I was catching up on some blog feeds that I had subscribed to and ran across this list of 10 great Agile websites.  I can’t argue with any of these and certainly can’t better the list.  But, I add to it…

  1. Scott Ambler’s Website – a lot of information and resources (who I am going to see speak Friday!!!)
  2. Agile Modeling – from Scott Ambler (did I mention I am going to see him speak Friday!!!)
  3. Agile Forums – some hidden gems in the discussions
  4. Info-packed Blog – I like reading this one

Also, if you want an interesting read (well to be honest I just started, but so far it is interesting) get this free book on software reuse with a historical perspective how we got where we are today.  Finally, you need to join as an associate member which I already was, but this article in System iNetwork magazine was a great introduction to many Agile concepts.
So what sites or free e-books can you recommend?


We are trying to introduce more modeling into our SDLC where I work. Where I am at I would say we are strong on requirement gathering, getting better at testing and strong on development talent. But we are weak on the design and specifically documenting the design. BTW, we have settled on the Rational Suite of tools already, so I imagine we will be using Rational Modeler.

Some time ago I wrote a paper on UML for another contracting job, but was never delivered. I found this while searching for a PDF on UML I had downloaded (and can’t find). Here is what I wrote, Introduction to UML.

I am in the middle of transferring everything I ABSOLUTELY need to Google Docs if my hard drive should crash. I knew Google Docs existed for ages, but this is the first time I have used it. It is amazing! I love the bulk add via email, the ability to save in different formats (e.g. doc to pdf), add tags and as you see below the ability to post to a blog.

Note for application designers/developers; it is the little things that matter once you get the application is working.  Details are everything. They don’t overload it with features, but the ones there are useful and they work.

Although the formatting is not great, I published my CV from Google Docs to this blog, as you see in the “post” below. Love it.  Here is a link to it Brian’s CV.  This link was also created within Google Docs.

What do you think of these tips?   They come from a code peer review we did and their origin is from various sources.

 1) Then anyone handling it does not need to handle null values, can just use the normal iterator for the array or collection.  Although people argue performance is a reason to return nulls, this is not worth worrying about.    If you are worried about it, create a constant zero length array in your program (so it is only created once) and always return this. 2) Only one return per method?3) Only one catch block per method (can be multiple exceptions chained) and not two different areas in a block.4) Declare variable where they are first used in a method? Not all at the top, though they will be used at the end.

5) Keep method names from being too long, but descriptive.

6) Be wary of deep class hierarchies.   This usually means something is wrong with the design. 

7) Declare constants in an interface.

I am not saying I agree with all of this 100%, but arguments can be made…. 

In a recent interview I was conducting with others I asked one of the questions I love to ask. What were the last two books related to SW development you read and in a sentence or two your opinion of it? After some hesitation and mumbling the candidate brought up Frederick P. Brooks, Mythical Man Month. OK, not a bad answer. Taking him on his word he had just read that. I didn’t test him, he gave a decent enought reason. His other answer was “a lot of BEA documentation”. Not very good….
However, this made me think of another piece from Brooks although I had read it a long time ago, No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering. If you haven’t read this I would encourage you to do so. Joel Spolsky in his Joel On Software blog commented on it here.

By the way, looking for a job. If you have had enough B.S. from people calling from the normal job sites take a look here. It is the Job Site from his Website Joel On Software.

I first heard about this listening to the Gillmor Gang. Jason Calacanis has sold sponsorship to his new audio and video podcast to help support the education of a disadvantaged youth. He is a big part of why I listen to this podcast and this is in no uncertain terms simply awesome! Read it about here (after the stuff about his keynote). Like he said during the Gillmor Gang, politics and changing policy is one thing, but if every person who was capable helped another in need we wouldn’t have needy people.

No I don’t get paid for this….

I am now regulary using Zoho Writer. We have also started using Zoho CRM at Vertical Company on a trial basis too.