Wave 2

Simple Design Applied

Additional Topic Description: Increase productivity through effective naming

Duration: 90 minutes

Audience Level: Experienced

Session Style: Presentation/Workshop

Description of Session:

Many organizations invest considerably in change initiatives for improving software quality and team productivity. However, many change initiatives overlook that developers spend as much as 70% of their time reading and understanding code.

The best place to start improving the understandability and readability of code is to learn how to choose good names. This has high value and low risk, no special tools are required, and you can start now.

This will be a highly collaborative workshop where you share your insights and learn from others through reviewing real code.

Session Leader 's Background:

Declan is an agile developer and coach with a passion for writing simple code code that matters. When not writing code he can be found coaching agile teams, speaking at conferences and growing the agile/lean community. He has recently got the lean startup bug and is a mentor for Lean Startup Machine in Toronto and for the REAP entrepreneurial program at the University of Waterloo.

Session History:

This session has been delivered to the Agile Users Group in Waterloo in April 2012. This session has also been a part of multiple client training sessions on Simple Design.

Questions Answered By This Session:

Participants will come away with a deeper appreciation of why Simple Design is important.

Participants will leave this session with a deeper understanding of why names are so important and tools to help improve naming on their projects


Submitted by

Session Leader Name(s): Declan Whelan

Proposed Duration: between 60 and 90 minutes

Stage: Accepted

Feedback Score

13 votes

Idea Details

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Similar Ideas [ 2 ]


  1. Status Changed from Active to Accepted
  2. Status Changed from In Review to Active
  3. Status Changed from Active to In Review
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  1. Comment
    ( Pinned Moderator )

    At the request of Declan - I have changed the session description to accomodate the change in presenters. Alistair will not be able to attend the conference and Declan felt that he would rather do a great job on a focused part of the session rather than a good job on the earlier scope.

    Due to restrictions on ideascale, a moderator had to make the change.

  2. Comment

    Will your workshop be able to accommodate/engage technically-savvy non-coders? I'd like to see this in action, but I don't have the coding chops to participate as a designer.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      declan-whelan ( Idea Submitter )

      Ellen, I gave a portion of this talk last week at a client's and I had the Product Owner and Manager both attend. They felt that they got something out of it but not as much as the programmers. We will work in pairs or threes for technical work so people can help each other depending on their programming prowess.

    2. Comment
      Alexei Zheglov


      I attended a variation of this session this week. Declan handed out code examples that were understandable to people in all roles. I paired with a person in a "non-coding" role.

  3. Comment

    This is a much needed topic. I would definitely attend this session. Will the presentation be available or will there be take home items? I'd love to share this information with my team.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      declan-whelan ( Idea Submitter )

      Sure, we will share the presentations. As with most sessions the learning will happen with the collaboration with others.

  4. Comment
    Carlton Nettleton
    ( Moderator )

    I give this session an 8 out of 10 (10 being perfect)

    I like that you are talking about Simple Design. I like the thou are talking about something from XP (the forgotten Agile process). I like that you are co-teaching a subtle and complex topic. I like that you have laid out very clearly how you plan to use 3+ hours. I like that this is code based. I like this is very practical and teaches the learners things they can use right away.

    What would make this perfect is shorter. I don't see how this can be shorter, but the amount of time you are asking for keeps this from being a perfect 10. I wonder is this even the right forum for this type of presentation (something that takes over 2+ hours)?

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      declan-whelan ( Idea Submitter )

      Thanks for the comments Carlton. I do agree that 3 hours is a long session. My experience is that spending time to really explore and engage with the concepts deepens the learning. And these two parts of Simple Design are often overlooked. I could imagine splitting the session in 2 - one part or names and one for duplication. What do you think?

  5. Comment
    Alexei Zheglov

    I attended a variation of this session this week and definitely recommend it. By improving clarity and removing hints of duplication, the presentation of the concept of simple design was distilled to its core principles.

  6. Comment
    ( Moderator )

    I would like to include this session, because so few "agile" confs these days have anything for programmers. The presenters are well-qualified.

  7. Comment
    Ted M. Young

    This is the presentation I'd love to give, but you've got it nailed. Would love to see this as a half-day workshop!

  8. Comment
    ( Moderator )

    Oh this is rocking my world. Run it as one session or 2 or, spill into the 3rd day as labs - whatever you feel fits and keeps folk focused . Run it!!

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