Even the very greenest of agile teams clearly recognize the word 'Retrospective'. But, alas, it is often overlooked that a retrospective may be a wasted effort if not used to initiate an actual improvement that the team follows through on. Jim Shore gives advice on how to make the most of your retrospective and reminds us of the activity's ultimate place in the agile heartbeat.
Ron Jeffries has started writing a series of fictional stories based on his observation of real teams. The first story (Kate Oneal: Productivity) focuses on the character Kate O'Neal (CTO) and one of her teams "Rimshot". In this episode Ron explores achieving and measuring Productivity improvements without formal metrics.
Microsoft has released a demo of potential Visual Studio 10 features as an extension for VS 2008. The features, collectively called PowerCommands for Visual Studio 2008, include the source code.
James Golick and Reg Braithwaite discuss the often overlooked realities of how putting teams into "Crunch Mode" can have undesirable results. The discussion looks at various ways applying pressure to a team often results in putting your project into not better but worse shape and how teams and managers might benefit by taking a different approach.
Larger team size prevents from adopting the whole range of language abstraction tools and puts constraints on productivity. Reg Braithwaite believes that tools should not be tuned to the size of the team. He advocates for building teams around the tools and keeping them small. It appears however that team growth is often inevitable. What can be done then to maintain quality and productivity?
API design affects all developers. Some APIs are a pleasure to work with, others are annoying and yet others are downright frustrating. But what's makes the difference? Which qualities make one API easy to use and another hard? The ACM Queue recently published an article by Michi Henning about API design; an article that analyzes these aspects.
In this presentation, Fred George talks about the application of agile practices in the enterprise and how they can help with the adoption of Ruby.
InfoQ had some time with Mingle project engineer Jay Wallace, to use ThoughtWorks' much anticipated Mingle software and demonstrate to us how it differentiates itself from other products by being a truly agile project management tool.
Amit Rathore questions the value of real time task based estimates in the planning and execution of software projects, taking a lean stance on what they bring to the software delivery party.
A firestorm was set off on a TSS thread about a slide from Tim Bray's keynote at a PHP conference with a bar graph showing PHP more scalable than Java. Tim Bray put the slide in context in a thoughtful comparison of Java, Rails, and PHP on his blog, as well giving InfoQ his own personal take on it.
Amazon.com founder, Jeff Bezos, explains 70% of a project's time is spent on inconsequential tasks and suggests these could be outsourced to third parties or technologies, such as Rails.