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Blog post summary: Accountability in Software Development by Kent Beck

A summary of Accountability in Software Development, by Kent Beck


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Blog post summary: Quality Assurance is Not About Testing

The following is a summary of Quality Assurance is Not About Testing by Matt Lievertz. I have also incorporated some elements of his earlier The Death of the Non-Coding QA Role post too.


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Software Laws

Some “laws” that are particularly relevant in software development…


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2022 VOID Report Summary

The following is a summary of the 2022 VOID report.

The original is ~10,000 words. This is ~1500.


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2022 Books

A short review of some of the books I read in 2022…


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Your team is not a democracy

TLDR: During a difficult team discussion, holding an impromptu vote to resolve the issue is rarely the right move. Trust your team but, as the manager, you may have critical information that your team does not and you are ultimately responsible. It is OK to make decisions that go against the majority view.


Imagine you are a manager on a team. The team is debating a thorny issue. There is disagreement on the best way to move forward and someone suggests putting it to a vote. As the manager, should you let the majority decide?

My own personal take is that as a manager, putting it to a vote is rarely the right move.

It is certainly your duty to stimulate debate. Encourage everyone to speak up, and ensure anyone who can’t seem to get a word in is given space. You should challenge the team into creative and out-of-the box thinking.

Ultimately you, as the leader of the team, need to make the call however. Why?


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ThoughtWorks Technology Radar v26

The latest, 26th, Tech Radar version from the folks at ThoughtWorks is now available.

As usual, it covers a range of technologies across 4 categories (Platforms, Techniques, Languages & Frameworks, Tools), rated on a scale of:

  • Adopt: Strongly recommend
  • Trial: Worth pursuing
  • Assess: Worth understanding
  • Hold: Proceed with caution

I’ve picked out some of the things I found most useful/interesting/relevant for me below, but I recommend checking it out in full at


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Blog post summary: Maker vs. Manager

Someone pointed me to this Maker vs. Manager: How Your Schedule Can Make or Break You post recently. There is no published date, but I don’t think it is new (but it is timeless). It is only a 10 minute read itself, but some notes…

“A woodpecker can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay busy. Or he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner.”— Seth Godin, The Dip


2021 Books

Some short reviews of some of the books I read in 2021…

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”

― Sir Francis Bacon


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Webinar summary: How to write job postings that actually work.

The following are some of the key points I took from this “How to write job postings that actually work” webinar, from Katrina Kibben, the Founder & CEO of Three Ears Media.


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Blog post summary: We need to talk about testing

I liked this “We need to talk about testing” post from Dan North. It’s about what testing actually means and how programmers and testers can work together. A summary (or copy & paste of the parts that I found most interesting, with some comments) below…

The purpose of testing is to increase confidence for stakeholders through evidence.


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Blog post summary: Shipping fast and safe by Kesha Mykhailov at Intercom

I like this “Shipping fast and safe: Building a culture of low-risk learning” article by Kesha Mykhailov at Intercom.

Some highlights…


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Modern Software Testing

As a follow on from my last post about Martin Fowlers article on Testing Shapes e.g. Pyramid and Trophy), Tim Bray‘s post on modern software testing (or, “Testing in the Twenties” as he titled it) caught my eye. Bray believes that these Testing Shapes are “misshapen blobs” that are all “seriously wrong in important ways”. I do like people with opinions 🙂


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Searching in Twitter

I’ve lost count of the number of times when I have read a tweet, and later wanted to refer back to it but struggled to find it. So, mainly for own benefit, I am adding some notes here on how to search Twitter.

The best starting place is usually

But you can also search directly in the main Twitter app using syntax like this

“good read” (from:shaunabram)

to return all tweets (from me, in this case) with the exact phrase, “good read”


good read (from:shaunabram)

to return all tweets from me with either the words “good” or “read” in them.


How much is your slow lead time costing you?

In a previous blog post, I discussed slow build times and estimated the associated costs. The build process is only one part of getting software out the door however.

Lead time is the time it takes to go from code committed to successfully running in production. This will include the build time we covered in the previous blog post, as well as all the other things required to get your code into users hands such as testing & deployments. This article focuses on the costs of that lead time.

Using the example of a team of 10 engineers, I estimate that the costs of a slow (one week) lead time could be the approximate equivalent of more than 3 engineers, or $400,000 per year. And I think it’s entirely possible that is on the low side since there are other costs that are just difficult to estimate. Imagine how much more you could achieve with 3+ extra engineers on the team.

Charity Majors goes further (discussed below) and suggests that reducing the lead time to hours could save the cost of 5 engineers on such a team. I was initially skeptical on that claim, but after trying out these estimates, she think may well be more accurate that my possibly over-conservative math.


A big thank you to my former colleagues Dave Taubler, Abhijit Karpe, Josh Outwater and Steve Mauro for providing feedback and input on this article.

Most of the feedback took issue with some aspect of the estimates, which is fair, but the common theme seemed to be that everyone agreed that there is a very real cost to slow lead times, that it is high, and that using data where you can and estimates where needed is a good way to surface and highlight that cost.



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