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Articles : Agile, Multidisciplinary Teamwork
on 2008/1/18 13:00:00 (7358 reads)
Articles

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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Articles : Will Pair Programming Really Improve Your Project?
on 2007/11/19 3:56:26 (4948 reads)
Articles

This article is an excerpt from Chapter 6 of the book Extreme Programming Refactored: The Case Against XP [1], by Matt Stephens and Doug Rosenberg. The book provides an entertaining look at some of the flaws behind Extreme Programming (XP), whilst suggesting some alternative strategies and practical techniques to achieve XP's agile goals in a more rigorous way. For this article we concentrate on pair programming - and in particular the book Pair Programming Illuminated [2] by Laurie Williams and Robert Kessler.

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Articles : An Agile Tool Selection Strategy for Web Testing Tools
on 2007/10/24 5:50:00 (2458 reads)
Articles

Selecting a test automation tool has always been a daunting task. Let’s face it, just the thought of automating tests can be daunting! The selection of tools available today, especially open source tools, is positively dazzling. In the past several years, “test-infected” developers, not finding what they need in the vendor tool selections, have created their own tools. Fortunately for the rest of us, many are generous enough to share them as open source. Between open source tools and commercial tools, we have an amazing variety from which to choose.

To avoid that deer-in-the-headlights feeling, consider taking an ‘agile’ approach to selecting web testing tools. Plan an automation strategy before you consider the possible tool solutions. Start simple, and make changes based on your evolving situation. Here are some ideas based on experiences I’ve had with different agile (and not so agile!) development teams. Even if your team doesn’t use agile development practices, you’ll get some useful tips.

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Articles : Agile Delivery at British Telecom
on 2007/10/8 3:24:03 (3733 reads)
Articles

It is becoming clear, not least from the pages of this publication, that agile development methods are being adopted or at least considered by a growing number of software development teams & organisations. Whether you are already an active practitioner agile development, or considering its adoption on your project, you will be aware of the business benefits that can be derived through faster and more effective software delivery not to mention the motivational impact it can have on development teams. Alternatively, maybe you work for a large organisation that has yet to make any serious inroads into agile development, and are left wondering how agility could be made to work on a large scale.

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Articles : Continuous Integration: The Cornerstone of a Great Shop
on 2007/10/2 22:35:42 (2630 reads)
Articles

This article shows how continuous integration can help to keep projects on track with a rapid feedback on the product status.

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Articles : Adopting an Agile Method
on 2007/9/19 22:50:00 (1743 reads)
Articles

The argument has been made: "We should be using an Agile software development method." And the command has rung out: "Make it so!" Now what do you do? How do you take that one-line "requirement", and make it so?

Adopting an Agile method is no different from any other change we might make to the methods and tools we use. We must determine why we are embarking on this course, choose the method that will satisfy the need most closely, then map out the path from where we are today to where we need to be. Then we can "make it so".

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Articles : Refactoring
on 2007/9/17 23:34:47 (1691 reads)
Articles

Refactoring is a powerful technique for improving existing software. Having source code that is understandable helps ensure a system is maintainable and extensible. This paper describes the refactoring process in general and some of the benefits of using automated tools to reliably enhance code quality by safely performing refactoring tasks.

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Articles : XP Testing Without XP: Taking Advantage of Agile Testing Practices
on 2007/9/13 3:21:09 (1534 reads)
Articles

In the rocket-fast late 90s, I struggled with using traditional software process and testing practices on e-commerce applications. Then I read Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained and had an amazing ‘aha’ moment. Ron Jeffries sums it up best: Extreme Programming is a discipline of software development based on values of simplicity, communication, feedback, and courage. It works by bringing the whole team together in the presence of simple practices, with enough feedback to enable the team to see where they are and to tune the practices to their unique situation. (www.xprogramming.com)

Applying more discipline to traditional waterfall process had not helped my team. A new kind of discipline based on values such as communication, simplicity and feedback might be the answer! I immediately took an opportunity to join an XP team as a tester, and enjoyed working on XP teams for the next 18 months. Indeed, XP did allow us to produce high-quality e-commerce applications on time and on budget! Our customers were happy! We were happy! We struggled some with how I, as tester, could best contribute to the team, as the XP literature at the time didn’t say much on that subject. With the whole team focused on quality and testing, we came up with some great solutions. I was so excited about XP testing that I co-authored a book on it (Testing Extreme Programming, with Tip House).

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Articles : Using Customer Tests to Drive Development
on 2007/9/7 2:56:36 (1444 reads)
Articles

Like many agile software development teams, our team writes tests for each feature before the feature is actually developed. We’ve found many advantages to using tests to drive development, not only at the unit test level but at the functional, system and acceptance test levels. Not only do we have tests which show whether we’ve delivered the correct functionality, but we benefit from increased communication and collaboration, increasing the chances that we will deliver exactly what our customers want. Writing just the right amount of tests and level of detail has proved difficult at times, as has the automation and timing of the automation effort. The effort to overcome those problems has paid off and led us to devote even more resources to driving development with customer tests.

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Articles : Agile Requirements
on 2007/8/31 7:34:16 (1173 reads)
Articles

In the last few years, the agile software development movement has created a paradigm shift in how we work to understand system requirements. Agile teams shape software systems using a collaborative process, with executable software at its heart and documents marginalised to a peripheral role. This creates a fundamental shift away from tools for managing requirements artefacts. Instead, we need tools that support collaboration and the gradual distillation of business rules into automated test suites.

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