Hardening Sprints: The Good, Bad, and Downright Ugly

Hardening Sprints is a fairly contentious topic, one that often brings out the worst in our agile community. I also believe it is one that needs definition, explanation, and clarity around the contexts where “hardening sprints” might, just might, be a useful tool in your agile arsenal. That is the intent of this article so please keep an open mind to the possibilities.

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Burn-down or Burn-out?

One of the key and often very much underestimated assets of working in agile teams, whether working on products or projects, is the idea of sustainable pace. In my view, sustainable pace is to make sure that the team retains its cool even under time pressure, which is not rare in software development. For those of you who have been part of agile teams, you will have noticed that achieving sustainable pace is not always easy.

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The Customer Is Mobile and Only Has 2 Seconds

Customer is mobile! Nowadays just about everybody uses mobile devices daily. With all mobile platforms, the focus is on the user. The objective was and continues to be to offer the customer convenient mobility, allowing him to do everything that he wants. As testers we must adapt our capabilities to these new circumstances.

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The Agile Theory of General Relativity – Agile has a Manifesto. It’s about time we had a universal truth.

The results of [a] previous investigation lead to a very interesting conclusion, which is here to be deduced [1]. It has been shown in several ‘previous investigations’ that inherent in agile projects there are story points delivered over a progression of time with a relatively steady flow of money spent. What is worth considering is the nature of that relationship, and whether it is a predictable relationship.

If we imagine one factor is the cumulative duration of all the project time-boxes, and a second factor is the progressive expenditure that ultimately funds the work, then we can posit a third factor that represents the work being delivered.

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OWASP Security in a Continuous Integration World

This article discusses techniques used to confront web vulnerabilities using open source tools in the agile world. These experiences might not reflect the practices followed within MIMOS Berhad and may be the author’s own interpretation. It has been a legacy

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Thoughts on Distributed Teams

Right after my first cup of coffee, I log in to the company server from my kitchen table. I read my email and get myself another cup of coffee. Then I take a look at the issue management tool to see if the testers in Bangalore found many bugs while I was sleeping. I also check the online Scrum board to see the progress of the Sydney development team. While reading, a Skype call comes in and the team lead from Bangalore wants to talk. After talking for 15 minutes, I am fully updated on the testing done last night. The dashboard tells me development is on schedule and the nightly build of the interfaces was successful. This will be a productive day. I take another cup of coffee while I upload the latest documentation onto the server and prepare the meeting with the teams in Brazil and California later today …

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Key Challenges for Agile in Distributed Environments

Running agile Scrum in a distributed team is like trying to cook the world’s most delicious recipe without seasonings. It is easier to work with a co-located team rather than a team distributed across the world. A distributed team’s biggest challenges are related to communication gaps and cultural differences. Using Scrum in a distributed team will not help in removing these challenges; it will only help you discover and mitigate them faster.

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Collaboration in Distributed Teams

Many organizations currently grapple with the reality of delivering software projects in which the sub-teams are located in different geographical locations, but the final project should be delivered by one team comprised of the sub-teams. This article focuses on how organizations can continue to practice agile in a distributed team environment while dealing with scenarios that are unique to distributed teams.

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Managing Distributed Teams

Businesses are shifting their workforce to emerging economies like Russia, China, India, or the Philippines due to reduced business operations costs and the availability of skilled labor. To put it more precisely, tomorrow’s business will be more virtual and distributed, with distribution its key element. Henceforth, the need for better team management, using the right tools and processes, becomes critical for any enterprise company.

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By the way …

It has been a really nice day. For the first time in weeks, the sun did not hide behind gray clouds and Jack could use his favorite T-shirt again, the one that said, “I don’t make stupid mistakes, only very clever ones”.

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