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Up Front

Microsoft and Mikado

by Michael Swaine

Generic image illustrating the article

Agile Microsoft? Really?

To some developers, Microsoft’s technologies are a given, the river they swim in. To others, not using Microsoft’s tools is the default. PragPub being an open source– and Agile–friendly kind of magazine, we tend to connect with the latter group.

So when we get an article titled “Agile Microsoft,” we are naturally intrigued. And we think you’ll also be intrigued by Jonathan McCracken’s introduction to ASP.NET MVC, a framework that some have called “Rails for .NET.”

And there’s plenty more good stuff in this issue.

Have you ever described a software project you were working on as “a house of cards?” Get a little careless with one addition and the whole structure comes crashing down, right? Or have you ever, while working on some legacy code project, felt like you were playing the game Operation, where one sloppy move leads to disaster?

Ola Ellnestam and Daniel Brolund have another game-originated metaphor for this touchiness of complex software projects: the game of Pick Up Sticks, also known as Mikado. The trick to that game is identifying the next stick you can pick up without disturbing any of the other sticks. Ola and Daniel present an approach to refactoring based on that game. They call it the Mikado Method.

It’s an eclectic issue of PragPub. We have essays by Jonathan Rasmusson and Brian Tarbox on how to make yourself indispensable as a developer and the desirability of developer internships, respectively. And Dan Wohlbruck celebrates Alan Turing’s birthday with an essay on his contributions.

Plus, then there’s Andy Lester writing about what to do when you get fired, me dissing multitasking, John Shade getting lost in the HP Way, our events calendar, a quiz, and a selection of prime tweets.