Red Squirrel Reflections
Dave Hoover explores the psychology of software development

Dave Hoover

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Sat, 25 Feb 2006

All Fluff, No Stuff: Presentation at ThoughtWorks Away Day

After being asked to speak about the apprenticeship patterns half a dozen times over the past 8 months, I'm finally getting comfortable with a specific presentation approach. It's the approach Ade and I used at PLoP 2005, which is basically to minimize monologue and encourage small-group-discussion. As Ade and I have found, by simply handing the group a 1 or 2 page copy of one of the patterns and giving them a few minutes to read, hour-long discussions erupt from a previously silent and introverted group of programmers. And get this, we're not talking about anything technical! (all fluff)

In my first couple talks about the patterns last year, I felt compelled to give an overview of nearly every pattern, which resulted in me doing most of the talking (bletch). As the number of patterns grew and I received honest (and helpful) feedback from colleagues like Paul Julius, Obie, and Desi McAdam, I switched to focusing on just one or two of the patterns in any given presentation. A great encouragement to me as a pattern writer has been that by focusing on a single pattern, we invariably end up talking about all of the other patterns that it depends on. These things are interconnected and that is A Good Thing.

The "Apprentice to Journeyman" discussion during my "presentation" at the (incredible) ThoughtWorks Away Day last weekend was (imo) great, and, as usual, I came away with a lot of new material. I greatly appreciated the participation of Naresh Jain and Mike Ward.

[/craftsmanship] permanent link

Mon, 13 Feb 2006

Canvas Directed Graph Library: webdep

Update: Aslak's sites are temporarily unavailable. In the meantime, visit this working example if you want to play with webdep.

I mentioned in my previous post that Aslak and I were collaborating on a new DamageControl feature that uses canvas to setup build dependencies. We're beginning to extract our code into it's own project. We're calling it webdep and it is currently hosted at buildpatterns.

Browse the source or use subversion and svn co

Currently we have the just extracted the layout behavior without any user interaction or Ajax. These will be coming soon, along with (hopefully) IE support (thanks to Emil).

[/projects/webdep] permanent link

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