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March, 2004:

OT2004

Just turned up at “OT2004”:http://www.ot2004.org. Fellow attendees with blogs that I know of:

* “Martin Fowler”:http://martinfowler.com/bliki/
* “Joe Walnes”:http://joe.truemesh.com/
* “Nat Pryce”:http://nat.truemesh.com/
* “James Roberston”:http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/blog/blogView#subscriptions


Cute lines

bq. Lisp is the “Burgess Shale”:http://www.burgess-shale.bc.ca/ of computation. Full of unusual byways of software evolution that never quite made the mainstream but were just as valid as the winners.

“Duncan McGregor”:http://www.oneeyedmen.com/ accidentally observed that

bq. Plans rarely survive contact with the Customer _(after von Moltke, German Chief of Staff, World War I)_

A Lesson in Sustainable Pace

Last week Tim Mackinnon, “Nat Pryce”:http://nat.truemesh.com/, “Joe Walnes”:http://joe.truemesh.com and I pulled out all the stops to get a paper written in time for “OOPSLA”:http://www.oopsla.org/2004/ShowPage.do?id=Home. The only way we could make it was to work overnight on Friday and we finally sent it in at about 5:00 Saturday morning (CyberChair runs on Samoan time, so a Friday deadline is about 11:00 on Saturday in London).

The moral of the tale? We were all pretty dazed the following week (well, in my case, more dazed than usual). Just like Financial Debt and Technical Debt, Physical Debt is useful when you need to borrow against the future, but it has to be paid off — and quickly. That’s why XP includes “Sustainable Pace”:http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?SustainablePace.

Sometimes you need to break the rules to remind yourself why they’re there.

Enablers and Problems

Martin Fowler writes about “Software Development Attitudes”:http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/SoftwareDevelopmentAttitude.html, distinguishing between Directers and Enablers. That links nicely with something Ward Cunningham said about “problems vs. difficulties”:http://www.artima.com/intv/simplest.html.
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Mickey tells it like is

Roy Disney speaking to Disney Shareholders on 3rd March 2004 and quoted “here”:http://brandautopsy.typepad.com/brandautopsy/2004/03/roy_disney_on_t.html#more
shows that he understands the reality of inellectual work. I’ve worked at too many places that feel like this, and too few that don’t.
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Ward hits the spot

In this interview, “Ward Cunningham”:http://c2.com talks about “The Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work”:http://www.artima.com/intv/simplest.html. He’s simply right.

Bertrand Meyer not completely right

In this “interview with Bertrand Meyer”:http://www.artima.com/intv/contest.html on Artima, Bertrand Meyer hopes that Test-Driven Development is like Design By Contract. Well, yes and no.
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