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Scrum and XP from the Trenches: Russian Edition

December 6, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

English summary below.

Scrum и XP: заметки с передовой" – это книга подробно рассказывающая о том, как одна конкретная компания использует Scrum и XP в своей работе. Хенрик Книберг, шведский консультант по Agile и Java, делится опытом применения Agile в своей компании, описывает подход к планированию, тестированию, координации нескольких команд в рамках одного проекта и многое другое.

В течение последних четырёх месяцев группа украинских энтузиастов организованная Алексеем Солнцевым переводила и перевела книгу на русский язык. Ваша покорный слуга принимал минимальное участвие в редактуре, однако тоже был удостоен упоминания в предисловии к русской версии. Скачать книгу можно здесь (ссылка на pdf).

Collection of articles on people and requirement management

November 30, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Our web-site is publishing advices on Agile software development for over 3 years and there is a large set of useful articles that are not very easy to find. This weekend I digged through our archive and gathered the best of the best articles to the new pages focused on managing people and things in Agile. Enjoy!

Also it would be very kind of you to take a moment and tell (in the comments) what you think about the usefulness of these link collections.

Welcome Janusz

November 27, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Dear readers

We just got a new regular contributor for – Janusz Gorycki

Janusz Gorycki is a developer and team manager with over fourteen years of experience. He has spent most of that time at Intel Corporation, working in many areas, from telecommunications and embedded systems, to internal IT software development. While working for there, he was working together with our other regular contributor – Przemyslaw Bielicki. Janusz has left Intel with a group of colleagues to start a software development and consulting company Spartez where he works to this day. Janusz and his team have been using agile development methods for the last three years and you can find basic details about his company in the recently published interview.

Please, welcome Janusz and comment on his writing.

Artem, Editor-in-Chief

If you are thinking about becoming a regular contributor to this site, shoot me an e-mail. We are particularly interested in joining forces with people with testing and UI-related experience.

The rise and flourishing of Agile

November 22, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Picture courtesy of tommoka@Flickr
Lately the agile blogosphere buzzed with responses to the James Shore's article on decline and fall of Agile.

The article discusses the qualitative change in the way people apply Agile methods nowadays comparing to the past. Earlier people were asking coaches for learning Agile from scratch, were taking the complete XP or real Scrum package and were happy. Nowadays they install the basics of Scrum themselves usually taking into use just backlogs and stories, fail to get on the engineering practices, shared workspaces and the all important Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, struggle and, well, sometimes blame Agile for their pain. So is such contemporary Agile bad?

Weekly Agile Reading. Pack 22

November 15, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Here is the top writing that caught my attention this week. Quite much based on Google Testing blog this time - they happened to have a number of excellent articles in a row.

You might like having a look at the previous link packs as well.

» Software Development Poll: Unit Testing: Still Widely Informal Recent poll results. TDD is still not practiced much.
» Leading Agile: Evolution of a Project Schedule Typically I don't include the articles by our permanent contributors to the weekly link set, but this article that describes agile methods to project managers is excellent. I'll probably base on it when speaking to project managers myself.
» " Application logging principles When and what it makes sense to log things.

Lessons from the Yahoo!'s Scrum Adoption

November 14, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Tips and facts after from the company wide adoption of Scrum at Yahoo! Captured during the Gabrielle Benefield's keynote on Scan-Agile. During the adoption period, Gabrielle Benefield was Senior Director of Agile Development at Yahoo!, co-leading the company’s large-scale corporate adoption of Scrum, which now encompasses more than 200 teams projects and over 1,500 employees in the US, Europe, and India. Tips should be mostly applicable for similarly sized enterprises, though generally useful for smaller companies as well.

Weekly Agile Reading. Pack 21

November 8, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Here is the top writing that caught my attention this week. Quite much based on Google Testing blog this time - they happened to have a number of excellent articles in a row.

You might like having a look at the previous link packs as well.

» MF Bliki: EstimatedInterest A way for estimating the technical debt
» Role Storming Excercise for identifying the user roles - via all about agile
» Certified ScrumMaster Training - My Slides Slides that Boris Gloger actually uses on his Certified Scrum Master classes.
» Scrum Case Studies A number of success stories
» Equipo docente Factors of the Scrum adoption success

Six features of a good user story - INVEST model renewed

November 5, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

"As a Product Owner and the development team we want to have user stories of the appropriate size so that we could plan realistically while not wasting time on estimating and managing what would anyway will be changed" - A possible user story.

User stories are the the most used format for agile requirements. The main point of the user stories is to focus on the concrete user needs and not on figuring out the extensive amount details that are known to be difficult to gather upfront. A usual recommendation for stories to make more sense is to follow the INVEST acronym popularized by Mike Cohn in his books on user stories and on estimating and planning . According to these books and various online recommendations a good user story should be:

  • Independent
  • Negotiable
  • Valuable
  • Estimatable
  • Small
  • Testable

Cisco's $100,000 Developer Contest

November 2, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

A Cisco's PR person contacted me to share the information about the developer contest and I found it interesting enough to share with the site readers.

The point is to develop an application for the Cisco's router and the cool part is that it runs Linux and supports Java, Perl and even Python. If you are lucky to propose one of the most interesting concepts, you get 90 days for the actual implementation and can win up to $50 000. You can find more information at and

Have fun!

I am not affiliated with Cisco in any monetary way

Weekly Agile Reading. Pack 20

November 1, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Here is the top writing that caught my attention this week. Quite much based on Google Testing blog this time - they happened to have a number of excellent articles in a row.

You might like having a look at the previous link packs as well.

» | Agile contracts An excellent collection of ideas people have for contracts on Agile projects
» Larry Page On Evaluating Projects A short tip on what could be a good way for evaluating the project proposals :)
» TotT: Contain Your Environment Google's advice on making your objects work with the different kinds of environments easily.
» GUI Testing: Don't Sleep Without Synchronization Google's advice on UI testing. Details are C++ specific, but the concept is appliable to other languages.
» Testability Explorer: Measuring Testability A Google tool for advices on the testability of your Java code.
» Brian's House of Bilz: My Year With TDD I started out in August of 2007 with what I THOUGHT was TDD. Sure, I wrote my tests before my code, but the philosophy behind it wasn't enough to be effective. It wasn't until I went to Boston for a 3-day seminar on TDD.

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