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Showing posts from May, 2013

Agile Without Social Engineering

In 2006, Ivor Jacobson famously summarized,"Most important, agile is about social engineering."  And indeed one of the things that makes so many agilists so darned loveable is that we are, as a friend of mine put it yesterday, "the kind of people who want to create a work place where you can go and still be a human being."  Not a "resource," not an "FTE," but a human!  It's an inspiring dream!
But you know what?  It's not a goal you can attack directly, even if you are, for some reason, under the impression that you're in charge.  In fact, in my view, a lot of us are completely wrong about what the "lead" and "lag" measures are for a successful "agile" transformation of an organization.

"Lead" measures, you will recall, are the little things you can observe which reliably indicate that something bigger and better is about to follow.  So for example, "open team communication" is a lead …

For Fellow Testing Novices: Some Basics For Provisioning A New Agile Testing Practice


Agilists are fond of catchy acronyms like INVEST (stories should be independent, negotiable, valuable, estimatable, small, and testable), SMART (acceptance criteria should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound), and especially KISS (keep it simple, stupid).

I've spent some time in the last months trying to get my arms around automated agile testing practices, and in the end, I have to admit that despite the "why do you even need testers" mantra you sometimes hear, testing cannot be "kept simple" for an agile project of any complexity.  You really need to think it through very carefully, and there are a lot of moving pieces that don't reduce into a nice 4x3 matrix. 

Not to destroy the suspense, but by the end of the post, I am going to advocate that you hire an experienced, full time person to set up your quality strategy and lead its execution.  But here is a quick Sparc Note presentation of the dimen…

How to Build Your Brand While Still Getting Things Done

Many of us consciously or unconsciously align ourselves in one way or another to the belief that if we work diligently, we will succeed in business. As Andrew Carnegie put it classically in 1903:
Do not make riches, but usefulness, your first aim; and let your chief pride be that your daily occupation is in the line of progress and development; that your work, in whatever capacity it may be, is useful work, honestly conducted, and as such ennobling to your life. (How to Succeed in Life, by Andrew Carnegie) Those alignments come in different flavors:

"The Naive"
Some of us walk through life wearing a philosophical button (or, more scary, a physical one) that says:
Silly fools!  If we write really high quality code, and there is no-one in senior management there to properly interpret our code review, what have we accomplished?  (Apparently there is a comedy skit by the Royal Canadian Air Farce where they ask the question "If a tree falls in the forest, and no-one is t…

Happy Fibonacci Day!