Author Archives: Bill Wake

Intensifying Stories Job Aid

"Intensifying stories" is an attempt to identify what can make a story (feature, capability) more potent. I've identified key features in a number of systems (perhaps 50), identified a rule or concept beneath those features, then generalized that to apply to … Continue reading

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Resources on Set-Based Design

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, yet I could travel both.” —Not Robert Frost   A reading list on set-based design (part of lean product development).   Applied Fluid Technologies. Information on boat design.   Baldwin, Carliss, and Kim … Continue reading

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Review: In Pursuit of the Unknown (Ian Stewart)

In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World, by Ian Stewart Stewart explores a variety of important equations, including: Pythagorean theorem, the normal curve, Newton's Law of Gravity, Fourier transforms, Black-Scholes Each equation gets a little one-page … Continue reading

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Intensifying Stories: Running with the Winners

For a given story headline, many interpretations are possible. These vary in their quality and sophistication. I call this the intensity or depth of a story. Story intensity is a knob you can control, dialing it down for earlier delivery, … Continue reading

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Review: Accelerando, by Charles Stross

Accelerando, by Charles Stross. Ace, 2006. This novel explores the Singularity: What happens when AI, uploading, and other variations of humanity (or non-humanity) start to happen. I was worried that a novel on this subject would basically be, "Computers take … Continue reading

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Valuable Stories in the INVEST Model

Of all the attributes of the INVEST model, "Valuable" is the easiest one to, well, value. Who is against value? We'll look at these key aspects: What is value? The importance of external impact Value for whom? What is Value? … Continue reading

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Article: When Software Smells Bad

Kevin Rutherford and I wrote this article for Better Software magazine; it was the cover article in the July/August 20122 issue. It demonstrates refactoring in Ruby, using a basic "todo" list application.  "When Software Smells Bad" (PDF), by Bill Wake … Continue reading

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Review: Structured Programming (Dahl, Dijkstra, and Hoare)

Structured Programming, by O.-J. Dahl, E.W. Dijkstra, and C.A.R. Hoare. Academic Press, 1972.  This year (2012) is the 40th anniversary of this text, but it holds up well. It consists of three essays: "Notes on Structured Programming" by E.W. Dijkstra … Continue reading

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Negotiable Stories in the INVEST Model

In the INVEST model for user stories, N is for Negotiable (and Negotiated). Negotiable hints at several important things about stories: The importance of collaboration Evolutionary design Response to change Collaboration Why do firms exist? Why isn't everything done by … Continue reading

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Job Aids

There are several examples of job aids on xp123.com; I've consolidate examples and related books on job aids at its sister site, jobaids.info

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The System Metaphor Explored

The System Metaphor is one of the less popular parts of Extreme Programming (XP). Newer descriptions often even omit it. But metaphor is useful – when you have  a good one, it really helps you understand and organize your system. … Continue reading

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Independent Stories in the INVEST Model

The INVEST model is a reminder of the important characteristics of user stories, and it starts with I for Independent. Independent stories each describe different aspects of a system's capabilities. They are easier to work with because each one can … Continue reading

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Review: Applying Domain-Driven Design and Patterns (Nilsson)

Applying Domain-Driven Design and Patterns: With Examples in C# and .NET, by Jimmy Nilsson. Addison-Wesley, 2006. Stir together Eric Evans' Domain-Driven Design with Martin Fowler's Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, mix in C# code, and you've got the flavor of this … Continue reading

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Review – Ruled Britannia (Turtledove)

Ruled Britannia, by Harry Turtledove. This is another of Harry Turtledove's alternative history novels. In this case, the Spanish Armada succeeded in the late 16th century, and Spain has taken over England. This is the time of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth, … Continue reading

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The Vision Thing: How Do You Charter? #agile2011

We held a "Fringe" session at Agile 2011 to discuss how people charter or kick off projects.  Elements of "Kickoff" [These are in no particular order.] Vision Release Criteria Success Criteria From and To State Business capability Solution vision Risks … Continue reading

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