Category Archives: Efficacy

Being effective

Agile Practices and Social Nudges in the Workplace

In their best-selling book “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness“, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein propose the adoption of interventions to “attempt to move people in directions that will make their lives better.” A nudge “alters people’s behavior … Continue reading

Posted in Agile, Efficacy, Psychology of Programming | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

On Technical Debt and the Psychology of Risk Taking

I recently read the following message in a developers’ forum (rephrased here): “I’m facing a dilemma. I must deliver the product by the end of this quarter, but there are still many tests I would like to execute. The product … Continue reading

Posted in Agile, Efficacy, Psychology of Programming, TDD | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

The Etrog, Idealism and Concrete Choices

In the holiday of Succot, Jews make a blessing over the Four Species, including a special fruit called the Etrog. The Etrog is similar to a lemon, but it has a different shape and delicious smell. In the past the … Continue reading

Posted in Efficacy, Jewish Sources | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Meta-Decisions: Agreeing on the criteria before discussing the alternatives

In a working environment, meetings may consume lots of time. In general, the goal of meetings is to make decisions based on the input provided by several people. There are normally many different ways to solve a problem or address … Continue reading

Posted in Efficacy, Software Architecture | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Outliers? The Myth of the 10,000 Hours Rule

Following the “Outliers” book by Malcom Gladwell, some people are convinced that if they “just” invest 10,000 hours in something they will become really good at it. I think that this is not always the case. I don’t believe any … Continue reading

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On Developer Wisdom and Software Quality Attributes

What is wisdom? In order to answer this question, we will look into some ancient Jewish texts. From the Talmud (Tamid 32A), compiled 1500 years ago: “Who is wise? He who discerns what is about to come to pass.” In … Continue reading

Posted in Agile, Efficacy, Jewish Sources, Software Evolution | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

The Psychology of Reviews: Distinction Bias, Evaluability Hypothesis and the Framing Effect

Design Reviews are one of the most important activities in the software development process. If a bad design is approved and implemented, it is very expensive to correct that afterwards. Therefore, we want to have high confidence in our decisions … Continue reading

Posted in Efficacy, Psychology of Programming, Software Architecture | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Illusory Superiority: Are you a good programmer?

Programmers are known to be proud of their work. Some developers even feel that writing elegant code is a form of art, and thus they call themselves “software craftsmen”. I am sure that the desire to perform outstanding work is … Continue reading

Posted in Agile, Efficacy, Psychology of Programming | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Continuous Learning: Keeping up-to-date and acquiring new skills

According to the Bible, after Adam sinned and ate the forbidden fruit, God said to him: “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). Hard work has been the reality of humanity during known history, however … Continue reading

Posted in Efficacy, Social Networks | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Planning Poker: Avoiding Fallacies in Effort Estimates

Many years ago I was working as a software developer in a team with three other programmers. We once had a meeting in which our Team Leader said: “You are late again! All of you are late! Actually, you are … Continue reading

Posted in Agile, Efficacy, Psychology of Programming | Tagged , , | 20 Comments