Software Quality Insights

March 11, 2015  9:22 PM

Musings on the connection between Agile, Scrum and continuous delivery

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman
Agile, Agile adoption, Continuous delivery, Continuous development, Continuous integration, Scrum, Software Quality

There’s one big question at the heart of everything that good software project managers do. How do we develop software better? How do we improve the ways and means through which we develop software? In its time, the Agile Manifesto was a revelation to many developers. It formalized a school of thought about developing software in a fundamentally different and better way. Today, continuous software development seems to be building on Agile principles and pushing them forward. Quicker feedback, tighter cycles, go, go, go! Continued »

March 2, 2015  8:18 PM

Cloud services director empowers development teams to work smarter

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman
Agile, Cloud architecture, Continuous delivery, Continuous integration, Workflow orchestration

One of the main tenets of Agile development is to empower the development team to make its own choices. This is really important because it helps the developers identify with their projects in a very personal way. It gives them a motivator stronger than any benefits package. It gives them pride in their work. However, letting a dozen different teams take a dozen different approaches to development infrastructure probably isn’t the best strategy. It’s important to orchestrate efforts between teams without robbing individual teams of their autonomy.

It seems like there is a definite inverse relationship there. Program directors have to pick a point on a spectrum between letting each individual team make all their own decisions at one extreme and micromanaging every decision at the other. But this may be a false dichotomy. There may be a central infrastructure strategy that can orchestrate efforts across teams and still let individual teams of making their own choices. Let’s look at one particular organization that’s walking the tightrope between empowering teams to make their own choices and orchestrating large team efforts.

Continued »

January 12, 2015  10:33 PM

Continuous development carries continuous improvement into 2015

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman
Agile, Continuous delivery, Continuous development, Continuous Improvement, Continuous integration, Software Quality

One year ago this Sunday, I predicted that the word for 2014 would be continuous – as in continuous development. I know it might be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but the word ‘continuous’ did seem to come up an awful lot in the world of software quality. I think about half of the content we put out on in December had to do with continuous delivery and/or continuous deployment in one way or another. Keep reading for a peek at some of my favorites. Continued »

December 18, 2014  4:04 PM

Agile development spreading in European travel agency

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman
Agile, Agile adoption, Software Quality

TUI Travel, based in the UK, is a broker for European vacations. I had a chance earlier in the year to speak with one of TUI Travel’s development team leads. A story on the intersection of data and database management, change management and continuous delivery is coming out soon on SearchSoftwareQuality. This article on Agile development at TUI is a bonus. Continued »

November 13, 2014  10:26 PM

Continuous development might not require a revolution

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman
Continuous development, Governance, Software Quality, Waterfall development

I sometimes forget how much of the software development world is outside the scope of Agile. A lot of organizations have to slog through thick sheets of bureaucracy and cut through yards or even miles of red tape to get the job done. In my less optimistic moments I’m sometimes tempted to believe the bureaucracy is there to prevent innovation. Last month at the DevOps Enterprise Summit I was given a reminder of just how far that is from the truth. Mark Schwartz closed out the first day of the conference with a session about how DevOps can help fix the bureaucracy in the federal government. And his solution isn’t to get rid of the oversight and the governance, but to find lean ways to make bureaucracy work for innovation. Continued »

August 18, 2014  6:32 PM

Thanks to everyone that made Agile2014 especially special

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman
Agile, IT conferences, Project management, Software Quality

I always enjoy going to Agile conferences, big and small, but this year Agile2014 was especially rewarding. I learned so much and got to spend (not nearly enough) time with some old friends while meeting more than a few new ones. I’d like to take the time to thank a few of these new friends for really making this past conference stand out in my mind.

Continued »

May 23, 2014  10:12 PM

Agile Games 2014 are just around the corner

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman
Software Quality

This is an exciting event for me and it’s right in my own back yard (Hyperbolically speaking, of course). We’ve got Agile software development practices, talented software project leaders, and we get to play games! What could be better? Continued »

April 10, 2014  11:51 PM

Agile is growing up and the way it matures is yet to be seen

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

Today’s keynote was just as good as yesterday’s. It really made me think about what the future of Agile is now that it’s basically mainstream. Jeff Dalton, the keynote presenter, pointed out that very large organizations are beginning to muscle in on Agile. If the software quality community doesn’t take planned steps to keep Agile flexible, a risk exists that Agile processes will turn into rituals carried out by rote in large development corporations. Continued »

April 10, 2014  3:04 PM

A focus on metrics says shift software quality focus left

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

Yesterday’s keynote speaker here at QUEST 2014 in Baltimore was Michael Mah. Mah is an interesting guy. He played a part in designing nuclear submarines for the U.S. government in the 1980’s. More recently, he supported the Sea Shepherds in their efforts to curb whale and dolphin hunting in Asia and took up flying very small Cessna aircraft. He happens to be a brilliant software engineer and he seems to be on a mission to fix the way we develop software. Continued »

January 11, 2014  11:24 PM

One word for software quality engineers in 2014 – “Continuous”

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman
Software Quality

I don’t know if there’s ever a single word that can sum up what’s happening – or going to happen – in a field as diverse as software quality. If that one word exists for software quality in 2014, I’m going to guess the best word will be continuous. Get ready to hear about continuous development, continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous deployment and most importantly continuous testing. Unless I miss my mark, these phrases are going to pop up again and again in 2014. Continued »

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