Trying out pair programming

Greetings all –   My team has been reporting success with pair programming, so I wanted to try it out myself.  This week one of my reports and I paired up to do a bit of maintenance work where we’re moving some automated tests around and setting aside some to act as compatibility tests.  So…

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Software metrics primarily useful as negative indicators?

Dear Readers –   I was thinking about metrics, and it occurred to me that most of the metrics we commonly use in the industry are really good as negative indicators of quality, efficiency, testing, etc. but lousy positive indicators.  That is, most software metrics are really good at telling you when something is wrong…

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People are not fungible resources

Hi all –   We are currently using both Scrum and more traditional project management on several efforts going on within our product unit, and I thought I’d share some learnings.   Something we’re running into is that getting people dedicated to one effort can be hard, depending on the management style of the relevant…

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Sprint 9 complete

Hi all –   Well, we did sprint 9 broken up into two subteams, and it went quite well overall.  The tone of the team in the sprint retrospective was generally positive, and the “things that could be improved” were generally focused on the way we were executing on specific work items rather than focusing…

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Bridging the Gap, etc.

Greetings all –   My apologies for being behind on posting.  Things have been really crazy around here with VS2005 shutting down and work on the next major release ramping up.  I’ve been tasked to help out with some engineering improvement initiatives going on in the division and this has soaked up much of my…

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Agile 2005

Hi all –   Several people from MSBuild, the Developer Division, and Microsoft went to Agile 2005 last week in Denver.  It was very worthwhile.  I really enjoyed the keynotes and getting to meet a lot of others at MSFT doing agile methods as well as people from industry & academia.  I can now put…

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Sprint 6 winding down

Well, we finally kicked off sprint 6 in June, and it finishes up next week.  Being summer, there have been a lot of vacations plus a Microsoft-wide forum that ate up a lot of time.  I expect that sprint 7 will have fewer randomizations, esp. since the core Whidbey work that the other part of our…

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Pondering next steps

Hi all –   With sprint 5 done, we are now in a quiet period, as we have balanced most of the resources on our project toward helping Whidbey get finished.  We will probably pull some resources back soon, however.   I have been thinking about how to get the part of our team that…

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Managing the Product Backlog

There was a question from Dave Froslie on what we use to store our Product Backlog.  We use an internal wiki page.  Wiki’s are nice because they’re easy to view, easy to edit (not only for the Product Owner but also for people with suggestions who can add them in a suggestion section at the…

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Question about Scrum, waterfall, and more

Hi all –   A reader named Steve Henke writes with some questions:   First, you mentioned your concern about waterfall being used in the next major division release but with even more centralized control than before. Why do you expect more centralized control? Because of results from your team’s Scrum efforts or other external…

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