Archive for August 2008
This iteration marked another iteration of attending retrospectives with a twist… up until now I had guest facilitated other teams as well as my own team’s retrospectives, but this week I facilitated one team while someone else facilitated mine. Some interesting patterns arose, and I’ll delve into them a bit after describing the two retros.
Apparently, you can now sign up an account on Google App Engine without any problems. NICE!!!
Edit: No… it is not open… but it is open for a limited number of new sign ups.
I’ve stated several times in the past that being a software developer today involves so much more than just being able to whip up code… it involves having great interpersonal skills, an ability to work with domain experts / customers, being very communicative, etcetera etcetera.
Anyhow, here’s a few ways in my opinion to make yourself not fit in on a team.
Lately we’ve been trying to improve our retrospective format, moving away from the as hoc “More Of, Same Of, Less Of” and into something more engaging and useful. For this goal, I’ve been applying the pattern outlined in the excellent Agile Retrospectives book:
- Set The Stage
- Gather Data
- Generate Insights
- Decide What To Do
- Wrap Up
The initial feedback i got on Set The Stage was that it felt like a waste of time… this usually includes activities like asking participants what is one word they’re thinking of coming into the retrospective or other things to get them into focus mode. Since we’re pressed for time and didn’t get much value from this activity, we dropped it in favor of a just quick overview of the agenda.
Anyhow, after facilitating a few retrospectives using this format for my team, we branched out and tried it with other teams. The idea we’ve been having is to have someone from another team facilitate a team’s retrospective, allowing all members to participate rather than one being somewhat removed. This week I facilitated retrospectives for three teams, two of which had customers joining over teleconference from the other side of the country. The results were pretty interesting and below I have included my notes of the last two that I did.
Alright. Let’s face the truth… developers totally suck when it comes to designing good user interfaces. No I take that back… when it comes to designing even half way decent user interfaces. I remember the first ptoject I ever had, adding secure payment processing to a website cobbled together by someone who was a developer… nice, hot pink text on a turtle green background. Bleh!
Recently I came across the UI Pattern Factory site, and it has helped TREMENDOUSLY with improving the design and layout of the new product I’ve been working on. Remember… good UI design isn’t just for good looks, but proper layout makes an application much more functional.
Anyone else have other good UI themed sites to share?
Edit: I also wanted to note that there is also an excellent UI Pattern site out there as well.