Tagged “agile”

Minimum Viable Development Team

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Imagine that you’re tasked with recruiting a development team to build a new product. What would that team look like? How big would it be? Who would be on it?

Building vs. Learning on Agile Teams


Though agile methodologies are optimized for delivery, sometimes a different approach is required. Hypothesis testing from the Lean Startup movement gives us such an approach.

A Social Developer

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I met a student recently who was looking for a software engineering internship. As I often do in these situations, I asked him to describe a cool project he worked on. He trembled slightly, adjusted his thick-rimmed glasses, and began speaking in a barely audible, breaking voice.

Developer Tribes

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I recently finished an interesting book called Tribal Leadership. The book is full of insights about how people behave in groups and what it takes to lead them.

Agile Painting

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I really like to paint. I started back in college, on a whim. One fine day, I bought some oil paints, brushes, and a canvas, and started painting.

Are Agile Dev Practices Needed?


There’s been a lot of talk lately about how agile dev practices are hurting more than they’re helping. People complain that things like unit testing, TDD, CI, pairing, and code reviews limit developer creativity and create unnecessary work. This is of course ironic since agile processes emerged precisely because people felt that non-agile processes which […]

The Waste Jar And The Mystery Box

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Agile teams love little mnemonics and practices to help enforce the Ways of Agile. We like to put up physical Cards on the Wall to signify a piece of work. We like to ask the Three Questions (“What have I accomplished yesterday?, What will I commit to today?, What is my impediment?“) during Standups. We like to […]

Risk and Waste on Agile Projects

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When you first start “doing Agile”, the focus is on getting the mechanics right: keep your standup updates short don’t over design remember to add tests for everything remember to check CI status only show working code during showcases … This is perfectly natural as team members strive towards Competency. Unfortunately, just as natural is the […]

Reading for Devs

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I’ve put together a short list of books any software developer would greatly benefit from. Enjoy! Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship, Robert Martin Maintainability is arguably the most important aspect of good software. If you don’t understand why that is, please read this book. From naming conventions to OO principles, “Uncle Bob” Martin covers […]

Two Rights of Software Development

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There are two challenges in building software: building the right thing and building the thing right (yes, I love alliteration). Build the Right Thing Building software that users want is hard because most people don’t know what they want. You may be surprised to find that people don’t know what they want, but it’s true. […]