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Robert C. Martin's book Agile Software Development Principles, Patterns, and Practices is a must read for anyone developing software. (Unless you're writing in FORTRAN or COBOL...) I thoroughly enjoyed the book and have referred back to it as I work. Unfortunately some of the work I do is maintenance of old non-OOP code so I can't use too many of the principles on those projects. The one new project I did a couple of weeks ago got the full TDD using FoxUnit. I got to write a program to mung some old Fox for DOS DBF files using VFP 9. Fortunately the source was no longer available for the DOS app so I got to build the table maintenance items from scratch.

Anyway, I had been reading and being trained on using user stories for the requirements end and TDD for the development cycle but was missing the middle part where you figure out what units to make from the stories. I've worked on a couple of “agile” projects that became fragile very quickly. With 6-7 developers working on the same app, the app was soon mired down with many of the smells that Mr. Martin describes. It was fragile, rigid, opaque and had a high viscosity. Everyone on the project did things a slightly different way both in coding styles and design. The GUI was OO in that it used inheritance for visual elements, but the code was just strewn around in the various methods of the forms and controls.

Then I read “the book”. Some of my co-workers have already tired of hearing me quote the SRP, DIP and so on. If you develop software for a living (or even for fun) you need to read this book.

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 10:13 PM Software development | Back to top

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