Ruby, Sinatra, Dreamhost, Haml, git – a smooth web app workflow … eventually

I have spent many years developing web applications in Java for corporate clients. During that time I have used a wide range of frameworks, APIs and other useful stuff. I have written my own versions (sometimes several) of many of these components, learned the tools well, and become very productive and effective. However, it has …

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Does Agile coaching set up problems for later?

I have seen several attempts to implement an agile approach to software development within large organizations, and in many  (if not all) of those cases the end result has not been very compelling. This is in direct contrast to agile adoption in smaller, typically single-team, companies. It’s natural enough to assume that problems with implementing …

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Andy Singleton on Managing Distributed Agile Projects

I have just listened to an excellent podcast interview with Andy Singleton from Assembla in which the discussion ranges around his extreme views on how to run highly productive distributed software teams. Top tips include “don’t interview when hiring”, “don’t estimate work”, “don’t do conference calls”, etc… Contentious, but very well explained and justified. This …

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The Correct Ratio of Agile Testers to Developers? It Depends.

A hot topic in software development circles at the moment is the interaction and demarcation between “developers” and “testers”. Development uses an agile approach but it’s sometimes hard to see how this sits with the testing folks, particularly as most stories seem to move snappily through development then pile up in testing. Sometimes it seems …

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Performance Reviews Banished

InfoQ have published an article which offers a compelling argument that common corporate performance reviews are fundamentally broken, and should be abandoned. While I largely agree with this premise, I don’t see a great deal of improvement in the proposed solutions. Perhaps it reflects differences in the kinds of places we have worked, but for …

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Linda Rising: Prejudices Can Alter Team Work

Team composition and team dynamics are fascinating me right now. We are trying to grow an effective development team, and encourage a process where both the team as a whole and the individuals are doing their best for the company, the product, the customers and them selves. Linda Rising has some thoughts about some of …

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Sharing Project Development Knowledge

To make software development work, everyone involved needs a good working knowledge of the product, the domain, the solution and so on. Communicating enough, but not too much, information can be tricky, especially in an agile environment where anything can change at any time. Tarek Abdelmaguid has an interesting list of ways to communicate while …

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The Agile Coach Role

I’ve never worked on a team with an explicit Agile Coach – I know several people who have worked in that role, just never with me. With that in mind, this article is an interesting exploration of what the role of “agile coach” actually entails. thekua.com@work » The Agile Coach Role

Choose Feature Teams over Component Teams for Agility

This article certainly echoes some things which I have observed. It’s hard to gain the full power of an agile approach, if the agile teams don’t have the ability to address issues across the whole solution. However tempting it may seem to solve the problem of team size by splitting teams across architectural boundaries, this …

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Voting Someone Off the Island on an Agile Team

All teams have their ups and downs, and sometimes it seems as if a team would just be better without a particular person. A recent article from InfoQ discusses this situation in the context of the Survivor TV show, popular in the USA, where contestants repeatedly get the opportunity to “vote someone off the island”. …

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