Wednesday, November 23, 2011 11:45 AM

Playing with daddy's hats

With Thanksgiving coming tomorrow I’m reminded how truly blessed I am.  As I write this, Andrea and Ethan are on their way back to Colorado from Iowa.  Despite all of our trials and challenges, I’m blessed with a wonderful wife and son who love me, an extended family that supports us, and some truly wonderful friends that have helped us through good times and bad.  Over this past year, I’ve learned a lot about myself and I know that this process of self-discovery will continue for the rest of my life and I’m thankful for those who’ve accompanied me on this journey.

Ethan and MommyI’m also thankful to have found a job that challenges me to push my limits and learn new things every day.  This is easily the most engaging job I’ve ever had and one that makes it so exciting to get up and go to the office every day.

As Andrea and Ethan move home, I’m I know there will be challenges ahead as we all have to get used to new patterns of daily life, but I’m so excited to confront these challenges and help Ethan grow into the amazing young man that I know he will become.

By: Shane


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Agile Development Best Practices

Friday, November 11, 2011 1:36 PM

CartegraphLogoI spent Monday through Thursday in Dubuque visiting the Cartegraph offices again.  We were out there again to talk through common agile software development process mistakes, discussing the mistakes that they were making and how to improve their process. 

Some of the high level points we were highlighting were:

  • It’s about getting real software in the hands of users as soon as possible
  • Avoid “water-scrum-fall”
  • Start by building what you know
  • Allow for feedback & course correction
  • Don’t lose sight of the big picture
  • Don’t do product owner by committee
  • Estimate using relative story points
  • Don’t confuse tasks with stories
  • Don’t spend too much time on architecture
  • User experience (UX) matter and needs to be an integral part of each sprint
  • Agile/scrum is not an obligation

I really think the first and last points are probably the most important for most development organizations.  I realize that agile and/or scrum is the big buzzword for development methodology at this point, but the reality is that agile isn’t a fit for every organization.  There are a number of cultural issues that can make agile development unsuccessful in a given organization and it is important to have the self-awareness within the organization to recognize and correct those shortcomings or choose a different methodology that suits the organization better.

By: Shane


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