April 18th, 2012 — Essential Skills for the Agile Developer – Alan Shalloway


Many developers have been suddenly thrown into developing code in stages whereas they used to be able to do bigger designs up front. Many people tell them to do test-driven development and emergent design while ignoring the fact that their work with legacy systems may prevent such actions. In any event, new methods require new skills – skills they don’t have time to get. At first, it may appear that the required developer skill set for this new way of writing code is huge and daunting. Fortunately, it isn’t. One of the things we’ve learned at Net Objectives, is that there are often a few simple things one can do that make a huge difference. We like to have people start with these trim tabs. We refer to these as trim tabs since they are small things that make a big difference. This talk introduces some trim tabs for the new agile developer.


  • Programming by Intention
  • Separating Use from  Construction
  • Define tests Up Front
  • Shalloway’s Law
  • Encapsulate That

The lessons learned are taken from Net Objectives’ new book Essential Skills for the Agile Developer:


Alan Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With over 40 years of experience, Alan is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, Scrum and design patterns. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas. Alan has developed training and coaching methods for Lean-Agile that have helped his clients achieve long-term, sustainable productivity gains. He is a popular speaker at prestigious conferences worldwide. He is the primary author of Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design, Lean-Agile Pocket Guide for Scrum Teams, Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, and is currently writing Essential Skills for the Agile Developer. Alan has worked in literally dozens of industries over his career. He is a co-founder and board member for the Lean Software and Systems Consortium. He has a Masters in Computer Science from M.I.T. as well as a Masters in Mathematics from Emory University. You can follow Alan on Twitter, @alshalloway


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