Never Stop Learning

I finally got around to using a gift certificate I'd gotten for my birthday back at the end of March and ordered myself a copy of Practices of an Agile Developer. Now, a lot of what is in there is common sense but my experiences have taught me that the forces of fate will toss common sense to the four winds if it can get it's talons embedded.

My eldest daughter (she likes the angel and devil sidebars in the book) asked me why I keep reading all these books. I tell her it's because I never want to stop learning things, and reading these programming books also helps me to remember best practices for my job.

Until you do something a million times, you fall back on old habits. But after a while the new habits become the old habits. Yes, I'm an unfocused slacker at times but I do like to do things the right way (at least the right way as I see it). Agile development practices seem to be the right way to me, but I sure didn't work in an agile development environment before. Where I am now, I have a chance to put some of those ideas in play. That makes me feel a lot better about sitting in a cubicle missing my old work buddies.

Pick up a copy of this book and check it out. There is a lot of really neat information in there that even if you are only able to implement a few of the suggestions you'll be that much further ahead. If you are going to cherry-pick a few suggestions I highly recommend getting both unit testing and automated integration testing put in place. Ignore the old-timers and uberslackers who say that testing is lame and a waste of time. Remind them of that the next time they are fixing a bug in their code that a series of tests would've revealed.