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William C. Wake

William C. Wake is an independent software consultant, coach, and trainer. His interests include agile methods, impossible objects, and games and simulations for teaching. He's been using Java since 1.0.2. Bill is the author of the 'Refactoring Workbook' and 'Extreme Programming Explored.' His web home is at


wwake's blog

The last telegram

Posted by wwake on February 8, 2006 at 4:50 AM PST

I saw a note in the paper that Western Union has sent their last telegram, shutting down a 150-year-old business. Wish I'd known it was coming, I'd have sent "What hath God wrought?" to several people. (I know they just added "@" to Morse code a couple years ago...

Guidelines for Example-Based Specifications

Posted by wwake on January 31, 2006 at 5:15 PM PST

How can we write tests that serve as specifications?

I've tried to create guidelines capturing what I do to improve Fit tests.

Agile 2006 submission deadline

Posted by wwake on January 28, 2006 at 4:31 AM PST

Calling your shot

Posted by wwake on November 17, 2005 at 11:32 AM PST

When you first learn how to play pool, you hit the ball with the stick and hope something falls in. After a while, you learn that really playing requires you to call your shot, and then make it.

Agile methods build in this same "call-your-shot" dynamic. Each iteration, we make a prediction about what features will be present, and put them in.

Secrets of Agile Teamwork

Posted by wwake on October 10, 2005 at 6:56 PM PDT

If you're in the Portland Oregon area (or can be:), you might be interested in this workshop with our colleagues Diana Larsen, Esther Derby, and Ken Schwaber:

"The Secrets of Agile Teamwork: Beyond Technical Skills"

Dec. 6-8, 2005, Portland OR USA

NASAGA 2005 conference trip report

Posted by wwake on October 10, 2005 at 6:47 PM PDT

I was at the NASAGA conference, and posted this quick report (onto the NASAGA list).

It's always nice to start by running into old friends & making some new ones. Then I get into my fundamental problem I - there's so much going on, it's hard to choose what to do.

Roots of Lean - Kaizen

Posted by wwake on September 3, 2005 at 6:24 AM PDT

"The Roots of Lean. Training Within Industry: The Origin of Japanese Management and Kaizen", by Jim Huntziger. ArticleDocuments/Roots%20of%20Lean%20-%20TWI.pdf

Tom Poppendieck pointed this out on one of the lists.

Schwerpunkt = focal point

Posted by wwake on September 2, 2005 at 6:53 PM PDT

From Chris Crawford on Game Design:

"But there's one word, a German word, that we haven't yet stolen that should be high on our list of targets: schwerpunkt.

Agile '05 conference, part 5 (last) - Invited talks, TDD workshop

Posted by wwake on August 27, 2005 at 4:22 AM PDT

Random notes from Open Space

Overheard: "Whenever I've been late, I've been yelled at by management. One time, we actually pulled it together and finished early.

Agile '05 conference, part 4

Posted by wwake on August 26, 2005 at 8:23 PM PDT

Jeff Sutherland on Advanced Scrum

"Better, faster, cooler." If this is interesting, see Jeff's paper. I made very quick notes but it's an interesting extension of the Scrum work and I plan to give it more study.

Scrum is out of development and into the whole company.