What is SCRUM?

Posted in scrum by Kris Gray on March 30th, 2007

The Essence of Scrum in 2 small Bullet points.

  • Scrum makes sure that what your working on is what your supposed to be working on.
  • Scrum tries to make sure that everything you need to do is scheduled, and that the schedule is kept on track.

Thats it, you do this whole process, just so that you have to actually do some estimation and planning.

That is it.

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Team Player

Posted in Uncategorized by Kris Gray on March 30th, 2007

Ichiro Suzuki at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2003628318_ichirotv21.html

The point is: A professional who respects himself can only have a positive influence on others around him. If your mantra is that everything you do should be for the benefit of the team, you become incapable of valuing yourself. You become a less-than-ideal player. You become a player that fans don’t pay to come and see. In the end, that kind of player doesn’t benefit the team.

Sure he’s talking about baseball, but doesn’t this apply to all teams? If you don’t focus on being the best ME as possible occasionally, then you don’t grow properly. I’m sure most developers don’t need to be told that you can’t always focus on whats best of the business but you need to look inward as well. Yet the managers need to surely be aware that developers are not tools, and you can’t assume that as you demand more and more from a developer he is improving as a developer.

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Its Only Just

Posted in Uncategorized by Kris Gray on March 23rd, 2007

The psychology of the programming universe is complex and nuanced, but a quick tip for today is to look for these two words in any conversation.

Only and Just

These two words are used to limit the percieved scope and weight of the subject, without actually limiting the amount of effort or complexity necessary.

Its just this one section on the page we want updated.

It will only take 5 minutes to implement this on all the pages on our system.

It should just take 10 minutes to fix this bug, its really easy, assign it to Kris.

If you ever hear anyone talking about work they want you to do, and use these words, make them re-word what they are asking for without using the words Just or Only. At this point they should be aware of what they are trying to do, and know that not being truthful about the actual amount of effort required is just (hah it has some uses) going to throw off the schedule.

In Scrum you need to be truthful about this type of stuff, you can’t agree to a bunch of Just features knowing its going to make you miss your schedule as everyones Bacon is on the line here. If dev’s can’t get thier work done, the PO’s will share in the blame. And not just that Republican “Its not a big deal I did something bad”, kind of blame.

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Mission Accomplished!

Posted in Uncategorized by Kris Gray on March 13th, 2007

So last week I made a launched a small sprint for myself to start establishing an online identity, and to start marketing myself in a positive fashion.

The result of that task was this blog in its current incarnation. Based on the fact that I currently have a black belt and the permutation of Karate throughout my life, I felt the melding of the two was like peanut butter and banana’s. (Love it!) Or Jelly for you fuddy duddys.

As of the writing of this post, I need to close down the old blog, losing my 10 hard earned viewers a day I’ve been getting! Grrr! Hopefully I’ll be able to maybe even double that, then I can start thinking about taking on the big boys.

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Marketing Thyself

Posted in Uncategorized by Kris Gray on March 7th, 2007

I once read about a millionaire that was having a conversation with some of his other rich buddies, and they asked him what he would do if lost all his money. His answer was to hire a personal marketing advisor. His thing was that life is all about marketing, perceptions are king and the world would open up to him once again.

Knowing that, why do I do such a piss poor job at marketing myself? When I read Steve Pavlina’s blog I feel like that guy knows everything, he’s living the sweet life, and somehow owns 32.05% of my soul when he decided to diversify right before the dot com bubble. Why is it, I have the word “Nothing” in my blog title? (Or used to anyway) Why do I use a hosted free version of WordPress that is a serious hit on my credibility?

Does anyone care? (The answer is surely no, as people generally don’t care why you do stupid things to oneself.)

Insert philosophical thoughts here.

Now that the bull is out of the way, lets get some upgrades. Scrum style.

Lets do a small sprint product backlog

– New Hosted Blog

– New theme for blog, thats not so common and tacky.

– Rename blog

– Develop a topic for the blog

– Move blog posts to new blog

Good thing thats over, lets get to sprint planning.

New Hosted blog – 8 hours

New Theme – 20 hours

Rename Blog – 2 hours

Develop a topic for the blog – 2 hours

Move old posts to new blog – ?

Lets assume I’m really busy, and have 8 hours available per week, and lets do week sprints.

Committing to a New Hosted blog by next Wednesday and determine how long it will take to move old posts to new blog.

Ready! Break!

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