Communication and rotting specifications '

Over and over again I’ve seen the main gain from using specification by example emerge in the conversations you have around the specifications. I’ve even been known to tell people to just make sure to do the specifications on a whiteboard, take a photo of it and then don’t use anymore of the practices. Just doing that will help an awful lot - I promise. But lately I’ve come across a situation that have got me to think about the other end and what happens when we don’t automate our scenarios. It’s a continuity thing and it doesn’t hang together. If you read my blog before you know I’m a sucker for stories and let me illustrate my point with two stories. Only workshopping | | |:——————————————————————————————————————————–:| | | | From spotify.com | The first story comes from a team at Spotify, that moved faster than any other I’ve seen. We’re...
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Please fail... but do it fast

| | |:———————————————————————————————————————————————————————:| | | | Photo by Klaus Wachsmuth  | I had the great pleasure to do my military service in the Swedish Army Band, that at the time (1992) was made up of conscripts. Not only did I get to wear stuff like the picture to the left and play in an awesomely great band, but also did we travel Europe and played, among other places the Casino in Monaco. It was a awesome year in many regards and I tied friendship-knots with a lot of people that still get to meet today. On our last day in the band there were a lot of tears and saying farewell to friends and officers that had taken care of us. Through all the emotions that day I still remember one thing that an officer said as his part of his farewell speech: Fellas - don’t fear mistakes. By all means, fail....
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Repost - Weighted index – a simple, powerful prioritization tool

REPOST FROM CODEBETTER I noticed that CodeBetter is slowing down. Maybe dying. I’m preserving my post from there, here to my site. Original post “What?! Don’t everyone know about this?” There are some tools and practices that I use on a regular basis that have grown so familiar and accustom to me that I’m almost embarrassed to talk about them. Because I thought that everyone one did it this way. Not seldom it’s just like that too – it’s something that everyone knows and I end up being laughed at. I can take that, since the one person that didn’t hear about it before might have got something new that could help him. And, not to mention, I often end up learning myself in the process. So… if you know about this practice (that I don’t know the name for, I call it Weighted index) or not; here we go....
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Commitment can only emerge - it can't be demanded

One of the things that I really love with my job is that you meet a lot of excellent people at the different clients. Some of these people are seldom heard from since they are drowned in the output of those extrovert, space-demanding people that inhabits the blogosphere and twitter. Yes, the people like me. | | |:————————————————————————————-:| | | | From http://shoryuken.com/ | Right now I’m at Tradera and meet a lot of those awesome, cloaked gems of knowledge, people everyday. One of them is called Andreas Johansson (no twitter, no blog - see what I mean) and every time I get to sit down and discuss with him I learn stuff and gain insights. A couple of weeks ago we talked about commitment, and he said something profound: You cannot demand commitment. It’s something that emerges in working teams.  My translation, sorry Andreas if I didn’t made it justice. Commitment...
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Some experience with uncertainty

I’m a big proponent of trying to live with and take embrace of uncertainty when you can. I’ve been saying “It’s just how things are - try to cope with it instead of fighting it”. Inspired by Dan North and his excellent talk: Embracing Uncertainty. But lately I’ve been on the other side… where I was craving more certainty. As often before I found myself screaming for things that’s been asked of me before. “Give me a status! Give me a plan!” I heard myself begging. I realized two things: it’s hard living with uncertainty and the smallest status (however uncertain) is better than no certainty at all. No status = all statuses As you might or might not known I’m in the process of moving to Indonesia. Right now we are waiting for the work permits and subsequently the visas to get into Indonesia. We sent all the paper...
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What My Fair Lady can teach us about communication

I have a confession to make: I’m a sucker for musicals. Especially those old ones with those jolly tunes. One of my all-time favorites is: My fair lady. Since I like these old musicals it happens from time to time that I find myself singing the tunes. Out loud. The other day it happened again, but this time it was actually appropriate. In fact; the song I was humming told me something about visualization. Here’s the scene: Eliza Dolittle have is fed being taught how to speak properly. And leaves the professor that tries to teach her. She leaves the house only to find a young man (Freddy) that loves her madly. He tries to tell her so. In oh so many long, beautiful and complicated words. So Eliza sings the following song: The lyrics is brutal and to the point: > Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!...
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A session on Open source software at Microsoft

I got invited to do a [Summer-session](http://www.microsoftsommarkollo.se/index.php/2013/05/microsoft-och-open-source-ur-ett-utvecklarperspektiv/) on Open Source from a developer perspective. It was my friend [Dag König](http://www.buzzfrog.se/) that invited me and I had great fun, both preparing and doing the session. I even pulled of a demo of a life-time, in my opinion. We'll come to that later. If you think about it the journey that OSS has done in the .NET and Microsoft community has been quite remarkable. Just a couple of years ago the words "Microsoft" and "Open source" could not be mentioned in the same sentence. Now you can fire up a virtual machine in Azure with Linux and the complete LAMP-stack on it. On top of that there's a number of prominent people promoting open source and alternatives to Microsoft recommendations and technologies - from within Microsoft. That's cool in my book. It can be improved of course. But it's the start of...
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Move files at regular intervals on OSX

I’ve been starting to use Automator for some tasks that I commonly do and it’s actually quite capable although a bit convoluted and secretive. In this post I’ll describe how to “write” a little task that moves files from one folder to another on a set schedule. I’m using this to move photos from my DropBox-folder to my SkyDrive-folder. This is done since I sync photos to DropBox and it fills up after awhile. And yes - I understand that this problem will come back for SkyDrive. Ok - here we go: Automating moving files The trigger happy Automator robot  Open Automator - I still have a problem with that cute robot holding a bazooka. I want to move files not blow them to heaven come. Well, well - open the Automator application. You are now greeted with a big dialog that asks you to pick a “Type for your...
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CodeBetter - a new home for part of me

I started this blog about 8 years ago. It now contains 830-ish posts (this 831 I think). I have also just passed 20000 tweets: With my 20000 tweets I wanted to say a big “Thank you” to all you tweeps that I’ve learned from so much. And a shout-out to @MikaelOstberg — Marcus Hammarberg (@marcusoftnet) August 8, 2013 During this time I have not drawn to much attention to myself, in my opinion, and by no means have become famous or well-known. But some truly awesome things has happened during the last years that it directly related to the fact that I’ve been exposing my ideas, thoughts and failures on the net. Most of the things that I have learned during the last years as also come from me interacting with different awesome thinkers - not seldom ONLY online (twitter and through the blog). A few things that stand out...
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Repost - Some tools for improved focus, improve teamwork and faster delivery

REPOST FROM CODEBETTER I noticed that CodeBetter is slowing down. Maybe dying. I’m preserving my post from there, here to my site. Original post At one of the teams I’m coaching right now at Tradera (Swedish Ebay-branch) we are experimenting with increasing our focus on delivering completed work. We have had a big goal (technical upgrade of the complete site in a very short time) and there’s been some challenges to get the focus and team working together, towards this goal. Which has led us to try to experiment with some new practices and visualizations (board and backlog etc) and is summed up with a new question that we ask ourselves at our daily standups (you’ll find it under the Daily Standup heading if you’re in a hurry :)). These a just a couple of practices that together has proven useful for us. In this blog post we’ll take a...
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