Agilistic

What I've learned while working with Scrum and Agile software development.

Scrum is intended as a simple, yet sufficient framework for complex product delivery. Scrum is not a one-size-fits-all solution, a silver bullet or a complete methodology. Instead, Scrum provides the minimal boundaries within which teams can self-organize to solve a complex problem using an empirical approach. This simplicity is its greatest strength, but also the source of many misinterpretations and myths surrounding Scrum. In this series of posts we - your ‘myth-busters’ Christiaan Verwijs & Barry Overeem - will address the most common myths and misunderstandings. The great visuals are by Thea Schukken. Myth: The Scrum Master must be present…

The doorbell rings. It is an early Thursday-morning. Outside, people are hurrying to their work. Still groggy from a particularly bad dream, I stumble to the door and unlock it. A cheery mailman hands me a big package. "You seem to be quite the big shot" he says, winks and leaves. I close the door behind me and put the parcel down. Nervously I fumble the letter from the attached envelope and read it. "Dear citizen/customer", it starts. "Would you be so kind as to put the following devices in your home and turn them on. Thanks! Your friendly…

Now that software is permeating every aspect of our lives, we software developers have a huge impact on the world. With this power comes responsibility. The responsibility to protect privacy, to create secure applications and to build products in a way that thrives on complexity. This is why I strongly believe that 'software developer' should be a profession, comparable to lawyers or physicians. One defining characteristic of a profession is that it has a Code of Ethics. Much like the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians or the Archimedean Oath taken (some) engineers. Robert C. Martin has made a similar point…

When you're a Scrum Master, you're bound to run into situations where frustrations have been building up for a while. When working with the team, you can cut the tension in the team with a knife. Instead of trying to cover up frustrations or sweet-talking them, the best strategy is to bring them out into the open in a safe, controlled manner. Only then can you help the team resolve their deeper issues and grow as a team. Facilitating these kinds of 'tension-release'-sessions is difficult and scary. But they're massively important in creating the kind of trust, openness, and transparency…

Imagine walking through a supermarket. Hundreds of products are vying for your your attention. Often, the only thing you can actually see is the packaging, not the product itself. Unless you know exactly what you need, packaging is an important part of what draws us to purchase a product. What kind of story does it tell? What benefits does it emphasize? What kind of visuals are used to convince you? What about fonts or the name of the product? How is it described in the packaging? ‘Design The Box’ is a fun, creative exercise to help teams step into the…