Jim Bird

About 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.

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Maintaining Software Sucks – and what we can do about it

If you ask most developers, they will tell you that working in maintenance sucks. Understanding and fixing somebody else’s lousy code is hard. It’s tedious. And it’s frustrating ...
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Agile Development leads to Alzheimer’s

Iterative development and design helps you to reach your way towards understanding what the customer really needs, to try out new ideas, evaluate designs, experiment, respond to feedback ...
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Design Patterns after Design is Done

Design Patterns are a useful tool when you are designing a system, an effective shorthand for communicating and sharing design ideas and a way to build consistency into the code – ...
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What is Important in Secure Software Design?

There are many basic architectural and design mistakes that can compromise the security of a system:Missing something important in security features like access control or auditing, ...
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Automated Tests as Documentation

One of the arguments for writing automated tests is that tests can act as useful documentation for a system. But what do tests document? And who will find this documentation useful? Most ...
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Choosing between a Pen Test and a Secure Code Review

Secure Code Reviews (bringing someone in from outside of the team to review/audit the code for security vulnerabilities) and application Pen Tests (again, bringing a security specialist ...
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Estimating Might Be Broken, But It’s Not Evil

Ron Jeffries’s essay Estimation is Evil talks about how absurd estimating can be on a software project, and the nightmare scenarios that teams can end up in:…Then we demand ...
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7 Agile Best Practices that You Don’t Need to Follow

There are many good ideas and practices in Agile development, ideas and practices that definitely work: breaking projects into Small Releases to manage risk and accelerate feedback; ...
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What does Code Ownership do to Code?

In my last post, I talked about Code Ownership models, and why you might want to choose one code ownership model (strong, weak/custodial or collective) over another. Most of the arguments ...
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Code Ownership – Who Should Own the Code?

A key decision in building and managing any development team is agreeing on how ownership of the code will be divided up: who is going to work on what code; how much work can be, and ...
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