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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Why Scrum Won

In the 1990s and early 2000s a number of different lightweight ‘agile’ development methods sprung up. Today a few shops use Extreme Programming, including most notably ThoughtWorks ...
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Predictability – Making Promises you can Keep

Speed – being first to market, rapid innovation and conducting fast cheap experiments – is critically important to startups and many high tech firms. This is where Lean Startup ...
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Health Checks, Run-time Asserts and Monkey Armies

After going live, we started building health checks into the system – run-time checks on operational dependencies and status to ensure that the system is setup and running correctly. ...
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You can’t Refactor your way out of every Problem

Refactoring is a disciplined way to clarify, retain or restore the design of a system as you make changes, and to help cleanup and correct the mistakes and mess that we all make as ...
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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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