel the need to look at it, which implies that I'm not asked for frivolous estimates all that often.

Given how I feel about estimates (evil) I was greatly amused by this comic from Commit Strip the other day. It reminded me of a small app that I wrote, when I was first starting out developing software, to randomly generate estimates for me.  The original was crude but it gave me a laugh.  I've made a less crude version an…

Communication - The most important software development skill

I recently listened to an episode of Dot Net Rocks featuring John Sonmez focusing on working on your career.  One key point that John brought up was that the key skill that we as developers can need in today's environment is the ability to communicate effectively.  I've been pushing this same point of view for a while.  As I went though university I was aware the communication was important, but the scale of the importance didn't dawn on me until I worked with someone who was truly lacking in communication skills. For the purpose of this blog I will call him Thomas (not his real name obviously, it's actually part of mine).  

Thomas' integration with the team was a daily struggle, we could not exchange ideas or build a working relationship.  The team worked hard to include him and provide avenues for him to join in discussions that were work related and non work related.  I can only assume he was also working towards this goal, if he was, it was hard for the rest of…