Sunday, 23 September, 2012

Takeaways for a talk: Happy for no reason

Recently I attended a talk by my colleague, Anandkumar NC. He had given a very interesting title to his talk, Happy for no reason. In a very entertaining way, Anand shared some of the academic research findings and his personal experience for becoming happy for no reason. I had following takeaways from his talk:
  • Two myths block our happiness: myth of more and myth of I will be happy when ...
  • Three things rob our happiness: victimhood, blaming and feeling shame.
  • Plan the work and work the plan. Only plan and no work results into daydreaming! Work with no plan leads to nightmare!

Friday, 21 September, 2012

Notes from Book: Software Project Survival Guide

Written by Steve McConnell, an author of Code Complete and Rapid Development, Software Project Survival Guide is an useful resource for both aspiring and experienced software project managers. The templates and checklists discussed in this book along with a survival test are available on this book's web site. Here I am noting down some wisdom nuggets spread throughout this book that I found quite relevant for my current work:
  • Early in the project you can have firm cost and schedule targets or a firm feature set, but not both.
  • Involving users throughout the project is a critical software project survival skill.
  • The working software is a more accurate status report than any paper report could ever be.
  • Staged delivery is not a panacea. But, on balance, the additional overhead it demands is a small price to pay for the significantly improved status visibility, quality visibility , flexibility, estimation accuracy, and risk reduction it provides.
  • It's better to wait for a productive programmer to become available than it is to wait for the first available programmer to become productive.
  • The problem with quick and dirty, as some people have said, is that dirty remains long after quick has been forgotten.
  • No individual is a success who hurts the team, and no individual is a failure who helps it.

Wednesday, 5 September, 2012

Book Review: User Stories Applied

This book provides good guidance on user stories. Actually the first section, Getting Started, is the one that provides enough details for learning to write user stories. Second session is about estimation and planning for user stories. Third section provides supplementary information about user stories in chapters such as “what user stories are not”, “why user stories”, etc. Fourth part provides a complete example case study for learning user stories. Final section provides two appendices: one giving an overview of Extreme Programming and other one providing answers to chapter questions. Overall, this book is good read for those who are planning to use user stories as a technique for requirements gathering and analysis during agile software development.