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  • Microsoft, Dell, ASUS and Sexism

    During the Norwegian Developers Conference (NDC) last week Microsoft's regional subsidiary featured a group of dancing girls jumping around on stage to a Scooter-esque song with some rather inappropriate lyrics

  • Individual Yield

    Tony Wong, a project management blackbelt, enumerates some practical points on individual procutivity. This article wonders how well these apply to software development and contrasts his list with that of other lists.

  • ScrumBan - Evolution or Oxymoron?

    Kanban workshops, courses and conferences are springing up, and practicing Agilists are investigating what this method, adapted from Lean, offers their teams. Attractive benefits are cited, from revealing bottlenecks to happy teams experiencing more "flow". But thought leaders warn that Kanban's laid back approach is "kryptonite" to Scrum's call to resolve impediments immediately.

  • Is Leading Self-Organisation like Conducting an Orchestra?

    Traditional management models don't tell leaders how to support their Agile teams without undermining their emerging self-organisation. Allusions to musical performance and "conducting the orchestra" abound - but not all are in agreement. Is the "conductor" model a good practice or an anti-pattern? In his TED talk, conductor Itay Talman shows that it may depend on what we think a conductor does.

  • Ladies: Please, Would You Submit a Proposal?

    Although it's widely accepted that diversity leads to innovation and performance, visible leadership in the IT community often doesn't represent the diversity of the community itself. What can be done to increase diversity in the leadership of our high-tech communities? One suggestion is to actively help a more diverse group to get their talks accepted at conferences.

  • DeMarco Reflects on 40 Years of Software Engineering Evolution

    40 years after the NATO Conference on Software Engineering, Tom DeMarco paused to reflect on the discipline's evolution, wondering whether the metrics orientation he championed has distracted from the real point of computing: "transformation, creating software that changes the world." Is his earlier advice valid, though? "No", he said, in Software Engineering: An Idea Whose Time Has Come and Gone?

  • Opinion: Will the Scrum Alliance Change its Stripes?

    Recently the Scrum Alliance asked a number of user groups to sign a licensing agreement. This turned out be to a big public relations mistake in the Scrum Community. In cleaning from this mistake the Scrum Alliance issued a new policy, hired Cory Foy as Community Organizer and promised to listen to feedback in the future. Will this be succesful?

  • Scrum Alliance Asks User Group to Sign Licensing Agreement

    Today a Scrum User Group closed shop, in response to a Scrum Alliance request "to sign ... a licensing document for a logo they created for Orlando Scrum users group." Community reaction varies widely. Despite clarification from the SA's managing director, it is unclear what, if anything, this trademark application will mean for existing groups.

  • James Shore: The Decline and Fall of Agile

    James Shore has declared agile to be in decline. He cites the many teams doing 'sprints' and stand-up meetings, without adopting any of the technical practices necessary to produce high-quality software over the long-haul. In his estimation, this has led to thousands of Scrum teams doing agile so poorly that they will almost certainly fail, and possibly take the agile movement with them.

  • Martin Fowler on Avoiding Common Scrum Pitfalls

    Jacky Li of InfoQ China spoke with Martin Fowler during ThoughtWorks' AgileChina conference. In this print interview, Martin Fowler talked about Scrum certification and the future of Agile.

  • Truthfulness - an Agile Value?

    Declan Whelan wrote a thought-provoking blog citing an idea he learned from Mishkin Berteig about an (unspoken) principle behind successful Agile teams: truthfulness. The idea is simple: without individuals being honest and open, most agile practices will not work.

  • TDD Opinion: Quality Is a Function of Thought and Reflection, Not Bug Prevention

    In a recent post, Michael Feathers argues against the widely held idea that unit testing, by itself, improves code quality. Michael talks about unit testing, integration tests, TDD and Clean Room Software Development, concluding that code quality is a function of thought and reflection, not bug prevention.

  • Should the Customer Care about Agile?

    The involvement of customer in an Agile project is taken for granted, however in many situations, intentionally or unintentionally, the customer may not follow the Agile practices. An interesting discussion on the Extreme Programming group tries to decipher the situation and find possible solutions.

  • Bedtime User Stories: Cowboys and Fairytales

    In which David Longstreet claims Agile Software Development is a Fairy Tale that just tries to legitimise Cowboy development, and Geoff Slinker invites him to write a Serious Article based on Logical Arguments and Citing Sources.

  • Cockburn on Testing: Real Programmers have GUTs

    In a moment of relaxation, Alistair Cockburn had the insight that we may be quibbling over inconsequentialities: "test before" or "test after," what's important to professional programmers is Good Unit Tests. Eureka!