Monday, 27 January 2014

Red. Green. Refactor.


When Nigel and I started Two Red Kites (2RK), we had experienced life as employees, as well as running businesses independent of each other.  We brought to the table many experiences that we wanted to replicate in 2RK and some that we would do all we could to not be a part of the 2RK experience.

We formulated our company’s guiding principles, which would allow us to always reflect of when decisions needed to be made, or how should we act on different occasions.  One of these is what I am writing about in this post.

Red. Green. Refactor.

Our company develops our solutions and products using technologies such as ruby, rails and javascript.  Underpinning our software is the philosophy of Test Driven Development (TDD) and I am totally on board with this approach!  I certainly wasn’t 2 years ago.  When Nigel was coaching / coercing me into the TDD virtues, I was stubbornly stating that I know the code to write, why waste time on writing tests.  I am glad I came around, as it has saved my bacon a few times when implementing new features into complex systems.

This article is not about Red. Green. Refactor. as it related to development, but about how a newly formed (6 months young) company operates and improves.  As you can appreciate, day 1 we had no systems, process, policies, procedures, office, … you get the picture…

Using the Red. Green. Refactor. approach, when faced with the day to day questions from staff, clients and ourselves, we simply determine:

  • Do we have anything now that is relevant? No
  • Implement the simplest solution that addresses the core question, issue, opportunity
  • Refine / Improve over time

Even in our short company life, we have seen iterations of our systems and processes, evolve and improve.  By way of one example, we have had 3 iterations of time sheets, a most emotive topic of discussion, but we feel we now have the lowest impact solution for our developers. (For now as we will always refactor where required!)

This blog is another outcome of the Red. Green. Refactor. in use.  We have been very communicative internally and with our active projects, but we wanted to also share some of our thoughts, ideas and experiences with the wider community, that we don't necessarily see every week.

I do love seeing the green lights of my software tests passing, as I also do seeing our business improving in our systems and processes.

Sean
Director, Two Red Kites

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