Software Craftsmanship

Professionalism Pragmatism Pride

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About the Book

After decades and many different methodologies, software projects are still failing. Although there are many reasons why they fail, there are a few things that cannot be ignored: managers see software development as production line, companies do not know how to manage software projects and hire good developers, and many developers still behave like factory workers, providing a very poor service to their employers and clients. With the advent of Agile methodologies, the software industry gave a big step forward, however, the percentage of failing software projects are still incredibly high. Why is it? Why are we so bad at it? What is missing?

Although the term has been around for over a decade, it was just in recent years that Software Craftsmanship emerged as a viable solution for many of the problems the software industry faces today. Proposing a very different mindset for developers and companies, a strong set of technical disciplines and practices, mostly based on Extreme Programming, and with a great alignment with Agile methodologies, Software Craftsmanship promises to take our industry to the next level, promoting professionalism, technical excellence, the death of the production line and factory workers attitude.

How can we become better developers? How can we make our companies deliver better software projects? With real stories and practical advices for developers and companies, this book is recommended to all software developers and every professional directly involved in a software project.

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Table of Contents

    • Preface
      • About This Book
    • Acknowledgements
    • About the author
  • I Part I - Ideology & Attitude
    • 1 Software Development
      • Seniority
      • A new reality
    • 2 Agile
        • Process-oriented disciplines
        • Technical-oriented disciplines
      • What is it to Be Agile?
        • A game-changer
        • People empowerment
        • Professional evolution
      • Agile Manifesto
        • Principles behind the Agile Manifesto
      • The Agile Transformation Era
      • The Agile Hangover
        • A partial transformation
          • Agile Coaches
          • Rejecting technical practices
          • A naive approach to software projects
        • But it’s not all bad news
      • Agile vs. Software Craftsmanship
    • 3 Software Craftsmanship
        • A better metaphor
          • What does Wikipedia say?
          • A more personal definition
          • The shortest definition
        • Beyond definitions
        • Craft, Trade, Engineering, Science or Art
      • A bit of history
        • The Software Craftsmanship Summit
        • Crossing borders
        • Craftsman Swap
        • Software Craftsmanship Communities
      • The Software Craftsmanship Manifesto
        • The Manifesto
        • Software Craftsmanship Values
        • The problem with the manifesto
    • 4 The Software Craftsmanship Attitude
      • Who owns our career?
        • Employer / Employee relationship
      • Keeping ourselves up to date
      • Know whom to follow
        • Social media
      • Practice, practice, practice
        • Katas
        • Pet project(s)
        • Open Source
        • Pair programming
      • Socialise
      • Deliberate Discovery
      • Work-Life Balance
        • Creating time
        • Focus: The Pomodoro Technique
        • Balance
    • 5 Heroes, Goodwill and Professionalism
      • Learning how to say NO
        • An epic failure
        • Lesson learned
        • Being professional
      • Providing options
        • An unexpected and viable option
      • Enlightened managers
    • 6 Working Software
        • Working Software is not enough
        • Looking after our garden
      • The Invisible Threat
        • Hostage of your own software
        • Hire craftsmen, not average developers
      • The Wrong Notion of Time
        • A Technical Debt Story
          • We want to do the right thing
        • A busy team with no spare time
          • We don’t have time but apparently someone else does
        • The Unit Test task card
        • Using time wisely
          • A few months later
      • Legacy code
        • A change in attitude
        • Personal and client satisfaction
    • 7 Technical Practices
      • The Right Thing vs. The Thing Right
      • Context
      • Extreme Programming history
      • Practices and values
        • Adding value through practices
          • Automated testing
          • Test First
          • Test-Driven Development (TDD)
          • Continuous Integration
          • Pair programming
          • Refactoring
      • Accountability
      • Pragmatism
    • 8 The Long Road
      • Focus and determination
        • But what if we don’t know where we are going?
      • Job as investment
      • Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose
      • Career inside companies
  • II Part II - A full transformation
    • 9 Recruitment
      • Too busy to interview
      • No job descriptions
        • What if a job description is needed?
        • A job is not just a job
      • Recommendations
      • Community involvement
      • Defining an effective filtering criteria
      • Summary
    • 10 Interviewing Software Craftsmen
      • A business negotiation
      • Identifying productive partnerships
        • A hiring company’s perspective
        • A candidate’s perspective
      • Good interviews
        • The right focus
        • Mind mapping a conversation
        • Pair-programming interview
          • Bring your own computer
        • Tailor-made interviews
      • Taking a punt
      • Hiring for an existing team or for a totally new team?
      • Pre-interview coding exercises
      • A whole team activity
      • Final considerations
    • 11 Interview Anti-patterns
      • Smart-ass interviewer
      • Brainteasers
      • Asking questions which you don’t know the answer
      • Trying to make the candidate look like a fool
      • No Internet
      • Coding on a piece of paper
      • Algorithms
      • Phone interviews
    • 12 The Cost of Low Morale
      • The Agile Hangover: Low Morale
      • The cost of employing 9-to-5 developers
      • Constrained by lack of motivation
      • Making an impact
    • 13 Culture of Learning
      • Creating a culture of learning
        • Book club
        • Tech lunch (Brown Bag Session)
        • Group discussions (Roundtables)
        • Switching projects for an iteration
          • Switching projects for a few hours
        • Group code reviews
        • Hands-on coding sessions
          • Technology specific vs. Technology agnostic
        • Internal communities of practice
        • Pet-project time
        • External technical communities
      • What if others don’t want to join in?
        • Be an example
        • Focus on those who care
        • Don’t force
        • Few people, big improvements
        • Avoid consensus delays
        • Don’t ask for authorisation
        • Don’t complicate
        • Establish a rhythm
    • 14 Driving Technical Changes
      • Identifying scepticism patterns
      • Be prepared
      • Where do we start?
        • Establish trust
          • Gain expertise
        • Lead by example
        • Choose your battles
        • Iterate, inspect, and adapt
      • Fear and Incompetence
      • How do I convince my manager?
      • How do I convince my team to do TDD?
      • Facing the sceptics
        • The Ivory-Tower Architect
          • Responsibility vs. Accountability
        • The Wronged
      • Should we really care about all that?
    • 15 Pragmatic Craftsmanship
      • Busting the “expensive and time-consuming quality” myth
        • Do we need to test-drive everything?
      • Refactoring
      • The “one way” of developing software
      • Helping the business
        • A simple and quick solution
      • Software projects are not about us
      • Great vs. mediocre
      • Four Rules of Simple Design
        • Design patterns
        • Refactoring to patterns
      • Craftsmanship and pragmatism
    • 16 A Career as a Software Craftsman
      • Being a craftsman
        • Honesty and courage
      • Career progression
        • Different ladders
      • Roads and milestones
        • Building our careers, one job at a time
        • What if we don’t know where we want to go?
      • Job diversity
      • The mission

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