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Confessions of a Former Agile Methodologist (JFrog Edition)


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I am best known for my work as a technology author and evangelist, but before this I used to be a methodology guru. Find out about what I learned in my 14+ year journey through the Agile methodologies and trends that have reshaped what we know as modern software development practices. This version of the talk has a few Easter Eggs for the JFrog guys who were instrumental in the build and test infrastructure I succeeded with, and invited me to speak at their awesome SwampUP event in Napa.

Published in: Technology

Confessions of a Former Agile Methodologist (JFrog Edition)

  1. 1. Confessions of a Former Agile Methodologist JFrog Edition Stephen Chin (@steveonjava) Java Technology Evangelist JavaOne Conference Chair
  2. 2. My Agile Story… 2
  3. 3. Once upon a time… I was a happy hacker 3
  4. 4. Working in teams with friendly coworkers… 4
  5. 5. But a scary boss! 5
  6. 6. Who went on "vacation" suddenly… 6
  7. 7. And I was left holding the banana… 7
  8. 8. So we decided to go Extreme! 8
  9. 9. We started pair programming 9
  10. 10. Implemented unit testing… 10
  11. 11. And began working at a sustainable pace. 11
  12. 12. It was a lot of fun, and we were very productive 12
  13. 13. Then I set out to join the empire! 13
  14. 14. It was a little daunting at first… 14
  15. 15. But we had good teams 15
  16. 16. One day the boss called… and wanted my help to implement Agile 16
  17. 17. So we started a mission to convert the organization 17
  18. 18. With the help of a few elites, like Ron Jeffries 18
  19. 19. Brian Marick 19
  20. 20. And Israel Gat 20
  21. 21. We created hyper performing teams 21
  22. 22. Rolled out new development practices 22
  23. 23. And let the troops get creative 23
  24. 24. There were some dissenters… 24
  25. 25. But a few heads rolling didn't slow us down… 25
  26. 26. And the Agile rollout was a huge success! 26
  27. 27. As the organization grew, we prepared a large Agile force 27
  28. 28. And deployed the big ships 28
  29. 29. But doing Agile at large scale was a lot different 29
  30. 30. We spent most of our time in meetings… 30
  31. 31. Instituted lots of "processes" 31
  32. 32. Did company-wide invasion release planning 32
  33. 33. And had to resolve internal conflict 33
  34. 34. Conquering the Universe with Agile turned out to be a lot of work! 34
  35. 35. So, I made my escape from the Empire 35
  36. 36. And went back to being just a normal guy… 36
  37. 37. Some things I learned… 37
  38. 38. The Agile Manifesto Process and toolsIndividuals and interactions over Following a planResponding to change over Source: Comprehensive documentation Working software over Contract negotiationCustomer collaboration over
  39. 39. The Agile Industry Manifesto Continuous improvementExpert advice over In-person collaborationTooling licenses over CraftsmanshipMethodologies over Clean codeMetrics over
  40. 40. The Agile Industry Manifesto Continuous improvementExpert advice over In-person collaborationTooling licenses over CraftsmanshipMethodologies over Clean codeMetrics over
  41. 41. ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US. 41Source:
  42. 42. No shortage of Agile books! 42
  43. 43. But they are not a substitute for experience 43
  44. 44. How do you know things have gone wrong? • According to Chapter 5, Section 3, Verse 13 of the Agile Bible… • Expert XXX has a hyper performing team with 3 hour Sprints, so we need to do that! • Same issue comes up in the retrospective… for 3 weeks running! 44
  45. 45. Confession Time… • I have trouble disagreeing with Ron… maybe it is the gray beard. • The guy who forced all your Sprint lengths to line up – yeah, that was me implementing what Dean recommended. • I hate retrospectives! – I would much rather be coding.  45
  46. 46. The Agile Industry Manifesto Continuous improvementExpert advice over In-person collaborationTooling licenses over Clean codeMetrics over CraftsmanshipMethodologies over
  47. 47. There is a methodology for that… Geek Hero Comic – Salvatore Iovene – "Agile Development Explained"
  48. 48. Extreme Programming 48
  49. 49. Scrum – Ready to Sprint? 49
  50. 50. The Kanban Treadmill 50
  51. 51. While Pair Programming! 51
  52. 52. What really makes projects fail? • Build server… yeah, that is Jonny's machine • We have unit tests… they are just manually run. And manually verified. • Software quality? Oh, that is what those guys over there do. 52
  53. 53. Confession Time… • I occasionally check in binaries, but that is better than not having them at all. • I trained teams on Scrum… when I should have been training them on JUnit. • All my Agile talks have been on… guess what, methodologies! (or anti- methodologies) 53
  54. 54. The Agile Industry Manifesto Continuous improvementExpert advice over In-person collaborationTooling licenses over CraftsmanshipMethodologies over Clean codeMetrics over
  55. 55. You Think You Are Independent 55
  56. 56. But you are NOT! 56
  57. 57. We are WATCHING YOU 57 Source: Deviant Art, created by SavageSauron
  58. 58. You are a metric junkie when… • You log in to the Agile tool during vacation to make sure you have a pretty burn-down chart • To keep up with the other hyper performing teams, you inflate your estimates by a factor of 10… then 100… then 1000! • Your QA team won't accept the build when the code coverage drops below 98% 58
  59. 59. Confession Time… • Some weeks I spent more time in Excel then my IDE.  • 100% code coverage? I have accomplished that with 0 assertions! • I have single-handedly killed projects with pie charts. 59
  60. 60. The Agile Industry Manifesto Continuous improvementExpert advice over CraftsmanshipMethodologies over Clean codeMetrics over In-person collaborationTooling licenses over
  61. 61. Remote Teams, we have a device for that… 61
  62. 62. Bringing people together… that is costly! 62
  63. 63. Need agility? There is a tool for that… 63
  64. 64. And a Frog! 64
  65. 65. You have overdone the tooling when… • When the QA guy wants you to fix the coffee machine you ask him to file a bug first • The only person who writes stories in your planning meeting is the Scrum Master as he enters them in the online tool • You go into shock when you meet your team for the first time and realize you are the only guy… Pat, Alex, Kris, and even Sam are all females! 65
  66. 66. Confession Time… • I was one of those Scrum masters who entered in all the stories for my team. • Oh, and I also put all the estimates in for efficiency. • I trusted some sketchy frogs from Israel with all our artifacts! 66
  67. 67. And the most important thing! • Stick with what you are good at… 67 Hacking Video Beer
  68. 68. Stephen Chin tweet: @steveonjava blog: Real Geeks Live Hacking NightHacking Tour
  69. 69. Safe Harbor Statement The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle. 69