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Agile – how to document a "proper" handover

How you leave tells you something about a person, about their passion and about what’s important to them. It can be a simple act like pushing your chair in after a meeting, pushing all the chairs in, cleaning the whiteboards even if you didn’t use them, leaving something in a better state than you found it. Below is the text of my handover notes published on Confluence ten days before our team was disbanded…

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Saying goodbye: the hardest

Saying “goodbye” to an awesome team is so very, very hard. What have we learned? I’ll warrant more about ourselves through each other than we’d have learned alone. Two quotes have been swimming in my mind tonight, one from the Bard and one from a seminal film.

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Agile team size

What’s the “right” Agile team size? Smaller is better. A collection of excerpts and quotes on Agile team size, you may find this useful in discussion with Product Owners and those “paying the bills”. Empirical data is paramount to show how and why a specific team size is best in your situation…

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Agile software development

This post is the text of an article I wrote and internally published on Friday, 27th April 2018 while working at NBN Australia to provide an Iteration Manager aka Scrum Master retrospective the day before our next Program Increment planning session. It’s from a point in time where the Iteration Manager (me!) was looking at what’s changed and what challenges are still to come for the development team.

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Myth 8: The Scrum Master is a Junior Agile Coach

There’s sometimes a view that the Scrum Master role is below an Agile Coach, and often times this is extended to the view that they are simply a junior coach, the “we’re all in it together” view of Agile breaks down in situations like this. And remembering that we’re trying to effect change and flatten hierarchies, Barry Overeem of scrum.org debunks this myth.

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Nothing will come of nothing

When Shakespeare’s King Lear utters those words in reaction to his daughter’s refusal to proclaim sycophantic love he sets in motion a causal sequence leading to a greater understanding of himself, of love, of life. When I look up on a clear night and observe the stars and perceive the incredible beauty of our existence I’m seldom left without a feeling of awe. Awe at this existence of ours, our self-awareness, our being. Too often in our work life we’re so focused on the task at hand more so than the wider picture; the context, the reason, is forgotten. What are we trying to achieve? What does success look like? What lateral avenues are available to us? How can we “win”? The role of self-reflection, of introspection, of pure thought is oft resigned to the backwaters of the consciousness…

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Brass in pocket

Brass in pocket, no, not quite. The saying “brass in pocket” as a colloquialism for having money in your pocket, and what is money but stored value? Having value in your pocket. And the Pocket app is one of my most favorite cloud based incarnations of the modern app. You haven’t heard of Pocket? Read on to learn about this incredibly useful tool…

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Five eyes good, one eye bad

Here’s how the mandatory encryption laws passed by the Australian government in late 2018 started, from fear. A reaction from this author on how this won’t stop those it’s intended to stop.

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Program Architecture

I’ve called myself a “Program Architect” in various roles over the last ten years during which time I’ve sometimes found that when the question comes up “what do you do?”, replying with a role title leads to a blank look then “oh, you’re a programmer?” etc. – that same look you might see trying to explain the colour red to someone who’s been blind since birth. As a community service, here’s my definition of what a “Program Architect” is and is not.

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Performance

There’s never enough. Performance. Speed. Optimisation. I recently became reacquainted with the dark and mysterious arts of hosted website optimisation eeking out as much additional performance as possible from my end. This reminds me of the days when I optimised DOS systems then NetWare and Windows NT servers squeezing out every last drop of performance I could get. Back then it was advantageous if you knew about cache and memory optimisation, stripe and cluster sizes and it was mandatory to have profiled the application to get any decent increase in performance. We’re more limited these days without reaching into your wallet for content distribution services, dedicated virtual servers and enhanced server configs…

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What’s in a name?

So it turns out, quite a lot. That’s what’s in a name. Our response. Our attitudes. Our history. Our background. Our imperfections. Our desires. Us. We transpose ourselves on to the name, the thing, the semblance of our perceptions. We sign the signifier and in doing so give it a meaning, our meaning, our relationship with that name…

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Germanic

I’ve been doing some work with a German piece of content management software, interesting getting to know the product, its limitations and strengths and also the subtle language differences.

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