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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Should you care about Conway’s Law?

Conway’s Law says that“organizations which design systems (in the broad sense used here) are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of ...
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Bad Things Happen to Good Code

We need to understand what happens to code over time and why, and what a healthy, long-lived code base looks like. What architectural decisions have the most lasting impact, and what ...
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Technical Debt – when do you have to pay it off?

There are 2 times to think about technical debt:When you are building a system and making trade-off decisions between what can be done now and what will need to be done “sometime ...
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Can you get by without estimating? Should you try?

Estimating remains one of the hardest problems in software development. So hard in fact that more people lately are advocating that we shouldn’t bother estimating at all. David Anderson, ...
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How to Cheat at Application Security

Developers need to know a lot in order to build secure applications. Some of this is good software engineering and defensive design and programming – using (safe) APIs properly, carefully ...
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Devops and Maintenance go together like Apple Pie and Ice Cream

One of the things I like about devops is that it takes on important but neglected problems in the full lifecycle of a system: making sure that the software is really ready to go into ...
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Contracting in Agile – You try it

One of the key principles in Agile development is “Customer collaboration over contract negotiation” Unfortunately, ...
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What’s better – Big Fat Tests or Little Tests?

Like most startups, we built a lot of prototypes and wrote and threw out a lot of code as we tried out different ideas. Because we were throwing out the code anyways, we didn’t ...
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Does the PMI-ACP set the bar high enough on Risk Management?

I’m trying to understand the PMI’s new certification for Agile Certified Practitioners, and what value the PMI brings to managing software development projects using Agile methods. ...
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What can you get out of Kanban?

I’ve spent the last year or so learning more about Kanban, how to use it in software development and IT operations. It’s ...
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