Cost of Estimation

•April 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been waiting for a blog entry to appear for Mike Cohn’s recent monthly news article, “Paying the Cost for More Precise Estimates”.  Unfortunately, apart from the campaign URL, nothing has appears on Mike’s blog as far as I can see. So without waiting any long, let me offer the summary view of an excellent article – estimation is not free!  I realise this maybe obvious to some, but few manager understand the “cost” associated with estimation.

To add precision to an estimate requires time

As long as a boss is willing to pay that cost, a good team should be willing to provide an estimate at whatever level of detail and precision the boss wants. The problem is when the boss wants a highly precise estimate and isn’t willing to pay the cost, for example, “I need to know by lunch time today exactly when this large project can be delivered.”

Information has a cost. If the person asking for that information is willing to pay that cost, you need to be willing to provide the information.

Open Source – WinJS, Roslyn and Comanche054/Luminary099

•April 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So by far the coolest of these has to be the open sourcing of  Apollo 11 Command Module code (Comanche054) and Lunar Module code (Luminary099)

More up to date, will WinJS make headway in the non Windows space?

To wrap up, there’s .NET Compiler Platform (“Roslyn“)

The .NET Compiler Platform (“Roslyn”) exposes a set of Compiler APIs and Workspaces APIs that provides rich information about your source code and that has full fidelity with the C# and Visual Basic languages. The transition to compilers as a platform dramatically lowers the barrier to entry for creating code focused tools and applications. It creates many opportunities for innovation in areas such as meta-programming, code generation and transformation, interactive use of the C# and VB languages, and embedding of C# and VB in domain specific languages.


•April 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Neeve Research offers an interesting product:

A platform to host, execute and manage business applications that are message driven, are collaborative and multi-agent in design and have extreme performance, availability and scalability requirements

More details are available here, and a code sample here.  Curious if anyone has experience of this product.

Enterprise Agile

•April 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

VentureBeat offer an interesting on Agile in the Enterprise – agility more than agile, drop the agile fundamentalists.  This leads nicely to the Bank Systems & Technology article, “Capital One Delivers 85% Of Software Through Agile”.  Curious what version of “agile” Capital One is using?  Innovation labs sound very sensible:

In order to encourage innovation through the company, Capital One rotates developers through the innovation labs, rather than just leaving team of developers in the labs full time, although Wolfs notes that there are a few associates who are permanently assigned to the labs. “My goal is make sure the labs are not the only place where innovation is done. Innovation should be encourages on all of the teams,”

Morgan Stanley Matrix: Quantitative Analysis Tools

•April 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Interesting read over on e-FOREX offers an interesting read on where MS Matrix is heading.  Few screen shots in the article.

For example, a client may take advantage of our market leading pre- and post-trade Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA) on Matrix, but allocate through a third party. Matrix is our storefront, but behind it are robust services available to our clients’ particular workflow.

Feature Driven Development (FDD) – A Worrying Side Effect

•April 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment

FDD has been around for some time.  Although Scrum is more common, its not unusual to hear the Scrum theme described as feature.  This leads to somewhat of a problem in some scenarios.  Specifically, teams get driven down a feature road, where the Product Owner perceives all he wants is features, and begins to drive for features, sometimes at the mercy of accepting partially tested software within a fractured environment that bears no resemblance to the final deliverable state.  Feature madness.  Mentorship and education should be consider in these scenarios.

Rally offers the Top 10 Mistakes Made by New Agile Teams – 6 and 8 are of particular worry :(   I wonder how many teams still makes these mistakes.

Agile – Why its become a dirty word

•March 31, 2014 • 2 Comments

There has been a lot of chatter recently on why agile is not the word it used to be.  I offer a few bullets on why agile has in some ways become an off-roading term for software development based on bad practices I’ve seen:

  • Scrum daily stand-up’s are really either status meetings or team meetings.  Nobody in the team appears to recall the three standard questions to be answered, or the time-box duration for the meeting
  • 12 original XP practices are often lost by agile teams.  How often have you seen an agile team start coding with no coding standards, no design, and no idea of the XP practices on testing
  • Using tools that restrict agility rather than enhance agility
  • The perception that with a backlog, there is no need for requirements or non-functional requirements (NFRs) – this alone in my view is why backlogs seem to be the last item an agile team cares about, yet they are the core to the efficiency of an agile team
  • Although most have agile/scrum/xp/etc on their resumes/CV’s, few appear to know the standard ceremonies of Scrum, and the reason for the ceremonies – backlog grooming is one that appears to be missing from many teams
  • No wall :(

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