Book review: 50 quick ideas to improve your retrospectives

I have a confession to make:

I think retrospectives are boring

There. It’s out there. I’ve attended many and facilitated even more. I don’t like it. But before you all start to throw wasted fruit and vegetables my way, let me follow that statement up with a contradiction:

I think that retrospecting is the fundament of agile, and what's needed to improve

If agile brought anything new to the IT table it was the idea that we repeatedly, often or even continuously look back on our work, our tools, our output or our environment and try to improve it. Admittedly that was not invented by agile, but that’s how most of us got in contact with it. And it’s the one basic idea that can be found in all agile framework. Because it’s essential to improve.

Anyway - those two statements causes a problem for me, as you probably can...

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Riot.js: anatomy of a tag

Remember back in the days when you (or me at least) proudly could say: “I’m a back end developer”? Well, sorry those days are gone since a few years.

Now, front end can mean many different things and quite often, luckily for me, it’s been just feeding data into a already structured framework, but what if you need to set the architecture?

Naturally we turn to the frameworks of choice and … about at this point I run into problems. Because I really have a problem with “big” frameworks like Angular Js, Ember, Aurelia or React. They look nice and I have really tried to learn, at least part of, them. Sometimes I’ve been close, but they just don’t stick. Too much for my poor head.

Maybe Koa and Nancy has destroyed me. I’m now a micro-framework guy. I just want my tools, as...

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Some kanban questions from a keen learner, and my answers

I sometimes have the good fortune to get questions sent to me via email. Often they are very thought provoking and makes me put some (or in this case considerable) effort behind to be able to get a intelligent answer. Also, I try to share my answers on line to increase the learning possibilities.

I try to answer those questions when I get the can, especially when I see that the person really wants to learn. A really good example of that came to me the other day, when Jocelyn wrote me. He’s about to attend a course on kanban and was required, before the course, to conduct an interview with someone who knew the topic.

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Barrier troops

I’ve been rereading the remarkable ReInventing Organizations by Fredric Laloux. The first chapter, in particular, is captivating as it delves into the evolutionary history of organizations. It astutely highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of each new organizational stage.

While reading about Amber-Conformist organizations (think strict hierarchical, large organizations), I found a train of thought forming, resonating with my experiences over the past two years, where I’ve encountered many such organizations.

My point here is that residues of this behavior persist in modern organizations. Recognizing and addressing them proactively is crucial to prevent potential issues, as we’ll soon see.

As the name suggests, “Amber-Conformist” organizations value compliance and adherence to instructions. Decision-making and authority in these organizations are centralized at the top of the hierarchy. As you move down the hierarchy, less authority, decision-making, and thinking are expected until, at the lowest level, there’s only action.

To scale this...

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Speed up Jekyll site regeneration

I’m a happy Jekyll user since about 1 year ago. Really nice experience so far and the auto-hosting on GitHub is just an added bonus that lifts the joy a little more.

The only thing is that I have 1017 posts on this blog. When I write the posts, locally, Jekyll rerenders all of them. That takes up to 50 seconds.

I feel the need. The need for more speed.

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Using the scientific method on our board

For quite some time I have been working with the management team of Rumah Sakit Bungsu in Bandung. It’s been quite a journey and I’ve learned a lot from doing so.

The last couple of months we have been trying a new approach to get better control in what we do and faster feedback on our actions. A couple of days ago it took flight and the director of the hospital just got it. It was so rewarding to see and hear in action.

In this post I wanted to present the way we are working. Right now I might add. Hopefully we do something else in the future.

Way in the bottom of this post you’ll find an summary should you find it long to read.

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Me and my kidneys

Instead of posting this longish description in the social medias I thought I’d write it up here. That way it’s easier to refer people here instead.

Ordinary and casual readers of my blog, sorry. I’ll be right back with normal content in a few weeks. Thinking about doing a new series about writing a NuGet package in DNX-land, using my Mac…


I’m in hospital. Again. From the same kidney infection since the last 3 weeks. I’m better this time but it’s a little bit serious and I need antibiotics twice a day for seven days.

How did this happen?

Most likely I have passed a small kidney stone or crystal. Doing so damaged my urine bladder and … piping (Yeah, I know these terms well. NOT!). At that same point I have got some bacteria that traveled to my kidneys.

How do you feel now?

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Making dynamic chart in Excel

It’s been quite some time since I wrote a How-to-post. Here’s an Excel-thing that I managed to solve today that’s been bothering me for a long time.

Example Diagram

Here’s the scenario:

  • We have plenty of data points, one per day, counting something (really the number of patients per day but it can be anything). This is displayed in a diagram like the one above.
  • After 2 months this starts to get out of hand looking at and really we’re only interested in the last 30 days
  • Sometimes though it could be fun to see more data in one view

Basically we want the diagram to dynamically show the last 30 days (or any other number of days we fancy). Like a 30-day window backwards.

This post describes how to do that.

DISCLAIMER I have, for some stupid reason, a Swedish Excel...

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New PluralSight course: npm as a build tool

I’ve just (October 21 2015) got news that my latest course for PluralSight is published.

Find it here.

This time I took the opportunity to put together a course on using npm (Node Package Manager) as a build tool. I think it makes for a very lightweight and flexible option for any JavaScript (or front-end heavy btw) project.

As you might know I’ve written a couple of posts on the topic:

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Review: #NoEstimates - the book

The #NoEstimates movement have lived a turbulent life on twitter. I guess that happens when you present ideas that challenges how we, as a collective, view the world today.

What’s funny is that after awhile, when the dust settles, it seems so natural and you ask yourself; “well, what was the fuzz about”. This is when the idea has got traction and maybe some of the early rough edges has been rubbed off.

My friend Tobbe puts it nicely;

One of those moments I think is when someone decides to write something (substantial) down to present compelling, practical, solutions to some of the discussions that’s been had so...

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