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Book : Managing Iterative Software Development Projects
on 2008/4/21 22:23:10 (1271 reads)

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 (3933 reads)

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 (1206 reads)

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 (2695 reads)

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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Quotes : The Three Rules of Test Driven Development
on 2008/3/3 6:49:43 (3056 reads)

Over the years I have come to describe Test Driven Development in terms of three simple rules.

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Articles : Methods & Tools Survey Confirms Increased Agile Adoption
on 2008/2/25 1:40:00 (1836 reads)

We are transitioning from a period where agile adoption may have been underestimated to another where it could be overestimated. Previously, some developers would not define their practices openly as agile or extreme programming because manager would have considered it a "cow-boy process". Today, some companies will pretend that they are agile, but without implementing the essence of the approach. Comparing the 2008 and 2005 results, we could notice that the level of ignorance of the agile movement has decreased, as only 13% of the organizations are ignorant of it. Full deployment numbers have doubled in the recent years to reach 17% and total rate of various adoption levels is now 56% compared to 41% in 2005.

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Quotes : The Main Principles Behind Lean
on 2008/1/31 5:01:18 (1314 reads)

Question: What are the main principles behind Lean?

Mary Poppendieck: The main principles behind Lean were articulated by Taiichi Ohno, the person at Toyota who invented the Toyota Production System. The first principle would be the idea of Flow (or Low Inventory, or Just-in-Time).

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Quotes : Sharing Trough Implementation Patterns by Kent Beck
on 2008/1/31 4:37:56 (1462 reads)

The thing I like about the pattern form is that it gives you a way to talk about the motivation for what you are doing. So there is a lot of Java style books, and good ones, out there people with lots of experience, people who've thought carefully about how to program, but when I read them what I hear is a set of commandments, "Name variables like this, arrange your code like that, etc" and all those are good things to do in certain circumstances, but what doesn't ever come true for me is why?

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Quotes : About Planning
on 2008/1/29 1:11:10 (1103 reads)

No plan survives contact with the ennemy


Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke (1800-1891)

Articles : Agile, Multidisciplinary Teamwork
on 2008/1/18 13:00:00 (8327 reads)

By not segregating customers and users from the designers and developers, but rather enabling them to work together in a single team, it is possible to use the agile approaches such as DSDM, Turboprototyping, SCRUM to achieve perceptible results. Multidisciplinary teamwork is based on being able to find suitable team members, doing work in workshops and visualising requirements, ideas and decisions with lo-tech tools. This formula has enabled successful teamwork in a number of IS projects in recent years.

During recent years, my colleagues and I have had to adopt new approaches in most of our IS projects. Two of the contributing factors have been the influence of dot.com boom and the increased focus on a well-designed user experience. Having alternated between traditional and agile methodological approaches, I have ensconced myself in the agile camp. So most of my recent experiences are from agile processes and projects using either the DSDM project framework or TurboPrototyping, a teamwork-based approach we pioneered (Ghosh 1999).

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