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Agile Myth #1: “Agile is a Methodology”

First of all, if you look up the word “methodology” in the dictionary, it says, “study of methods”. When people in the technical or research fields say “methodology”, they really mean “process”. So what is a process? A process is basically a set of instructions:  You follow Step 1, Step 2, Step 3… You use this activity in situation A, ...

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Through The Looking Glass Architecture Antipattern

An anti-pattern is a commonly recurring software design pattern that is ineffective or counterproductive. One architectural anti-pattern I’ve seen a number of times is something I’ll call the “Through the Looking Glass” pattern. It’s named so because APIs and internal representations are often reflected and defined by their consumers. The core of this pattern is that the software components are ...

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Java’s Volatile Modifier

A while ago I wrote a Java servlet Filter that loads configuration in its init function (based on a parameter from web.xml). The filter’s configuration is cached in a private field. I set the volatile modifier on the field. When I later checked the company Sonar to see if it found any warnings or issues in the code I was a bit ...

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Test Attribute #2: Readability

This is the 2nd post on test attributes that were described in the now famous “How to test your tests” post. We often forget the most of the value we get from tests come after we’ve written them. Sure, TDD helps design the code, but let’s face it, when everything works for the first time, our tests become the future ...

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The Life(Cycles) of UX/UI Development

It recently occurred to me that not one of the dozens and dozens of user interfaces I’ve worked on over the years, had the same methodology/lifecycle.  Many of those were results of the environments under which they were constructed: startup, BIG company, government contract, side-project, open-source, freelance, etc. But the technology also played a part in choosing the methodology we ...

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What we forget about the Scientific Method

I get fed up hearing other Agile evangelists champion The Scientific Method, I don’t disagree with them, I use it myself but I think they are sometimes guilty of overlooking how the scientific method is actually practiced by scientists and researchers. Too often the scientific approach is made to sound simple, it isn’t. First lets define the scientific method. Perhaps ...

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How to get JSON response from JSF?

Many JavaScript widgets expect data and options in JSON format. Nowadays, it is really easy to choose a cool widget and wrap it in a composite component. But the first question is how to send an AJAX request and to recieve a response in a proper JSON format. This question is often raised by JSF users. All that you need ...

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Java Debuggers and Timeouts

How to use your debugger in the presence of timeouts in your code. My kingdom for a debugger! So you’ve been coding away merrily on a project and everything is going well until a bug appears. You reach into your developer’s toolbox and pull out a debugger. It’s great – you can set breakpoints, you can interrupt when there’s an ...

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