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May 9, 2011 / marrowboy

Personal Practices Map

I am enjoying the book Apprenticeship Patterns – there’s lots of very good advice for people who care about developing software. One chapter is about preparing your own “personal practices map”

In your own time, make a list of your 10 most important practices for coding and design. These do not have to be XP related and should be the most important things in your mind. … Try to determine any relationships that may exist between these. Specifically, which practices support other practices.

This practice was introduced in 2003 at XTC in London, and a couple of (what I assume are) the original participants’ maps still survive:

Nat Pryce noted at the time that:

Almost everybody, myself included, only included the practices they use in ideal circumstances. But what about the practices people use when up against tight deadlines, etc? Perhaps we should repeat the session to create a PersonalUnfortunatePracticesMap and see how the good practices can help us avoid and/or alleviate the bad practices.

Which I intend to give some thought to. As I have come to expect, the advice in the book is great too:

Concentrate on the connections between any practices that have not changed in a while. Ask yourself how your map would change if you discovered that one of those practices was actually counterproductive. Closely examine one of those practices and find out if there are other ways to achieve the same goal.

So, without further ado, my map:

My Personal Practices Map

I should add a caveat: By “Work Fast”, I do not mean that I should get specific tasks done quickly, rather that I should not spend too long on any one task. Working at high speed and breaking work into small chunks are ways to do this, and it is vastly helped by not doing unnecessary work (see YAGNI).


One Comment

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  1. Deejay / Sep 26 2011 5:33 pm

    I love these articles. How many words can a wrodismth smith?

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