At the simplest level, scalability is about doing more of something. This could be responding to more user requests, executing more work or handling more data. This article presents some principles and guidelines for building scalable software systems.
New Relic introduces a new performance analysis tool for Rails applications. The tool is installable as a Rails plugin, and offloads the analysis to the New Relic service. We talked to New Relic's Lew Cirne about the technology behind the product.
Michael Dubakov recently expressed warning against the measurement of individual velocity and individual estimate accuracy. His view: measurement of these metrics not only provides no more useful information than is already available with their team-level equivalents, but may also have a tendency to encourage teams into behaviors that reduce effectiveness.
Quite often performance problems will be reported with some very antidotal comments that do nothing to help you understand where to start looking. Faced with this dilemma, it is not uncommon for teams to start guessing at the root cause. Now enter "the box", a little diagram that is an abstraction of a complete system. The box is a reminder of the true cases of performance bottlenecks.
Alexandre Rafalovitch delivers an organized overview of the tools and techniques that help with resolving problems that arise in real production environments. The presentation places emphasis on free and open source tools capable of being useful out of the box, without extensive configuration. Common problems are discussed, along with methods of rapid analysis and root cause determination.
In a recent Datamation article, James Maguire noted the challenge of staying employed in an environment in which the rules are continually rewritten. He spoke with Gartner analyst Diane Morello for 5 predictions for those of us thinking about career directions over the next five years.
Is it helpful, or even possible, to change the productivity of individuals in a collaborative team? What exactly constitutes productivity, when deliverables come from teamwork? It's a tricky subject. We bring you highlights from a conversation held a few weeks ago on the AgileProjectManagement list.
Craig and Vittorio release their Live Service Trace Viewer which is an enhancement to the one provided in the .NET 3.0 SDK. The differentiator: you can view the WCF interactions as they happen.
Traditional thinking has turned budgets into fixed performance contracts that force managers at all levels to commit to specified financial outcomes, despite the fact that many of the underlying variables are beyond their control. As Agility increases the futility of this exercise becomes apparent. Thought-leader Jim Highsmith proposes a helpful alternative more harmonious with Agile values.
Ruby on Rails goes head-to-head with Python's Django and PHP's Symfony frameworks in a battle of speed and stability.
Hacknot's list of Great Mistakes in Technical Leadership, while not particularly intended for an Agile audience, contains some sage advice - good leadership is not restricted to Agile teams. As always, Agile teams still need to balance advice from traditional sources against Agile values and principles.
Summer has traditionally been a time for vacations and get-aways, a time to clear the mind and "recreate" oneself. Yet, according to a recent study, one third of people expect to take work with them on their holidays this year. Is this healthy? Can it be changed?
Rails performance expert Dr. Stefan Kaes takes a look at the most common performance issues in your Rails applications and what to do about them. Advice is given regarding benchmarking, choosing a session container, caching results of expensive computations, optimizing database queries and working effectively with view helpers.
For organizations heavily dependent on software development, the shift to Agile affects core aspects of the business. Eventually there will be ripples felt in the HR domain of incentives, performance and remuneration. Wharton University brings us an article on Employee Incentive Systems: Why, and When, They Are So Hard to Change. Examples are cited from Kodak, Accenture, Microsoft.
The Agile approach, with its emphasis on "people over process" and "face-to-face communication", requires that managers pay attention to developing their communication skills. This is particularly important when helping employees improve their performance at work. Paul B. Brown has reviewed three recent books on the subject.