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Nov
4
comment How to get good design when using agile methods?
+1: Very interesting answer. Agile supporters would tell you that you should have broken up your 6-week story into smaller stories. I once was given a similar advice and I replied that my six 1-week stories would have had lots of dependences between each other: because even if I change my work plan, I cannot change the problem domain. I got no answer on this: agile often assumes that you can break up your work on small, independent stories, but in the real world this is not always the case.
Oct
28
comment How to sell Agile development to (waterfall) clients
@Eric: I have worked on a 18-month project using the V-model (non-agile) and features were developed one after another. Some features were finished after 2 months, others were finished after 4 months, and so on. At the end there was a final system test in which all features were tested together, but some features were ready pretty early. I do not understand why a lot of people assume that only agile methodologies allow to complete some features early. I am referring to your answer to Dunk's comment.
Oct
28
comment How to sell Agile development to (waterfall) clients
Very well-motivated and balanced answer. +1.
Oct
28
comment How to sell Agile development to (waterfall) clients
"Also, the money always runs out.": Not true, there are many waterfall projects that are delivered on time and on budget. Waterfall is more suitable for mission-critical projects with relatively fixed requirements, agile for more dynamic projects in which a lot of prototyping is needed to get the requirements right. BTW, it is not agile versus waterfall: there are many other non-agile development processes beside waterfall.
Oct
28
comment How to sell Agile development to (waterfall) clients
"So, we end up looking bad to the client because we can't fix the price or a deadline but our competitors can.": If some clients feel better with a clear deadline and price, why do you want to impose a different model?
Oct
28
reviewed Leave Open Empirical evidence for choice of programming paradigm to address a problem
Oct
28
reviewed Close Trace code pascal
Oct
26
comment Is committing/checking in code everyday a good practice?
@N4TKD: Why? Because they'd fear you want to steal the code? If an office has so little trust in their employees I wouldn't want to work for them. Anyway, using a second hard disk or a network drive, or working in a separate branch are all possible alternatives.
Oct
24
comment What are the safety benefits of a type system?
@jozefg: I always thought that strongly typed meant that each value has a fixed type (e.g. integer, string, etc), whereas weakly typed means that a value can be coerced to a value of another type, if it is considered convenient to do so. E.g., in Python (strongly typed), 1 + "1" throws an exception, whereas in PHP (weakly typed) 1 + "1" produces 2 (string "1" is automatically converted to integer 1).
Oct
22
comment Why do programming languages allow shadowing/hiding of variables and functions?
@Jan Hudec: I have written this idea, together with other ideas I had on this topic, in an answer.
Oct
22
revised Why do programming languages allow shadowing/hiding of variables and functions?
deleted 20 characters in body
Oct
22
answered Why do programming languages allow shadowing/hiding of variables and functions?
Oct
21
reviewed Leave Open Why do programming languages allow shadowing/hiding of variables and functions?
Oct
21
comment Why do we use story points instead of man days when estimating user stories?
You wrote that "Different people work at different rates! If you use 'man days' you pretty much have to change the time estimate when a task is passed from one developer to another." For exactly the same reasons, if you estimate in story points, you have to change the estimate in terms of velocity (story points / sprint) when a task is passed from one developer to another: a slower developer needs more time per story point. Regarding point 2: unfortunately it is not always possible to have different teams working on different areas of the product.
Oct
21
comment Why do we use story points instead of man days when estimating user stories?
Regarding point 1. The idea is that if the team gets more familiar with the technologies needed for the project, their velocity will increase and the relative size of stories, measured in story points will stay the same. But what if two user stories require different knowledge? E.g. you have a front-end user story to be done in Javascript / HTML and a back-end user story to be done in Java. As the team learns more about Javascript, HTML and Java, they find out that the front-end part is much easier than the back-end part and the relative estimations of the stories are wrong again.
Oct
21
comment Why do we use story points instead of man days when estimating user stories?
@PhD: "SP estimates don't decay i.e. a few months from now a 5 point story is still likely to be 5 points, but an ideal day estimate may change depending on the acquired development skill/speed of that particular programmer": This implicitly assumes that the team will improve its skills uniformly in all areas of the project. I do not see why this should always be the case: some parts of a project (and technologies required for them) might turn out to be harder than others, making the initial estimate of relative complexities in story points invalid.
Oct
21
comment Why do we use story points instead of man days when estimating user stories?
Regarding point 2: how does story point solve this? You estimate a story as 4 story points. You give it to a faster programmer and it takes 4 days. You give it to a slow programmer and it takes 8 days. It seems to me that the problem is not solved but just moved around.
Oct
21
comment Why do programming languages allow shadowing/hiding of variables and functions?
Another disadvantage of forbidding shadowing is that adding a global variable might break the code because the variable had already been used in a local block.
Oct
21
comment Languages like Tcl that have configurable syntax?
@boost: I understand: Lisp has a reputation (with which I disagree) of being difficult to read.
Oct
21
comment How to cut the line between quality and time?
I think we agree: in each situation one must decide whether to optimize in the short term or to think more long-term.