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News : Agile Hiring and Scrum Meetings in Methods & Tools Fall 2008
on 2008/10/8 6:40:14 (944 reads)
News

Methods & Tools is a free e-newsletter for software developers, testers and project managers. Fall 2008 issue's content:

* Controlling Project Risk by Design
* How to Choose Candidates for Large Agile Companies
* Outsourcing Software Testing
* Managing Scrum Meetings

35 pages of software development knowledge that you can download from
http://www.methodsandtools.com/mt/download.php?fall08

Focus : Has Agile Lost its Soul?
on 2008/9/24 4:57:37 (2419 reads)
Focus

VersionOne has published raw results for the 3rd Annual State of the Agile Survey that was conducted in June and July 2008. Answers were received from 3061 participants in 80 countries. Participants working in agile projects are satisfied: they think that agile achieves a very good overall project success rate.

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Focus : Third Annual State of Agile Survey Data Available
on 2008/8/29 0:15:28 (1140 reads)
Focus

This survey was conducted and sponsored by VersionOne in June and July 2008. It received answers from 3061 participants in 80 countries; most of them (70%) were participating to the survey for the first time. The majority of the respondents were agile team leaders, coach or consultants. This could lead to a bias towards a perhaps slightly more optimistic vision of the reality of agile projects. Whether they are agile or not, managers stay managers ;o)

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News : Open Source Software Turned Industrial but Perceived Quality Don’t Change
on 2008/8/26 0:36:11 (875 reads)

Open source development tools like MySQL, Eclipse, PHP or JBoss are now adopted by many software development organizations. Our last poll examined how the quality of open source tools is perceived against their commercial competitors. We conducted a similar poll twice in the past and it is interesting to compare the results.

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Articles : Web Development Using the Ruby on Rails
on 2008/7/27 23:54:31 (1981 reads)
Articles

Ruby on Rails is probably the most talked about and most controversial Web framework since the Internet was invented. After reading this gentle introduction, you will finally know what people all over the world are raving about!

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Book : Book: UML 2.0 in Action - A Project Based Tutorial
on 2008/5/26 0:44:22 (1128 reads)
Book

This book from Henriette Baumann, Philippe Baumann and Patrick Graessle is a very good introduction to the power of modeling with UML.

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Book : Managing Iterative Software Development Projects
on 2008/4/21 22:23:10 (1096 reads)
Book

As agile software development approaches are more and more adopted in software development organizations, the title of this book from Kurt Bittner and Ian Spence seems to be right on the target. The book contains two major parts. The first gives an overview of iterative project management.

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Focus : Can We Develop Agile Software in Traditional Organizations?
on 2008/3/31 23:50:00 (3579 reads)
Focus

As it was confirmed by a recent Methods & Tools survey, the adoption of agile approaches has been increasing recently. Following these results, I asked software practitioners on different discussion forums to share their opinion about the substance of agile adoption. As agility is now becoming "trendy", we could see a number of organizations that will qualify now themselves as "agile", without implementing the essence of the agile software development practices.

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Quotes : Wise Iteration
on 2008/3/20 4:21:37 (986 reads)
Quotes

As you move ahead, keep in mind the following:
* Never confuse the map with the journey - The project plan is only an outline (and a guess at that), so you should believe the team’s results and not the plans. Remember, it is the achievement of the objectives that is important, not the production of artifacts or the completion of activities. Be careful not to confuse the ends (objectives) with the means (artifacts and activities).
* Adopt the attitude that continuous planning is a good thing - In every iteration, expect your plans to change (albeit in small ways if your planning is effective). Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the plan is infallible.
* Mature your process alongside your team - Tune the working practices alongside the plans, adapt your team’s skills as necessary to improve over time.
* Be prepared to cut your losses - Canceling bad projects early is success because you save time, money and resources that can be applied to better opportunities.
* Be honest - Without objectivity and honesty, the project team is set up for failure, even if developing iteratively.

 

Source: “Managing Iterative Software Development Projects”, Kurt Bittner, Ian Spence, Addisson Wesley.

 

Transitioning from a traditional approach to iterative software development is more a change of mind than a schedule adjustment. So try to be honest… or at least as honest as you can be ;o)

Articles : Exploratory Testing: Finding the Music of Software Investigation
on 2008/3/18 1:03:16 (2364 reads)
Articles

My friend Steve is an exceptional classical guitarist. Watching him perform is inspiring – he has a rare mastery over the instrument and has spent years developing his craft. Steve can also explain the techniques he is using while he is playing, to teach and demonstrate how a student can learn and improve their own skills. Steve can make a guitar sing, and says that music is about tension and resolution. If music is all tension, you get uncomfortable as a listener. If it only resolves, it is boring, tedious repetition. Steve extends this concept to the actual physical actions that a guitarist employs to create certain sounds. For example, if you play with a lot of tension, you will limit your ability to do certain tasks. To make music, you need to find a balance between tension and resolution, and to find this balance, you need a mix of knowledge, skill and creativity.

Like Steve, my friend James Bach is also exceptionally skilled. James isn’t a guitarist, he is a software tester. James is also inspiring to watch while he practices his craft. He is a master of skilled exploratory testing: simultaneous test design, execution and learning [1]. James can also explain the testing techniques he uses while he is testing, to instruct testing students. The first time I saw him test software, I was reminded of my friend Steve. This time the tension and resolution wasn’t related to music composition or the execution of techniques on a musical instrument. Instead, the tension and resolution revolved around ideas. James would simultaneously design and execute tests based on his curiosity about the application. He would get feedback on a test, learn from it and design a new test. The tension was generated by the questioning nature of his tests, and the resolution emerged from the results of those tests. There was something almost musical in this interplay between the mind of the tester and the application being tested. This shouldn’t be surprising; as a software tester, James has a well-developed mix of knowledge, skill and creativity.

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