Aug 212011
 
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San Francisco, CA Aging Israelis like me are very fond of the song San Francisco on the Water [1]. We actually melt when we hear Arik Einstein sing it. His golden voice brings back to our hearts precious memories of what we call Good Old Israel: being in harmony with ourselves, with one another and with the mission. In our youth we did not need the inspiring words of JFK – we were really really really asking what we could do for our country. I am literally sitting at this very moment on the water in San Francisco. I am sure I look absolutely lost to the world. I did not have the time to …

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San Francisco, CA. Believe you me – they don’t come any better than that. A morning to die for, or, even better, to live for. I have spent the better part of this gorgeous morning on the phone trying to reason with various Orbitz and JetBlue service/sales reps. Each one of them was courteous, professional and really really really trying to help me.  However, things did not add up between these service representatives, the numerous systems they use (“Please wait one minute, Sir – I need to access another system”) and, may I say, my “legitimate” travel needs.  Actually, I am under a fairly stern warning from one of the JetBlue service reps that I …

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Bob Dylan’s words certainly are an understatement in the IT world. The speed at which technologies and concepts move from novel to mainstream is staggering. But of course, that’s part of what makes the business technology field so intriguing: it’s never the same. How do you keep up? Well, for one thing, you need to be agile. That’s our mantra at Cutter. Yes, Agile is one of our thriving practice areas. But it’s also a way of life for us. Since 1986 we’ve been adapting to market changes, reorganizing content, adding new products, altering formats, etc. Here’s an example: when I first came to Cutter, our Object-Oriented Strategies newsletter (16 pages in print) was one …

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Aug 102011
 
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Check out Cutter’s Patrick Debois (@patrickdebois) and Julian Simpson on Thursday morning at Agile2011 (9:30 – 10:30). They believe that organizations can greatly benefit from agile infrastructure and have built a demo just for this conference to prove that the concept of ‘”infrastructure as code” can help. This session is part of the New Horizons stage, so you can be certain you’ll be discovering something you hadn’t really thought about in this way before! At the same time (unfortunately!) Cutter’s Mark Levison and Roger Brown are presenting a refinement of their Agile2009 presentation, Creativity for Agile Teams. They focus on how to support, enable and enhance the creative abilities of Agile teams. Next, Scott Ambler, …

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Aug 092011
 
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Gil Broza is an amazing coach. He’s also a really terrific trainer, focused on agile engineering practices. His specialties include techniques for increasing quality and reducing time-to-market, how to be a good Agile Customer, and Pragmatic Scrum. Tomorrow at 1:30 at Agile2011, he’s turning to Refactoring Conversation Smells. In his back pocket, he’s holding a simple set of patterns and questions that will help you tackle and get your conversations unstuck. Also in that pocket are a couple of decks of Cutter Planning Poker cards. Ask him for one!  

Aug 092011
 
Defining Social Media

“Social media” is one of these phrases that has emerged in recent years for which there is still not a single, broadly accepted definition. Thus, every author tends to propose his or her own. This is not just vanity; it is also the sign of an immature and rapidly evolving field. In a recent Executive Update, Cutter Fellow Steve Andriole and Cutter Senior Consultant Vince Schiavone define social media by extension, listing the following components (with my examples added in parentheses):[1] Social networks (LinkedIn) Blogs and microblogs (WordPress and Twitter) Forums and message boards (Yammer and Google Groups) Multimedia sites (YouTube and Flickr) A definition made up of a list has some drawbacks: it does not …

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Are you going to Cutter Senior Consultant Christopher Avery’s Coaching Success: Getting People to Take Responsibility & Demonstrate Ownership session this afternoon (1:30-5:00) at Agile2011? Christopher, along with Ashley Johnson, is going to demonstrate how to apply and teach the Responsibility Process, how to handle objections, and how to know just what to do when another believes they’re owning it and you believe they aren’t. The Responsibility Process really does work! Here’s how they implemented it at DTE Energy.  

 
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More than 200 sessions will be held during the coming week in Agile 2011. This creates a problem of choosing, not choice, for every participant. While this is a wonderful problem to have, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. The Cutter team at Agile 2011 will hold a daily retrospective to help all of us navigate through the many parallel session in the conference. By so doing we expect to accomplish the following: Seeing the conference as a whole instead of ‘this presentation, that workshop.’ You can think about it as kind of ‘see the forest for the trees’. Connecting the dots by identifying linkages between a presentation one person attended and another one which …

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  Below is the detailed outline for my August 8, 1:30-5:00PM Technical Debt Workshop in Agile 2011. I look forward to meeting you and interacting with you in the conference before, during and after this workshop! Best, Israel Technical Debt: Assessment and Reduction Part I: Technical Debt in the Overall Context of the Software Process A Holistic Model of the Software Process Two Aspects of Output Three Aspects of Technical Debt Five Aspects of Software Part II: What Really is Technical Debt? What’s in a Metaphor? Code Analysis Time is Money Monetizing Technical Debt Typical Stakeholder Dialog Around Technical Debt Analysis of the Cassandra Code Project Dashboard Part III : Case Study – NotMyCompany, Inc. …

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Aug 042011
 
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If you’re going to Agile2011, be sure to check out the Testing and Quality Assurance stage. Cutter’s Ken Collier is co-producer, with Lisa Shoop from Sabre, of this stage. They’ve pulled together a powerhouse lineup of thought leaders in the Agile testing and QA space. The sessions on this stage will be highly interactive; they’re designed for sharing and learning from others. A few of the questions that will be addressed on Ken and Lisa’s Testing and QA stage include: How do quality metrics improve testing practices? How do you effectively manage technical debt in test suites? (This one will be answered by our own Israel Gat!) How do you ensure that testing “keeps up” …

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