Dave's Notebook

You Aren’t Doing Scrum If…

You Aren't Doing Scrum If...I’ve been frustrated lately by the flippant use of the words “Scrum” and “Agile” in our industry.

Actually, I’m STILL frustrated. I originally wrote this article January 2015. Not only is it still true. It is more true.

Our industry has been treating Scrum and Agile as “buzzwords that mean nothing.” These words get slapped onto job requirements like the typical requirements we’ve all seen.

  • Must be able to communicate
  • Must be able to work in a team environment
  • Must be able to work under pressure
  • Must be able to work in an Agile environment

What’s really funny is when I see

  • Meet tight deadline
  • Expert in Agile

together in the same job request.

And even if it doesn’t show up in the job description. Once you get into the organization, you find out they are no different than any other organization. All those promises about running “Agile” or “Scrum” as a well of figuring out how long a project will take fly right out the window as soon as a manager wants something done by a specific date.

If management ain’t Agile, ain’t no one Agile.

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An Angular Application Architecture That Works

The purpose of this article is to specify a working architecture that everyone can use for any Angular applications. This architecture aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Ensure that all parts of an application have a home so that anyone can pick up any application that uses this architecture and modify the application without having to learn where everything lives.
  • Reduce the overall complexity of any one application by using well-established design patterns that work within the Angular ecosystem.
  • Reduce the number of bugs introduced into an application by reducing the need for duplicate code.

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What If Unit Testing Wasn’t Necessary? #noTDD

I recently read (yet another) post proposing that TDD “doesn’t work” and that we shouldn’t use it, or should use it very little. What was shocking about this article wasn’t the content, but the fact that it is hosted on a Microsoft site.

While I’m not entirely on board with throwing out TDD, the one thing I will agree to is that learning TDD is difficult. I am also willing to admit that, to a large extent, TDD is broken. If you’ve been following my post for a while, this SHOULD be shocking news.

And so, I’ve been thinking.

Maybe we’ve been asking the wrong question. Maybe, instead of asking “How do we encourage people to implement TDD?” We should be asking, “How do we make TDD either unnecessary, or trivial to implement?”

Photo credit: abraham.williams via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA

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TypeScript Basics for Angular Developers

For the most part, TypeScript feels a lot like JavaScript. Most people pick it up without having any formal training.

But, here’s the deal. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

The thing that makes me most nervous about Angular is that it is structured so that you can write some really clean code. But, you don’t have to. Which mean most won’t.

In fact, recruiters continue to contact me about Angular jobs with rates that make it obvious that hiring an Angular programmer is the same as hiring an HTML “programmer” 10 years ago. Sorry gang, JavaScript has grown up and so has Angular.

So, here are a few things you need to know about TypeScript that will make you a better Angular developer.

Photo credit: MIKI Yoshihito. (#mikiyoshihito) via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

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The Tyranny of Emotions

Emotions are a weird element of being human. They can propel us forward or hold us back. Sometimes they are violent. Most of the time they whisper.

Several events have occurred recently that have me thinking about this more.

To start with, I’ve started paying more attention to my health. There were a lot of things holding me back from this in the past. It turns out, most of what was holding me back was just a lie.

I’ve started interviewing again. The nature of what I do means I get to do this a lot. You’d think I’d get used to it. But, I don’t like the interview process. I don’t like changing jobs. I really don’t like code interviews. But, I do them because I like to program for a living.

And for those of you who know me, just because I’m interviewing doesn’t mean I don’t like where I am and have any intention of leaving. I interview when I have work so I still have the skill when I don’t have work. And who knows? I may just find something I like better than where I am.

Some of the interviews I’ve been on have revealed that managers think in similar short-term ways that I have. Short-term thinking is so easy to see when it is someone else.

Photo credit: whinmobzappmedia via VisualHunt / CC BY

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Where To Store Angular Configurations

Because this is a frequent problem, because it is so often done incorrectly and because there is a great alternative, today I want to discuss where to store Angular configurations. You know, all that information that changes as you move from your local development environment to the Development, QA and Production servers?

There’s a place for that!

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VMWare's Clarity Design System for Angular

Unless you are a CSS wizard, you are probably using one of two CSS frameworks for your Angular projects or some sort of adaptation of them. Bootstrap or Angular Material. These have served us well, but they have one major flaw. They target the “Mobile First” method of design. This is great if your application must work on a mobile device. But most corporate web applications target web applications.

Have you ever heard any of these objections from your end users?

  • Why is everything so big?
  • Why can’t I have the label NEXT to the input field?

And then you explain, it is so the screen can run on a mobile device and you hear, “But, this application will never run on a mobile device!” Which is a valid point.

Therefore, I was so excited to hear that VMWare has finally taken up the challenge of creating a Desktop First CSS Framework called Clarity.


Photo credit: Sean Hering Photography on Visual Hunt / CC BY

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The Full Stack Developer Myth

Once upon a time, there were Full Stack Developers, but as time progressed, they disappeared. Now, all we have are impostors. People trying to be full stack, but failing. The Full Stack Developer is now as obsolete as a unicorn.

Back when I started programming, you could get by only knowing one language and a couple of supporting “languages”.

My story is similar to many from my generation. I learned a little Basic to catch the programming bug. Then I tried Pascal and moved on to C before I went back to school where I learned COBOL, JCL and CICS. Mostly it was COBOL.

It didn’t take long to learn any of those languages because the language was the language. Things didn’t move quickly. CICS was simple. And we only needed enough JCL to get our programs to compile.


Photo credit: Avariel Falcon on Visual hunt / CC BY

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