Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weekend Reader, Week 18

Visual Studio for OSX and Linux

Last week at Build 2015 Microsoft announced Visual Studio Code. Visual Studio Code is a completely new code editor that distinguishes itself a lot from the traditional Visual Studio family. It is available for free and it is available for Windows, OSX and Linux.

I think Visual Studio Code is a very exciting announcement from different perspectives:
First, it seems a real commitment from Microsoft to truly go cross-platform. Last year in my Weekend Reader 46, I predicted that open-sourcing .NET is rather a “markteting” move, since mainstream .NET development will still happen on Windows. This might well change now. With Visual Studio Code it becomes a very attractive scenario to develop .NET web applications on the Mac or on Linux.

Second, Visual Studio Code is written in TypeScript running on Electron (formerly Atom-Shell) which runs on top of io.js and the V8 JavaScript engine. Only two Weekend Readers ago I mentioned Atom-Shell as an interesting option for writing desktop applications in JavaScript. Thats exactly what Microsoft did. And ther re-use of the editor code is amazing: They are using the same codebase for their online editor (in Visual Studio Online, OneDrive and in Azure) and now for Visual Studio Code. It is also interesting that Microsoft is building their new product on top of Electron (an open source project by Github) and V8 (a project by Google). This is really not the closed Microsoft we knew 10 years ago …

Third, Visual Studio Code is amazing. It might well be that this becomes my default IDE/editor for web development in general (JavaScript, Angular …). Watch the presentation by Erich Gamma for more details.

Software Surgery - Beyond Features

The craft of software develoment is not about programming

As always Dan North is a great presenter. In this presentation Beyond Features: Rethinking Agile Planning and Tracking he is pointing out problems in current Agile transition attempts:

Methodology eats manifesto for breakfast.

Agile methods today optimize for predictability. That is not what the Agile Manifesto was originally about. Doing mini-waterfalls and calling it Scrum is actually worse than the traditional waterfall.

In the presentation Dan also questions the analogy between software development and civil engineering. He draws a new analogy beween software development and surgery… and he has some interesting points. See Olivers post (in German).

For my part, I have been in dysfunctional software “projects” where I felt like part of an emergency room team: Every morning we were not sure what the day will bring, but we were prepared for anything …

Criticising SAFe (again)

It might become a boring recurring theme on my blog: I don’t believe in scaling Agile to the enterprise … at least not as preached by current methodologies.

This time it is Ron Jeffries (one of the 3 founders of Extreme Programming) who critizises SAFe:

SAFe’s strength is that it appeals to large organizations who are not Agile.

SAFe tells corporate dinosaurs that those little mammals downstairs are nothing to worry about. Agile, on the other hand, thinks mammals are the answer.

I collected other critics here.

Knowlege work is changing the world

An interesting article questioning the position of firms and employees in a modern knowledge work economy.

If knowledge is more important than money, it gives human capital more power relative to financial capital, potentially changing the concept of the corporation.

Learning JavaScript

What the heck is the event loop anyway? - A good presentations about the internals of the runtime that powers web applications.

How software was written before I was born …

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