May 10 2010

“Better Software Developers” slides from Better Software 2010

Category: agile,me,presentationgiordano scalzo @ 3:15 pm

Here are the slides from my presentation I gave at Better Software 2010: a humble attempt to spread the Software Craftsmanship philosophy among developers and managers.

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Mar 17 2010

AgileCamp 2010: richness of difference

Category: agile,bdd,me,objective-c,presentationgiordano scalzo @ 2:59 pm

Some weeks ago, I has been lucky enough to attend to AgileCamp 2010, an awesome Barcamp organized by Sketchin, a Swiss UX and Web agency.
With my good fellows XpUg-gers Gabriele, Andrea and Indrit, we reached a lot of old and new friends, all of them caring about quality and “Things Got Right”.
I came back really enriched, mainly because I met people with experiences and point of view different than mine.

It has been my first Barcamp, so I though it was necessary to present something, and I decided to assemble a little introduction to Tdd coding for Iphone.

Here there is the video of my presentation:

AgileCamp – iPhone agile DEV (di Giordano Scalzo) from Sketchin on Vimeo.

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Dec 17 2009

StringCalculator Kata at Xpug

Category: agile,bddgiordano scalzo @ 2:18 pm

Last evening the wonderful Xpug Milano hosted a Kata Meeting: three people, three language, one problem, one pomodoro each!

After the launch of, this kind of practice has begun to spread around the world.

As far as I know, that was one of the firsts meeting held in Italy and it has been exciting (and a little scaring) to be one of the performer.

The simple problem to solve was the StringCalculator kata, proposed by Roy Osherove as simple exercise to repeat to assimilate Tdd.

Luca Marrocco performed the kata in Ruby, Raffaele Salmaso a Python version, the benevolent dictator of Xpug Milano a backup kata in Erlang, and yours truly a Scala version.

Below the live recording of my session, with errors, mistakes and pauses made during the execution:

StringCalculator in Scala Kata live at Xpug Milano from giordano scalzo on Vimeo.

Any kind of suggestion about the solution, the process, the way I performed are absolutely welcome.

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Dec 04 2009

An evening at Xpug: Bdd presentation

Category: agile,bdd,me,presentationgiordano scalzo @ 10:24 pm

Last evening, I gave a speech about Bdd, at the wonderful Milan XPUg.
The meeting has been very pleasant: I believe the members are among the most brilliant mind I know.

I could admit I didn’t know very well Bdd, but following the good old advice “teach to learn“, I got a triple win:
I taught something new to Xpug guys, I learned a lot of new things and I improved my presentation skill.

Moreover, after a couple of hours after I put online my slides, the Slideshare team promoted my presentation in home page as features presentation: what a great result for a weekend presentation hack!

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Nov 18 2009

Italian Agile Day is coming

Category: agile,megiordano scalzo @ 4:23 pm

It’s near the end of November, it’s Italian Agile Day time.
As each year, it’s the time to gather all Italian Agile Practitioners, or wannabe-Agile, for a community day.
The site is the nice Hotel Savoia Regency in Bologna.
As usual, the timetable is very interesting, and I still haven’t decided what conferences attend: I’ll float around and I’ll make gut decisions.

See you, there!

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Oct 30 2009

Reviewing “97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know”

Category: agile,reviewgiordano scalzo @ 12:51 pm

97 things every project manager should know
O’Reilly continues its serie “97 things” with this “97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know“.
I’d like to define this kind of books as post-modern book: their contents are released under Creative Commons, every piece last just two pages and they are written by a large group of authors; they are a sort of blog on paper.

I started to read with great expectatives: most of authors are well known in Project Management world, and the format is very attractive.
Neverthless I found it too high level and, in some part, too superficial for my taste: I cought myself thinking “… and so?” too often.

In conclusion, I suggest this books only for novice project managers, otherwise a book as “Manage It!” by Johanna Rothman is more suitable.

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Oct 26 2009

Birthday Greetings Kata in Ruby

Category: agile,ruby,tutorialgiordano scalzo @ 9:30 pm

Lately the pratice of Kata seems spreading out very quickly, thanks to work of well known Software Craftsmen as Corey Haynes or the Clean Code evangelist Uncle Bob.

It all started waiting for a kid’s karate lesson, and now it’s a well know practice to become a better developer.

Basicly a code kata is a small problem to be resolved without any pressure and requests, but to play with different techniques or programming language.

Another interesting point of view considers a code kata as a training for muscles of memory, focusing on repetitions, memorizations of decisions and keyboard shortcuts; the point is: if I get trained to do design decisions at subconscious level, when I’ll met similar problems I’ll be very productive, doing the right decision without any logical think.
Amazing, isn’t it?

The main argument of last Milan Xpug meeting was the Birthday Greetings Kata, a workshop Matteo Vaccari will submit to next Xp Days Benelux 2009.
Unfortunately I couldn’t be present, but I implemented the kata on my own, using Ruby instead of Java.

I enjoyed it very much, and I start thinking to try it still a couple of times and then screencasting it: I’m far behind this level, but review my actions can help me get better.

$:.unshift File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), *%w[.. lib])
require 'rumbster'
require 'message_observers'
require 'net/smtp'
require 'gserver'
require 'birthday_service'
require 'employee_repository'

describe "Greetings Service" do
	def send_message(to, message)
    		Net::SMTP.start('localhost', NON_STANDARD_PORT) do |smtp|
      			smtp.send_message message, 'your@mail.address', to
	before :each do
	 	@rumbster =
   		@message_observer =
		@rumbster.add_observer @message_observer

		@birthdayService ="localhost", NON_STANDARD_PORT);
	after :each do
	context "with a file with one person born today" do
		before :each do
			@birthdayService.send_greetings"employee_data.txt"), "2008/10/08"

		it "should send one email" do
			@message_observer.messages.size.should == 1

		it "should send correct message" do
			@message_observer.messages.first.subject.should == "Happy Birthday!"
			@message_observer.messages.first.body.chomp.should == "Happy Birthday, dear John!" == [""]

$:.unshift File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), *%w[.. lib])
require "employee_repository"

describe "EmployeeRepository" do
	it "should read Employees from a file" do
		repository = "employee_data.txt"

	it "should have a well know size" do
		repository = "employee_data.txt"
		repository.size.should == 3
	it "should return first employee" do
		repository = "employee_data.txt"
		expected_employee ="Doe, John, 1982/10/08,")
		repository.first.should == expected_employee
	it "should return employees born an a given date" do
		repository = "employee_data.txt"
		expected_employee ="Doe, John, 1982/10/08,")
		repository.born_on('2008/10/08').first.should == expected_employee
$:.unshift File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), *%w[.. lib])
require "message"
require "employee"

describe "Message" do
	before :each do
		@message ="Doe, John, 1982/10/08,")

	it "should have employee's email as destination" do == ""
	it "should construct a complete body" do
		@message.body.should == "To:\nSubject: Happy Birthday!\n\nHappy Birthday, dear John!"
require "message"

class BirthdayService
	def initialize(host, port)
		@host = host
		@port = port
	def send_greetings(employees, date)
		employees.born_on(date).each do |employee|
			send_message( employee)
	def send_message(message)
    		Net::SMTP.start(@host, @port) do |smtp|
      			smtp.send_message message.body, 'your@mail.address',
class Employee
	attr_reader :firstname
	attr_reader :lastname
	attr_reader :birthdate
	attr_reader :email
	def initialize(args)
		tokens = args.split(',').map { |e| e.strip }
		@firstname = tokens[1]
		@lastname = tokens[0]
		@birthdate = tokens[2]
		@email = tokens[3]

	def ==(other)
		other.instance_of?(self.class) &&
			@firstname == other.firstname &&
			@lastname == other.lastname &&
			@birthdate == other.birthdate &&
			@email ==
require 'employee'

class String
	def same_day?(other)
		date1 = split('/')
		date2 = other.split('/')
		date1[1] == date2[1] && date1[2] == date2[2]

class EmployeeRepository
	def skip_header

	def initialize(employees_filename)
		@employees = [] do |line|
			@employees <<

	def size

	def first

	def born_on(current_date)
		@employees.find_all { |e| e.birthdate.same_day?(current_date) }
class Message
	def initialize(employee)
		@employee = employee
	def to
	def body
		["To: #{to}",
		"Subject: Happy Birthday!",
		"Happy Birthday, dear #{@employee.firstname}!"].join("\n")

Interesting I wrote more specs code than production code.

I do like I didn't used any IF, but I don't like to open String to model date and the use of split to tokenize things: I'll focus on thant in next attempt!

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Oct 05 2009

Software Craftsmanship Tags

Category: agilegiordano scalzo @ 11:56 am

On Software Craftsmanship mailing list, it was asked three words describing what is Software Craftsmanship movement: this is the result

Wordle: SCTAGS2009

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Oct 02 2009

My Green Wristband

Category: agilegiordano scalzo @ 2:17 pm

As every software craftsman should know, UncleBobMartin has prepared a wonderful green wristband to remember to produce Clean Code.

I’m on my way to become a better developer, and Clean Code wristband is a sign of my commit.
After a small donation, today I got mine:

Clean Code Green Wristband

Clean Code Green Wristband

I’ve to admit I don’t feel I deserve it: the current project I’m working on is a doomed legacy system and the tempations to write dirt code are very appealing , but wearing it should help me to resist.

Oct 01 2009

Reviewing “Manage Your Project Portfolio”

Category: agile,book,reviewgiordano scalzo @ 2:28 pm

I was lucky enough to receive the last book of Johanna Rothman, to review for

Manage Your Project Portfolio” is the last of an virtual trilogy devoted to improve the art of Project Management and to implante the seeds for a Pragmatic Project Management craft; it could be considered as a long appendix to Manage It, as long it expands one of its final chapter.

This book is a must read for everyone involved in IT world, from junior developer ’till C-level executive.
As usual, Johanna Rothman uses a very simple language and she provides a lot of exahustive examples so that everyone can understand the goals and the principles behind a project portfolio management.

If I had to choose only one chapter, maybe I’ll choose the sixth, about collaboration, obstacles and human behaviour during projects evolution, beacuse, usually, people are the problem and the solution.

With this book, Pragmatic Bookshelf confirms itself as one of the best publisher about computer things, and I’m looking forward to reading something in theirs Pragmatic Life Serie.

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