Pragmatic Programming

I mentioned in a previous post that I recommended Andrew Hunt of pragmatic programmer fame to speak at our group offsite. He happens to live in the area, which makes it very cost effective. I have to admit I didn't know much about these guys until I ran across their How To Keep Your Job presentation last year when I was searching for information on the offshoring trend. It's definitely the best single treatment of the offshoring topic, so I was very happy to have Andy give the presentation and elaborate on some of the specifics in person.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

I’ve noticed recently that Microsoft has been on a real hiring spree-- hiring some of the best and brightest bloggers around, from many different backgrounds. They seem to be totally committed to .NET, now more than ever.

As for the quality of their documentation and its relationship to outsourcing/offshoring, I’m not sure. It benefits all developers, everywhere. The problem with internet is that it offers the same resources to everyone worldwide-- we don’t gain any advantage by being “local” to where this information is created… Seattle, or even the USA. It’s simply more people competing for the same jobs. So I guess if there is any lesson here, it is to aggressively leverage any benefits of locality: work closely with customers, get to know them, be responsive and “in person”, etcetera.

Now, if we could just get rid of this pesky internet and solve the offshoring problem once and for all…

Great Post Jeff I just forwarded your postings to all of the guys on our team. One thing I have noticed though is Microsoft seems to be sensitive to this shift in outsourcing. Seems in the last year or so they’ve done a better job in showing there code in use (not just useless MSDN examples). What do you think ?

I take a slightly different approach, although mostly the same.

When I see a bad decision that is somewhat in line with what I’m fixing, I fix it. If in doing so I uncover worse stuff (say, when fixing the window you find the burning is full of broken windows) I tend to make it smell as badly as I can, insofar as to instill anybody working on that bit to not doubt refactoring it. I’m being paid for delivering good software, but fixing up all the design errors from the past with the first use case is not the right approach. Boarding it up is also not the right approach - people tend to leave stuff that looks “okay-ish” or “marked with a TODO:” as something that remains to be done.

10 years later, the Pragmatic Programmers are alive and well. I attended the 1st annual TriAgile conference last week where Andy Hunt @PragmaticAndy, gave the keynote. Agile/SCRUM are thriving,and I think there will be a whole new crowd of developers and PM’s that may learn anew or become revitalized. My latest blog post describes my experience there @dotnetdiva.