Better Best Practices

Last October I was privileged to give a keynote talk at the Øredev conference in Malmö, Sweden. It was a late substitution. The original speaker, testing guru James Bach, had to cancel at the last minute for personal reasons. I felt pretty intimidated stepping into his shoes, especially since the other keynote presenters were Joel Spolsky and Andy Hunt, but I figured since no-one had heard of me I’d probably slip under the radar.

James was planning to talk about best practices, and it seems we have similar opinions about them. I would encourage you to read his wonderful blog article where he rigourously deconstructs the phrase1, and then just as eloquently picks apart the arguments of anyone who disagrees. So I thought I would do something around the same topic.

I wrote it up as an article and the kind folks at InfoQ published it, and the Øredev team has put up a video of the talk. (For some reason I can’t get it to work in firefox on ubuntu, but I’m pretty sure the guy on the left is me).

1. I didn’t realise until long after Øredev that he was the author of that article. It made me very happy when I found out.


  1. […] Better Best Practices- Dan North’s article is definitely worth reading. […]

  2. The term is less offensive with the actual meaning: “the practices done by the best”. With this, it’s clear that what it means is to take the techniques used by the most effective people and companies out there, and use them.

    Done correctly, it’s the reason why (for example) Lean gives so much credit to Toyota. Done badly, it’s why Dilbert’s PHB wanted to introduce karaoke.

  3. Great article, wish I had been there for the talk. Benner’s book’s proving particularly good as well! Thank you for that!

  4. This article was a real eye opener for me, thanks for that Dan!

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