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Scrum/Agile Tools: Quick Look at GreenHopper

August 18, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

GreehHopper-whole Full disclosure: On Agile 2008, I was asking Pyxis Technologies about the possible sponsorship of this site. It didn't proceed further but at some point I am going to get back to the topic.

Lately I discovered that since last time I paid close attention to Agile methods related tools they did improve much. On Agile 2008 I visited many if not all of the tool vendors booths and in the coming weeks we will probably publish a number of reviews. Before I left for the conference one of the AgileUkraine group members asked me to have a look at the GreenHopper software. This post is exactly a result of the quick look I was asked for. It is no in-depth review, just my impressions after the demo made on the conference and after the extensive interrogation of a Pyxis representative who demoed the tool for me.

Five risks of solo programming

August 15, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Woman hiking a slot canyon in the Narrows, Zion National Park  
Pair programming is one of the most debated practices of the Extreme Programming. Historically, programming used to be a solitary activity that required high concentration and even isolation. The best programmers know how to get into the metal state called "flow" or "zone", in which the undisturbed mind is able to efficiently focus on the code and make highly creative and efficient design decisions.

While "zone" is indeed highly valuable and learning how to deepen into zone as a pair might be more difficult, than learning how to get into flow alone, the truth is that despite the comfort of the long time status quo, solo programming is just too risky and in the end might cost quite some more money for the company. There are many risks of solo programming, here are the top five that come to my mind.

First Large Scandinavian Conference on Agile - Helsinki, October 29

August 13, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Helsinki
Picture courtesy of wili_hybrid@flickr

Today Scan-Agile, the first large North European conference opened its registration page. It is going to take place in Helsinki on October 29. It has an excellent set of speakers, that include Gabrielle Benefield - a former director of Agile development in Yahoo! and Bas Vodde - an expert on all things large scale. It has an open space, practitioner and awareness tracks and because of being run by a non-profit organization, it is cheap (just 200 euros). If you happen to be around Finland in the end of October, consider spending a day on the conference.

I was going to add some motivational story with a moral that would make you think about visiting a conference, but Vasco Duarte, one of the conference organizers and Agile expert with many years under the belt did it already. Go read his story about why his grandpas would love the conference and consider registering while there are still seats left.

Trends in the world of Agile: Notes after Agile 2008

August 11, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Agile 2008 that was held last week was the largest and the most influential conference on the Agile ways of developing software. After such big events bloggers often present their impressions and and observations. You will find the links to more reports below and meanwhile let me present you my impressions on what changed in Agile lately.

Trends

During the last year Agile methods definitely crossed the chasm and at the moment are definitely accepted at least as yet another legible way to create software. On the conference several clear trends were pretty obvious [for me at least].

Scrum in a Multiproject Environment

August 6, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Artem Marchenko and Philippe Kruchten

Today I presented the paper written by me and Pekka Abrahamsson. The paper tells about our experience in adopting Scrum in a multi-team multi-project environment within a large corporation and in a research intensive team. We focus on particular challenges to expect when adopting Scrum in such an environment, check the paper out if you are about to try Scrum in a multi-project situation - there is a concrete list of what to pay attention to. What I personally love most about the article is that since it has been officially approved by my daytime employer I can now freely talk in public about a part of my experience and don't need to hide behind "what a known telecommunication company could do".

Best of Agile 2008

August 1, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

This is the final part of a guide to Agile 2008.  Agile 2008 is the premier conference of the Agile world with about 400 sessions to choose from. In this list of the top sessions I am highlighting the sessions where I will go or would go if it was possible to be present in many places simultaneously and other sessions worth high attention. I tried reducing the list size really hard and it made me remove many really good sessions.

When reading the list bear my profile in mind. I am a product manager working in a distributed environment (and playing a Scrum Product Owner) who still remembers how to code and periodically is invited as an Agile coach or trainer (though not earning his living from the coaching side). The closer you are to this profile, the more useful this top list will be for you. Also bear in mind that I never recommend Live aid and Open jam sessions. You know better if on some time slot you'll want to devote your time to these unusual sessions.

The sessions are sorted by the time frame and every list item is presented together with the corresponding room name. I chose this format, because I am going to print the list and take it with me as a schedule to use on the conference.

Agile 2008 Guide - Friday Morning

August 1, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

 Agile 2008 is the premier conference of the Agile world. There are going to be almost 2000 participants and about 400 different sessions to attend. It means plenty of interesting conversations and a lot of activities to choose from. However, it also means that you have to make a choice between many different options. During the main part of the conference you have to choose between 40 to 50 different sessions.

Here is the first part of the guide to the conference program. This part covers Thursday August 7, 16:00 - 17:00 time slot. In the table below you can find links to the full description, author bio and the answer to the all important question "Why would you want to go there?" All the sessions with white background take 90 minutes, all the sessions with the light blue or light green background take less, than 90 minutes.

If you feel that some summaries are inaccurate, please, comment - I will correct the mistakes.

You can find more information about the conference at http://AgileSoftwareDevelopment.com/Agile2008

DevWeek India 2008

July 31, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

If you live in Asia, note the DevWeek India conference announcement in our forums.

DevWeek India 2008 gives you a rare chance to meet your peers in a productive and social environment and get passionate about Software programming. By the end of DevWeek India 2008, you will learn how to increase your productivity dramatically and save cost, and how to enhance the quality of your software applications.

Agile 2008 Guide - Thursday Evening

July 31, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

 Agile 2008 is the premier conference of the Agile world. There are going to be almost 2000 participants and about 400 different sessions to attend. It means plenty of interesting conversations and a lot of activities to choose from. However, it also means that you have to make a choice between many different options. During the main part of the conference you have to choose between 40 to 50 different sessions.

Here is the first part of the guide to the conference program. This part covers Thursday August 7, 16:00 - 17:00 time slot. In the table below you can find links to the full description, author bio and the answer to the all important question "Why would you want to go there?" All the sessions with white background take 90 minutes, all the sessions with orange background take 180 minutes (and therefore continue from the previous time slot), all the sessions with the light blue or light green background take less, than 90 minutes.

If you feel that some summaries are inaccurate, please, comment - I will correct the mistakes.

You can find more information about the conference at http://AgileSoftwareDevelopment.com/Agile2008

Agile 2008 Guide - Thursday Afternoon

July 27, 2008 by Artem Marchenko

Agile 2008 is the premier conference of the Agile world. There are going to be almost 2000 participants and about 400 different sessions to attend. It means plenty of interesting conversations and a lot of activities to choose from. However, it also means that you have to make a choice between many different options. During the main part of the conference you have to choose between 40 to 50 different sessions.

This part of the guide covers Thursday August 7, 14:00 - 15:30 time slot. In the table below you can find links to the full description, author bio and the answer to the all important question "Why would you want to go there?" All the sessions with white background take 90 minutes, all the sessions with orange background take 180 minutes (and therefore continue on the next time stot), all the sessions with the light blue or light green background take less, than 90 minutes.

If you feel that some summaries are inaccurate, please, comment - I will correct the mistakes.

You can find more information about the conference at http://AgileSoftwareDevelopment.com/Agile2008

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