Pancake programming

About an hour ago I was again making pancakes while programming. 1 minute in the pan on each side for programming time, then 20 seconds of flipping our pouring in a new one as break or retrospective. This resembles the Pomodoro Technique, but at a much higher frequency.

I found the rhythm rather comfortable. I want to believe that in an uncertain environment short feedback cycles are more beneficial than longer, and I wasn’t quite sure where to go with the code at the time.

There could also be some primal resonance with the 1 min 20 sec period, but I haven’t done any research on that.

It could also be that I have a brain disorder, but I’ll ignore that possibility for now.


Getting HTML element screen position

In my struggle to make Bumblebee fit for documenting web sites using Selenium, I need to crop screen-shots to show only a certain element of a web page, e.g. a certain menu or a cell in a table, instead of showing the whole screen every time. In order to do so I need to know the position of an element relative to the screen.

Start Paying your Technical Debt – The Mikado Method

[at we will put more information on the Mikado Method]

A couple of years ago, Ola Ellnestam and I was working on a project where the code was a big ball of mud, or at least well on the way there. Global variables and singletons all across the code base, circular dependencies, deep and fragile inheritance hierarchies etc. The Technical Debt was everywhere.


All of a sudden we were supposed to deliver to a new client and the interest on our loan went through the roof. The reptile response from several developers on the team was to copy most parts of the code base to a new project and modify the code there. This would double our debt, but decrease the interest temporarily, until the next client would drop in. We fought with all we got to avoid doubling our debt and in the end we had convinced everybody that we could re-factor the code-base, just give us a week or two…


Speaking at SDC2009!

Together with Ola Ellnestam, I will host a session at the Scandinavian Developer Conference 2009: Start paying your technical debt! at 17.15 in the Development Process & Methodology track.

We will talk about how to get organized around paying back technical debt that requires several iterations of work, while still delivering value and without having a broken code base in the process.

Physical visible workspace is just more robust!

Did you ever end up feeling crippled with yet another “agile” story management tool?


You get what you measure

Yesterday I watched Grand Designs on TV where a couple restored an old 1600-century house. They found that at least one window was shut with bricks and concrete (or the equivalent used at that time), but when they opened it up the whole room changed and the light and the view the window provided was beautiful.

The reason for shutting the window, as Kevin McCloud told, was that long ago there was a window-tax (!!) in England, hence a lot of windows where shut this way.

You get what you measure.


Two steps to become agile

A lot of companies today wants to become “agile”. The $100.000.000 question is: How do you become agile?


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