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Where to Find Prominent Voices in Software Other Than Twitter

Where to Find Prominent Voices in Software Other Than Twitter

Updated 6 Nov 22

Thousands of thoughtful and experienced software professionals use Twitter to share information and interact with one another. We’ve come to depend on Twitter as a source of information and interaction with colleagues.

With the recent changes at Twitter, many users are looking for alternative social media platforms. But many of us hesitate to “leave” Twitter because that’s where we find industry leaders in the software field, and we don’t want to miss out on what they have to teach us.

The most well-known of these typically use Twitter mainly as a publishing platform and for “reach” rather than for socializing. Therefore, our experience with them consists of reading whatever they post and following links to other Internet sites to read their articles and blog posts; listen to their podcasts; and watch their videos, conference talks, and interviews.

In other words, it isn’t a social relationship, but rather a producer-consumer relationship. For example, some industry leaders write article-length pieces in the form of tweet threads. This is a poor user experience for the consumer. True, there are some ways to improve the experience – through third-party services like ThreadReaderApp, for instance – but still, a social media platform isn’t optimized for that use case.

We can get the same value by visiting people’s sites directly, with no dependency on Twitter. If some of us happen to know some of these individuals, we can connect on other social media platforms. We need not depend on Twitter as the primary contact point. It has been convenient, so we have developed the habit of using Twitter.

If we change our habits in this way, what might we lose? It occurs to me that Twitter functions as a kind of notification system. When someone has a conference talk, training class, or event coming up, or they have just published a new article, book, podcast, or video, they announce it on Twitter. We don’t have to remember to go and visit their sites to find out what’s on their calendars, or what new information they have published. I suspect this notification function will be the hardest thing to replace.

People also tweet when they are looking for work, or looking for employees. There are other sites whose main mission is work-related connections, and they may provide better support for those needs.

This post offers a woefully incomplete list of leaders in the software field whom you may have been following on Twitter, and whom you don’t want to lose track of as things change. Please let me know if I’ve overlooked someone who should be listed.

Adkins, Lyssa (@lyssaadkins)

Bache, Emily (@emilybache)

Beck, Kent (@KentBeck)

Belshee, Arlo (@arlobelshee)

Benson, Jim (@ourfounder)

Booch, Grady (@Grady_Booch)

Brown, Simon (@simonbrown)

Burrows, Mike (@asplake)

Cockburn, Alistair (@TotherAlistair)

Dinwiddie, George (@gdinwiddie)

Falco, Llewellyn (@LlewellynFalco)

Farley, Dave (@davefarley77)

Feathers, Michael (@mfeathers)

Fowler, Martin (@martinfowler)

Gee, Trisha (@trisha_gee)

Glazer, Hillel (@hi11e1)

Gottesdiener, Ellen (@ellengott)

Gregory, Janet (@janetgregoryca)

Grenning, James

Hammant, Paul (@paul_hammant)

Hendrickson, Chet (@chethendrickson)

Henney, Kevlin (@KevlinHenney)

Hightower, Kelsey (@kelseyhightower)

Hill, Michael “GeePaw” (@GeePawHill)

Jeffries, Ron (@RonJeffries)

Jones, Angie (@techgirl1908)

Kerievsky, Joshua (@JoshuaKerievsky)

Kern, Jon (@JonKernPA)

Kua, Pat (@patkua)

Langr, Jeff (@jlangr)

Marick, Brian (@marick)

Morgan, Jeff “Cheezy” (@chzy)

Ottinger, Tim “Agile Otter” (@tottinge)

Patton, Jeff (@jeffpatton)

Perri, Melissa (@lissijean)

Rainsberger, J.B. (@jbrains)

Rothman, Johanna (@johannarothman)

Schwaber, Ken (@kschwaber)

Shah, Binni (@binitamshah)

Shore, James (@jamesshore)

Sutherland, Jeff (@jeffsutherland)

Wake, Bill (@wwake)


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How we think about recruiting

There’s an odd situation in the software industry. Employers are adamant that they can’t find suitable talent to fill the technical jobs they have. Job candidates are adamant that they can’t find suitable work. It seems strange to me that both these things are true at the same time.

Many people have opinions and observations about this. Often, they cite academic studies, industry surveys, formal management models, psychology, and various other things that are confusing for a Bear of Very Little Brain like me. I wonder if we could go a long way toward solving this problem if we ajusted, just slightly, the way we think about what we’re aiming to accomplish, on the hiring side and on the job search side.

Continue reading How we think about recruiting

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Scrum pain in large organizations

Although “agile” has been around a long time, and Scrum even longer, many large organizations are only now undertaking “agile transformation” initiatives. People in those organizations who have not had experiences elsewhere with “agile” or Scrum are on the learning curve. I’ve noticed a handful of challenges that seem to be fairly common in these organizations.

Maybe it will be helpful to mention some of the common points of confusion and try to clarify them. I hope so, anyway.

tl;dr warning
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Gilded Rose: Read by Refactoring

People who practice refactoring often turn to the Gilded Rose exercise, originally posted by Bobby Johnson and extended and elaborated by Emily Bache. The exercise can be approached in many different ways. I think that makes it especially useful for exploring alternative ways of dealing with existing code bases.

Several years ago, Arlo Belshee came up with an interesting way to address existing code that he calls read by refactoring. I will admit that I haven’t discussed this with him directly, nor have I attended his training on the subject. I’m basing this on my reading of the idea online and experimenting with the approach on my own. So, I might be missing key aspects of the idea. Please feel free to correct me if that’s the case.
Continue reading Gilded Rose: Read by Refactoring

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80/20 Skills

People in our field like to cite various maxims or laws. To name a few, there are Conway’s Law, Hyrum’s Law,
Brooks’ Law, the Peter Principle, Hofstadter’s Law, the 90-90 Rule, Parkinson’s Law, Sayre’s Law, Eagleson’s Law, Postel’s Law (a.k.a. the Robustness Principle), Linus’ Law, the Dunning-Kruger Effect, the Principle of Least Astonishment, Hanlon’s Razor and it’s notable parent, Occam’s Razor, and of course the ever-popular Murphy’s Law.

I’d like to consider a couple of maxims today: the Law of Diminishing Returns and the Pareto Principle, or 80/20 Rule, in relation to the idea of multi-skilled team members on a cross-functional team.
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What happened to the test automation pyramid?

In a February 2020 article on, “Eviscerating the Test Automation Pyramid”, Seb Rose points out some of the issues that ensue when people misunderstand the intent of the test automation pyramid (or triangle) originally proposed by Mike Cohn and interpret the model too literally. He suggests if we remove the various levels and labels that people have added on the inside of the triangle, and think about the shape as such, we’ll come closer to the original intent – many tests of small scope and fewer tests of larger scope.

Continue reading What happened to the test automation pyramid?