Agile

Articles

The Whole Product

It's easy to split user-experience experts and software architects into different categories and still grant them equal importance; the former deals with the façade of the software while the latter deals with the workings beneath the surface. This separate, but equal attitude changed for Jeff Patton after attending a workshop in which his eyes opened to an epiphany of holism in software development. From this enlightened moment, Jeff realized a way software development could change for the better.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Write a Blockbuster Using User Scenarios

Big projects require many little user stories. But if these scenarios don't add up to one good story, then you're probably missing out on the big picture. In this week's column, Jeff Patton describes how his team weaves many small tales into a single strong report by identifying key characters and themes.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Feature-Driven Development: An Agile Alternative to Extreme Programming

Feature-driven development (FDD) has the more traditional progression of a systems-engineering life cycle mode as compared to agile methods. It uses distinct phases in its iterations while still being highly iterative and collaborative. FDD does conduct up-front planning, design and documentation and relies very heavily upon domain modeling.

Brad Appleton's picture Brad Appleton
Using Mocks to Verify Interactions

In the March 2006 issue of Better Software magazine, Dan North began a discussion of the evolution of behavior-driven development from test-driven development. Here, North continues the conversation with closer look at "mocks," utility classes that, for testing purposes, pretend to be some component or service with which your object will interact.

Dan North's picture Dan North
Cases Against Applying Schedule Pressure

Do you think that by removing deadlines from a project a team will have enough time to create perfect software? Theoretically, it's possible, but in this column Mike Cohn explains that this theory might not hold against ingrained behavior. He recalls how several teams reacted when deadlines were lifted from the projects they were working on. Their only goal: to produce perfect software. But that goal inadvertently brought something to the surface, that old habits die hard.

Mike Cohn's picture Mike Cohn
Paving Cow Paths

In the IT world, "paving cow paths" means automating a business process as is, without thinking too much about whether or not that process is effective or efficient. Often business process automation initiatives require figuring out entirely new ways of doing business processes–impossible prior to automation (for example, work flow automation and digital image processing)–defining more effective and efficient process highways. In this week's column, Jim Highsmith warns that when we pave the cow paths and ignore the highways, we do a disservice to our customers.

Jim Highsmith
test automation Not Your Father's Test Automation

If you think that test automation is mostly about executing tests, then you're missing out on a big opportunity. Or rather, you're missing a lot of small opportunities adding up to a big one. Consider this: stop thinking about test automation as merely executing automated tests, stop thinking about test automation as something you need expensive tools for, and start discovering automation you can implement in a couple of days and usually with extremely inexpensive tools or tools you already have available. In this week's column, Danny Faught and James Bach suggest taking a more Agile approach to test automation.

James Bach's picture James Bach Danny R. Faught
Late Projects Preventing Late Tasks from Creating Late Projects

We like to think that being late on one task isn't so bad because early and late completions will average out over the course of an entire project. If you flip a coin 1,000 times, it will land on heads about 500 times and on tails about 500 times. If your project has 1,000 tasks, about 500 will finish early and about 500 will finish late, right? Wrong--and many project plans are sunk by this common misperception.

Mike Cohn's picture Mike Cohn
One Process is Not a Fit For All Projects

We should know that software development methods are situational, so why do so many people believe one process should work for every project? One size does not fit all and rarely do quick-fix methods help the process fit. In this week's column, Pete McBreen considers why we jump on the latest software development trend and what the fallout is when the trend and the project don't match.

Pete McBreen's picture Pete McBreen
Testers Shine on Agile Projects

Agile projects draw testers out of the background and into the spotlight. Testers play a distinctive role and drive product development by creating acceptance tests before any code is even written. Johanna Rothman sets the stage and explains the benefits of giving testers their chance to shine.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

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