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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Characterization Testing in Nuclear Power and Software

Posted January 28, 2020 by Cecil Williams in Testing

Characterization testing, aka Golden Master testing, is a technique where you apply known inputs to a process to verify the output against a known result. I have found this to be a great technique for testing legacy code that does not have many tests. However, my first use of this technique was at a nuclear power plant.
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Becoming Test-Driven

Posted January 16, 2020 by Joshua Kerievsky in Extreme Programming, Software Design, Test Driven Development

Many decades ago, people often had a stack of equipment for playing music and video. Typical stacks included a cassette player, compact disk player, VCR or DVD player, television, cable box for watching cable television and maybe even a turntable for listening to vinyl records. You’d need an audio/video (AV) receiver to take all of […]
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Vanishing Volatile: Threading and References

Posted November 15, 2019 by Brett Schuchert in Learning

Overview Recently we came across a need to use volatile. At the time my spider senses were tingling; I wasn’t sure. We confirmed that it was in fact necessary. Then we improved the implementation a touch, which removed the need to use the keyword. The Beginning I joined a mob while it was in the middle of […]
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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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Delighting Your Customer

Posted September 17, 2019 by Joshua Kerievsky in Modern Agile

An exceptional first time experience using a dog walking service points to the importance of delighting your customer.
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Agile is an Adjective

Posted September 6, 2019 by Joshua Kerievsky in Agile Transition, Coaching, Culture, Kanban, Lean Startup, Modern Agile

Agile is an adjective, guided by principles and realized in unlimited ways.
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Shortest Longest Red

Posted September 3, 2019 by Joshua Kerievsky in Extreme Programming, Learning, Software Design, Test Driven Development

To measure how long they were “in the red”, Ward suggested that one programmer in the pair take on the additional responsibility of being the time keeper. They’d keep time of any period during which one or more tests were red.
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Are tests valuable?

Posted October 31, 2018 by Jessica McCay in Learning

During my time as a developer, I have come across wildly differing opinions on testing. Many would say that you absolutely, without a doubt, should write tests around the code you write. Others felt that testing was a waste of the developer’s time and energy. When I first began programming, I did not like writing […]
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Skills Inventory

Posted October 18, 2018 by Mike Rieser in Coaching, Learning

A team is asked to take on a special project but they feel uneasy because they lack all of the skills necessary for a successful outcome. Have you experienced that problem before? Perhaps a Skills Inventory could help. This is a skills inventory I helped a team create in the past (I’ve redacted their names […]
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