A Response to “Why Most Unit Testing is Waste”


I believe this article on unit testing deserves reblogging in that Jim Coplien has added his comments.

Originally posted on Henrik Warne's blog:

A few months ago I came across the article Why Most Unit Testing is Waste by James O Coplien. The title is an accurate description of the contents – James considers most unit tests to be useless. He expands his arguments in the follow-up article. I was quite intrigued, since I get a lot of value from unit tests. How come we have such different views of them? Had I missed something? As it turns out, I was not persuaded by his arguments, and here is my response to the articles.

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Why Founders Should Know How to Code


I’d extend this idea out even further…..

Originally posted on Steve Blank:

By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist.”
Book of Five Rings

A startup is not just about the idea, it’s about testing and thenimplementing the idea.

A founding team without these skills is likely dead on arrival.


I was driving home from the BIO conference in San Diego last month and had lots of time for a phone call with Dave, an ex student and now a founder who wanted to update me on his Customer Discovery progress. Dave was building a mobile app for matching college students who needed to move within a local area with potential local movers. He described his idea like “Uber for moving” and while he thought he was making real progress, he needed some advice.

Customer Discovery
As the farm fields flew by on the interstate I listened as Dave described how he translated his vision into

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ICAgile Expert in Agile Coaching – Case Study

Originally posted on Process Improvement - News and Views:

One of the things that sets ICAgile apart from many other Agile certifications is their focus on recognising the Agile journey taken by many folk and that learning does not stop just when you’ve mastered the basics.

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“It has changed the way I work subtly but the effect has been dramatic”

The title is some feedback from a recent running of About Agile’s Agile Testing Course.

There were some photos taken.  And some more should have been taken :)


Jeff Sutherland’s TEDx Talk on Life Changing Agility – How I relate to it

Here I’m supplying a link to a recent talk Jeff Sutherland in which he describes his life in the military and the as yet unnamed Agile practices he was applying 50 years ago.

We progress through the years and end with the life affirming, humane characteristics of Agility. School kids are defining their own learning through ownership of the outcomes. Kids only use the teacher to get through problems.

This reminds me of a year 9 drama class. We were having a lot of fun and learning and the teacher was amazed at her ‘lack of involvement’. She invited a district supervisor, not sure if that was the title, to observe. Unfortunately I think we noticed that we were being observed and froze somewhat. Our teacher was embarrassed, the observer seemed to have an incredulous look. Us students knew something went wrong. I felt a little bad about it but felt powerless or unequipped to deal with it.

Looking back and knowing what I know now, that teacher was on the right track. She lacked a framework to inspect and adapt. Something like a Scrum Framework. We failed to self organize on one occasion and unfortunately we regressed to be told what to do. We should have reflected on that failure and put in measures to prevent it occurring again. 

Can you think of a time when you could have improved a situation simply by taking a meaningful look at what happened and agreeing to make changes to prevent it happening again.

I know it happens everyday. There are many instances in the past that I can recollect.

Agile and Lean Bookshelf

Some books on lean and agile software development.  The list is still in development.  I’ve read all of these books and will not place books here that I have not read. Some books resonate more than others, but still don’t expect instant recall of all the detail – rather the key ideas and concepts and then drive into the detail if required.

You’ll find some books are relevant to more than one section, so they will be repeated in the sections in which they have relevance.

The Lean and Lean Startup Side

Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Revised and Updated  
Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (Lean Series)  
Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business  
Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point  
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses  
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement  
Kanban in Action  
The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win  
Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban  
Kanban and Scrum – making the most of both (Enterprise Software Development)  
Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life  
Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility  
Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit  
Lean Enterprise: Adopting Continuous Delivery, DevOps, and Lean Startup at Scale  


The Agile and Lean Frameworks Side

Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn))  
Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners: Agile Tactics, Tools, & Tips (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn))  
Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business  
Scrumban – Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development (Modus Cooperandi Lean)  
Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (2nd Edition)  
Agile Software Development with Scrum (Series in Agile Software Development)  
Kanban in Action  
Agile Project Management with Scrum (Developer Best Practices)  
Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban  
Kanban and Scrum – making the most of both (Enterprise Software Development)  
Software in 30 Days: How Agile Managers Beat the Odds, Delight Their Customers, And Leave Competitors In the Dust  
Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change, 2nd Edition (The XP Series)  
Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit  
Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum  
The Art of Agile Development  
Disciplined Agile Delivery: A Practitioner’s Guide to Agile Software Delivery in the Enterprise (IBM Press)  
Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise (Agile Software Development Series)  
Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises  
The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility  
Scrum and XP from the Trenches (Enterprise Software Development)  


The Technical Side

Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software  
ATDD by Example: A Practical Guide to Acceptance Test-Driven Development (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Beck))  
Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams  
The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers (Robert C. Martin Series)  
Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship  
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, Second Edition  
The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master  
Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests  
Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices  
Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture  
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code  
Refactoring to Patterns  
Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Fowler))  
Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk  
Test Driven Development: By Example  
Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture Volume 1: A System of Patterns  
Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture Volume 2: Patterns for Concurrent and Networked Objects  
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software  
Extreme Programming Applied: Playing to Win  
Writing Solid Code (20th Anniversary 2nd Edition)  
Enterprise Integration Patterns: Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions  


The Product Ownership and Agile Requirements Side

Scrum Product Ownership: Balancing Value from the Inside Out  
User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development  
Agile Estimating and Planning  
Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn))  
Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects  
Specification by Example: How Successful Teams Deliver the Right Software  
Bridging the Communication Gap: Specification by Example and Agile Acceptance Testing  


The Agile Tester Side

Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams  
The Cucumber Book: Behaviour-Driven Development for Testers and Developers (Pragmatic Programmers)  
Testing for Continuous Delivery with Visual Studio 2012 (Microsoft patterns & practices)  
ATDD by Example: A Practical Guide to Acceptance Test-Driven Development (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Beck))  
Lean-Agile Acceptance Test-Driven Development: Better Software Through Collaboration (Net Objectives Lean-Agile Series)  
Specification by Example: How Successful Teams Deliver the Right Software  
Bridging the Communication Gap: Specification by Example and Agile Acceptance Testing  
xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code  
Explore It!: Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing  


The People Side

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable  
The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World  
Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas  
Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders  
Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn))  
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (3rd Edition)  
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us  
Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork and the Myth of Total Efficiency  
Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn))  
Death March (2nd Edition)  
Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great  
Software for Your Head: Core Protocols for Creating and Maintaining Shared Vision  
Professional Software Development: Shorter Schedules, Higher Quality Products, More Successful Projects, Enhanced Careers  
Dynamics of Software Development  
Debugging the Development Process: Practical Strategies for Staying Focused, Hitting Ship Dates, and Building Solid Teams  
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)  
Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews  
The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully  
Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life  
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change  

Rio Writes Off $3 Billion – what’s the hidden cost

Yesterday news came out that Rio Tinto had sold off it’s purchase of Riversdale Mining for $50 million taking a $3 billion dollar hit.

The CEO lost his job over this, but was this avoidable?  The simple answer of course is yes.

What has been the hidden costs?  What sort of cost cutting has ensued afterwards.  How many thousands of people are let go or will be let go.

Sure the money will flow again somewhere else in the economy but where and when and will those left stranded through no fault of their own be able to come back into the fold somewhere or anywhere.

The ideas around Lean Thinking can help mitigate this and cause less long term pain and smooth out the dips or remove the boom and bust nature of our economy.

Perhaps we can also get past “It’s just the way it is”

Just a thought.


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