Tag | Agile Posts

Lately I have been plunged back into an extreme waterfall project and it is eating away at my soul. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t really believe in a soul and I have never done a text book agile project, but the longer I’m on this project the more I feel like I’m in an infinite loop. Document. Review. Document. Review. At some point we may do some coding. The biggest problem with waterfall projects is that you can always add more detail to design documents. I have actually seen some documentation which ...
So the year is coming to an end. A hearty few came out two days before Thanksgiving to discuss adopting agile in the enterprise. While Norm Murrin claimed to be nervous about talking in front of a group your wouldn’t have known by his presentation. He really made a topic that has always been hard to relate very personal. This lead to some great discussion. I came out of looking for ways to investigate agile further. His presentation can be found here. This was our last meeting for the year. We are ...
Getting the balance right for when and how many team projects to create has always been a bit of a balance. On large initiatives, there are often teams who work toward a common system. These teams often have quite a bit of autonomy, but need to roll up to some higher level initiative. In TFS 2010, people were often tempted to create separate Team Projects for each of the sub-teams and then do some magic with reporting and cross-team queries to get the consolidated view. My recommendation was always ...
The year is quickly coming to an end. This is the most exciting part of the year with technology manufacturers in overdrive trying to release as many products for Christmas as possible. Our group is trying to do our part to bring order to the madness with one last presentation for the year. Norman Murrin will be speaking on November 20th on Adopting Agile Processes in the Enterprise. Be sure to join us by registering at the link below. Register del.icio.us Tags: Chicago Information Technology Architects ...
Yesterday the final phase of ‘Tell Us Once’ went live. This completes the 4 1/2 year journey Solidsoft started on this cross government project with the addition of full electronic distribution of data and the most import piece – access for the citizen to use the service on-line. Tell Us Once (TUO) is the award-winning, cross-government programme that lets people inform central government and local authorities just once of a birth or death. In service in over 95% of councils in England, Scotland ...
For those interested, myself and a few other people from Red Gate will be going to DevWeek 2012 in London this week. I'll be mostly around the .NET and C# talks, but may drop into the architecture and agile talks as well. I'll be blogging interesting stuff I come across as well. If you want to meet up, do feel free to contact me via the blog or on twitter at @simonmcooper. See you there!Cross posted from Simple Talk ...
Yes, Bob is my uncle too. I also think the points in the Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship (manifesto.softwarecraftsma... are all great. What amazes me is that tend to confuse the term “well crafted” with “perfect”. I'm about to say something that will make Quality Assurance managers and many development types as well until you think about it as a craftsman – “Stop trying to be perfect”. Now let me explain what I mean. Building software, as with building almost anything, often involves ...
Today's $10 Deal of the Day from APress at http://www.apress.com/97814... is Pro Agile .NET Development with SCRUM."Pro Agile .NET Development with SCRUM guides you through a real-world ASP.NET project and shows how agile methodology is put into practice." ...
I'm currently reading Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by 'Uncle Bob' Martin, which includes a section on writing readable unit tests. I've had an article about using Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) to write readable unit tests in the works for a while now, and was inspired to finish it off using a 'clean' unit test from the book.You can read the article here ...
Retrospectives are a tricky thing, you get a mix of people who have varying personalities and qualities and now they need to look objectively at the previous iteration, focussing on the performance of the team and interact, giving ideas and finding ways to improving the team practices for the next iteration. In the ones I have been involved in, you get an array of people, some like to dominate the conversation while others would rather not say anything. Getting a balanced participation and a focus ...
We’re well under 2 months to Prairie Dev Con – West in Calgary, and it appears some of you need an extra push to register. So why attend? Well, there’s the three days and over 80 sessions spanning software development, IT Pro, and Agile topics. There’s the pre-conference workshops available on WP7, TFS, and Agile as well as the Microsoft IT Pro Camp and Azurefest events. And there’s the value – comparable conferences in other cities will run you almost double the cost in registration, hotel, and ...
I would like to share that I will be speaking at the Deerfield Beach Coders Café on February 7th, 2012 6:30 PM on concepts behind PRISM and MEF including IoC Containers, Composition, Dependency Injection, Loose-coupling and Inheritance. We will be also adding a little Agile spin to the talk focusing on the importance and ideal use of the underlying design patterns in an Agile software shop. I am also scheduled to present a similar topic at the upcoming South Florida Code Camp taking place on Saturday ...
My article in Developer Fusion was just published and you won't believe what I said about testers in an Agile world.

Developer Fusion is a 13 year old web magazine focused on bringing together the best developer content from across globe.

My article can be found at http://www.developerfusion.com/article/136381/testing-in-an-agile-world-the-heart-of-a-developer/


An interesting discussion popped up on Twitter between myself, Steve Rogalsky, Terry Bunio, Mike Iwasiow, David Alpert, and some others around using hours as a software estimating unit of measure. Steve’s been reading the book Beyond the Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and blogged about his stance on using hours for sizing work items. In a nutshell Goldratt offers the following arguments: Asking someone for a timeframe to complete a task puts their image in jeopardy PMs will always try to squeeze whatever ...
In the New Testament in Luke 4:23 Jesus speaks of a proverb, “Physician, Heal Thyself.” What, you may ask, does this have to do with being a good developer or a good ScrumMaster? In my experience, it has quite a bit to do with it, actually, and recently, it’s had far more meaning to me than it used to have in the past. In large part, my own increased awareness has stemmed from reading Lyssa Adkins fantastic book, “Coaching Agile Teams.” My Command and Control Roots My dad owns several independent ...
With TFS 2010 a basic installation of TFS has been reduced to a matter of clicks, the pain however lies in getting an appropriate environment provisioned from the Infrastructure team. There will be planned and unplanned downtime as the infrastructure team takes the environment down for patching. There are various TFS hosting services available out there that’ll take this pain point away from you. Some of the leading players amongst others include DiscountASP.net, TeamDevCentral, Praktik Hosting… ...
It's after midnight and I'm resting after a long vacation day with the family. What am I thinking about? Scrum, naturally.What I'm thinking about is this: Why don't Agile practices work on some teams? Why do some teams pick up Agile and run with it, and others either fail to pick it up or actively fight against it?It's taken me about two years to come up with the words to summarize my conclusion, which is stated in the introduction to many books on Agile and Scrum: Agile practices are what great ...
Agile taught us to release early and release often, Agile also taught us to get the end user involved more frequently and directly. Goes without saying that release notes are an important part of any release. But what you don’t want to be doing is manually putting together the release notes with each frequent release you do. TFS lets you manage the application lifecycle with great ease & minimal administrative overhead, if your team is already checking in the code against work items and if you ...
Spinning as described in my previous article is all about flow. Its premise is: flow can emerge when work is partitioned in small, evenly sized chunks processed in a smooth manner. There is a constant input of requests to the development team. A backlog is filled with strategically important requirements, support is reporting bugs, feedback requires changes, management wants to see ideas realized on short notice. Under these circumstances any plan becomes obsolete within a day or two. Or a lot of ...
A friend of mine works for a large bank… about a year and a half ago they needed a new system developed for their division. They went through the normal process of using one of the recommended service providers to develop the system and this was their experience, which is still typical with most institutions I know… For the first few months development of the system seemed to be progressing along fine. They had meetings, business analysts put things on paper and the developers nodded their heads ...
Agility needs to get onto the next level – that´s what I tried to explain in my previous articles. After a reality check – what´s missing from Agile practice? –, and some general musings about how a next level of Agility could look like, here now some very tangible suggestions. Crank up the frequency Current Agile practice is suffering from too little attention to Acceptance. To change this, very, very clear Acceptance dates need to be set. Acceptance can only get into a real pulling mode, if dates ...
In my previous article I came to a couple of conclusions based on the reality of software development, or should I say “the nature of software development”? Here are the – to me - undeniable facts of what our industry is all about: Customers hardly know, what they want. Any specification is inherently fuzzy and incomplete. What fits the customer´s needs can only be determined by actually trying it out. The customer can only recognize a running piece of software as acceptable. Because customers hardly ...
Let´s get real about software development: It´s never going to be a quietly flowing river. Never. And that´s why the current approaches to software development like XP, Scrum, and Kanban will always cause pain. Their basic assumption is you should be able to isolate a team for a while to work on features. Leave it alone during an iteration or a sprint to complete a set of features, or at least sit still until the current feature is done. Certainly that´s what we all want as developers: being able ...
PrairieDevCon is a great conference hosted in Canada a few times a year. For the first time it’s coming to Calgary in March and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve participated as a speaker in every PrDC to date (2 in Regina, 1 in Winnipeg), and that streak will continue into Calgary. In addition to the 2 conference sessions I’ll be doing: Why do we Suck at Estimating? And How to Get Better Evolve Your Code: Fundamental Design Principles I’m also doing a full day Pre-Con Workshop on TFS Build. I plan ...
The discovery phase of any project is both exciting and critical to the project’s success. There are several key points that you need to keep in mind as you navigate this process. The first thing you need to understand is who the players in the project are and what their motivations are for the project. Leaving out a key stakeholder in the resulting product is one of the easiest ways to doom your project to fail. The better the quality of the input you have at this early phase the better chance you ...
Hello all bloggers and readers of Geekswithblogs.net. To introduce myself, my name is Christopher Bonnevault, I am a consultant for Valtech. I work with the platform. Net since 2002 mostly in Asp.Net. I am very interested by agile methods, and this blog will be an opportunity for me to share with you some feedback about the different tools that I use in my projects. English is not my native language, so I am sorry in advance if my posts are not always understandable ...
Aims of this Chapter Consider what doing interaction design involves Explain some advantages of involving users in development Explain the main principles of a user-centred approach Ask and provide answers for some important questions about the interaction design process Introduce the idea of a lifecycle model to represent a set of activities and how they are related Describe some lifecycle models from software engineering and HCI and discuss how they relate to the process of ID Present a lifecycle ...
UPDATED Jul 3rd 2013: Added Art of Unit Testing Version 2 UPDATED Apr 11th 2013: Added Instant TFS 2012 and Project Server 2012 Integration How-to UPDATED Jan 12th 2013: Added Prof TFS Server 2012, TFS 2012 Starter, Pro ALM with VS 2012 and VS 2012 Cookbook UPDATED Dec 8th 2011: Added Kanban book by David Anderson “Send me a list of books to read” – that is what I am often asked. No more, as this list is an answer to those request! I have divided it into different subject areas, and each area hold ...
When teams are first introduced to Stand-Ups, many teams will dread them. Their thought is, “Oh great! Yet another meeting to consume a bunch of my time!” I certainly understand this sentiment, and if run incorrectly, stand-ups are certainly painful and can be a waste of time. Stand-ups are fundamentally about coordination between team members and nobody else. To restate that, stand-ups are for the pigs, not the chickens! This post is to help you understand what a good stand-up is and how best to ...
There is no one best branching strategy, the branching strategy that best fits the requirements of your enterprise is the best strategy for you. The ALM rangers have comprehensive guidelines to help you decide what might work best with your enterprise. A couple of parameters you need to consider while thinking about the branching strategy are, What is the length of the Iteration your team will be delivering in. Agile – Weeks, Waterfall – Months. Would you have multiple versions of the applications ...
I've made a list of programming books I've read, am reading and am going to read on the Bookshelved Wiki; would anyone care to recommend good books for a web-oriented, C# Agile programmer which I've not discovered or not considered?I've reproduced the list so far below for convenience :)Programming books on my 'to read' list Real World Functional Programming by Tomas PetricekCode Complete by Steve McConnellWorking Effectively With Legacy Code by Michael FeathersProgramming books being read at the ...
The great lesson of the Titanic was hubris, right? Perhaps. I don't know. What I do know is that there is another valuable lesson from the Titanic that is very applicable to software engineering: A failed implementation does not invalidate the concept. Titanic was designed by experienced engineers, using some of the most advanced technologies and extensive safety features of the time. It was built to be luxurious and safe. The cost of a first class ticket is equivalent to $100,000 accounting for ...
Recently I delivered a session at Virtual TechDays on why NuGet is so useful. As a part of the demonstration, I was showcasing how it automatically allows us to update some of the external reference libraries. Point in case, here is jQuery. Starting Visual Studio 2008 SP1, we have been shipping jQuery and intellisense for jQuery thereof. With Visual Studio 2010, out of the box, when we create a “File – New Project – ASP.NET Web Application” (which would create a Webforms application) it would automatically ...
Join me and Oleg Sych from AgileThought at Tallahassee Code Camp this weekend! Register for this FREE event online: TallyCodeCamp.org Design Language of Windows Phone & Windows "8" by Nikita Polyakov Prototyping w/ SketchFlow by Nikita Polyakov Introduction to ASP.NET Dynamic Data by Oleg Sych Introduction to Code Generation with T4 and Visual Studio by Oleg Sych Agile Estimation and Project Planning by Oleg Sych Many other exciting sessions are being presented this year including Windows Phone ...
Are you passionate about your job? Do you enjoy programming? Do you think you're any good at it? One of the things that make me productive as a developer are the tools and products I use. However, these tools seem to try and grab all my attention. When I go to a conference, or read a blog entry, I'm bombarded with them: Windows 8, Visual Studio 11, TFS, WCF, Silverlight, MEF, OData, Lightswitch, LabManagement, NuGet, ... it just doesn't stop, and I know I will never be able to keep up with all of ...
What a week it has been! The BUILD Conference just concluded http://www.buildwindows.com... and there were tons of announcements. This is one of the reasons I am passionate about this company. Even when I was outside Microsoft, the momentum and the focus they have on Developer audience simply amazes me and they continue to do it, years later. Windows Developer Preview BUILD is a developer conference which premiered the first Windows Developer Preview bits. Clearly, the developers ...
Is technical talent more important than Team Dynamic? I don’t think so. Read on and tell me if you agree. The Art of the Interview For my job, I conduct quite a few technical interviews. Rarely will I have a week go by where I’m not digging into someone’s brain trying to find out what they know and how they think. However, understanding their technical knowledge is only part of the challenge. We also must understand whether or not they code quickly, and whether or not they they will be a good fit ...
After an incredible trip to Chattanooga, TN (my first trip to Tennessee, by the way), I finally made it back home to Pittsburgh and found some time to upload my two DEVLINK talks (slides and code). I tried something a little different this time by adding my code to GitHub and my slides to SlideShare. We’ll see how that works out – but I’m optimistic. So without further adieu, I present to you my 2011 DEVLINK talks. Talk #1: Greenfield Development with CQRS (and Azure, and MVC, and a bunch of other ...
Excited to come speak at JaxCodeCamp this coming weekend, there are many amazing session and speakers! Jacksonville .NET Code Camp - http://jaxcodecamp.com What: All day geek fest focusing on code and not marketing fluff. When: Saturday, August 27, 2011 All day (registration opens at 7:00am) Where: Univeristy of North Florida - 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville FL 32246 Cost: Free! Sessions will range from informal "chalk talks", hands on labs, to presentations. All are welcome to attend and speak. We will ...
I’ve learned, from conference sessions and user group meetings, that Agile is best learned in action – being part of a game or activity that explains Agile, having lively discussion with people, or (best yet) being part of an Agile project. We still get a large amount of learning from books though, and so while Agile books may do a good job explaining the methodologies and techniques, its never as good as having some context to stand it up against. Enter Agile Project Management with Scrum by Ken ...
Recently, I gave a presentation on Flow at Agile Executives. It was a fun meeting and a fun topic and lead to several realizations on my part. First, when Alistair Cockburn is in the audience, I get a bit nervous. Second, Lean and Agile aren’t incompatible, they’re complimentary. Let me explain. The Sterility of Lean Lean tends to think of people as nothing more than metrics. Cogs in the grand scheme of things. Little focus is placed on the human aspect of software development when talking about ...
My Epiphany – Part 1 After reading Continuous Delivery, by Jez Humble and David Farley, I couldn’t help but think “wow! this is the key to becoming truly agile!”. I submit that may be a little overstated, but nonetheless by minor epiphany has grown into an outright passion for enabling rapid development AND delivery of small bite-sized pieces of applications. As we’re all well immersed into the Agile way these days (or, at least, we’re all trying!!), our common goal should be to provide customers ...
I wanted to take this time to introduce myself. My name is Roger O'Dell Jr. My development training is in .NET, but my current job requires me to work with Java and Android. I have been doing mobile development now for almost a year. And what a year it has been. I had the opportunity to go to a Microsoft Conference in Overland Park, KS last year. While I was there, I was one of the lucky few who was introduced to Windows Phone 7. Coming from an ASP.NET background, I found the new Windows Phone to ...

It's not there yet, but in the next couple of week, we're going to be launching a new blog focused on agile development.

 

Stay tuned.

Tellago Studios proudly announces its newest product, a third one within a year of time : TELESHARP .NET Configuration Management has always been a nightmare for any enterprise. TeleSharp is an innovative product that addresses the most common challenges of .NET applications in the enterprise. After years of struggle developing and managing large .NET applications, we decided to create a tool that makes .NET applications truly agile. You can read more about Telesharp and what difference it can make ...
You’ve all seen this team, maybe you’ve even been on this team. I certainly know that I have! What kind of team, you might ask? It’s the team that is simply dysfunctional. Many reasons can exist for a team that isn’t working, and team dysfunction is a complex thing that can’t necessarily be isolated into a simple formula that will always work to make people function well on a team. Cynefin Recently, I attended RallyOn in Boulder with Rally Software Development. This was one of the best user conferences ...
I had a distinct pleasure of catching up with Russ Fustino of Toolshed fame who is the new amazing community leader for GrapeCity while I was at TechEd11 I was invited by Microsoft to help with Microsoft Expression Blend booth (more on that). Check out the entire blog post and video: GrapeCity Russ Cam Episode #8 (Video) / TechEd Atlanta 2011 – Part 2 (blog) Scott Hanselman, Microsoft Principal Web Community Architect, Mary Jo Foley, author of the “All About Microsoft” Blog on ZD NET , Colin Blakey, ...
Within each division in Red Gate, development effort is structured around one or more project teams; currently, each division contains 2-3 separate teams. These are self contained units responsible for a particular development project. Project team structure The typical size of a development team varies, but is normally around 4-7 people - one project manager, two developers, one or two testers, a technical author (who is responsible for the text within the application, website content, and help ...
Nice Presentation by Jeff Nielsen. Five Key Numbers to Gauge your Agile Engineering Efforts View more presentations from Jeff Nielsen ...
This past week was an interesting experience. My first trip to Washington DC on Washington business. As part of the Association for Competitive Technology (http://www.actonline.com) I joined 27 other small software developer company owners from around the country to visit and educate congressional staffs. I already knew 1/2 dozen of the people attending from my activities in the Microsoft developer community and had the pleasure of renewing friendships with them and making new friends with others. ...