The Royal Yak

(continued from Trim Yaks; part of the Taxonomy of Yak Shaving series) Royal Yak, aka Yakkity Yak (quote from Talking to people is yak shaving; it is an intermediate task that helps you get your official tasks done. It’s usually seen as a separate way to “waste” time. I’m here to call relationship-building out … Read moreThe Royal Yak

Trim Yaks

(continued from Imperial Yaks; part of A Taxonomy of Yak Shaving series) Trim Yaks, aka, the Hackhacking yak (making coding faster) Each of the previous yaks stood in the way of a particular task. The Trim Yak is not so task-specific; these are the ones that let us work faster generally. I nickname them “Hackhacking Yaks” … Read moreTrim Yaks

The Imperial Yaks

(continued from Attack Yak; series begins with Taxonomy of Yak Shaving) Sometimes you’re coding along, writing tests as little experiments “this should fail because I haven’t implemented the parser for it yet” — and it fails in a way you didn’t expect. And then you start digging and the parsing library isn’t working how you expected. And … Read moreThe Imperial Yaks

The Attack Yak

(This post describes the first yak category. You might choose to start with the Taxonomy of Yak Shaving intro.) Black Yak, aka Attack Yak. (quotes are from When you feel that your task is 80% complete, these yaks form the next 80%. They are the distance between “works on my box” and “this is … Read moreThe Attack Yak

A Taxonomy of Yak Shaving

Yak Shaving is: doing seemingly-unrelated tasks to get some real task done. The name has obscure roots and doesn’t matter; the key is that it makes you think, “Why would you do that?” Yak shaving can be: I want to make dinner, but I’m doing stairs; moving objects around in order to clear a path … Read moreA Taxonomy of Yak Shaving

The Architects Below

This is the text of a short keynote for O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference 2017, New York. Power.Software developers have a particular power over the daily lives of our users. A hospital the nurse interacts with the patient, and they record those interactions in software. Software impacts the nurse: some things might be easier, but others … Read moreThe Architects Below