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Mark Pearl September 2012 Entries
The cost of Programmer Team Clustering
I recently was involved in a conversation about the productivity of programmers and the seemingly wide range in abilities that different programmers have in this industry. Some of the comments made were reiterated a few days later when I came across a chapter in Code Complete (v2) where it says "In programming specifically, many studies have shown order-of-magnitude differences in the quality of the programs written, the sizes of the programs written, and the productivity of programmers". In line ......

Posted On Sunday, September 30, 2012 9:30 AM

It is not quantifiably better
An interesting statement I have heard recently in one of the organizations that I have been working with is that some of the agile processes that we are implementing are not quanitfiably better than the traditional processes they had before. This seemed to be the motivation for not moving the new process to the rest of the organization or expanding it. They would say, “the team seems to be happier than they were before but the improvement is not quanitifiable and until we can quantify it on paper ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7:11 AM

Principles vs. Process
I recently had an interesting experience with a new team learning Scrum. The team came from a hierarchical background where they were very process oriented. For the first few sprints of scrum the team went through the normal forming stage and then all of a sudden it all began to fall apart. In dissecting what went wrong with the team various feedback was received but overwhelmingly the feeling from my side was that the Process of Scrum had taken priority over the principles of Agile. For example... ......

Posted On Monday, September 17, 2012 5:20 PM

The challenge of giving a positive No
I find it ironic that the more I am involved in the software industry, the more apparent it becomes that soft skills are just as if not more important than the technical abilities of a developer. One of the biggest challenges I have faced in my career is in managing client expectations to what one can deliver and being able to work with multiple clients. If I look at where things commonly go pear shaped, one area features a lot is where I should have said "No" to a request, but because of the way ......

Posted On Friday, September 7, 2012 9:19 AM

Lessons learnt in implementing Scrum in a Large Organization that has traditional values
I recently had the experience of being involved in a “test” scrum implementation in a large organization that was used to a traditional project management approach. Here are some lessons that I learnt from it. Don’t let the Project Manager be the Product Owner First lesson learnt is to identify the correct product owner – in this instance the product manager assumed the role of the product owner which was a mistake. The product owner is the one who has the most to loose if the project fails. With ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 4, 2012 10:03 PM

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