Saturday, September 27, 2008

Some books for agile programmers

I'm giving docs.google.com another try. I tried it over two years ago (wow, time flies) when Google Docs was still Writely. Oh, my prediction did come through (they got bought by Google), wuhu! So if this post gets doubly published it's because it got screwed up.

Update: docs.google.com didn't manage to publish the title properly. I also have to apply some tags manually. All the pictures and headings came through allright, though.

New books

I just got these books:

They're all from The Pragmatic Bookshelf, although I got them from Amazon (who sent them from New-Zealand, which gave me sort of a bad eco-concience for a while..) cause they were alot cheaper there.
The first title, The Pragmatic Programmer. Well, I'm sort of ashamed that I haven't read it before, being as famous as it is. However, I'm looking through the TOC, and I sort of get the feeling I've touched most of the points, either by hard realization and experience, or by advice from friends and colleagues. The book still provides me with a sturdy, well sorted and well formulated set of practices, which will help me communicate the QWAN to my consulted clients.
Practices of an Agile Developer looks like a follow-up to TPP. It's published in 2007, 7 years after. It seems to have more of a focus on collaboration and project management than on effective tool use (although the subjects do overlap). 
The last book is written by two guys working for SAS, neither are part of the original PP pair. I got it because it's been a long while since I read any modern works on agile development, and agile stuff is quickly turning into my pressure point for some reasons yet to be announced publically :)  The book also has a very nice looking section on Common problems and how to fix them. My team at work just shrunk down to 1,5 people, and we recently suffered almost a two month long sprint stumble (long story, and I'm still having trouble figuring out how I could've gotten it right). Hopefully the book has some advice I can apply to my own project.
All three books make up for three areas I care, and I think every IT-professional should care deeply about: Tools, languages and practices
just asked on twitter which book I should read first. I think I'll do Ship it! first, but might follow the advice of Olve and do TPP first. To be honest, after I finished studying I've been horrible at reading books. I have several books now that I started but never finished. 
Oh, here's a wordle of my blog:
Very flash. I can't for the life of me remember who's blog I just read who pointed me at it. Sorry. There are a bit too many normal English words in the cloud, but some of the words are nice: pretty, people, good, stuff :)
Ok, let's push this thing to Blogger and see how it goes..

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

JavaZone 2008 and GeekCruise

So, JavaZone is done. I did my presentation, tada (please view full screen to get rid of the chippy graphics):




I got good feedback. In short: The slides are funny and original, my presentation moves were allright (good voice, good gestures, movement around the stage), the content was pretty good and interesting. The talk was at an introductory level, and I feel I hit the audience pretty well. Will be very interesting to see the video, as well as getting the feedback.

I was also in the JavaZone arranging committee. You might've seen me scurrying around, commanding the guys in the orange T-shirts (they were the volunteers). It was alot of work, but it was alot of fun as well. Tomorrow evening we're throwing a party in their honour at the University, so if you're in the neighborhood, give me a ping and drop by.

But anyways, I didn't get too see many talks. Only one (excluding my own), to be honest, although I'm sure I could've squeezed into a couple of more. But you crowd could've gone a bit easier on the headsets! Jeez, it's called overflow because they're for when the rooms flow over.

  1. If the room is full, go to another talk
  2. If you can't find any place, get an overflow headset
  3. Don't sit or walk around with a headset all day, you ¤%&/(
We only had like 450 headsets, which should be plenty thinking the rooms fit over 1700 people. So people, no sitting around. It's a conference. If you want to look at video, stay at home and look on youtube, or Parleys.com, or TED or something.

Well, enough ranting. On friday we had a Objectware-VIP presentation from Sun, more specifically from Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine on GlassFish. It looks as sexy as ever, v2 and v3 for its respective uses. I figured my next little fiddling will be trying to replace our JettyLauncher with a GlassFishV3Launcher, but I doubt I'll be able to convince my customer into converting from WebSphere to GlassFish V2 just yet.

Geek Cruise
Saturday morning I was looking forward to a nice weekend of doing nothing else than relaxing, and I was lying in my bed when somebody called and dragged me along to the infamous GeekCruise! I had previously turned down the available slot because I hadn't had time to prepare myself (because of JavaZone), but Anders Norås backed out, so I had no excuse anymore. Thanks Anders :)

We were only 16 participants, among them some pretty respected people like, Rickard Öberg, Johannes Brodwall and Totto. Some new to me, but obviously very bright people: Emil Eifrem, Michael Hunger and Jon-Anders Teigen. A big part of the group were Objectware people, but hey, we paid for the stuff! And I'd better mention Kaare Nilsen since he saved my ass on saturday evening. Your site is not responding, btw, Kaare.



Alot of the discussions and content have been documented in our community wiki, but the real value I think was the insight some of us gained, and the input some others got to their respectful projects. Communicating all the knowledge that flowed on that cruise.. well, it's pretty hard to do in written form (and maybe that's exactly why such events are a *good thing*). And most importantly, I got some new friends.