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Hanselminutes on 9 - What is Productivity?

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Scott's in Norway this week. Scott Bellware asks what is productivity? He says we're focused too much on lines of code as a measure of productivity. Michael Feathers, Uncle Bob Martin and Peter Provost jump in as well. Are we focused on the wrong metrics when we define productivity? What about the rest of the Software Development Lifecycle.

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  • retracted.  I should probably play with Resharper and find out about it's refactoring abilities--but my impression (from the DevExpress guys' demo) was that it can be easily abused to generate tons of code.

  • 3min in.  WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    The number of times in my carrer of 15 years that those little one offs have not had to be maintained can still be counted on one hand.  It happens VERY rarely.

    Those "tiny little apps" grow beyond their original scope. If you don't write with maintainability in mind, you fail. period.

     

    Was that Michael Feathers @ 5:35 "Can we design technology that is maliable enough to make the change cases we don't anticipate easier" ?

     

    That is it. that is what software development is all about. And yes, it is about balancing YAGNI with ability for future change.  So you don't write the future, because YAGNI, but you DO write with maintainability in mind.

     

     

    BTW: EXCELLENT discussion.  What aren't conference panel discussions this good?

  • Conference panel discussions are this good.  Every conference I've been to in recent memory have been this good.  But, I no longer attend conferences who's content is dictated by a signle vendor, eg: Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, etc.  If you want good content, you have to stop trusting conferences whose goal it is to sell products.  If you want a sales pitch, go to Tech Ed or PDC.  If you want to learn, go to a non-sales conference.

  • Kinda funny... since the DevExpress guys had to be tutored on test-driven development and ReSharper workflows by ReSharper users.  They are two very different tools because their objectives are night-and-day different from each other.  I expect DevExpress to not understand ReShaprer - they're not TDD people.  That's perfectly OK.  They write a tool for folks who aren't particularly practiced in OO design beyond basic tight coupling patterns like inheritance.  You'll never see ReSharper get the same amount of friendliness from Redmond as ReShaper's implied practices contradict much of what Microsoft recommends.  Building yet more tools to support Microsoft's tool-driven rather than craft-driven approach to software design and implementation won't bring you into contact with the skills, knowledge, principles, and practices that are inherent and implied in ReSharper.  Sitting in my hotel room until 3am at an MVP summit and watch as TDD was painstakingly explained to Mark Miller was a watershed moment in my understanding of just how little DevExpress understandings contemporary software engineering.  I would trust DevExpress' perspective on ReShaprer no father than I could throw Mark Miller.  That's not to say that DevExpress' tools are the right ones for you and your team, but they understand very little about why ReSharper is used.

  • MillahMillah Millah

    Hi Scott,

    You should take a look at the consume-first (TDD) features of CodeRush. I think you'll find them more elegant, more efficient, and more intelligent than what you're otherwise accustomed to seeing in a developer tool (and running faster and with significantly less memory). So I say we let CodeRush respond to your assertion of whether Dev Express understands contemporary software engineering or not.

    And if that fails, I suggest we settle this with a throwing contest. Whoever throws the other farthest wins. Smiley

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