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  • Strengthening Shared Team Values Through the Four Rules of Simple Design

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Strengthening Shared Team Values Through the Four Rules of Simple Design

Speaker: Stacey Vetzal

Duration: 60

Track: Technical

Level: Intermediate

Over the past few years, I’ve found incredible flexibility in building my technical coaching practice around the "Four Rules of Simple Design", originally penned by Kent Beck back in the ‘90s.

The Four "Rules" have resonated with many developers over the years, and have a wonderful lack of specificity. These tiny pearls of wisdom are so simple and flexible that they have caused many an argument. They have even been called generative – that is we can derive many of our practices and small-scale architecture by extrapolating on them.

As such, they provide fertile grounds for growing consensus on the thousands of decisions your team should be making together.

  1. Tests Pass – How does your team test the code you deliver, and at what level(s) of abstraction will you decide to test?
  2. Express Intent – How does your team arrive and socialize common understanding so that the intent in your code is always clear to every team member?
  3. Don’t Repeat Yourself – What strategies do you use to ensure your team knows what behaviour is present in your code, and how to leverage it without duplication?
  4. Small - What dimensions will you measure so that you continue to derive the maximum level of value from a minimal amount of code?

Code that follows these rules has a natural agility. Tests give us confidence to make change. Clear intent helps us find what needs to change. No duplication means we make the change only once. Small means we aren't getting lost on our way to making the change, and allows us to make more meaningful change with less effort.



Stacey Vetzal

Stacey Vetzal has coached and trained software development professionals for the past 17 years. She has a tremendously broad technical background, built apprenticeship and coaching programs for a variety of organizations, and helped developers through staggering technology and process transformations.

Her great dismay in the field she loves is seeing teams that aren’t living up to their potential, so she founded Coding Culture in 2015. She built Coding Culture’s flagship program upon four essential principles in the software community, and Stacey delivers it with enthusiasm to infuse or re-ignite a healthy culture of professionalism and pride in the teams with which she works.

Stacey codes every day, and has been since she was ten years old. That’s 38 years of software development across a broad array of programming languages and environments. She firmly believes that the best way to inspire developers is to lead by example.

Through her consulting practice, Mojility, Stacey provides coaching and mentoring to software teams across North America and is also an incubator for various software product development ventures.

She is also deeply involved with her local community. Stacey has chaired the Program Advisory Committee for Durham College Web Development & Interactive Media programs, has been a guest lecturer at U.O.I.T. in Social Justice and Software Engineering, a board member at the Business Advisory Centre Durham, and the Durham Region chapter lead for Ladies Learning Code.