EppsNet Archive: Kent Beck

Put the Pen on the Paper

4 Jan 2015 /


Software Development is Capable of Much, Much More

30 Jun 2011 /

If there is one message I would like to communicate, whatever your job title and however your work is touched by software development, it is this: software development is capable of much, much more than it is currently delivering.


The Word “Requirement” is Just Plain Wrong

29 Jun 2011 /

Software development has been steered wrong by the word “requirement,” defined in the dictionary as “something mandatory or obligatory.” The word carries a connotation of absolutism and permanence, inhibitors to embracing change. And the word “requirement” is just plain wrong. Out of one thousand pages of “requirements,” if you deploy a system with the right 20% or 10% or even 5%, you will likely realize all of the business benefit envisioned for the whole system. So what were the other 80%? Not “requirements”; they weren’t really mandatory or obligatory.


The Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work

28 Jun 2011 /

I ask people to think about the question, “What is the simplest thing that could possibly work?” I’m not asking you to think about what is too simple to work, just to bias your thinking toward eliminating wasted complexity.


Change Isn’t the Problem

26 Jun 2011 /

Everything in software changes. The requirements change. The design changes. The business changes. The technology changes. The team changes. The team members change. The problem isn’t change, because change is going to happen; the problem, rather, is our inability to cope with change.


It Isn’t a Thing You Do

9 Apr 2008 /

Agile development isn’t a thing you do, it’s an attitude, it’s a set of personal values about responding to the real world, being open to the information that is there and being willing to do something about it.

Kent Beck

Barbie Speaks

21 Sep 2006 /

I’m listening to an online interview with Kent Beck, Cynthia Andres and Tom DeMarco. My son hears Andres’ voice and says, “You’ve got a woman teaching you about technology?!”

“What a sexist you are,” I say.

“I’m just repeating what you always say: ‘Oh, women don’t know anything about computers.'”

“When did I ever say that?”

“You say it all the time. ‘Men are a lot smarter than women.'”

I deny this vehemently, and not just because my wife is sitting across the room.

Meanwhile, Andres is saying something: Blah blah blah Kent blah blah blah . . .

Ken!?” the boy says. “Who’s advising you? Barbie?”


We Set Our Sights So Low

1 Sep 2003 /

I think it’s such a shame we set our sights so low. Either you’re stuck with software that works the way it works because you don’t want to break it, or you get an upgrade that causes pain and anguish. I just want my stupid computer to work and it doesn’t. That’s not computing.

That we accept the status quo says such negative things about us as humans . . . Our ambitions are so, so small compared to the opportunity.

Kent Beck