Failing fast

There is an intriguing question that pops up frequently in organizations developing software in projects: when is a project successful? For sure, one of the most (mis)used resources on the subject is the Standish Group. In their frequently renewed CHAOS Report they define a project successful if it delivers on time, on budget, and with all planned features. For a […]

Agile anti-patterns at CodeMotion Madrid

Many organizations turn towards agile to escape failing traditional software development. Due to this increase in popularity, many newcomers enter the field. Without the necessary real-life experience but proudly waving certificates from two days of training. During a challenging talk I did at the CodeMotion conference in Madrid, in October 2013, I tried to show what happens to projects that […]

What could the Dutch football learn from agile?

After a series of very disappointing games the Dutch national football team was eliminated during the preliminary rounds of the European Championships. Comments weren’t mild. The most heard comments largely focused on the lack of team spirit and mental fitness. Not uncommon to Dutch national football teams. Earlier this week an interesting broadcast of the Dutch sports program Studio Sport […]

Evolving agile

Without any doubt agile is the biggest evolution in software development approaches since the introduction of waterfall back in the early seventies. And yes. Agile is an evolution rather than a revolution. The best practices and techniques in agile didn’t just pop-up. Rather they emerged from years of hard-working, real-life experience in succeeding and failing in projects. So working in […]

A short notice about object relational mapping framework generated queries…

I guess object relational mapping is an accepted paradigm for exchanging data between an object oriented domain layer and underlying databases. For most applications object relational mapping is more than sufficient. And if not, perhaps command query responsibility segregation might contribute well to your solution. Being a more than frequent user, this very short blog post is not meant to […]

Agile Open Holland (Dieren, Netherlands. November 2011. Keynote)

On November 3, 2011 I presented the keynote of the Agile Open Holland Conference in Dieren. During this challenging talk I discussed the current state of affairs in agile organizations and projects and the effects of the recent strong rise in popularity of agile approaches. Let’s put it mildly: there’s a lot of work to be done. Death by dogma […]

Flower-Power Agile Fluffiness

To all the dear people in the agile community and to the faint-hearted: this will not be an easy blog post. There was a time when being a software developer was a decent craft, requiring decent craftsmanship and yes also a lot of creativity, some communication, some collaboration. Still it was a decent craft. The waterfall-ish methodologies we used weren’t […]

Scrumdamentalists and crusaders

After having promoted agile and iterative approaches to software development projects for over a decade, I finally find that, like Bob Dylan says, the times they are a-changing. And for the better. Many small and large organizations and enterprises are now turning towards agile approaches, often to compensate for years and years of failing projects. You might suggest that all’s […]

Please vote for my Microsoft Mix 2011 proposals!

From April 12-14 the next edition of Microsoft’s MIX Conference will take place in Las Vegas. I’ve sent in two proposals for the Open Call. Today heard that both proposals made it through the first cut, which means they’re open for public voting (you don’t have to be registered). It would be great if you would cast your vote for […]

November 12, 2010 – Microsoft TechEd Europe. How smart use cases can drive web development

[Session ARC205 at Microsoft TechEd Europe 2010 in Berlin] Use cases have been around for many years describing the requirements of software development projects. From a developer’s point of view, use cases are often seen as too abstract and too complex to develop code from. Until now, that is. During this interactive talk, speaker Sander Hoogendoorn will demonstrate how to […]

November 9, 2010 – Microsoft TechEd Europe. How frameworks can kill your projects.

[Session ARC203 at Microsoft TechEd Europe 2010 in Berlin] When it comes to Microsoft .NET-connected development, more and more frameworks are entering the market, both from Microsoft and from open source. Think of ASP.NET MVC, Castle, Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), Entity Framework, Unity, Linq2SQL, ADO.NET Data Services, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), nHibernate, Spring.NET, CSLA, NUnit, Enterprise Library, MEF or ADF. […]

De uiterste houdbaarheidsdatum van requirements

Vorige week gaf ik – voor de zoveelste keer – training in het identificeren en modelleren van smart use cases. Dit keer bevond ik me in de hippe ruimtes van Meeting Plaza Utrecht, boven het altijd sfeervolle Hoog Catharijne. Tijdens de goed verzorgde lunch werd het onderwerp al snel bepaald door de uiterste houdbaarheidsdatum. Van levensmiddelen, maar meer nog, van […]

Simple little things. The 42 extension method anti-pattern

Extension methods are a powerful feature in .NET, and have been increasingly adopted by the developer community. Also, LINQ and other framework features rely heavily on extension methods. In fact, extension methods were originally invented to be able to implement LINQ without having to change a lot of .NET framework base classes. Basically, an extension method is implemented as a […]

Sander’s talk at TechEd US 2010. How frameworks can kill your projects and patterns to prevent getting killed

Last week, the Microsoft TechEd North America 2010 took place in the great city of New Orleans. I was lucky to be invited to do a talk on how frameworks can kill your projects. When it comes to Microsoft .NET-connected development, more and more frameworks enter the market. Both from Microsoft and from open source. Think of ASP.NET MVC, Castle, […]

Horrible web design (I) – HP Help Form

Every now and then you see really horrible examples of software development. While I was try to scan a document using my printer/scanner, the software by HP failed miserable. Being the nice customer I am, when HP invited me to fill in an enquiry about the quality of their service. The form presented to fill in my feedback was simply […]

PowerPoint Architecture

It’s a mildly sunny April morning in 2002 when I park my car outside of a huge government agency office in a small suburban city near Utrecht. I am invited for a brainstorm session with the agency’s enterprise architects. Although I do not consider myself an enterprise architect, and explained that upfront, they were eager to discuss their architecture with […]

Identifying services we might need in the future but don’t know right now?

Earlier this week I attended the Landelijk Architectuur  Congres in Nieuwegein. Besides the noteworthy percentage of attendees with mustaches, grey hair and ties, a pleasant and friendly event. In the afternoon of the first day of the event I did a lively talk on shaping service oriented projects using smart use cases. During the talk I recevied some very peculiar […]

Diegem, Belgium. December 10, 2009. Agile development in everyday practice (IT Works)

IT Works, Hotel Pullman Brussels Airport, Diegem, Belgium ( Although agile software development approaches, principles and techniques are slowly becoming more mainstream, it is still necessary to promote them for the larger part of the IT community and organizations. Together with my Belgian guest speaker Stefaan van Royen (now of BoonDoggle), who can talk very lively on implementing Scrum and […]

Hilversum, The Netherlands. October 15, 2009. Agile software development in everyday practice (Array Seminars)

Array Seminars, Hotel Amrath Lapershoek, Hilversum ( Although agile software development approaches, principles and techniques are slowly becoming more mainstream, it is still necessary to promote them for the larger part of the IT community and organizations. Together with my Belgian guest speaker Stefaan van Royen (now of BoonDoggle), who can talk very lively on implementing Scrum and Smart, I’ve […]

De bug als feature (in Dutch)

This column will be pulished in the September 2009 issue of Software Release Magazine ( Eind augustus gleed er een opvallende leaflet in mijn gloednieuwe brievenbus. Een leaflet van McDonalds. Niet dat ik daar normaliter veel acht op sla, maar deze trok mijn onverdeelde aandacht. “Ook Utrecht Leidsche Rijn heeft nu een eigen McDonalds. Uniek in Nederland. het is de […]

June 2009

My talks in June 2009. June 3. Agile software development in everyday practice. Full-day seminar on doing agile projects for IT Works, Hotel Pullman, Diegem, Belgium. With guest speaker Stefaan van Royen, Mediamine. See June 9. Pragmatic .Net development. Full-day seminar on software architectures and patterns for .Net software development for Array Seminars, .NBC Nieuwegein. See June 15 […]

Some of my talks in 2007

Pragmatic model driven development .Net using use cases Guest lecture at Hogeschool InHolland, Alkmaar, Netherlands. December 21, 2007 Informal guest lecture for students graduating this year. Likely subjects are software architecture, patterns, modeling and implementing smart use cases. Project anti-patterns Talk at Javapolis, Antwerp, Belgium. December 12, 2007 Presented my well known talk on project anti-patterns at Javapolis, the biggest […]

Creative plumbing. Or: rethinking the construction metaphor for software development

For as long as I’ve been in this business, I’ve heard a lot of manager, project managers, architects and other non-coders compare software development to construction. In this metaphor the architect creates the design and hands it over to the contractor, who does the work. In this metaphor the creative parts ends with the architect handing over the design to […]

SDN Event (Houten, The Netherlands. June 2009)

Tomorrow, June 26, I will be doing a talk at the SDN Event at Hotel Houten in Houten (see This talk will be dealing with the many anti-patterns that surround agile software development. Unfortunately, the session description for my talk is not entirely up-to-date. So I’ll repeat it here. Better safe then sorry. Hope to meet you all tomorrow […]

The days are just packed. My talks in May and June 2009

The months May and June are notorious for the number of talks – as Rick van der Lans describes: May and June are speaker’s season. Just to remind me not to forget any of my upcoming talks, here’s a list: May 12. Project estimation with smart use cases. At Capgemini, Utrecht. Presentation at internal software estimation seminar for Community of […]

Agile and Scrum anti-patterns. Wildcard proposal DevDays 2009

After a dozen years of promoting and evangelizing agile software development in the current years of economic unpredictability a breakthrough in applying agile processes and techniques is emerging. But with the rising popularity of Scrum, MSF Agile, OpenUP, Smart, XP, Lean, FDD and the likes, it’s not only success stories any more. Similar to failing traditional waterfall projects there patterns […]

Trojan rigidity. Agile anti-patterns (I)

One of the characteristics of most traditional – linear, waterfall – styled organizations is the extremely rigid execution of their software development projects . “Our handbook says we need to fill in this form, so that’s what we do guys.” People is these projects live by the blind assumption that whoever invented or wrote down their software development process knew […]

Hoe we herdefinieren herdefinieren [in Dutch]

De voorpagina van de Computable van 20 maart is opgesierd met een prachtige foto van een uit een witte limousine stappend bruidje in een even witte bruidsjurk en prachtige borsten. Nieuwsgierig geworden naar het bijbehorende artikel, kom ik al snel tot de teleurstellende conclusie dat dit weer eens gaat over het mislukken van de gemeentelijke basisadministratie, dat ondertussen toch wel […]

Navigating through the hypes, Software architectures and patterns to help avoiding your projects to crash – this year’s DevDays talk.

Good to hear that I’ve made the program of this year’s Microsoft DevDays. Will be a challenging talk on software architecture and patterns, titled just like this blog post. Here’s the description. Hope you like it. Navigating through the hypes, Software architectures and patterns to help avoiding your projects to crash When it comes to .Net software development, more and […]

Client/service architecture. Domain driven development in the distributed era. Episode IV

Go to episode three. Go to episode two. Go to episode one. In case you’re wondering why doesn’t this dude come to his point, you’ve probably missed it. I’ve made it already. The point is: you should always have a single point of truth, and at most have it reproduced on the server side. Which in most cases you don’t […]

Single point of truth. Domain driven development in the distributed era. Episode III

Go to episode two Go to episode one Client / server could have been a much more successful era in software development, if it wasn’t for this copy-and-paste programming, leading to applications that slowly became unmanageable. I have seen this anti-pattern occur in any of the popular client / server technologies. Without exception, whether it was Visual Basic, PowerBuilder or […]

The merits of two-tier architecture. Domain driven development in the distributed era. Episode II

Go to episode one. So now you’re stuck with this two-tier architecture. Is this a problem. Well, not yet. However, it can become a huge problem, and it has become a huge problem in many, many client / server applications, in a vide variety of technologies, including several types of (legacy) web application technologies. The truth is out there The […]

Back in the days of client/server. Domain driven development in the distributed era. Episode I

At this point in time, where we slowly shift from service orientation to cloud computing, building business software is more complicated then it has ever been. There are many platform that your software needs to target, and there are even more ways of writing the software. Beyond choosing technology Choosing a technology goes way beyond stating that you are doing […]

So much to write, so little time

It’s too bad there’s only 24 hours in a day. There are so many ideas in my head that I still have to write down, that I have to make a (short) list now to keep my head from exploding. So here it is: White paper on how to do agile SAP projects using smart use cases. Article on applying […]

Javapolis (Antwerp, Belgium. November 2007)

This is the video from that presents the talk I gave at the last JavaPolis conference in Antwerp, Belgium. During the talk I ask myself the question how everybody in their own role can attribute to making our project fail, as it is far too complicated to make your projects succeed. The talk presents popular anti-patterns I’ve gathered over […]