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Methods & Tools - August 2020
Sharing global software development expertise since 1993


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*** Updates ***


Last Articles Published on Methods & Tools Website

5 Major Problems With Synchronous Code Reviews A synchronous code review is performed together in front of the coder screen after the coder finished coding. In contrast, the asynchronous review is done by the reviewer on his own screen, on his own schedule. The reviewer uses some tools to write comments, that are then forwarded to the coder to improve the code. This article presents five issues with synchronous code reviews. Read more...


*** From The Archives ***


Articles from Methods & Tools' Archives

Practical Experience in Automated Software Testing Test automation can add a lot of complexity and cost to a test team's effort, but it can also provide some valuable assistance to software testing if its done by the right people, with the right environment and done where it makes sense to do so. I hope by sharing some pointers that I feel are important that you'll find some value that translates into saved time, money and less frustration in your efforts to implement test automation back on the job. Read more...


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*** Quote of the Month ***


Refinement is about creating a shared understanding (between PO and DT) of the value and intent of the items on the Product Backlog. Shared understanding sounds good, but why is it so important?

Some scenarios I have seen in practice:

We don't do refinement.

In Sprint Planning the Dev Team just sits blank at first. After some explanation of the Product Owner discussions start taking place about the content, the value, the size and the order of the work. In the end, we just pull some items of the Product Backlog to start working, because the timebox expires. There is no belief in the reliability of this plan, or there is no plan at all.

We do too little refinement as a team.

Sprint Planning in this case often seems to start fruitfully. The items on top of the Product Backlog look relatively clear and the Dev Team feels confident to pull these in the Sprint. Then, going through item X, you notice a shift in the team. Not everyone has seen this before, some don't agree with the splitting, others don't agree with the proposed solution. The PO proposes to skip this item, but there aren't many items that the teams thinks are ready. Finally we create a plan, but you feel the commitment "has been better".

Way too much refinement.

We get situations where we refined some items a few weeks or months before. In Sprint Planning one of two things usually happens. One, people are unsure if these items are really necessary. An item that seemed pressing back then, but no one can tell why this was valuable. Or two, people have no idea what these items are about. Since we prefer talking over writing, a conversation we had a few months ago is hard to recollect. In the end, we have to do another refinement to get this clear. What a waste.

We need just in time collaboration on the Product Backlog to answer "do we understand what we are likely to do in the future?", and "do we have just enough information to start working on it". It is about finding a balance that works for you and your team, in order to prevent situations like this!

Source: Refinement Revised, Bjorn van den Einden, https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/refinement-revised


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*** Software Development Linkopedia ***


Text: "No Estimates" is not the (only) Answer or: Moving towards Predictability

Text: Modern JavaScript Explained For Dinosaurs

Text: UX Roadmaps: Definition and Components

Text: My Series on Modern Software Development Practices

Text: Testing and creating CI/CD pipelines for AWS Step Functions

Text: 80% of communication is non-verbal

Text: A Guide for Software Testing in Scrum

Video: Does Agile Make You Less Secure?

Video: A Guide to Software Security Practices

Video: Modern Enterprise Java Applications

Video: Software Testing in DevOps for Engineers

Video: Do Not Get Rid of All the Managers!

Video: Assuring or Not Assuring Software Quality?

Tools: Rest.li is an open source REST framework for building robust, scalable RESTful architectures using type-safe bindings and asynchronous, non-blocking IO. Rest.li fills a niche for applying RESTful principles at scale with an end-to-end developer workflow for building REST APIs, which promotes clean REST practices, uniform interface design and consistent data modeling.

Tools: Meteor is a simple open source environment for building modern web applications. With Meteor, you write apps in modern JavaScript that send data over the wire, rather than HTML using your choice of popular open-source libraries like React or Angular.

Tools: Free Retrospective Tools for Distributed Scrum Teams. Even if Agile approaches favor collocated teams, distributed Scrum teams are more common that what you might think. Many Agile software development teams are based on a virtual organization. This article presents some free online tools that can be used to facilitate retrospectives for distributed Scrum teams.


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