Speaking at NDC 2014

I’m honoured to have two sessions approved for NDC 2014 in Oslo in June. I’ll be talking on “Strangling the Legacy out of an Application” and “Using the Scrum Rules Against your Boss”.

If you are a frequent reader of my blog you know that diving deep into the code and using agile methods are two of areas that I’m interested in. Now I’ll have the opportunity to not only write about it and also talk about it. I have to confess though that I’m a bit nervous. I’m doing the strangling talk right after the opening keynote on the first day of the conference. The scrum talk is at the very last slot of the conference on Friday, in a room that will house scrum talks by Mike Cohn all day before it’s my turn.

Using the Scrum Rules Against your Boss

Managers think that Scrum was invented to make developers work harder. That’s a lie. Scrum was invented by developers to keep managers away so that developers get time to do actual work.
Learn how the Scrum rules can be used against your boss to get a realistic workload and more coding time without interruptions.

Strangling the Legacy out of an Application

A ten year old system with a basic architecture from a distant past (.NET 1.0? VB6?). New functionality built throughout the years with the then state of the art technology. On top of that some cosmetics to make the web interface look modern, but in reality the application is rotten on the inside and about to fall apart any day. That’s a common work environment for many developers.
But there is a way to get out of it without funding for a complete rewrite. Anders shares his experiences on strangling, a method where a new architecture is built in and around the existing code based, gradually replacing the old rotten code with a shiny new architecture.

Redesign of Passion for Coding

Welcome to the redesigned Passion for Coding!

While the design probably looks familiar, there are some changes. The old theme was a child theme to the WordPress standard twenty eleven theme. This new theme however is a brand new theme I’ve written specifically for Passion for Coding. It uses Bootstrap 3 and is fully responsive. I do quite a bit of my own reading of blogs when riding the train to the office, having only a small phone screen to read on so I know how important it can be to provide a good mobile experience and now I (finally) do that myself.

I’ve also decided to go back to Google Adsense for advertising trying their responsive ads. I know that ads are never popular, but if I create the content and pay for the hosting, then I think it’s fair that there are some ads.

I decided to write the theme myself starting with nothing, in order to learn Bootstrap, PHP and WordPress. It has sometimes been challenging, but it’s always very valuable to dig into a new language or platform to learn and I’ve definitely learnt a lot. I will share some details in a separate post later.

For now, I hope that the new design offers a better reading experience. If you experience any problems with the site, please leave a comment or drop me a mail/tweet to let me know.

Two Years of Passion

It’s now two years since I started the Passion for Coding blog. I’d like to share a few thoughts about blogging and also say a big THANK YOU to everyone reading and commenting and sharing my posts. It is strange to know that my writing now reaches to almost every country in the world – to far more places than I have ever been or will ever be able to visit myself.

I would also like to thank DZone for accepting me as one of their Most Valuable Bloggers – without you I would never had got the same number of visits.

Code or Methodology Posts or Both?

Since the start of the blog I’ve published 140 posts about a variety of topics involving software development. There have been a number of posts with code samples (all code is now available in a GitHub repo). There have both been a number of instructional posts about how something specific works, but also a number of utility classes that are ready to use. I do put pride in having test run all the code I publish on the site. I do know that it works (at least until I forget to HTML escape something containing generics and all < and > go missing, spoiling the code).

I’ve also written a number of posts on software development methodology, with a clear focus on scrum. Personally I do like to mix the different kinds of writing. I hope that you enjoy reading the mix too – but I’m very interested on what you think about the mix. Would you prefer more code? Or more scrum thoughts?

Replacing Google Reader with Feedly

In just a few days, Google will kill Google Reader. Moving to Feedly is extremely simple – do it now, before it’s too late and your precious feed setup is lost! Just go there and hit “login” and the migration is done.

This post is not about coding or software development, it’s about feed readers. From my statistics I know that 80% of my subscribed readers are using Google Reader. It used to be 90% before Google announced that they would kill Reader. That means 80% of you have to make a decision in just a few days or you’ll loose your feed setup. I was a Google Reader user too and decided to make the switch about a month ago and picked Feedly.

Migrating to Feedly

Migrating to Feedly from Google Reader is really simple since Feedly used to run on the Google Reader backend. Just go to http://feedly.com and sign in with your Google account and you’re done. All subscriptions are automatically imported into Feedly and available once Google Reader is killed.

I like the site, but it’s in the Android App I’m doing most of my reading.

Internet Detox: Going Offline for a Week

I just came back from a week’s vacation. A week I spent without Internet. I didn’t even bring a smart phone. It was a personal experiment and a great experience.

This post contains no code samples, nor any software project experiences. It is just a personal reflection on the life online and what it do to us. If you can’t stand the thought of being disconnected for a week and feel that this post is nothing for you, please keep on reading. This post is definitely for you.

I have thought about the impact of living my life more or less continuously connected. I usually check my tablet first thing in the morning (before breakfast). I read the night’s twitter stream on the commuter train to work. I spend the working day in front of a computer. I even bring my tablet when putting my kids to bed, to have something to do while I’m sitting there in the dark waiting for them to fall asleep.

I’m sure that I’m not alone being constantly connected. I decided to do an experiment on myself. I left for vacation without my smart phone and without any computer. I brought my tablet for the games (mostly for the kids), but didn’t connect it to the Internet until the day before going back home.

I spent an entire week without the never ending flow of information coming in from the Internet. From twitter, by e-mail, from my RSS subscriptions. I spent the week by the pool at a resort on the Tenerife island (one of the Canarias, outside Africa’s north west coast). I read a book (with letters physically printed on paper made out of trees). I talked to my kids. I talked to my wife. I played with my kids.

Posted in Other on 2013-02-18
Software Development is a Job – Coding is a Passion

I'm Anders Abel, an independent systems architect and developer in Stockholm, Sweden.

profile for Anders Abel at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers

Code for most posts is available on my GitHub account.

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