Skip to content

Software Development News: .NET, Java, PHP, Ruby, Agile, Databases, SOA, JavaScript, Open Source

Methods & Tools

Subscribe to Methods & Tools
if you are not afraid to read more than one page to be a smarter software developer, software tester or project manager!


Sciforma Released New Project Scheduler

Scrum Expert - Tue, 02/16/2016 - 17:35
Sciforma, a provider of project and portfolio management software, has announced the release of its new Project Scheduler. Following the release of its HTML5-based solution last year, Sciforma has adopted an assertive, DevOps inspired, 6-week release policy to better accommodate customer expectations and deliver new features more frequently. “For the latest update of Sciforma, our UX Design team has gone through extensive User Research which confirmed that despite the emerging use of Agile approaches (also supported by Sciforma) Project Managers are still eager for advanced along with traditional project management capabilities, especially revolving around the Gantt diagram. With that in mind, we completely revisited the experience we provide to Project Managers in terms of scheduling and tracking their projects. We are thrilled to introduce the new Project Scheduler,” explained Fabien Herelle, VP of Solutions at Sciforma. Sciforma designed an unique, intuitive, simple and yet powerful interface allowing the Project Managers to access all the features they need to create the Task outline, assign and control Resources, identify and solve scheduling problems, manage Risks and more. All, in one place. Among the favorite new functionalities: * Ability to simulate the impact of a potential new assignment on a Resource workload across all Projects of the database * Easily replace a Resource or fulfill soft assignments throughout the Project * Identify the issues following a Project update and understand the chain of elements that led to those issues * Sciforma Theater: tailor, share, and present project information to various audiences
Categories: Agile

Agile on the Beach 2016 Keynote: Rebecca Parsons

Scrum Expert - Tue, 02/16/2016 - 16:44
Agile on the Beach will welcome Rebecca Parsons to Cornwall in September to share her thoughts and insights on agile software development. Dr. Rebecca Parsons, ThoughtWorks’ Chief Technology Officer and Director of Agile Alliance. Agile on the Beach is a leading annual conference in Falmouth, Cornwall. Exploring the latest agile and lean thinking in software craftmanship, teams and business. Including ample networking opportunities such as the beach party this conference brings together 300 people to explore, evolve and find out what it means to be truly agile in business, from its culture to product development practices. A two day conference on the Cornish coast with a beach party in between, perfect to evoke creative and technical thinking, enjoy time with the UK leading thinkers in agile adoption and evolution. More information on
Categories: Agile

Beautiful Teams

Scrum Expert - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 17:11
Let’s challenge some of the commonly accepted patterns for software development teams. High degree of autonomy doesn’t turn into anarchy but rather help to keep intrinsic motivation high. Participatory leadership means that every team member is a leader yet it doesn’t mean competition. Decisions making process has nothing to do with power structures. Culture is paramount and it goes ahead of technical skills. Collaboration is ultimately the factor the whole team optimizes their work for. Video producer:
Categories: Agile

Agile Open Camp Argentina, Bariloche, Argentina, March 3-6 2016

Scrum Expert - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 11:00
The Agile Open Camp Argentina conference is a four-day event that wants to gather Agile and Scrum practitioners of Argentina and Latin America to share knowledge and experiences. All the talks will be in Spanish. The Agile Open Camp Argentina conference follows the open space format for conferences. Open space is a simple methodology for self-organizing conference tracks. It relies on participation by people who have a passion for the topics to be discussed. There is no preplanned list of topics, only time slots and a space in the main meeting room where interested participants propose topics and pick time slots. Web site: Location for the Agile Open Camp Argentina conference: Estancia del Carmen, Ruta N 40 Km. 2028, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Categories: Agile

Tools to Assess and Manage Technical Debt

Scrum Expert - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 16:49
Technical debt is a metaphor coined by Ward Cunningham in 1992. This concept refers to the work that needs to be done so that a software development project could be considered as “complete”. Could you try to measure your amount of technical debt? Could you use some tools to do this? These are some of the questions that this article explores. In a brief informal survey of Agile practitioners, the idea of putting some number on the amount of technical debt was mostly considered as strange. Somebody even answered that if you had a good definition of “done”, your project should never create any technical debt. For those who live in a less perfect world, technical debt could be created in all the software development activities: architecture, design, coding, testing and configuration management. You don’t have to be an evil programmer to create some debt, especially in large projects. You just duplicate some code because you don’t know that the same feature is also implemented elsewhere in the system or you rely mostly on manual testing to verify an urgent change needed for a bug in production. Sometimes, it is the requirements or the concept that changes and you should refactor some to make variables names more meaningful. Tools to detect some of the technical debt issues have existed for a long time. There are plenty of them available for code analysis or test coverage. Some might provide “absolute” information, like the violation of a coding standard, and other will [...]
Categories: Agile

Build your Product Backlog with Story Mapping

Scrum Expert - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 18:24
Story mapping is a technique invented by Jeff Patton that order user stories along two independent dimensions. The “map” arranges user activities along the horizontal axis in rough order of priority. On the vertical axis, it represents increasing sophistication of the implementation. In his blog post, Sunit Parekh explains how you can apply story maps to build your product backlog in a visual way. Sunit Parekh starts by explaining what is a story map. He presents also the six advantages of story mapping. Then, he explains how you can enrich story maps with follow up questions or alternative approaches. He presents alternative ways to structure story map, using for instance the “user journey” perspective. The blog post ends with what is needed to perform a story mapping activity and the traps you need to avoid to you run the story mapping successfully. His conclusion is that “Story mapping is an effective inception tool to create a product backlog in a visually structured way. It helps in building a shared understanding, identify gaps in the backlog, see interdependencies, perform better relative sizing. Further, it can also help in slicing and release planning activities.” Read the complete blog post on
Categories: Agile

1st Conference, Melbourne, Australia, February 15 2016

Scrum Expert - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 17:55
The 1st Conference is a one-day event aimed at people starting out with Agile run by practitioners of the Agile Melbourne community. The format is a 3-track conference with Team, Technical and Management as themes. In the agenda of the 1st Conference you can find topics like “The first 18 months of our Agile transformation”, “Infrastructure for Agile teams”, “Agile Governance”, “Large Scale Agile – LESS”, “Large Scale Agile – SAFe”, “The heart of Scrum”, “What is Kanban”. Web site: Location for the 1st Conference: Telstra Conference Centre, 1/242 Exhibition St, Melbourne, Australia
Categories: Agile

AgileIndy, Indianapolis, April 12 2016

Scrum Expert - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 13:00
The AgileIndy Conference is a one-day event focuses on bringing Agile and Scrum thought leaders and practitioners from around the USA to Indianapolis for a great learning and networking experience. In the agenda of the AgileIndy conference you can find topics like “Agile Cross-Pollination: Growing Agile Adoption at Farm Credit Mid-America”, “Cultivating Agile Requirements”, “Secrets of Agile Estimation: Myths, Math, and Methods”, “Case Study: We Don’t Know Anything About Agile, but Let’s Give it a Try!”, “Framework-Driven Product Management”, “The Show Must Go On: Agile Leadership Lessons Learned from a Life in the Theatre”, “Coaching for Success – Practical Solutions for Building a High-Performance Organization”, “Emotional Intelligence for Agile Teams”. Web site: Location for the AgileIndy conference: The Westin Hotel, 50 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Categories: Agile

Agile Revisited

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 14:53
In 2001 a group of programmers proposed the word “agile” to describe a set of values they shared. Several of these programmers had already developed methods based on these values. The values are universal, that’s how they were chosen. The methodologies, however, were designed for the technology landscape of the 1990s. Think of all the changes in technology and business practise in the last 25 years. If that seems too daunting just think about the last five years. In taking “Agile” mainstream, we adopt these ancient practises on faith while losing sight of the values that inspired them. How do agile values map to the modern landscape of massive computing power and storage on demand, languages that compile faster than you can type, computers in jeans pockets more powerful than the previous generation’s mainframes, home broadband fast enough to stream high-definition video? It’s time to revisit what agile software development really means. The previous generation moved the delivery horizon from years to months. Now we need to think in days or even hours. Video producer: Slides from the presentation (PDF)
Categories: Agile

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) 4.0 Released

Scrum Expert - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 16:36
The version 4 of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has been released at the beginning of 2016. This new version features extensive refinements to many elements of the Framework, as well as new content and guidance that helps enterprises better organize around value delivery, develop systems that include hardware and software, and improve development, coordination, and delivery of large value streams. To help with the migration to 4.0, SAFe 3.0 remains available and supported. SAFe 4.0 incorporates learning from all prior releases—including the SAFe for Lean System Engineering development branches—into a single, more scalable and more modular framework. To address the broader set of capabilities, SAFe has a new name: SAFe 4.0 for Lean Software and Systems Engineering. Below is a summary of the major content changes to SAFe: * SAFe now supports both software and systems development * A new Value Stream Level – including new roles, activities, and artifacts – is provided for those building the world’s largest systems * The Big Picture can be expanded or collapsed to three or four levels. The default view is the three-level version (3-Level SAFe), which is simpler and lighter weight than its 3.0 predecessor. Three-Level SAFe is backwards compatible with SAFe 3.0, so those currently operating with 3.0 can continue to do so, or migrate easily to this new version. * With one click, the Framework expands to four levels (4-Level SAFe) to handle the most demanding needs of large value streams and complex systems development * Enterprise Kanban systems [...]
Categories: Agile

Agile Retrospective Kickstarter

Scrum Expert - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 10:53
Continuous improvement is one of the main values of Agile and retrospectives should play an essential role in supporting this process. In his short and free book “Agile Retrospective Kickstarter”, Alexey Krivitisky provides some exercises that should help Scrum teams to get the most out of their retrospective meetings. Alexey Krivitisky proposes a five-staged framework to organize your retrospective: set the stage, gather data, generate insights, decide what to do, close the retrospective. The book contains exercises for each of these different moments, each with a specific goal. These exercises can be combined to form your retrospective agenda. The books discusses also some of the common issues around retrospectives and some special situations, like the distributed retrospective. Agile Retrospective Kickstarter is a book that every scrum master and Agile team member should read and refer to when having trouble to plan for the next retrospective. This free book is also available in French, Polish and Russian. Reference: Agile Retrospective Kickstarter, Alexey Krivitisky, 47 pages, Web site: Quotes My definition of “good retrospectives” is that you’re first allowing the team to spend enough time uncovering the hot and trembling topics that are important to them; and then let them engage themselves in meaningful discussions on improving their future. My definition of “great retrospectives” is that despite of the good structure, meaningful discussions and the overall constructive atmosphere, the teams actually spend enough time and energy between the retrospectives working out the agreed action plans and changing their habits and [...]
Categories: Agile

The Business Analyst in Agile

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/20/2016 - 18:24
As Agile matures and learns from experience, it is clear that the Agile business analyst has a significant role to play. This interactive and musical session will explore the relationship between Product Owner and Business Analyst, their responsibilities and the skills needed. I’m an Alien … I’m a Business Analyst in an Agile world!” “As a Business Analyst, I have the skills to analyse processes and value chains, to see the strategic need for change and to guide the organisation from present to future ways of working. But the Agile teams undervalue my skills. I am expected just to produce requirements instantly. I don’t have the time to do my job in Agile.” “I am a Business Analyst but I am expected to be a proxy for the business Product Owner; I have neither the perspective nor the buy-in from the business to do this. I feel like an Alien in the Agile project. Do I even have a role in Agile?” “I’m a Developer. Why do we need business analysts? I can just talk to the business and find out what they want. I’m not even sure what these Business Analysts do!” “I’m a Product Owner. I am being expected to analyse and represent my business area in projects, in ways I have no real skills for. Nor do I have the time to develop these skills – I have a product to sell.” These are the comments of real Business Analysts, Product Owners and Developers in Agile teams. [...]
Categories: Agile

Agile on the Beach Call for Speakers

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/20/2016 - 15:13
The 2016 Agile on the Beach conference will be held at Falmouth University (Cornwall, UK) in on 1st and 2nd September 2016. The organizers would like to invite proposals for sessions. Since 2011, the Agile on the Beach conference has established itself as a world class event for Agile software development and Scrum project management. The conference has sold out in the last three years ...
Categories: Agile

Social Side of Code in Methods & Tools Winter 2015 issue - Agile Portal - Tue, 01/19/2016 - 10:06
Methods & Tools – the free e-magazine for software developers, testers and project managers – has published its Winter 2015 issue that discusses the social side of code, database continuous intergration and testing REST API * Meet the Social Side of Your Codebase * Database Conti ...
Categories: Agile

Mile High Agile, Denver, USA, April 4 2016

Scrum Expert - Mon, 01/18/2016 - 13:00
Mile High Agile is a one-day conference is produced by volunteers from Agile Denver that provides an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences in Agile software development for agile novices, intermediates and experts, technical professionals, team leaders, managers, executives, and organizational change leaders. In the agenda of the Mile High Agile conference, you can find topics like “Creating Program Alignment: The Product Wall Release Planning Workshop”, ...
Categories: Agile

Organizational Debt

Scrum Expert - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 18:00
Technical debt is a well-known concept in Agile software development. Technical Debt is defined as the eventual consequences of poor or evolving software architecture and software development within a codebase. In this blog post, Steve Blank discusses the concept of organizational debt. He defines organizational debt as “all the people/culture compromises made to “just get it done” in the early stages of a startup.” He explains ...
Categories: Agile

Agilia, Olomouc, Czech Republic, April 4-8 2016

Scrum Expert - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 09:00
Agilia is the Central European Conference that discusses Agile approaches. Local and international Scrum experts and Agile professionals from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Europe and overseas will provide ideas and inspiration, speeches, case studies and workshops. In the agenda of the Agilia conference you can find topics like “Valuable Agile Retrospectives”, “Practical Tools to improve LEAN and Agile processes”, “Value Planning in a Lean and ...
Categories: Agile

Super Early Bird Registration is Open for AGILE2016

Scrum Expert - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 17:08
The Agile Alliance has announced that a limited number of Super Early Bird registrations are now available for the AGILE2016 international conference. The event, scheduled for July 25 – 29, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia, is the largest global gathering of Agilists and is recognized as the premier worldwide event for the advancement of Agile practices. AGILE2016 will mark the 15th year that Agile Alliance has hosted ...
Categories: Agile

Agile India, Bangalore, India, March 14-21 2016

Scrum Expert - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 13:00
Agile India is an intense conference lasting four days where you can learn from expert Agile and Scrum practitioners. You will be also able to network and share your knowledge and experience with over 1500 international participants practicing or exploring Agile, Scrum and Lean. In the presentation and tutorials of the Agile India conference, you can find topics like “Agile Portfolio Management”, “Disciplined Agile In A Nutshell”, ...
Categories: Agile