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Mark Levison
Ottawa, On
Agile Coach, Consultant, Editor @ InfoQ with over 20 years industry experience.
Recent Activity
Have you looked into the most recent study from MS - that shows a reduction in the defect rate? I don't remember the details right this second but I think George Dinwiddie links to it. Cheers Mark
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Thanks - Abby you saw the original at Agile2009, I suspect the short version won't add anything new. It will just demonstrate that a 15 minute talk is like a story card. Its an invitation to a conversation.
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Adam thanks for reminding me of the corollary - I'm not sure if want to know where you count me :-)
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2009 on Why use an Agile Coach? at Notes from a Tool User
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Its a great idea Sandy the problem with that is my idea of a critical bug will be different from yours and Rally's (not picking on them in particular). In addition once you establish measures like this people will game them by accident or by design. I just hear the conversation now: "Bug, that's not a bug its just the way I designed it", or "There's a workaround for that bug so its just an annoyance and not critical". I wonder if there would be useful object measures.
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BTW the solution - Urlseek.vmn.net has a separate installation in the control panel. So you can uninstall it. In addition if we had paid more attention to the installer as it whizzed by we might have spotted this puppy and choosen not to install it.
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Victor - thanks for the comment - my list wasn't meant to exhaustive or perfect, just a quick test to see if people are really Agile. Think of it as a Litmus test no more.
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Thanks for the pointer. The full blown article (http://www.cs.utoronto.ca/~gvwilson/articles/portals.html) says: "Another noteworthy point was that almost all of the groups we interviewed acknowledged that they didn't use any well-defined process themselves (not even the agile methods they preach). When asked, "Do you use XP [XP]?" or "Do you use Scrum?", they invariably replied that their developers used a mix of best practices that didn't strictly adhere to any published rulebook. None of the interviewees were defensive about this; all clearly believed that they had above-average developers who could be trusted to use pair programming, test-driven development, and whatever else was appropriate in context. This emphatically does not mean that their processes were chaotic: in all cases there was close and frequent coupling between development on one hand and requirements gathering and feature prioritization on the other. However, the day-to-day mechanics of actually producing high-quality code was trusted to developers and their consciences. It remains to be seen whether the users of the tools do follow specific agile methods or, as the tool developers', they just use their own mix of agile practices." So I suspect the relevant tools vendors (Rally, VersionOne and Mingle) could all give good answers to these questions.
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Marcin - we're in violent agreement. For me TDD is a design tool. 100% code coverage is neither realistic, desirable or useful. Code coverage is only useful as a hint about what you've missed. Nothing more.
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Marcin - Interesting you clearly know what your doing. One small detail - I wouldn't go after 100% test coverage. Instead I would ask where you find bugs in the glue code and let that guide your thinking. It seems like a small part of your, which I've not taken the time to play with (sorry) :-)
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Karl its complex - of the four books mention above Zull's "The Art of Changing the Brain" is the most relevant to teaching. Linda found John Medina's book "Brain Rules" more valuable - whereas I found it a bit fluffy. Finally if you're looking for the most interesting but least applicable read Norman Doidge's book "The Brain that Changes Itself". Great writing and good background. Of course you could just invite me to present in Montreal :-)
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Daniel - I think that Agile Alliance calendar works only for people who already know its there. If I google Agile Calendar - there is an InfoQ news item from two years ago mentioning Deb's upcoming.com group and then this post. The Agile Alliance, Scrum Alliance etc don't even on the page. At least InfoQ is high traffic enough to find people who didn't know there was a calendar in the first place. I'm open to any alternative that will get the support of the community.
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2009 on Central Agile Calendar? at Notes from a Tool User
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Thanks - Emmanuel although I was aware of these two references they didn't play a role in the session. Some of the ideas will play a role in my book (long time in the future).
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Jesse - thanks for the reply. My remarks were not well considered every Atlassian Employee I've encountered so far was decent. However the outline for the session really doesn't make clear that this approach would work well with any other tool, its not too late to amend it. Better stated I don't think tools are the best way to conduct a code review: http://www.notesfromatooluser.com/2006/12/online_code_rev.html as you see I've being saying it for years. The usual caveat applies if your distributed you will likely need a tool, but otherwise I don't like tools getting in the way of humans. How often do you see email exchanges with people who sit 5 ft apart.
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Ruben - thanks for the quick reply. As it stands I'm certain that the public key token is the same. I've checked them and they're the same. I will check both the dll and the csproj to find what strong names they have.
Toggle Commented May 11, 2009 on GAC Madness at Notes from a Tool User
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Mario on this you're wrong. I'm not printing from Office but a development environment.
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Another reason not to use Rogers for my home internet. Thanks. As for Anonymous Coward, you're right if you pay close enough attention (as I just discovered) it does include a check box for a "Firefox and IE addon". It doesn't say toolbar and it is automatically checked, so I still think its deceptive.
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After a conversation with Elisabeth I'm convinced, be open and transparent is the right thing. Proposal authors should be informed of what you have to say. There is a small risk that a few noses will get out of joint but that's a risk we have to take.
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Immo - thanks for the comment and the compliment. I knew of Cucumber (and a few other Ruby tools). However they didn't get mentioned because the client is a very conservative MS shop. Getting them to upgrade to VS2008, .NET 3.5 is a real effort. Getting them to install Ruby on their test rig would be an even bigger sell.
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Thanks to Lisa and Ian - we be investigating Canoo more closely now. James - I know and like Twist but it costs $$$ and my client is unlikely to budget for that right this second.
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Thanks Richard and Patrick. Interestingly you've outlined the two options that are currently going through my mind - Either we record tests with a goal to eventually creating a DSL or we do as much testing as possible through the slightly lower level (probably via FitNesse .NET) with GUI tests only to check the UI. Its also heartening to hear that people have had good luck with both WatiN and Selenium. On Twitter the responses have been 2 for Watin and 3 for Selenium. In other words all the choices seem at least good and it should up to the team to decided.
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I've just read your blog posting that is another interesting strategy my only question would be around how well does this scale. Can you handle 50 people this way? 200?
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Sarah some thoughts. For me the value of these things is all in proportion to how much notice they generate. My interest obviously is in coaching Agile/Lean Software development. In my case the most important activities have been: 1) Mailing lists 2) Blog 3) Writing for InfoQ 4) Conferences .... n) Social Networking tools. So they can be useful but other things are more important.
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Anna - your comment is hardly too long. You bring up a number of interesting points. I didn't go into anymore detail in the post because it was already way too long. Companies need to focus on hiring the right people and involving the right people in the hiring process. On the other side when all else fails HR departments need to act quickly once its been demonstrated that a person can't be helped to work in a given role.
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Tiest - In fact I wasn't the one who had done the work testing the frameworks, I was just doing research on behalf of a colleague who had. I've passed your notes along to him.
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Thanks for the question Peter - I'm really not sure. The early time of 6:15pm is really going to require great forbearance from my wife is its the hardest time of day with two small kids. So really my wife will decide - not I.
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