Matt Van Horn

Things I Like

(and some that I don't)

September 19th 2013

A Case for Cucumber

Kevin Liddle wrote an interesting post this morning, making a case against Cucumber. Like many people who hate on Cucumber, I think he misses the point by a little ways. Allow me to mount a defense of Cucumber by slightly editing some of his stories…

May 31st 2013

Drowning In The Swim Lanes

As organizations grow in size, it is common for departments to feel like they are being short-changed on access to engineering resources. One response to this is to dedicate engineering resources to specific departments, either exclusively or as a primary responsibility. Because the term “silo” has negative business connotations, some companies prefer to use the term “swim-lanes” to describe this setup. This metaphor approaches engineering as a swimming pool, with sub-teams segregated by their primary stakeholder. When all the teams are co-located and there is daily conversation between them, it is easy to be fooled into thinking that they really are not information silos. However, this belief is wrong for a number of reasons…

March 11th 2013

Timid Development

A short time back I wrote a post about how QA is essentially an external support for a dysfunctional software development process. Today I’ll try to explain one particular family of dysfunctions, and how they impact not only code quality, but team morale, and overall productivity…


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