The Daily Meeting

Posted February 24, 2020 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

The manager looks across the room at the team members. It’s 8:45 and everyone should be in attendance. Where’s Rob? Surely he’s not still at his desk? “Okay let’s start on the left and go around the room,” the manager says, as she always does.
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Squeezing or Slicing?

Posted February 17, 2020 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

I’m going to be using a metaphor that not everyone can relate to since not everyone is on a speaking circuit. My hope is that this metaphor will teach you two things: how to plan a conference talk, and how to approach doing big things quickly.
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Estimates vs Actuals

Posted February 11, 2020 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

“Oh, no! We estimated 23 story points for the sprint, but we only turned in 20. We’ve failed the sprint!” It seems that a lot of teams, especially scrum and SAFe teams, are spending a lot of time on story point estimates. This is understandable, and also disappointing. You see, you can’t estimate your way […]
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TDD: Purposes and Practices

Posted November 14, 2019 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

Test-Driven Development (TDD) is frequently misunderstood in ways that cause needless struggle, delay, and upset. Misunderstanding and misrepresentation have been painful enough that developers have cried out in frustration, sometimes declaring the whole practice harmful, pointless, or even “dead.”
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A Few Tips for Mob Programming

Posted June 20, 2018 by Tim Ottinger in Learning, Mob Programming

Mob programming is great stuff! We have found it to be the best way (so far) to teach technical skills to teams of programmers, and the best way for them to continue developing and teaching their skills well beyond our workshops. Here are a set of tips that help us to make mobbing more successful […]
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Managing Programmer Productivity

Posted December 11, 2017 by Tim Ottinger in Amplify, Culture, Learning, Mob Programming, Tech Safety

Several decades ago, the software industry was obsessed with counting lines of code per programmer per month. That metric practice famously drove teams to create bloated, defect-ridden software products. After only a few years, the practice was abandoned as detrimental. Sadly, the biases and flaws behind that practice are with us still, influencing our practices […]
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Make Your Testing Affordable

Posted November 28, 2017 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

It’s great to have reliable tests in your pipeline to avoid escaped defects and to shorten the feedback loop for your programmers. Sometimes the build-and-test processes becomes a productivity-limiting problem. What do you do when your test suite takes too long to run?
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Reasons for Extracting Methods

Posted October 12, 2017 by Tim Ottinger in Extreme Programming, Refactoring, Software Design

When we are refactoring, and especially when we are teaching refactoring, our partners are surprised to see us extracting methods which are only (currently) called once. There is often an assumption that the only reason for extracting a method is so that you can call it from multiple places in the code base.</p> While this […]
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Make People Awesome through Real Work

Posted April 5, 2017 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

Typical training workshops are informative and can be a lot of fun. Teams get away from their normal work for a week or so, try out new technologies and techniques on prefab examples, give the instructor a quick rating, and then go home to their normal jobs. Is this the time for traditional classroom training?
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What Should We Measure?

Posted November 17, 2016 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

The Agile world is awash in metrics and measures, but most provide little benefit to teams. What if we could change our set of measurements to support safer software development, continuous improvement, happiness of our project community, and careful craftsmanship? In short, what are some Modern Agile metrics?
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