Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development by James O. Coplien and Neil B. Harrison

Covering a very wide spectrum of software team related issues from distributed remote team participation to architecture, to project control and team building.

This great book is highly relevant and useful in my team lead and architect roles yesterday, today, and I am 100% sure tomorrow also!

James Coplien is quite an interesting guy. I've read a bunch of his essays in the past which have been quite enlightening. You can find them on "Cope's" web site.

Why I recommend Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development:
Reason 1: It is based on a great deal of research which looks to be scientifically thought out, hypotheses were created, samples statistically selected and information collected and then analysed carefully. So its fairly safe to refer to it and the cases/patterns mentioned that worked or failed.
Reason 2: In my studies of Organisation Behaviour, Industrial Psychology, Business Management and Human Resource Management, there were a number of consistent themes that were delved into deeply in this book, which has a great deal of real world emphasis and quick illumination, whereas the theory texts are more verbose and not as readily applied.
Reason 3: It is also consistent with my past experiences of organisation behaviours that were dysfunctional as well as those cases where organisations were extremely functional.
Reason 4: Like the Gang of Four's Design Patterns, this book now somehow "lives" in the back of my mind (knowledge was deeply absorbed and incorporated into my thinking without conscious study) so that when I encounter situations I can either more clearly identify what's going wrong, and what possible patterns could be applied, in which possible sequences, in order to address the problem(s), or simply refer to this reference book and delve deeper into the issues and solutions effectively and efficiently.
Reason 5: People I have already referred it to have come back to me and been as astonished by it.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Agile Project Management - a place to start

Over the past 2 years whenever anyone has asked me "What is Agile Project Management"? or "What is Scrum?" I have been pointing them at Ken Schwaber's talk at Google. Don't get me wrong I am not trying to get into a debate about Scrum, nor about Ken Schwaber, nor even about my Scrum Master Certification.
I do however like the video as it is a clear and concise summary related (closely) to Agile Project Management that can be absorbed within an hour of time.

Scot's Newsletter nearing decision about Personal Firewall Solution!

I have been following Scot's Newsletter for a couple of years now and have especially been following his reviews of personal firewall solutions. I like his reviews because he tests the products from a usability perspective as well as actual firewall security. At the moment the 2 leading providers are pushing Release Candidates faster than he can make a decision because they keep making changes that he has suggested or complained about! (competition is a great thing!)

His 2 leaders at the moment are: Online Armor Personal Firewall and Comodo Personal Firewall. They are both free for personal home use and as a current happy Comodo Firewall user I am watching to see if I should jump ship again. His previous recommendation was Jetico which I also liked.

The latest independent firewall leak test results are really enlightening. Make sure you are safe!

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