The line between development and architecture is tricky. Some say it's fake, that architecture is an extension of the design process undertaken by developers; others say it's a chasm that can only be crossed by lofty developers who believe you must abstract your abstractions and not worry about implementation details. There's a balance in the middle, but how do you move from one to the other?
All good developers use some kind of prototyping as a communication channel to customers. Simon Guest of Microsoft introduces a new technology from Microsoft, SketchFlow, and shows how it could be useful to developers as well as the primary audience of designers. The discussion covers coverage (WPF and Silverlight), functionality, workflow, prototyping, and documentation.
Addressing another Agile Myth (we don't need no analysts!), Shane Hastie, Chief Knowledge Engineer at Software Education, outlines how the Business Analyst can help Agile teamwork - when properly aligned with the business, rather than the development team.
Developer Jay Fields draws on his experiences as a ThoughtWorks consultant to describe effective user story estimation techniques. 17
The Scrum Product Owner role is powerful, valuable and challenging to implement. It brings healthier relationships between customers and developers, and competitive advantage - if you do it right. 12
Michael Spayd tells us that both contractors & permanent employees can play a "consultant" role, and can use contracts to help create stellar results for clients while respecting their own values. 2
Agile software development, shunning up-front design, has grown up in parallel to the emergence of "user-centered design," with its detailed user research and modeling. Can these be used together? 7
Sometimes, a new requirement is actually a changed business rule. James Taylor looks at how a business rules engine can help Agile teams work more effectively in certain situations.