Image by Improve It via Flickr
I had a very powerful encounter between 13th and Broadway this morning.
I’m not a morning person at all. If I had my druthers, I’d stay up until 4am and sleep until noon. But I tend to do my best problem solving in the morning. Night is best for dreams and inspiration, but something about the cold, hard light of dawn just makes me see my issues more clearly and critically. I often solve problems at work from the day before when thinking about them the next morning.
The problem, this time around, was this blog. I have been working on the “TDD By Example” post for days. It keeps getting longer and longer. My social media advisors tell me that I have to use pictures every so often to break up the text, but there are only so many pictures relevant to TDD, you know? Somewhere around my second test, I incorporate a picture of a juggling jester, and that was when I knew things had spiraled way out of control.
So, this morning, I realized I could make a Camtasia video and just show you what I was doing. That’s not the big insight.
I’d also wanted to do a series of posts on each stage of a Kanban structured project – not just for a developer team, but starting all the way at the top of the business and working down – in other words, how could an entire organization become leaner and more agile?
It occurred to me that I could do that series with a blog post describing the theory, then a video showing the practice. If I wanted to transcribe the videos, I could, but at least having the videos would allow me to pack a lot of explanation into a short amount of space as well as bypass the Example Gap. You know what I mean – when someone uses Calculator to demonstrate unit testing, and no developer on the planet has ever coded Calculator (except perhaps the dev team that created the Calculator in your OS), and so the example has limited value.
So, other than interspersing with various posts to change things up, I am going to take a real project – one that will hit the database and use multiple layers and everything – pretend it starts all the way up the chain with the CEO, and show how this project could evolve and develop as it goes all the way down the chain, spending most of my focus on the development cycle. The test posts will describe the theory behind what’s going on, and the videos will demonstrate execution.
One of my passions is development is to reach those 20 to 30 percent of developers who know there are better practices out there but don’t really have anyone to show them the way to go. They’re cobbling things together from books, blogs, and hard knocks. That’s how I learned, and that way sucks. There’s enough books, blogs, and hard knocks even when you’re cruising in the right direction. I hope doing both theory and practice blogs will help close that gap for some people.