Progressive Development

Zany Adventures in Software Engineering with Maven and Motley

About Progressive Development


About Progressive Development

Welcome to the adventures of two software developers named Maven and Motley! This blog discusses best and worst practices of software engineering with an entertaining twist.


Motley  Motley is a programmer who has been in the industry for a while. Motley has good technical skills but continuously practices a wide assortment of archaic development methods. Motley is a little egocentric and is perpetually and naively handing out bad advice. Motley is often a bit of a brute and full of suboptimal tips, but because he is a senior engineer, people listen.


Maven  Maven is an altruistic software engineer that is extremely knowledgeable in the practice of software development and wants to educate the industry on how to engineer software in the most effective way possible (among other things). Maven is somewhat of an idealist, but his arguments generally hold water and can help guide any software engineer.


Our story begins when Maven is hired into Cynthesis Software - the company where Motley works - to try and turn around their software development practices, among other things. This blog will outline some of their more interesting conversations, which are selected according to these guidelines:

  • Topics tie back to software engineering (although sometimes loosely)
  • Bad advice generally initiates the conversation
  • Good advice (best practices) generally concludes the conversation


Summaries of the bad and good advice start each entry, but you'll want to read the conversations to get the details. In addition, Maven  usually provides an extra tidbit and some resources for further information after the conversations.


"Progressive Development" is written by James Waletzky, a software engineer on Microsoft's Xbox Live Platform team working on Kinect. Previously James was a member of the Windows Phone browser development team. Before that, James focused on consulting with internal Microsoft product groups to enhance the efficiency of development and quality of Microsoft software, as well as teaching Microsoft developers how to be more effective at their jobs. James has a passion for quality engineering practices.


Special Thanks to Fred Chao for creating the graphics for Maven and Motley!