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Pair Programming: Doodling

Another interesting pair programming ‘technique’ which I rediscovered while pairing with Priyank is that of doodling or drawing various parts of the solution when your pair is writing code. I find that this helps to stop my brain wondering off and lets me reflect on what we’re doing from a higher level. As an added bonus it also seems to ...

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Why Did Agile Originate In Software?

I was reading Lior Friedman’s post about the agile research. He raises an interesting question: Why are agile studies coming from the exact science fields? After all, we don’t see groups of accountants doing a stand-up meeting every morning. The easy answer of course, that’s where they practiced mostly. We tend to look under the flashlight. But the more important ...

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Use Scrum even if you don’t want to be Agile

An “Agile” project is one that actively seeks to incorporate changes as the project progresses, rather than assuming that the plans from the beginning of the project will work for the whole project duration. Not all organizations want to adopt “agile” as their project metaphor. And some organizations that do adopt methods such as Scrum do it without becoming as ...

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When Will It Be Done?

Everyone likes to know the answer. In fact, this question can be interpreted in many ways, and answered that way too. For example, if we’re using agile techniques, we assume things will go wrong. So what we’re asking really is when is the scope going to be completed. And that’s not the way agile works, does it? What we do ...

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Equal Rights for Non-Functional Requirement

In our recent meet-up at the Agile Practitioner group, there was good talk about non-functional requirement testing. One of the first questions we discussed was how come non-functional requirements are second-class citizens. Usually they are patched on the app as an afterthought, and like any last effort, we botch it up. One of the answers was that it’s a product ...

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Increasing team sizes: Boredom

Although the majority of the teams that I’ve worked on over the past few years have been relatively small in size I have worked on a few where the team size has been pretty big and perhaps inevitably the productivity has felt much lower. I think this is somewhat inevitable since although the overall throughput of these teams may be ...

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Reclaiming the ‘501 Developer’ manifesto

I’ve recently found myself in a bit of conflict over how I feel about this post outlining a 501 developer manifesto, aimed at those who choose to avoid making work run their life by stopping their professional life at 501 sharp. The term isn’t new, it’s been used by Scott Hanselman to describe developers who’s enthusiasm turns off at 5:01pm. ...

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Effectiveness of Teams

Agile places an emphasis on the importance of the team. The team make the decisions: what do we work on today, how do we tackle our constraints, even who should be in the group. But yet some research seems to suggest that individuals are more effective than teams. For example in “59 seconds” Richard Wiseman questions the effectiveness of brainstorming ...

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Coding: Spike Driven Development

While reading Dan North’s second post about software craftsmanship I was able to resonate quite a lot with a point he made in the ‘On value’ section: I’m not going to mandate test-driving anything (which is a huge about-face from what I was saying a year ago), unless it will help. Copy-and-paste is fine too. (Before you go all shouty ...

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Clean Sweep in Agile

One of the questions I got in my Agile Practitioners talk startled me. Actually, it wasn’t the question that startled me, it was how I answered. I was talking about why you cannot say “our organization is going agile” while saying: “we’ll get our developers into that agile business in a year”. I know it sounds funny, but you can’t ...

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