Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Archive for ‘December, 2006’

The MacBook Pro has arrived, and given the expense of purchasing it I’m starting to get worried about taking it out of the house. AppleCare for it will be arriving as soon as I’ve paid for christmas, but prior to taking it back home for the holidays, I’ve been considering getting cover for it.

Options right now are either to try and get extended all risks cover for it on the contents insurance, or go for a specialist. The helpful MoneySavingExpert forums turned up mentions for Compucover, and google turns up many more – but I wondered if readers had any advice? I’m resident in the UK but do plan to travel with it.

I’d lagged behind the latest WordPress patches so finally bit the bullet and upgraded today. The “unzip the new files over the old” barfed for me, so I went for the slightly more complex “delete the old files first” approach, and all was well. I also ditched my (badly) tweaked Hemmingway theme for the current Web 2.0 one. Expect it to remain fully functional for as long as it takes me to start editing the theme… As always, feel free to report any glitches.

I had an enjoyable couple of days at XPDAY 2006 in London earlier this week. Stand-out presentations for me were Joe and Dan’s Awesome_Acceptance_Testing and Chris Matt’s Managing Uncertainty & Risk Using Real Options, more of which later.

Ivan’s Are We Nearly There Yet? has the makings of an interesting presentation, however I think he was slightly knocked off track by the larger than expected attendance. I personally found the discussion around using actual days for iteration-level estimation warranted the whole session.

Keynote Controversy

The second day’s keynote, Love in the Age of Software by James Noble and Robert Biddle was by degrees entertaining, annoying, embarrassing, enjoyable but not quite educational enough. It was a shame to see some people leave during it (which could be down to either the previous night’s free drinks or the unconventional presenting style) – all that did was remind me that many people in our industry are actually far more conservative than we think.


Theoretically mine and Graham’s dpdeploy presentation was the official launch of the database refactoring tool. The talk went well enough I think, but I think some much of audience were looking for a silver bullet that just doesn’t exist. dbdeploy is nothing more than the latest in a long line of process change hiding behind a tool (CruiseControl being an excellent example).

Anyway, the dpdeploy website is up and the documentation is being improved all the time.