No best practices?
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No best practices?

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No best practices? No best practices? Presentation Transcript

  • What’s the deal with Best Practices? Øredev 2007 Dan North - ThoughtWorks
  • I am…
  • Motivations
    • Ensure consistency
    • Support learning
    • Limit (potential) damage
    • Commoditise resources – mobility, flexibility
    • Enforce control
    • Manage risk
  • With apologies to George Lucas
    • Fear leads to Risk
    • Risk leads to Process
    • Process leads to Hate
    • … and suffering and meetings
  • What causes fear?
    • Rational fear comes from knowledge
    • Irrational fear comes from ignorance
    • Most fear is irrational…
    • … so we can learn our way out of it
  • The Dreyfus model
    • Novice
    • Advanced beginner
    • Competent
    • Proficient
    • Expert
  • “Practices”
    • Things we do
    • Behaviours
    • Prescriptive
  • The Dreyfus model… and practices
    • Novice… needs practices!
    • Advanced beginner… uses practices
    • Competent… defines practices – uh oh
    • Proficient… falls back on practices
    • Expert… subverts practices
  • “Best”
    • Absolute qualifier
    • Context-independent
    • Unambiguous
  • Lean… a software best practice?
    • Lean supply minimise inventory
    • Lean manufacturing minimise variance
    • Lean product design maximise discovery!
  • Recap - what are “best practices”?
    • Absolute prescriptions of behaviour
    • … to stifle the creative environment
    • … to frustrate your best people
    • That has to suck
  • So we’re done, right?
    • Not quite…
  • Where are best practices useful?
    • Protecting people from themselves
    • Getting people through the advanced beginner stage
    • And that’s all - unless…
  • Better “Best Practices”
    • Context
    • Descriptive rather than prescriptive
    • Pros and Cons
    • That sounds like a pattern
  • Summary
    • “ Risk averse” == scared, and that’s ok
    • Software is a creative activity performed by skilled people
    • So the best Best Practices are neither “best” nor “practices”
  • Thank you
    • It’s beer o’clock!
    • Dan North
    • [email_address]