In an agile process, what is a defect?

Our agile team is finding some things challenging. In particular deciding how to prioritise and work on “bugs” in the midst of a pool of prioritised and scheduled feature stories. “Agile In Action” has a nice summary of an approach to software development. Most agile practitioners won’t find anything to object to. AGILE IN ACTION: …

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Are Thoughtworks’ products (and product sales) really so rubbish?

I’m tired, and I’m cross. Last night I was up too late, and this morning I have wasted another few hours. All trying to do something which should be simple – evaluate some products from the well-known software consultancy “Thoughtworks”. And so far I still have not succeeded. It all started so simple. I was …

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Never forget the capacity planning, especially for free stuff

So Dr Pepper were overwhelmed by user interest in a free offer, which brought down a promotional website and led to all sorts of financial and PR problems. Reminds me of when I worked for a telemarketing company a dozen years ago. At the time giant manufacturer Daewoo were trying to enter the UK car …

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Evaluating and rewarding agile teams

I had not seen this article by Mary Poppendieck until it was recommended by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood, but it offers a compelling analysis and a series of suggestions for managing agile teams, particularly in the thorny area of evaluation and rewards. Well worth a read, and well worth finding a way of getting …

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Pragmatic Books at 25% off

This post has an even shorter shelf-life than my others. The Pragmatic Programmers (along with most of the USA, it seems) are offering special discounts for “black friday”. In this case it is 25% off their book prices. They have some pretty impressive books in their line-up, so now may just be the time to …

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Clearing my backlog, a mix of links

My browser is full of tabs, each representing something I intend to blog about. I need to clear some space, so here’s a few interesting links without comments. Reaching Hyper-Productivity with Outsourced Development Teams Pressure and Performance – The CTO’s Dilemma Agile Usability Web 2.0 Storytelling: Emergence of a New Genre

Don’t lose that command history

If you have ever run multiple terminal windows at the same time on a Linux system you have probably hit this problem. Only part of the command history seems to be saved for future sessions. This can be really irritating if you want to go back and re-sun some complex, finicky command. “Cube Rick” has …

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TDD and Test-Driven Refactoring

This is a neat observation. One equivalent to test-Driven Development (TDD) when working with an existing codebase might be “test-driven refactoring”. The idea seems to be that at any particular point in the lifecycle of a software system not all of the benefits of TDD are actually being used. So why not just do enough …

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Less-bright applications and web sites save power

I’d not encountered this before, but it does kind of make sense. Showing a bright pixel consumes more energy on most display technologies. so choosing a black background for applications and web sites can help save both your own energy bills, and the planet! ecoIron – All these whirring boxes.: The Full Story on Black …

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Ubuntu Ibex key repeat problems

This is really irritating me, but I can’t find a solution so far. I use Synergy to control multiple computers from a single keyboard, but have found that Ubuntu Ibex does not completely work. Apart from the “@” symbol being translated to a capital omega (which I did find a fix for) there is still …

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Comparing Amazon’s EC2, Google’s App Engine and Microsoft’s Azure

“Cloud computing” is still very high on my list of things I need to get up to speed on. One trouble is that innovation in this area seems to be coming faster than I have time to experiment. Still, this article seems a useful summary of the current state of play. InfoQ: Comparing Amazon’s EC2, …

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UK universities to lead global e-learning

Apparently there is to be a push to make the UK a world leader in on-line higher education. I’d love to see this happen, but I have my doubts. As with so many other attempts at “e-learning”, the emphasis seems overwhelmingly on “learning and teaching resources”. But this is the easy part of the problem. …

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