Nigel Cheshire

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Top Stories by Nigel Cheshire

Nigel Cheshire's Blog David Seruyange pointed me to a great presentation by Yahoo! Javascript Architect Douglas Crockford on software quality. At least, “Quality” is the title of the presentation, but in fact Crockford gives a wonderful history lesson, showing how we got to where we are today. This is a 48-minute presentation, and well worth the time. If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing at work, do yourself a favor: forgo an episode of American Idol, set 48 minutes aside at home, don the headphones and listen in. You won’t regret it. Crockford reminds us of some theories that have been around for a while, but have gotten lost in the morass of “snake oil” - new methodologies, tools and techniques that are claimed, by their vendors, to be silver bullets - quick, easy wins in the battle against poor software quality. The... (more)

Using Java Development Tools to Enforce Best Practices

As I highlighted in Part I of this article, the importance of implementing Java development tools, best practices and processes can have a significant impact on the quality of your code and the efficiency of your development team. Quality Java code results from the talent and experience of Java developers, coupled with the consistent usage of best practices, tools and processes. In the previous article, I discussed what constitutes software development best practices; and I will now explore in the benefits of implementing the following Java development ‘best practice’ t... (more)

How Good Is Good Enough?

Intellectually everyone understands that improving code quality is a good thing. After all, we know bad quality when we see it. (Anyone old enough can cast his or her mind back to the late '80s and Microsoft Word for Windows 1.0.) But we also know that there comes a point where there's a diminishing return on our investment in code quality. How much work would you put into tracking down a bug that's only ever been reported once by a user running on OS/2 Warp? The problem with code quality initiatives is that we really don't know how much effort to put into them. We have never tr... (more)

Change Is Good!

In an article in the October edition of the FTP Webzine "Upside" Peter Varhol laments the trend toward per-developer metrics in the software development process. "Individual developer data is stored and available to be manipulated in less than honorable ways," he says, "and there are people in enterprises who know how to take advantage of such information for their own purposes." Yes Peter, those people are called "managers" and their purposes are called "management." It's what they are supposed to do. It's high time this industry grew up and, I'm afraid, growing up means opening... (more)

Can You Manage What You Can't Measure?

Nigel Cheshire's Blog Considering the main headline on our web site is “What gets measured gets managed”, I was interested to read Chris Loosley's post today considering whether the common claim that “you can’t manage what you can’t (or don’t) measure” is fact or fallacy. The argument against the claim is that as a species, we manage things that we don’t measure all the time. You don’t need to measure every hair on your head, for example, to know that you need a hair cut. The flip side of the argument says that, in fact, you ar... (more)