Picture of me

Hi, welcome to my website.

I'm Duncan Pierce. I help companies improve their software development capability through my company Amarinda Consulting.

My interests include Extreme Programming and Agile Software Development, strategic organizational software reuse, better tools and programming languages and emergent phenomena in software systems. You can take a look at the projects I'm involved in and read more about me.

I hope you enjoy the site and get something useful from it! Let me know what you think.

Below are the latest posts.

Agilists: Metrics aren't always harmful... only sometimes

Burndown chart

My experience has been that many people in the agile world have an aversion to metrics.

One of our goals when Jason Gorman and I started running our metrics workshop “Do you get what you measure?” was to explore what metrics actually measure when people know the metrics are there. It’s easy for participants to see almost all the metrics that are initially proposed result in very undesirable behaviour. People play the system, often yielding the opposite of the intended effect of the metric.

State in Kew

Computer

The State feature in Kew provides access to state-related functions.

Agile Narratives website ready

Agile Narratives speech logo

The new Agile Narratives website is now ready for use. We’re still a little way behind entering the index data on the stories we’ve collected but many have now been done and we’re ploughing through the remainder.

Goonhilly satellite earth station

Satellite dish

I’ve recently been working at Goonhilly Downs, the largest satellite earth station in the world. The site, owned by British Telecom, is near the southernmost tip of the UK, at the Lizard Peninsula, and has line of sight to satellites over the Atlantic and, just barely, the Indian ocean. John Bilkey was good enough to give me the VIP tour of the site, and it was quite amazing.

Xbots - Robocode for Extreme Programmers

Robot

In 2002 Paul Simmons and I put together the “Robocode workshop” (we changed the name later to Xbots) for XPDay 2.

It gives programmers a chance to try out their teamworking and continuous integration skills in a competition. The competition makes it a good environment for learning how to stay on process under pressure.

Invoking a method reflectively in Kew

Computer
#aSelector do {
    aSelector: Output write "I did it";
}

(Post)modern software development

Computer

Software development is fast becoming a configuration activity (“plumbing” as I like to call it), with many simple applications requiring very little true programming. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this “plug it together” approach - it’s been working well for Unix scripting for 30 years - and we should be happy that we’re getting this level of relatively easy reuse.


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