What Kind Of Lead Developer Are You ?

There are at least 2 kinds of Lead Developer. The Backup and The Coach. A leader is always someone making you progress in your craft. Either by teaching or by showing.

There are at least 2 kinds of Lead Developer. The Backup and The Coach. A leader is always someone making you progress in your craft. Either by teaching or by showing.

The Backup

He is working in the shadows. He is your safety net. Every commit, every unit test or method, he scrutinize it.

His goal is to soften the difference of levels between other developers. He is quiet and working on tasks you don’t see at first :

  • repairing or improving a unit test
  • reordering your files
  • answering your small questions
  • taking and applying merging decisions for your
  • making great utility classes and stacks to accelerate your work on the most visible part of your project

The difference with a simple developer is that he can explain what and why he is doing. Hence, you progress.

Each of his commit is to be looked at. Because they can and should change the way you code.

The Coach

He is spending more time with you than coding on his own. Peer programming with him (either as a pilot or a co-pilot) is a better than 2 months of school.

It can be frustrating for him, just like for the Backup leader; because he is more helping others to code than coding.

He is the guy you look after every time you start the architecture of a new user story. And you should. More visible he also have to be humble yet firm.

You Should Hire Both

They are complementary. There can be many leaders, not just one. And the time spent by the first must be used by the second to educate the team.

Both are the architects of the project, one by example the other by reputation.

I worked with a good combo on an iOS project. And it’s a joy to follow them, through the code, or in peer programming.

And you ? What kind of lead developers did you meet ?


If you still hang on to “features” you are not as Agile as you think

If you still speak about features, or plan to add another sprint to “finish” the backlog : you are not Agile.

On some Agile projects I’ve been working on I noticed an arch reality :

If you still speak about features, or plan to add another sprint to “finish” the backlog : you are not Agile.

One of the first warning I give a new client about Agile projects is the following : your backlog is not a magical whishlist. You can have :

  • sprints (event with fixed time frame)
  • a backlog
  • a board
  • a scrummaster
  • a product owner
  • a daily meeting
  • and so on

but if you still think the team will finish all your User Stories at  the end of the last sprint, you’re gonna have a bad time.


So Agile is a big scam, right?

No. Certainly not. It’s a reality call : if you don’t have enough money to build all you have in mind, you won’t.

And you know what ? It’s a good thing ! Features are not the goal of all this sprinting. It’s about VALUE.

Your backlog is not final. It’s a moving plan. It’s a goal. And User Stories are certainly not features. A US can be composed of many features. Or none sometimes (just a simple analog solution)

There will be delay and lag. Even in Agile of course. And the solution is not to do another sprint. It’s to cut down the number of features and start concentrate on what is really meaningful to users.

If you think I’m to vague start looking a the best product out there : less features but an immense value each time you use it.

Dismount what you already built !

Maintenance is a part of your software value. It has a cost, it represents a debt.

So some final word of advice :

Have some budget dedicated to dismount or erase some features. It increases software quality (with less code base) and increases its value (more stable, less feature creeped soft).




Why living in Korea seems better than France

Here is my theoretical/biased/undocumented/partial point of view of why Korea is a better place to live for a frenchman.

Warning : I’m French. Married to a Korean woman. We live in France in a small town near Paris. We only spend vacations in Busan, Korea, not real living. Don’t know about Seoul thought.

You might want to look a this Price comparison between Busan and Paris.

This is a way to engage in a discussion with my French and Korean readers.

Here is my theoretical/biased/undocumented/partial point of view of why Korea is a better place to live for a Frenchman.


Better :

  • You have a much much higher chance to be attacked in the French subway than taking a bomb from North Korea
  • Streets feel safer
  • More respect between people

Worst :

  • I you watch too much TV you might get influenced about Pyongyang’s actions


Better :

  •  Taxi is much cheaper and frequent
  • Oil price is lower
  • More alcohol controls at night
  • Better roads and lights are on !
  • Better subway, cleaner, no strikes
  • More bus, better time estimation

Worst :

  • Same traffic jams
  • Don’t drive : you’ll die.
  • Few people really wear seatbelt


Better :

  • More larger streets
  • Clearer indications
  • No dog sh..

Worst :

  • Too much billboards
  • Some small streets smell really bad
  • No historical places or old interesting places in Busan
  • Less parks, but many mountains


Better :

  • One of the fastest Internet infrastructure on earth
  • 4G-3G everywhere. Phone always able to catch network.
  • Edge-2G ? What’s that ?
  • Phone plan cheaper and less blocking

Worst :

  • Too much technology ?


Better :

  • Your are a king. 
  • Employees smiles. For real. Impressive. Never saw that before.
  • Anything can be delivered anywhere, cheaply, real fast
  • Postman does everything in his power to give you your parcel. Don’t have to go to post office 48h after he came.

Worst :

  • Hard life for people working in services
  • It makes you impatient and demanding sometimes


Better :

  • Always find some place open
  • Supermarket still open at 11pm !
  • Incredible service
  • Everywhere

Worst :

  • Loud music and advertising in some streets
  • Some article are much more expensive


Better :

Worst :

  • More and more junk food. But, hey, you have the choice not to go !
  • Wine is so expensive !


Better :

  • More shops and commodities around
  • No bedbugs (personal note after a year of suffering)
  • Cheaper
  • Larger

Worst :

  • More appartement than house
  • Less protection when renting
  • 2 years in advance to rent sometimes


Better :

  • Appointment in the day (in France 3 months some times for a dentist)
  • Cleaner, calmer
  • Very efficient and dedicated employees
  • More employees
  • Choice between traditional and modern healthcare, no prejudice between the two

Worst :

  • More expensive


Better :

  • Real culture of personal development
  • Aim for the best
  • First school is not a babysitting place, it’s where learning starts
  • Less or no babysitting required
  • Many baby/child friendly places

Worst :

  •  Very expensive !
  • Big burden for kids, starting early


Better :

  • So quick, no comparison possible (10 minutes for obtaining national number  for our daughter)
  • Lot of employees that smiles and are nice (yes it could be)

Worst :

  • You should speak Korean, it helps 😀


Better :

  • Apparently less social status division
  • More respect
  • Less touching between people

Worst :

  • More division between generations/age


Better :

  •  Risk friendly / fast environment
  • More innovation, less tax

Worst :

  • Less protection
  • Too much hierarchy
  • Less less vacations

I’ll edit and correct this article from time to time.

Please give me your opinion on the real fact.

Did I forget a category ?

Translate your iOS app to Korean : a tip

While trying to add Korean support to the Wifinsite app, I ran in the following problem : the app stays in english. French was ok, but no Korea.

Actually you have to add 2 Korean languages : ko(korean) and ko-KR(South-Korea). Very disturbing.


PS/ Sorry for the short article. I’ll post a detailed tutorial if needed.


Traduire une application iOS en Coréen : astuce

En essayant d’ajouter le coréen pour l’application Wifinsite j’ai rencontré le problème suivant : l’application reste en anglais.

Il faut ajouter DEUX langues : ko(korean) et ko-KR(South Korea). Autrement l’application se lance dans la langue par défaut (anglais pour moi).

PS/ Désolé pour l’article rapide mais je retourne développer. Si besoin je mettrais ici un tutoriel détaillé.


Fête des moissons « Chuseok » (추석) ce samedi

La fête coréenne des moissons aura lieu ce samedi 10 septembre 2011 (11:00 – 16:30)

Voici un lien vers l’évènement sur Facebook :  https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=202086383188660

C’est comme l’année dernière au Jardin d’Acclimatation dans le bois de Boulogne (av du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris)

Bonne fête !







5 Korean Tips To Improve French Restaurants

In Paris, franchised restaurants, posh establishments and very small food shops are doing well.

However medium sized independent restaurants are not in good shape in my opinion. They are not expensive but not cheap, food is good but not extraordinary, tables are sometimes empty and service is slow.

Here are 5 tips from Korean restaurants to inspire our French ones.

[Cet article est disponible en français]

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