Scrum Gathering London 2011 – day 1

I've been having an interesting couple of weeks. Last week I attended the Lean and Kanban Benelux conference in Antwerp, and then had a wonderful three days with Ron Jeffries and Chet Hendrickson when they came over at Qualogy to teach me and my collaeques in the ways of Agile development skills. This week, I'm … Continue reading Scrum Gathering London 2011 – day 1

A Cucumber Experiment

Having used the GildedRose recently as the subject of a coding dojo, I thought it would also make an interesting subject for some experimentation with Cucumber. Cucumber is a tool that allows you to use natural language to specify executable Acceptance Tests. The GildedRose exercise, originally created by Bobby Johnson, can be found on github, … Continue reading A Cucumber Experiment

Setting up Selenium with Maven

In the team I'm currently working with, the need for regression testing was becoming obvious. The team is working on a web MVC-type framework, and has been running into the results of limited testing: quality wasn't just low, it was unknown. The usual excuses were there, pressure to release, and interruptions by unplanned work. Usually, … Continue reading Setting up Selenium with Maven

Adventures in Rework

I came across this post by Martin Fowler, on the Strangler Application pattern, and its accompanying paper. This brought back memories of some of my own adventures in rework, some fond, others not so much. In all cases, though, I think they were very valuable lessons on what to do and not to do when … Continue reading Adventures in Rework

Reading up: 5 Books To Read If You Want To Really Understand Agile

Last year, I posted an overview of some books every programmer should read. Those still stand, and I find more and more examples where I would like to re-iterate the advice to read those books. This post is about other books, though. Books related to Agile and Lean principles and practices. There are many books … Continue reading Reading up: 5 Books To Read If You Want To Really Understand Agile

Performance Reviews

One of the things that makes my commute to work enjoyable (next to the BBC Friday night comedy hour) is the LeanBlog podcast. In it Mark Graban talks to different people about Lean. The people he talks to have varying backgrounds, and the general quality of the podcast is very high. One of the podcasts … Continue reading Performance Reviews

Agile is Rock ‘n’ Roll

[EDIT: Thanks to Hubert Iwaniuk, there's now a playlist to accompany your reading of this post!] [EDIT: There's now also an XP version of this: XP Is Classic Rock] I've had a number of occasions where people, usually working in a very strict, waterfall, environment, have voiced the opinion that 'all that agile stuff' is … Continue reading Agile is Rock ‘n’ Roll

5 ways to make sure your sprint velocity is a useless number

Velocity always seemed a nice and straightforward concept to me. You measure how much you get done in a certain period of time, and use that to project how much you'll probably get done in the same amount of time in the future. Simple to measure, enables empirical planning, simple to use in projections and … Continue reading 5 ways to make sure your sprint velocity is a useless number

Avoid not trying

While preparing an introductory workshop on Scrum, we wanted to end our sections of presentation/retrospective with some general tips on the area discussed that would give a team that is starting out with scrum some help on things to try. And things better not to try. I mean, Inspect and Adapt, yes, but it won't … Continue reading Avoid not trying

My First Coding Dojo

Last week Wednesday, I organised my first Code Dojo! For those that are not familiar with the concept, a Code Dojo is when programmers get together to exercise their craft by solving a problem together. The problem is called a 'Kata', analogous to the way these concepts are used in the K´╗┐arate world. As a … Continue reading My First Coding Dojo