Methods & Tools - February 2022
Sharing global software development expertise since 1993


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*** Updates ***


Last Articles Published on Methods & Tools Website

MeuScrum - Free Online ScrumTool MeuScrum is a free online Scrum tool. It provides simple features that allow managing project, people, releases stories, tasks and sprints. MeuScrum is available in English, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish Read more...


*** From The Archives ***


Articles from Methods & Tools' Archives

Something Old, Something New: Requirements and Specifications For many, perhaps most, development teams the terms requirement and specification are used interchangeably with no detrimental effect. In everyday development conversations the terms are used synonymously, one is as likely to opt for the "spec" as the "requirements." However it is sometimes useful, and occasionally important, to differentiate between the two terms. Read more...


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*** Quote of the Month ***


It's beyond time we reexamine the post-incident question of luck, and I submit: asking "how we were lucky" in an incident retrospective is not only a waste of you and your colleague's time, it is distractingly detrimental to post-incident analysis.

An obvious reason why "luck" discussions are not useful: what are you supposed to do with aspects of the incident attributed to a good outcome of a roll of the dice? We don't follow-up a "lucky" attribution by asking "What will you do next time to be lucky? How can we all get luckier in the future? Can you teach me how to flick my wrists just right when I let go of the dice?" Director James Cameron is oft-quoted as saying "Hope is not a strategy; luck is not a factor" and spending time talking about something, by definition, we have no control over is placing a pretty big bet on hope. For all of the discussions of "luck" I've heard in incident retrospectives, I've never seen anyone put "Be more lucky again next time" on the list of action items that goes to the boss' boss.

A second, and more important, reason why an attribution of "luck" is unhelpful in incident analyses: its use often masks other aspects of the system that we can influence and when we chalk it up to "luck" and move on, we miss a big opportunity. In a recent retrospective, someone said "We were really lucky Sam happened to be on the call for this incident; he's worked here a really long time, and he noticed that error code didn't look quite right, which led us all to investigate and find the triggering issue. Nobody else would've found that as quickly."

Source: What's Luck Got To Do With It?, J. Paul Reed, https://jpaulreed.com/thoughts/whats-luck-got-to-do-with-it.html


*** Software Development Linkopedia ***


Text: Lessons from Leading a Remote Engineering Team. You may think that managing remote teams is hard, and it is, but there are real benefits that you can achieve by being open to remote employees and building a remote team. Let's talk about the benefits of a remote team, how to build your remote team, and how to set your people up to succeed.

Text: Mutation Testing For those who are not familiar with it, mutation testing is a method of evaluating test quality by injecting bugs into the code and seeing whether the tests detect the fault or not. The more injected bugs the tests catch, the better they are.

Text: Don't Let Legacy Code Make You Suffer. Make It Suffer. Feeling like the codebase you're working on is poorly designed? Wish you could focus on writing good code, rather than trudging through mud code all day long? Would life be easier if only the legacy codebase had a clearer structure? If you answered “Yes” to any of those questions, be aware that you're not alone. Quite the opposite, in fact. You only need to talk to people for more than a minute at meetups or conferences to realize that a significant amount of developers suffer from legacy code.

Text: Delivering on an architecture strategy In this article I'll show that we can achieve a sustainable balance between feature delivery and foundational architectural work by empowering teams with autonomy, and fostering a strong partnership between product and tech on within those teams. We'll also see that autonomy isn't enough. To make coherent progress on architectural goals, our teams also need to align behind a shared vision. The Strategic Architectural Initiatives framework delivers that alignment, allowing you to reap full benefit from your high-performing teams.

Text: How to track automation tests coverage & statistics. All QA Engineers eventually face the need for automation tests coverage tracking and statistics gathering. How to solve this problem with minimal losses and maximum wow effect (and benefit for yourself surely)?

Text: Barriers to Agility Agile organizations require different leaders, cultures, and structures. In this article, Zuzana "Zuzi" Šochová explains that the fewer barriers you give agility on the way, the more likely the frameworks, methods, and practices can make a difference. You don't have to start with changing everything immediately, but sooner or later such change is inevitable.

Text: How to Deal with Software Tester Burnout The problem of occupational burnout among people due to the lack of interest in the tasks assigned or the unevenness of the assigned load has been extremely acute these days. And the field of software testing is not an exception for this issue. This article proposes tips on how software testers can deal with burnout.

Video: Efficiency vs Effectiveness in Agile. Learn the difference between effectiveness and efficiency, and whether your software development team can be agile without knowing it.

Video: What Is The Ideal Programming Language? What would your ideal programming language look like? Erik Doernenburg, head of technology at Thoughtworks, and Richard Feldman, author of "Elm in Action," sat together at GOTO Copenhagen 2021 to chat about what theirs would look like. They also had a look into the future of up-and-coming programming languages.

Video: Expert Talk: DevOps & Software Architecture. In a world where software architecture is evolving rapidly, we are confronted with new challenges. Simon Brown, Dave Farley and Hannes Lowette cover some recent trends in software architecture, touching on hot topics such as DevOps and how to deal with complexity. At the same time they discuss bounded context and continuous delivery and how they are still being misunderstood by the industry.

Video: Transforming Agile Teams Through Feminist Leadership. Feminist Leadership is about capitalizing on the ideas and skills of as many individuals as possible by establishing team cooperation and group leadership instead of competition and personal leadership; it seeks to develop power "with others" instead of power "over others."

Video: What Should Software QA Do? This talk tries to answer the question of what the software quality assurance (QA) team should be doing, and how it is not only more fruitful for the software development organization, but a more rewarding path for the Testing Craftsman.

Tools: Scrumlr is an open source web app for collaborative online retrospectives

Tools: EaselQA is an Open Source, Codeless, End to End Test automation framework.

Tools: RetroCadence: The Best Retrospective Tool For Agile Teams The retrospective is arguably the event that will yield the most benefits for your agile team. This is because it is the place where you identify crucial, valuable improvements for your team that will drive ongoing performance improvements. Such improvements allow your team to deliver higher value products in a shorter timescale.


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