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February, 2005:

A better FIT Framework

Following “Brian Marick”:, we’ve been introducing Rick Mugridge’s new “Fit Library”: on our project. It’s a great improvement, easier to read and easier to code (no more static fields to pass data between fixtures).

Like Brian, we’ve been debating over whether to repeat lines or use tables. I think in the end we have to fall back to the people who really matter and ask our customers which they prefer.

Project tourism

Martin Fowler talks about the benefits of “rotating staff through projects”:

Early in the life of the “Extreme Tuesday Club”: we used to swap odd programmer days between projects in different companies. It was very effective as a means of trading skills and bringing a new pair of eyes onto a code base.

One of the nice features of just swapping days is that we could do the whole thing “off the books”, without complicated arrangements between organisations, while getting most of the benefit of an official consultant review. It was also a good way to liven things up for developers when their own projects got a bit dull.

Programmer swapping is a good advertisement for the whole Agile approach. We were able to come into a project for a day and contribute immediately. Granted, we all shared a culture, but on most teams you’d have to start with a week of reading before you could talk to anyone.

Later on, I was at an early XP workshop at “OOPLSA”: where the group was thinking about ways to improve the practice of XP. After some brainstorming, the top technique they picked was cross-project visits.

Time to pick this one up again, I think.