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  • danielsaidi 9:03 pm on January 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: afferent coupling, cvs, , efferent coupling, greg young, , , kinect, , , stack overflow, tim huckaby, windows 8   

    Øredev 2011 in the rear-view mirror – Part 5 

    Øredev logo

    This is the fifth part of my sum-up of Øredev 2011. Read more by following the links below:

    So, yeah…this sum-up was supposed to be a rather short thing, but has grown out of proportions. I will try to keep it short, but the sessions deserve to be mentioned.


    2:7 – Greg Young – How to get productive in a project in 24h

    In his second session at Øredev, Greg spoke about how to kick-start yourself in new projects. First of all, do you understand what they company does? Have you used your the product or service before? If you do not have an understanding of these fundamental facts, how will you deliver value?

    Then, Greg described how he quickly get up in the saddle. He usually start of with inspecting the CVS. Project that have been around for a while and still have tons of checkins, could possibly be suffering from a lot of bugs. Certain areas that are under the burden of massive amounts of checkins could possibly be bug hives.

    Note these things, it could quickly tell you where in the project it hurts. Naturally, a lot of checkins do not automatically indicate bugs or problems. The team could just be developing stuff. However, it will give you someplace to start. At least, a lot of checkins do mean that someone is working in that particular part of the project.

    These are very simple steps to take, but to actually be able to discuss the project after just an hour or so with the CVS, and maybe even pin-pointing some problems, will give your customer the impression that you are almost clairvoyant…or at least that you know what you are doing, which is why they pay you.

    If the project is not using continuous integration, at least set it up locally. It does not take long and will help you out tremendously. To be able to yell out to someone who breaks the build the second they do it…well, it will give you pleasure at least.

    Greg then went on to demonstrate how you can dig even deeper, and his tool of the day was NDepend. Greg’s demo was awesome, and Patrick should consider giving him…well, a hug at least. I, who without that much success demonstrated NDepend in my organization a while back, could quickly tell that I have a long way to go in how you present a tool to people.

    With NDepend, Greg demonstrated how to use the various metrics, like cyclomatic complexity and afferent/efferent coupling. He went through the various graphs, describing what they do and how they can be used and told us to specially look out for black squares in the dependency matrix (they indicate circular references) and concrete couplings (they should be broken up).

    All in all a very, very great session that also gave me a lot of things to aim for when holding presentations myself. As a consultant, you should not miss this video.


    3:1 – Keynote – Jeff Atwood – Stack Overflow: Social Software for the Anti-Social Part II: Electric Boogaloo

    I will not attempt to cover everything said in this keynote. Instead, you should go here and wait for the video. It is filled with fun gems, like when Jeff describes how stuff that are accepted in a web context would be really strange if applied in real life. For instance, FB lets you keep a list of friends. Who has a physical list of friends IRL?

    Anyway, Jeff spoke about gamification and how we can design our service like a game, using a set of rules to define how it is meant to be used, award those who adapt to the rules…and punish the ones that do not. The basic premise is that games have rules and games are fun…so if we design our web sites as games, they should become fun as well.

    Well, at least, rules drastically simplifies how we are supposed to behave. It tells us what to do. Sure, it does not work for all kinds of sites, but for social software, gamification should be considered. Games, in general make social interaction non-scary, since everyone has to conform to the rules. Just look at the world, and you will know that this is true.

    So, when designing Stack Overflow, Jeff and Joel did so with gamification in mind. You may not notice it at first, but everything there is carefully considered. For instance, people use to complain that you cannot add a new question at the very start page. This is intentional. Before you add a question, Stack wants you to read other questions, see how people interact and learn the rules.

    Stack adapt several concepts from the gaming world. Good players are awarded with achievements and level up as they progress. There are tutorials, unlockables etc. Without first realizing it, Jeff and Joel ended up creating a Q&A game that consists of several layers:

    • The game – ask and answer questions
    • The meta-game – receive badges, level up, become an administrator etc.
    • The end-game – make the Internet a little better

    This design makes it possible for Stack Overflow to allow anonymous users, unlike Facebook who decided to only allow real names in order to filter out the “idiots”. Since Stack Overflow award good players, bad players are automatically sorted out. The community is self-sanitizing. People are awarded with admin status if they play good enough. It’s just like Counter Strike, where you are forced to be a team player. If you are not, the game will kill you 🙂

    I could go on and on, but Jeff says it best himself. Although some parts are simply shameless Stack commercial, I recommend you to check out the video.


    3:2 – Tim Huckaby – Building HTML5 Applications with Visual Studio 11 for Windows 8

    Tim has worked with (not at) Microsoft for a loooong time and is one charismatic guy, I must say. What I really appreciated with his session was that it seemed a bit improvised, unlike most sessions at Øredev. What I did not like quite as much, though, was that it seemed too improvised. Due to lack of time and hardware issues, Tim failed to demonstrate what I came to see – HTML5 applications with VS11.

    Tim begun with stating that he hates HTML…but that he loves HTML5, which is “crossing the chasm”. This means that it is a safe technology to bet on, because it will be adapted. How do we know? Well, the graph below illustrates when a technology is “crossing the chasm” in relation to how people adapt it:

    The Chasm Graph :)
    So when a technology is “crossing the chasm”, get to work – it will be used 🙂 I wonder how the graph would have looked for HD-DVD? Tim also thanked Apple for inventing the iPad (which he calls a $x couch computer). Thanks to the iPhone and the iPad, Flash and plugins are out and HTML5 is in.

    Large parts of the sessions were fun anecdotes, like when he spoke about how Adobe went out with a “we <heart> Apple” campaign and Apple responded with an “we <missing plugin> Adobe”. Hilarious, but did we learn anything from these anectodes? Well, time will tell.

    • Tim went through some browser statistics, explained why IE6 is still so widely used (damn those piracy copies of Win XP in China)…and ended up with some small demos, but faced massive hardware problems and promised us some more meat if we stayed a while. I stayed a while (I even attended the next Tim session) but the demos were not that wow.

    So, how did Tim do in his second session? Read on!


    3:3 – Tim Huckaby – Delivering Improved User Experience with Metro Style Win 8 Applications

    Tim started this session talking about NUI – Natural User Interfaces and some new features of Windows 8, like semantic zoom, a desktop mode behind Metro (it looks great, just like Win 7!), smart touch and…a new task manager (he was kinda ironic here).

    Tim demonstrated Tobii on a really cool laptop with two cameras, which allow it to see in 3D.  The rest of the session was…enjoyable. I cannot put my finger on it, but I had fun, although I was disappointed at what was demonstrated. The Kinect demo was semi-cool, a great Swedish screen was also interesting and Tim also hinted about how the new XBOX Loop and a new Kinect will become a small revolution.

    I really do not know what to say about this. Watch the video. You will have fun.

  • danielsaidi 11:41 pm on December 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cqrs, , ddd, event sourcing, greg young, , rickard öberg, uncertainty   

    Øredev 2011 in the rear-view mirror – Part 3 

    Øredev logo

    This is the third part of ny sum-up of Øredev 2011.

    I will label each session with day:order to satisfy all structure freaks (myself included) that read this.


    2:1 – Dan North – Embracing Uncertainty – the Hardest Pattern of All

    If there is one session I really regret not attending to, it has got to be this one. Everyone I spoke to afterwards were totally blown away by Dan’s keynote about how we humans strive to avoid uncertainty at all cost, even in situations where uncertainty would be a much better mode to be in than being certain.

    Uhm…I’ll just point you guys straight to Daniel Lee’s excellent blog, where he write more about this session.

    Dan North

    The quote “Fear leads to risk, risk leads to process, process leads to hate… and suffering and Gantt charts”, “We would rather be wrong than be uncertain!” and the way Dan reasons about how faith become religion makes this the top session that will keep me waiting for the Øredev videos.


    2:2 – Greg Young – How to not apply CQRS

    I just love Greg. After this session, I stormed out of the room and bursted out “I think it is SO cool that Greg is, like, the Henry Rollins of software engineering”, on which a complete stranger turned around, equally happy, and almost shouts “I KNOW!”. A minute or so later, I happen to overhear a conversation, where one guy says “Wow, Greg looks JUST like Phil Anselmo”.

    Greg Young

    Henry Rollins?

    Yeah, Greg is the personification of all those metal vocalists we always wanted to be (or be friends with) and lets us embed ourselves in a thick layer of ignorance that allows us ignore that we are a developer converence. Oh no, we are almost those rock stars we dreamt of to become…and almost friends with Phil and Henry. I also think I saw a little bit of Mike Patton in his eyes, and a piece Christian Bale in the way he speaks.

    Henry Rollins

    Greg Young?

    All this despite the fact that Greg wears Five Finger Shoes. Five Finger Shoes!

    That is quite an achievement.

    But hey, what did he talk about, I hear you ask. Well, I frankly do not remember. No, that was a lie. Greg talked about how one good way to fail is to apply CQRS everywhere within a monolithic system. CQRS is not a top level architecture. It requires a bounded context. So, to apply CQRS in a non-core context, and without a bounded context, is an almost fail-proof way to fail. With CQRS applied everywhere, nothing can change.

    Greg then went on to speak about CQRS and DDD, and the dangers of imaginary domain experts. Who can be considered to be a domain expert? The consultant who have worked with a system for a while, who maybe even answer to another consultant? Or is it an employee who have worked with the domain for a couple of years? How about twenty years?

    This is really important, since CQRS is business-centric, which is why CQRS and DDD without domain expertise does not work. The result will become like playing the telephone game and translating Shakespeare with Google Translate. BA:s are really good at asking the right questions, but they are not domain experts.

    As an exercise, Greg talked a bit about Programming as Analysis, which I’d like to try. The point is that you are supposed to build a system for a domain that you do not know. Now, timebox your access to the domain expert to two hours. That is it. In two hours, you  have to find out everything you need to build your system. The entire system. Sure, you will fail. Fail hard. But, in doing so, you will come up with a bunch of new questions. So you throw everything away. Everything. Then you do it all again. Two hours. Build the entire system. Then again. Then again.

    Greg finally summed up his session with pointing out the most certain way to fail – by learning CQRS by building a CQRS framework. Instead, focus on the business value of applying CQRS. He finished his great session with calling frameworks “crack for architects” and  stating that frameworks are evil.

    Great one, Greg. Thanks a million. Now, drop those five fingers and I would not hesitate to put a poster of you up on my wall.


    2:3 – Rickard Öberg – Event Sourcing explained

    Next to CQRS, which I have not had the pleasure of applying (maybe I should build my own CQRS framework…or?), Event Sourcing is something that I’d love to try out.

    Rickard Öberg

    Rickard started with describing a common architecture:

    Client <- Service facade <- Domain <- Storage

    and how with Event Sourcing, things look a bit different:

    Client <- Service facade <- Domain (Commands -> Events) <- Event storage

    We do not store state – we store events, which is a huuuuge difference. By storing the events, we can replay all the events that has affected an entity during its lifetime, and in such a way build it up from scratch to its current state. In order to avoid really heavy operations, we can store snapshots as well. With snapshots, an event stack like this one (the latest event is topmost):


    is handled by starting with the lastest event. As long as the item is not a snapshot, we keep it for later. Once we reach a snapshot, we grab that representation, then apply all the events that we have kept for later. This way, we do not have to replay the entire life of the entity, just a part of it.

    That is basically it.

    Rickard, however, then went on to talk a bit about his event sourcing framework. Obviously suffering after Greg’s recent framework burstout, Rickard had the balls to still insist that his framework was really good…and that he likes to use it. I for one believe him.

    With event sourcing, report generation becomes a breeze. Also, you never loose data. If I add 5000 to my bank account then withdraw 3000, and no events are stored, all I know is that I now have 2000 more than before I started. Sure, maybe the system writes transactional details to the log, but with event sourcing, the event storage becomes the log.

    Due to its log-like nature, event sourcing also simplifies debugging. Who did what when? With event sourcing, nothing gets thrown away. My events is what makes my entities look the way they do. If an event accidentally was not saved, that is bad, sure, but it is another problem. My entity does not know about it, since the event does not exist.

    Event sourcing continues to interest me. Maybe one day, I will actually get around to use it?

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