Tag | Agile Posts

Note: This was scheduled for tomorrow (hence the date drawn on the strip); but due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, I'm releasing it a day early. Continuing The Project That Time Forgot, a UML case study in comic strip form... (Click picture for a larger image.) So in the previous Commentary, I wrote: This Episode is all introduction. It doesn't include much UML content, and there's not much to add yet. So naturally, this Episode has no UML content. But it was necessary to set the stage and to introduce ...
Event Date: Saturday, January 19, 2009 Event Time: 08:30 (registration), 09:00 – 17:00 Event Location: Microsoft Tampa Office If you want to learn what TDD is all about, this is the event to attend. It’s a day-long event where you will go from start to finish with a sample domain problem and learn how to write tests to drive functionality of the system. This promises to be an excellent event and will be good for both beginners and those experienced with TDD. There will be two tracks running simultaneously, ...
Yesterday at the 2008 PASS conference they announced the winners of the SQL Heroes contest and I am proud to announce that BIDSHelper won first place with a perfect score of 55 out of 55. And extra congratulations go to BIDSHelper team member John Welch who also had one of his other projects - ssisUnit come in equal second. Thanks to everyone who voted for BIDSHelper ...
Goal Ensure your developers build code to meet the spec (the contract of customer requirements) in a timely manner Ensure your developers build code changes that don’t break the spec and that pass functional requirements Ensure your developers build code which is robust (not fragile) and that meets design and code quality guidelines The Spec Make sure that the technical analyst provides appropriate specs! Keep it deliverable – compile-able. No point building mounds of UML diagrams that don’t stay ...
Here's the complete list of sessions from PDC and my personal favorites. You can find all the recordings of these sessions at www.microsoftpdc.com. Here's my personal favorites: Windows Azure (Hosted ASP, Workflow, Silverlight, RAW / Azure Storage) A Lap Around Windows Azure (ES16) - 0:46 Slides | WMV-HQ | WMV | Zune A Lap Around the Azure Services Platform (BB01) - 1:12 Slides | WMV-HQ | WMV | Zune Live and Mesh (Sync, Feeds, Resources, Contacts, etc.) A Lap around the Live Framework and Mesh Services ...
UPDATE: My word, what a lot of typos! I blame the bright sunlight and the glare it created on my Tablet PC. And I wasn't gonna move, because bright sunlight in Michigan is a rare treat right now. Fixed! In our last Episode, The UML Guy and Geek Girl explored how State Diagrams help you to model the rich range of flow in a user interface. Today, The UML Guy has an announcement. (Click picture for a larger image.) To this point, the Lounge has been somewhat random and piecemeal. (In other shocking ...
In our last Episode, we wrapped up Activity Diagrams (for now) by showing how Swimlanes let us specifiy who or what is responsible for each Activity or Branch. After the Lounge has dried out, we get some process instruction from Process Cop. (Click the picture for a larger image.) Too often, I find that teams embark on "process improvement initiatives" without first understanding what their process currently is. This is like asking an architect to redesign your house without him ever seeing your ...
Today, @Anklebuster -- a.k.a. Mitch Allen of Morpho Designs, and maker of the really cool Morpho Board game design tool -- asked some really interesting questions: The packages remind me of how Mindmap "folds" detail when you want to get a higher level look at things. One thing that I may have been assuming, incorrectly, is that these drawings are the end product. If the presentation is hard copy, you would have to have multiple sheets to display "drill-down" views. Does UML provide an interactive ...
In our last episode, The Reader and The UML Guy explored for inheritance lets you design common behavior and structure, and then describe specific variations of that behavior and structure. Then they showed how some Patterns (reusable solutions to common problems) involve inheritance. But at that moment, The UML Guy was arrested for committing a grievous offense against Process. (Click picture for a larger image.) If this episode is at all funny, that's because I started with a great inspiration. ...
UPDATE: Minor but significant art correction. UPDATE: Another minor but significant art correction. In our last episode (not counting the Intermission), Pestbuster pursued Pest right through the strip, leaving a mess in his wake. The UML Guy told The Reader they would need Class Diagrams to help in the clean-up, and said they wouldn't find any without a road trip. (Click the image for a larger view.) Yeah, I know... A lot of blah, blah, blah, yackity-smackity... But these were things that needed ...
So one time, I showed a friend a Web site for a project I was working on. And he asked an interesting question: Well, you're design guy right? Shouldn't you be writing a design document? And what I suddenly realized was unclear was that the Web site was a design document. It was just a design document of a very different sort. It was basically a step one design document, serving as a way to put the ideas in a concrete form for discussion. The team kinda knew what the product should do, but not every ...
...I managed to get through the entire Agile Summer Camp without drawing a single UML diagram. I must be coming down with something...
(Reposted from Agile Summer Camp. The team will edit and improve that version, filling in the gaps in my memory and understanding. This is my rough draft.) Organized by Chris Woodruff with the able assistance of Josh Holmes and Michael Eaton, Agile Summer Camp 2008 was a fantastic success. This is an Agile Summer Camp Diary, documenting bits and pieces of a fun, rich, informative weekend with a crowd of unwashed geeks. No text page (nor even sadukie's great pictures) can capture the full experience ...
The point of UML – and I'll repeat this often – is communication. But there are different kinds of communication, even when the medium is the same. For example, speech is a very common communication medium; but there's a very wide range of speech styles that all manage to communicate. The stops and pauses and half-finished sentences and even grunts of a casual phone conversation between old friends are very different from the formal, scripted, ritualized sentences of a traditional marriage ceremony. ...
I can hear your screaming from here (on the plane at who knows how many thousands of feet overhead): "final thoughts, what happened to Days 2, 3, and 4?" Well, in answer to that, I bring you this bit of collected wisdom culled from the last few days: Welcome to Concurrency. Sometimes, other functions just finish first, and in this new multi-core world, the application must move on with or without the rest of the threads. So, that said, expect some other thoughts later...they just won't follow in ...
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Mr. Bugsy Elusive We have a C# client and a Local COM server hosting a VoIP stack. We use COM interop. for API and events to the COM server. Today after some changes, when we started to load testing the system a nasty crash happened. From initial observation it's look like some kind of Heap Corruption(may be leaked from stack boundary and stuff like that). I used DTW / Gflags to run the server(sipserver.exe) under windbg and symbols are properly set. Stack traces refer to RPC calls as usual but how ...
Tripped on this one again -- the idea is that the orchestration posts a message directly to a message box and from there it is picked up by subscribers. This wasn't working, then when I saved the message out of the HAT, I realized the routing properties weren't being promoted. Sigh. Luckily this excellent blog article popped up. Right, use a correlation set. I can't believe I always forget that. LOL. And I also needed the tip from the comment -- declare the correlation set instance inside a scope ...
Where: New Horizons (4510 West 77th St. Edina, MN 55435) When: Tuesday, November 11th at 6:00 PM Website: www.twincitiesdevelopersgui... Session: Learn about how the Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP), Dependency Injection and Inversion of Control Containers help you get your system under test more effectively and how it can help you decouple your code. You will also be introduced to a small subset of dependency breaking techniques that will help you break ground into setting your system up ...
The Chippewa Valley .NET Users Group is holding their first Code Camp on Nov. 8th, 2008 in Eau Claire, WI. I’m one of the presenters, and I'll be talking about XNA. I think it's pretty neat how Doug Rhoten and Dan Krueger (the CVCC planning committee) are providing a Microsoft Technologies track and an Agnostic/Cross-over track. With that, there will be sessions covering topics such as Cloud Computing, Rails, XNA, AJAX-enabled Websites with Java and NetBeans, C++, Real World practices with WPF & ...
Ok. First post and all that. Let's get all the fluff out of the way now. I've kept an internal blog at work for about 5 years now. Sitting at PDC08 this week, I decided it was time to go public. The blogsphere is full of people both smarter and more eloquent than me, so if you're looking for deep truth and wisdom, I suggest you look elsewhere. But if you like The .NET platform Programming Languages Agile Practices Trying new technologies ReSharper Automating everything in sight Running after the ...
I was checking out the Stack Overflow site recently and stumbled upon a question concerning what a programmer should look for in a new position. The post’s accepted and best rated solution was to refer to a test posted to the Joel on Software blog entitled The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code. After I perused this link which I had not personally seen before, I had to agree that most of these items would, in general, improve the status of my work environment. I have given myself the task of seeing ...
In an agile panel discussion with Phil Scott, Denise Phillips, Paul Hodgetts, Ken Kolchier, and Scott Dunn. Great discussion and great questions…its a Q&A session with the audience, and the questions tend to be probing what Agile is, how it works, how to get started with it, what the benefits are, etc. I asked the panel to provide their “cookbook” of processes they employ in their agile projects, and they came back with an interesting concept that I never really thought of: Scrum is the starting ...
Recently, the CEO of Sprint could be seen in TV commercials stating "Technology is only great when you know how to use it." Here is an article that digs a little deeper into this ad campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to highlight Sprint's customer service, which of course is vitally important to any company providing products or services. I am not here to criticize Sprint. In fact, if you read the article, you will see that they are addressing technology simplicity as well as customer service. ...
So I've been playing the role of Scrum Master for a grand total of 6 Sprints on 2 projects. In that time I've come to two very distinct issues that make me question if what I am doing is really Scrum? While I believe that you cannot adhere to any methodology 100% without some interpretation and customizing, I am wondering if the things I am doing are so profoundly out of bounds that it invalidates our approach as Scrum. Scenario 1: I as a "Scrum Master" dutifully play the role by limiting if not ...
The Useless Introduction You Used To :) This post has taken so long to be started in writing. I’ve been busy with many events in my life lately. Suffering from frequent limited internet access lately, and, all this moving between companies thing has been eating me. And yes, I admit, I' have been as tired and more honestly lazy as you expected me to be! Hey, there’s a little warning. This post is not exactly for my usual audience. I’m sorry, but introducing Domain Driven Design is not one of the goals ...
Well, the first iteration of my new project finished yesterday and the retrospective went well, for our first. Troy led the retrospective and tried to keep us on track with the things he’d done before in retrospectives. It was my first retrospective on a professional project, so I thought I’d share our process. First, Troy hit the whiteboard with three columns: Start Doing, Stop Doing, Keep Doing. These are pretty self-explanatory but I’ll touch briefly on each anyway. Start Doing – Things that we ...
I just received this email from my contact at JetBrains: A quick update on the JetBrains User Group Giveaway program... 1) We’re happy to extend this giveaway for another year – at least until the end of 2009. Your work in the community is something we all admire, and we’d like to thank you for your efforts. 2) We are expanding the program to support a lot more User Groups – .NET, Java, Groovy, Ruby, Google, and Agile. If you want us to support any other groups, let me know! 3) We’re also expanding ...
I’ve been doing development professionally now for maybe 18 months and my experiences over the last 8 months in an agile shop have made me realise just how much there is to know in the development arena and, more importantly, how much I would like to know in order to be really creative in my job and produce truly excellent software. In my previous job, I used a text editor to write Perl. There was no such thing as unit testing and copying and pasting was viewed as an aid to productivity rather than ...
What this new blog is about Tech - I'm going to blog about technical stuff that interests / excites / confuses / frustrates me. Meta-tech - I'm going to blog about over-arching concepts and issues related to software development. Philosophical, architectural, social... I hope this blog will have an interesting slant because I started a new career as a software developer at the age of 33. It’s been a roller coaster ride over the last 2 years (so now you know my age) and I’ve had a chance to reflect ...
Gotcha! You thought that was a typo, didn't you? I really intended to write "Days 4". I learned today that it's important to communicate your intent by naming your methods correctly. So I'm trying to express clearly in a fluent interface that this fourth session ended on a different day than it started. If you didn't catch the typo, you're probably suffering the same sleep deprivation as I am. Today was absolutely brutal. Let's just start by enumerating the intended agenda for todays: ORM infrastructure ...
Tonight I met with Cody Marx Bailey, Roby Fitzhenry, Stephanie Leary, Wendy Wolfington, Mike Abney, Allen Hurst et al to talk about the next BarCampBCS I originally thought. We did do that eventually, but along the way we talked about several issues near and dear to my heart, namely localism, continuous improvement, and community development. I've always seen a link between one's ability to make a difference in one's own community and how well one does one's own job. The idea being: if I do a good ...
Working wtih sharepoint (wss) and scrum... it is neat how the backlogs (lists) can build out quickly. But Sharepoint doesn't by any means enforce a process. The maximum access but the minimum governance. Some tips: 1. Learn scrum first, then implement on Sharepoint. Doing it backwards will have you duplicating the "waterfall" microsoft project tasks in to Sharepoint. 2. Figure out how you will do your "burndown" based on a sharepoint list. Either you manually grab the data daily, or you write something ...
I have a copy of the "Principles behind the Agile Manifest stapled to my cube wall (http://www.agilemanifesto.... One of my favorite principles is : "Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely." To me this principle promotes work life balance and leads to less burn out and developer attrition. As our economy weakens I find myself working weekends and into the wee hours. Is this sustainable ...
I've invited JP Boodhoo to Brussels this weekend. If you want to get together, just come on over. The first drink is on me. From there on, the team decides who pays the next drink, like agile teams do ;-) Place to be: Sint-Gorikshallen: Sint-Goriksplein 1, 1000 Brussel When: Saturday September 20th @ 21:00 hours ...
We held our 2nd Architecture / Agile virtual meeting last night with Adrian Wible of Thoughtworks presenting. This was the first time I had actually been at the controls of the Live Meeting. We only decided to do this on Saturday so there was not much time for promotion and only a few showed up. The good news is that we got to experiment with all the features I could make work including web audio, video, desktop sharing, tie in of a phone conference, recording, Q&A, shared whiteboard and chat. ...
I'm joining RAYA Software starting next month (October), part of RAYA IT, a business line of 3 main business lines that form RAYA Crop., a well known name in the IT industry over the Middleeast. My role is very interesting. The entire company is interesting to me, not just for the size and brand, but for the nature of how things are going in there nowadays, which makes RAYA the perfect place to join at this specific time. About the role I'm joining RAYA with the same title I hold current, a senior ...
My work team is trying to get our minds around Visual Studio Team Systems and we really want to see how it works with our implementation of Scrum. We have seen various add-ins which enable VSTS to do Agile/Scrum, but I am curious if anyone else has experience with VSTS and Scrum. Which implementation did you decide on? And why? How do you configure your Projects? Did you have to change your Scrum process? Are you able to easily generate User Stories, Taskboards, Burn Down Charts, etc.? Do you think ...
Just watched this episode for the first time (all of them are to me since I've just started catching up). An interesting episode, but sort of silly, really. I enjoyed it the political debate between the "terrorist" and Apollo in the microcosm sense. Two guys talking about the notion of freedom (a term very close and dear to my heart) and government. Pretty interesting. However, in the larger context, it is a stupid thing to be debating. Here you are, the last 47K humans in the universe (as far as ...
Too Many cooks in the kitchen. When is too many developers one project a bad idea? So I had the chance to meet with some friends the other day. Of course they work as developers like me. They work for one of those companies with allot of money to throw at a web site (a == 1). I found it interesting having 20 developers writing code for a web site. They called it Agile programming or Extreme Programming (Developer Humping). The reason I called it this was as they (my friends) described agile as two ...
Recently I posted a comment to an article talking about only billing hourly and not entering into fixed bid contracts. I agree with the post (for the most part), but felt compelled to respond to one of the comments. I thought I would include this in my blog because I think it is an interesting topic. The focus here is not how we estimate from an Agile approach (read Agile Estimating and Planning if you are looking for that). Here, I am addressing a specific argument that Agilists "can’t estimate ...
Whoa! Why does it need fixing if it is not broken? I'd like to explore the definition of "broken". Here is a modest list of signs of broken code. A test is failing (I know, painfully obvious) The code doesn't do what the user expects. (Likely, you actually have a broken test or it's missing altogether.) The code is hard to read, hard to enhance and brittle. I think the first two bullets are obvious and the customer will see the value in fixing the code. The final bullet leads us to refactoring. How ...
Mark and have been friends for a few years. He (and his company, Dunn Training) is an active supporter of community events, a good guy and a true Southerner. Mark gets around a lot and I'm constantly running into him at conferences and code camps. He was kind enough to stop for a moment, catch a breath and answer these NINE Questions: 1. Where are you from? I'm originally from a very small town north of Birmingham, Alabama called Blountsville. It's about halfway between Birmingham and Huntsville. ...
Since November 2007, I'm a coach in a .net project. This project is managed using the SCRUM principles. I was largely based in the InfoQ online minibook 'Scrum and XP from the trenches': Prioritized product backlog, sprint planning, sprint backlog, daily scrums, sprint demos and retrospectives at the end of every sprint, ... This was combined with XP: Pair programming, TDD, incremental design, CI, collective code ownership (well ... almost), ... This project was a really fun project. Off the top ...
MPUG Monthly Meeting - The Power of Scrum Microsoft Office Project Users Group website: www.mpug.com Please join us on August 28, 2008, 12:00 - 2:00PM. Jay Steffenhagen from ITR Group will present: The Power of Scrum This Lunch and Learn will introduce Scrum development as an Agile method. An overview of the Scrum process and roles; advantages / disadvantages of Scrum; tailoring opportunities of Scrum SDLC; and Scrum's relationship to Project Server will be provided. The session will conclude with ...
For those that weren't able to attend last Tuesday's Northwest Arkansas .Net User Group meeting, 8/5/2008, Zach Young (our Vice President of the group) was able to secure Jeffrey Palermo as a speaker for a special meeting this Thursday (8/14/2008). This is a huge boon, as Jeff is one of THE most sought after speakers in North America. Jeff is most known for the Party with Palermo series of events before each of the major conferences. Jeff hails from Austin, Texas, which was recently named the hardest ...
The following quotes are exerpted from Cargo Cult Methodology. "[M]anagement demanded that we estimate—and commit to—a schedule and budget" "[B]ut 'making a delivery' ... required additional effort. There was no scheduled time for that either" "[A]s the months went by, we learned more about the problem, and we had changes requested; that meant more use cases and more effort" "[T]here was a lot of whining in upper management about how we'd made commitments, so why couldn't we keep them" "[T]ime to ...
If you are installing SQL Server 2008 (or anything for that matter) and it won't let you continue for the following reason: Rule "Performance counter registry hive consistency check" failed. The performance counter registry hive is corrupted. What does this mean? This may mean that the value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE... NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib under Last Counter and the last number value in Counter under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE... NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib\009 ...
Since I mentioned this in my previous post, I might as well elaborate. I discovered there was an open source community for Microsoft technology back in 2004. Curious as I am, I tried several things that looked interesting. I introduced CruiseControl.net, NAnt and NUnit to my customer. What surprised me is that not everyone shares my curiosity. A lot of people have this predefined fear of using non-Microsoft products for Microsoft technology. Most of the developers I talked about it even moaned 'Now ...
Is it really that important? I've seen too many applications meet their end because people got caught up in the tripe. I've personally lost development time to "Go back and use that font" or "Make it that color blue instead". In my personal experience, managers and customers (and it gets worse as you go higher up the food chain) defer to you on all the really important stuff but try to meddle in the details. Just say no! This happens for two reasons: People like forcing demonstrable change on the ...