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Andrew Fuqua04/09/14
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Don’t Estimate Spikes

If you implement all of your spikes for each release in a “Sprint 0″, you could estimate them. If you do, do so always so that your velocity will be reliable. Spikes are, like defects, generally harder to estimate correctly relative to user stories. It’s best to time-box them.

Jared Richardson04/09/14
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A New Local Agile Conference: TriAgile!

There's a great annual conference coming to RTP for the first time on May 2nd. The stellar speaker lineup includes four concurrent tracks with six sessions, not counting the morning keynote.

David Pollak04/08/14
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A Better Conversation about Tech

The underlying issue is tribalism vs. inclusiveness. Do we work hard at empathizing with others and trying to include them or do we settle into a new tribe that aligns with some short term goals? Sadly, most of what I'm seeing in tech these days is simply a realignment of tribalism.

Allan Kelly04/08/14
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The Prototype of Future Knowledge Workers

Highlighting IT workers as knowledge workers allows us to learn from the existing body of knowledge on the subject.

Erich Styger04/07/14
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What Meetings feel like for Engineers

And here I share my newest fun story (a video this time): An engineer as an ‘expert’ in a business/requirement meeting. The task is simple: create seven red lines. But the twist is that these lines must be perpendicular…

Steve Smith04/07/14
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Organisational Antipattern: Consumer Release Testing

Consumer Release Testing exacerbates the original flaws of Release Testing. A high value, low cost alternative to Consumer Release Testing is for the consumer and provider to actively cooperate in risk reduction, which can result in a substantial reduction in provider risk.

Sarah Ervin04/06/14
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The Best of the Week (Mar. 28): Agile Zone

Make sure you didn't miss anything with this list of the Best of the Week in the Agile Zone (Mar. 28 to Apr. 03). This week's topics include the virtues of Agile's lack of "control," what Carl Sagan can teach us about lab-lecture balance, and the dangers of allowing Agile to be controlled by non-developers.

Johanna Rothman04/04/14
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Who Solves Which Problems?

When someone else tells you what a standard for your work has to be? How does that feel to you?

Tom Howlett04/04/14
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A Creative System of Work

Let those people creating the software, create the system of creation too.

Chris Odell04/04/14
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Documentation Is Part Of The User Experience

The thing about writing software and especially about writing for open source projects is that the secondary audience becomes an even greater factor. Even if the code speaks for itself you should still create documentation. Something is better than nothing, good documentation is better still.

Eyal Golan04/03/14
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Why Abstraction is Really Important

Abstraction is one of the key elements of good software design. It helps encapsulate behavior. It helps decouple software elements.

George Dinwiddie04/03/14
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Setting Expectations

What if we were able to set expectations beyond a simple number? What if we could say what we know and what we don’t know? What if we could give our best estimate now, and give a better one next week when we know more? Would that help?

Lukas Eder04/03/14
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Open Source Completely Underestimates Contributor License Agreements

There are essentially two types of Open Source: Hobbyist’s Open Source and Professional Open Source

Chris Odell04/03/14
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The Perils Of A Polished Prototype

Protoypes are good. Well I think so. They give you a better idea of how an application should hang together, where the abstractions are, where there are opportunities for refactoring and re-use. But are there downsides? The classic one is that a prototype sometimes becomes the production code.

Scott Westfall04/03/14
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Are You Hiring for the Right Abilities?

What I’m saying is that for candidates with similar extrinsic abilities, their intrinsic abilities will make a much bigger difference in their performance. Don’t overlook a possible standout performer because their extrinsic abilities aren’t a great match.

Johanna Rothman04/03/14
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Design Your Agile Project, Part 2

The point of using agile is to get finish something valuable-to-the-business quickly, to get feedback. Agile is all about change.

Mike Cottmeyer04/02/14
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Managing the Impossible with an Agile Budget

Release planning is without a doubt one of the most challenging responsibilities for agile teams.

Jim Highsmith04/01/14
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Don't "Control" Agile Projects

One common complaint about agile methods is that management doesn’t have the same degree of “control” over projects. We need to stop worrying about this complaint as a vice and start thinking of it as a virtue.

Rob Galanakis04/01/14
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What if Carl Sagan were a hack?

Neil deGrasse Tyson talked some about how stellar of a scientist Carl Sagan was and what an impact Carl had on Neil personally. What a reminder for those of us that have moved into managing and left behind creating. Should our dues, once paid, last forever?

Chris Odell04/01/14
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The Conventions Of Coding

Do you use coding conventions? They help the code to speak for itself and make the learning curve a little less steep. However, do some conventions get in the way more than help?

Gil Zilberfeld03/31/14
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Good vs. Evil

Agile was a developer thing, and now it’s out there in the hands of the uninitiated.

Sarah Ervin03/30/14
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The Best of the Week (Mar. 21): Agile Zone

Make sure you didn't miss anything with this list of the Best of the Week in the Agile Zone (Mar. 21 to Mar. 27). This week's topics include two discussions of Reuse, the ethics of producing open source code, a contrary view of mandated agile, and the top 10 persons that could hinder a daily standing meeting.

Steve Rogalsky03/28/14
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Personal Kanban, Velocity, and Replenishing the Ready Queue

If you use personal kanban for a while, you can start to track how many cards you can do in a day and use that for your planning.

George Dinwiddie03/28/14
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Definition of Ready

Many time, in the middle of developing a user story, the programmer discovers a question about how it’s intended to work. Or the tester, when looking at the functionality that’s been developed, questions if it’s really supposed to work that way.

Mike Cottmeyer03/27/14
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Top 10 Negative Personas of a Daily Standup Meeting

Next time you hold a daily standup, see if anyone exhibits any of these 10 behaviors.