Test Case Management Software Integration

Mixing automated and manual testing (Part 2)

Mixing automated and manual testing (Part 2) : Part 1 This is a two part post on mixing automated and manual testing. In short, I cover solutions to two problems: Converting selenium tests to end-to-end unit tests Reporting end-to-end test via test case management software integration Test Case Management Software Integration In my previous post, I gave a few tips on transforming …

Estimating Projects with Agile

Estimating Projects with Agile NB: Scroll to the bottom for the short version. I have a 7 year history of managing projects with Agile. Early, I failed because I didn’t practice Agile seriously. The mistakes I made early on in my Agile career are still being made by numerous companies I work with. So, here I’m giving up the “secret” …

The Project Owner

One person can make a difference I’ve spent the last 13 years working in, managing, or building Agile teams. After nearly two decades in the Boston area, I’ve moved to Austin to be closer to my family. This has given me time for introspection regarding what has made certian teams more successful than others. I’ve worked with many Agile teams. …

Add the build number to websites automatically

I always add the build number to websites automatically in my continuous integration environment. This allows developers and testers to ensure which build they are testing.  To review, my continuous integration system always does the following: Build all the code from a clean environment Report on code duplication Recreate the test database from scratch Deploy all services (including services and …

Top 5 Traits of Great Agile Managers

I’ve worked with several great companies, and even more not-so-great. I see agile managers and agile implementations fail quite a bit. I’ve done some analysis and come up with the top 5 traits of great agile managers. There are others traits to consider as well. However, the great agile shops and managers all have these same characteristics. 1) Be on time …

Technology versus Services

What is a technology company?

I’ve worked with many different types of companies. They can be separated by market; healthcare, medical research, insurance, financial services, etc. However, it’s more important for me to determine if they are a technology company or a services company. I use a simple matrix to determine what type of company I’m working with. Services Companies A services company has a …

Continuous Integration Step By Step

Continuous Integration is a critical part of successful software development. Here are my slides from my recent talk on Continuous Integration Step by Step. Continuous integration (CI) allows you to check the quality of your project on every developer commit. It’s a key part of any Agile environment. We will start with a 5 year old ASP.NET WebPages application and …

Project a mess? Send in the clean up crew!

We love patterns in software development. Codifying patterns is an attempt to acknowledge good principals for designing and delivering software. We have so many types, for example: Design Patterns Enterprise Architecture Patterns Database Design Patterns UI Patterns Development Process Patterns Development Process Patterns typically include the following: Continuous Integration Agile Test Driven Development And so on…. There are also so …

Don’t know your velocity? You’re not Agile. You’re Fragile!

Many organizations claim to be running Agile shops.  I get two responses when I ask about their Agile practice They (try to) run iterations. They hold daily standups. These are two of several practices which contribute to being Agile.  However, alone, they will never realize the true value of the practice. The normal follow up questions I have for these …

Introduction to Agile

I recently gave a coaching presentation to 20Mile Interactive on Agile Management. Here are the slides I used. For the first hour, we covered basics.  We spent the next few hours going through typical workflow scenarios teams usually encounter. Introduction to Agile from wbsimms

Developers and Technical Minefields

Technology changes quickly. Every week there are new tools, frameworks, and paradigms. Choosing the right technology for a new project in a constantly changing landscape can be daunting.  Popular developer websites (and blogs!) are filled with articles on “the next big thing” which every developer “must” know. In my experience, most of these technologies will be short lived. Some will prove …

The Cost of Meeting Lurkers

A simple way to improve team productivity is to stop inviting “lurkers” to meetings.  I was introduced to the term “lurker” in 2000 when I was active in IRC chat rooms. A lurkers is someone who doesn’t provide any value to the group chat.  Their participation is very minimal and usually not helpful.  In meetings, a lurker is someone who similarly doesn’t participate …

Ruthless Meetings

Ruthlessness has always had a bad rap.  There is a thought that being ruthless is uncaring or cold.  However, being ruthless is a virtue when it comes to staying on track to meet project deadlines.  A current client of mine often has one hour meetings in which, after 20 minutes and the pertinent topics having been resolved, everyone in the meeting …