Happy Are The Software Engineers.. (article)

My first ever published article is called "Happy Are The Software Engineers.." and it appeared in Better Software magazine in December 2006. The article describes briefly how complete concentration can create the feeling of happiness especially if the task at hand is meaningful. I wanted to highlight that working for software quality is meaningful and with Tick-the-Code you can achieve complete concentration.

Simply put, happiness is Tick-the-Code.

Tick-the-Code Inspection: Theory and Practice (paper)

My first ever scientific paper is called "Tick-the-Code Inspection: Theory and Practice" and it appeared in the peer-reviewed publication of ASQ (American Society for Quality) called Software Quality Professional.

As the name says, the paper reveals all details of Tick-the-Code up to the 24 coding rules. At the moment this paper is the most comprehensive written source for information about Tick-the-Code.

Tick-the-Code Inspection: Empirical Evidence (on Effectiveness) (paper)

My second paper is called Tick-the-Code Inspection: Empirical Evidence (on Effectiveness). It was prepared for, and first presented at, Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference 2007. The paper presents measurements taken in Tick-the-Code training courses so far (about 50 sessions with over 300 software professionals). The results are revealing. The main point of the paper is that software engineers could keep their software much simpler and avoid making many of the errors software projects are so notorious for.

In the Appendix of the paper, you'll find all the active rules of Tick-the-Code at the time of writing (summer 2007).

Tick-the-Code - traditionally novel technique in the fight against bugs (article)

Pirkanmaan Tietojenkäsittely-yhdistys (Pitky ry) published my article in their member magazine Pitkyn Piiri 1/2008. It is called "Tick-the-Code - uusvanha tekniikka taistelussa bugeja vastaan" and it is only available in Finnish.

Future Work

Tick-the-Code Inspection: The Book (book, working title)

Since 2006, I'm writing a book on Tick-the-Code to be the most comprehensive written source. I've written first drafts of all chapters, except one. I have received some review comments and acted on them. I have contacted a few publishers and received more comments (no approval yet). O'Reilly editor Andy Oram even mentions us in the Beautiful Code blog. Next, we'll need to get people excited about the concept and the book and then approach the publishers again.

Excerpt from the book

The excerpt changes weekly. Each excerpt is still a draft version and might change before ending in the book.

Missing enforcement

The world's most perfect coding standard turns into shelf-ware without proper and regular enforcement. It is not enough to create a coding standard, get commitment for it and then leave it at that. At first everybody in the team knows about coding standard and tries to follow it but memory is a fickle thing. The author won't always verify that he's following the standard, he has to concentrate on the functionality, sometimes he just runs out of time. Every now and then the author even makes mistakes in trying to follow the coding standard. All this amounts to code that contains violations of the accepted coding standard. If you just assume the code is, of course, compliant with the coding standard, you will, of course, err.

A code inspection enforces the coding standard. All participants are reminded of the standard and even asked to take a detailed look into it and check that the code is according to the guidelines. Even a perfect coding standard loses its luster over time without inspections. A coding standard not enforced regularly will diminish in value over time until it becomes just a worthless, forgotten memory in a binder.

One of the key reasons to perform inspections is to remind the developers of the coding standard. Assumptions are often dangerous and assuming that code follows a coding standard simply because one exists is fatal to quality.

Excerpt is part of Chapter 2. "Symptoms".

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