Home » Author Archives: Jim Bird

Author Archives: Jim Bird

Jim Bird
Jim is an experienced CTO, software development manager and project manager, who has worked on high-performance, high-reliability mission-critical systems for many years, as well as building software development tools. His current interests include scaling Lean and Agile software development methodologies, software security and software assurance.

Making Refactoring Work

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A recent academic study raises some questions about how useful and how important refactoring really is. The researchers found that refactoring didn’t seem to make code measurably easier to understand or change, or even measurably cleaner (measured by cyclomatic complexity, depth of inheritance, class coupling or lines of code). But as other people have discussed, this study is deeply flawed. ...

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Putting Security into Sprints

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To build a secure app, you can’t wait to the end and hope to “test security in”. For teams who follow Agile methods like Scrum, this means you have to find a way to add security into Sprints. Here’s how to do it: Sprint Zero A few basic security steps need to be included upfront in Sprint Zero:     ...

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DevOps is not a Race

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Most of what we read about or hear about in DevOps emphases speed. Continuous Deployment. Fast feedback. Fail fast, fail often. How many times do we have to hear about how many times Amazon or Facebook or Netflix or Etsy deploy changes every day or every hour or every minute?             Software Development at the ...

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Don’t waste time tracking technical debt

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For the last couple of years we’ve been tracking technical debt in our development backlog. Adding debt payments to the backlog, making the cost and risk of technical debt visible to the team and to the Product Owner, prioritizing payments with other work, is supposed to ensure that debt gets paid down. But I am not convinced that it is ...

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Required Reading: Iron Clad Java

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They didn’t teach appsec in Comp Sci or in engineering or MIS or however you learned how to program. And they probably still don’t. So how could you be expected to know about XSS filter evasion or clickjacking attacks, or how to really store passwords safely. Your company can’t afford to send you on expensive appsec training, and you’re too ...

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If you got bugs, you’ll get pwned

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The SEI recently published some fascinating research which shows a clear relationship between software quality and software security. The consensus of researchers is that at least half, and maybe as many as 70% of common software vulnerabilities are fundamental code quality problems that could be prevented by writing better software. Sloppy coding. Not checking input data. Bad – or no ...

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We can’t measure Programmer Productivity… or can we?

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If you go to Google and search for “measuring software developer productivity” you will find a whole lot of nothing. Seriously — nothing. Nick Hodges, Measuring Developer Productivity By now we should all know that we don’t know how to measure programmer productivity. There is no clear cut way to measure which programmers are doing a better or faster job, ...

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Different Ways of Scaling Agile

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At this year’s Construx Software Executive Summit one of the problems that we explored was how to scale software development, especially Agile development, across projects, portfolios, geographies and enterprises. As part of this, we looked at 3 different popular methods for scaling Agile: LeSS (Large Scale Scrum), SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), and DAD (Disciplined Agile Delivery). LeSS and LeSS Huge ...

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Don’t Waste Time Writing Perfect Code

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A system can last for 5 or 10 or even 20 or more years. But the life of specific lines of code, even of designs, is often much shorter: months or days or even minutes when you’re iterating through different approaches to a solution. Some code matters more than other code Researching how code changes over time, Michael Feathers has ...

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