Thursday, 22 March 2018

Using SBAR in code reviews

After the end of a messy sprint everyone was excited and scared to attend the sprint retro. The topic we were dreading the most came up - pull requests. It had been a sprint where few pull requests went through smoothly and everyone was picking up issues with every pull request. Stylistic things came up, whole features needed to be redeveloped, people were clearly annoyed, and you could sense the tension in the room.

Then, a suggestion by our non-technical product owner (who was a nurse and who had never been a product owner before) Why don't you use something like the SBAR technique?

Source: Jessica Chang's Blog

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Transformation, reorganisation, and continuous improvement

It seems that almost everywhere I look, a big corporate is going through a 'transformation' or 'reorganisation'. Clearly someone within these organisation is making the decision that this is required because of problems occurring with existing software delivery practices.  That is, they want something improved.

Throughout 2016, I lost more than 20kgs of weight. I did this very slowly through dieting and returning back to my previous exercising habits. I've maintained this weight throughout 2017 and now. How I did I do this? Well, I took out the obvious cheap calories out first: sugary drinks and junk food. When the weight started slowing I then took out desert. When the weight started slowing again, I reduced my carb intake. When it started slowing again I cut out carbs. When it started slowing again, I began to count calories. I now have kept the weight off, feel reat, and habitually live a healthy lifestyle. I am also able to indulge every now and then. NB: I'm not a health professional and if you are going through any weight problems please consult your medical doctor or other health professional.

One year apart. My transformation (or continuous improvement). 

Friday, 2 March 2018

Book Review of 'TED TALKS' and what I learnt

For those of us wanting to improve our public speaking, have been speaking for a while, or just starting out. This is a great book which was lent to me by my colleague Paul. Below is my review which covers 'how I read it', 'what were the main points', and 'what was missing'.
Taken with my smart phone

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

'Hierarchy' the dirty word

Modern human resource departments dread the word "hierarchy", companies happily boast of their "flat structure" in job advertisements, and national leaders are disparaged as being out of touch. However, when is a bit of hierarchy actually good? When is it worth it?

My personal issue isn't with hierarchy. It's with excess, unneeded hierarchy. Hierarchy can be good as it means the higher up the individual goes, the more responsibility they have. Problems arise in organisations where individuals in higher levels of a hierarchy do not have much responsibility and thus do not do much work.

Hierarchy of fruit. Source Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 16 February 2018

Make your code review requests count

The value in PRs (or code reviews in general) is more than just ensuring good code is pushed into the main-line branch. There's more to a PR in my opinion. This includes

Learning from others
Sharing learning, understanding, and the architecture of your system
Someone doing a cod review. Source: WikiMedia Commons

Thursday, 8 February 2018

3, 2, 1 - REVEAL POINTS. The true value of poker sizing

Many of us are in teams with a good habit of sizing work items, and in many cases this is a good habit. However, do we truly understand the importance of this behaviour? Why do we do it? Is it even necessary, and where is the real value of all this?
A Royal Flush, the highest possible hand in poker: Source Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, 1 February 2018

My top 3 development tools

Every developer has a set of development tools which they use on a regular basis. Below is a list of my top three tools, why I use them, and how they benefit me. In the list below I haven't included code editors, IDEs, or extensions to IDEs. Please note: this may disappoint many of you who are expecting something "advanced" or "funky".
Some tools. Source: Wikimedia Commons