Yak shaves. They’re great fun. Like most things, yak shaving is more fun when you have some rules to guide you away from the un-fun parts:

  • always have a goal, know when you’re done
  • timebox it
  • work on a branch so you can switch to real work if you need to
  • make smaller commits than usual so you can unwind if you should go awry
  • don’t worry about writing tests if you don’t know what you’re doing
  • if you aren’t sure where you are going, write a test harness and iterate on that
  • have a pair or buddy to talk through what you’re trying to do and how to get there
  • bail out if you are starting to burn out, face diminishing returns, or think of a better way to shave they yak

Fun fact: this post is in fact a yak shave extracted from a post on yak shaving.