Entries by Don

Developers Testing Software, Take 2

In my experience the developers have the verification mindset, “Does it do the job?” Most everyone who uses the software has the mindset, “Does it allow me to do my job?” And that is the essential difference.

Can Developers Test Software?

Yes, Virginia, there’s more to testing. I’m a developer, not a tester. I know only a little bit about testing, but I DO know that testing methodologies move just about as fast as development methodologies do.

Stabilizing Systems

Engineers make the darndest assumptions. I made one such assumption in “Change and Stable Systems”. The unstated assumption involved starting with a stable system. But what do you do if your system (as in team, project, company) is unstable?

All Problems are not Equal

Head Down and Headed for Cover I’m an adrenalin junky. I keep agreeing to work with projects in trouble with incredible time pressure. Last Wednesday I agreed to help a project that HAD to be completed by Friday. The team was scheduled to fly home. We made good progress on Wednesday. Thursday we were supposed […]

Reverse Engineering Reality Part 2: Creating Causal Loop Diagrams

Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs) share several things with books: they both tell stories, they can be fact or fiction, and they’re both easier to read than write. Keep reading to learn how to write CLDs. The Buddy System The first step in creating CLDs: find a buddy, friend or coworker with whom to share the […]

Reverse Engineering Reality Part 1: Reading Causal Loop Diagrams

Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs) can help us understand complex interactions and events by revealing system structure. Unlike buildings, most systems don’t have visible structure. We notice systems by observing events. When the events form a pattern (usually over time), there’s indication that a system is working. We use CLDs to diagram the system and reveal […]