Planning poker online

Estimations can be quite tricky to do and even trickier to get from an developer. One way to go around that is to play planning poker. Follow that link for some great explanations by the SCRUM-guru Henrik Kniberg.

And as the Internet is a fantastic thing someone of course as made an online version, that can be found here

I think that it’s more important to get together than to do the actual poker playing, but if you don’t have that option this will have to do.

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SCRUM vs RUP - practical comparison

Just now something happened here at the office that really showed some major differences between SCRUM and RUP.

I was asked to send the list of demands to a person, to be used as input for their work with tests. This is our product backlog which we have created and worked with during our 6 sprints.

  • “Yes, but it will not look the same as when you saw it last, three months back. It has changed very frequently, almost daily.”
  • “OK? But give it to me anyway”

So I wrote him an email; “Here is the list of demands as it looks today, 2007-10-02”

At the same time a person from another project (not SCRUM, mind you) walked by. He was talking in the phone and from the pitch and sound of his voice we could make out that he was quite angry.

  • “So, I heard that...
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New shiny Avega-website

Yesterday Avega, my company, released it’s new, better, bigger and nicer website. And it really is! Go there now:

Well worth the wait and a major, major improvement over the last one. Really nice design and easy on the eye. And quite informative also - lots of interesting content to read about Avega and the consultants.

Right… almost forgot; I am on the site. If you go to the first page and wait for a while I’ll flash (no pun intended) before your eyes. My 10 seconds of fame on the net.

This site adds to the proud feeling I already have for Avega. The best place I’ve ever worked on. If you’re interested of joining us, please let me know.

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Send mail with VB.NET - and get notification if recipient couldn't be reached

This has been a hard case to crack for quite sometime now… And it’s really annoying since at first the task seems so simple. Bare with me for a short history:

Very often users of a system want to send emails through the application, or send things in the application (document etc.) via email.

That is no biggie, i’ll use SMTP-mail - you think… until they add the demand “and of course we need to know if the mail reach the delivery adress”. Often that last part doesn’t come up until the system is in production and the situation occurrs.

Now you have some real tricky questions to handle. SMTP is a fire and forget protocol. There is no waiting until the mail has reached the recipient. Until .NET 2.0 that was also the case for us programmers. And of course you don’t want to integrated with Outlook or whatever...

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Great tool(s) for VB.Net - Find dead code

OK - as you all well know Microsoft doesn’t put as much effort into Visual Studio for VB.NET-developers as for C#-ditto. I don’t know why - but can only speculate that they don’t won’t that language around in the long run. This is not sarcasm - it quite obvious if you switch between the languages.

So someone else has to help us - here are great bunch of tools that assist the lonely VB.NET-developer in his struggles:

My favorite feature so far is the ability to find dead code - that is code that isn’t used. I have remove many rows of code this way… lot less to maintain.

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Moving in...

This weekend we had a moving in party. Yes, I know it’s about half a year late - but hey…

We just got two room repainted and fixed. It looks very nice and is really a big difference from before. I have had my doubt if it was worth it (living in one room with all the furniture’s for two weeks is hard on my orderly psyche) - but it sure is.

So the party saw some 20 people in our 68 m2 apartment. Crowded, crowded - but very nice and a lot new and old faces. Great to meet everyone at once.

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Sprint demo

Tomorrow is another sprint demo. I love the fast-forward way of incrementing doing improvements that SCRUM offers. One of the features I really like is the way that the developers get to feel good about themselves and to be proud. Really builds team spirit.

If you haven’t tried SCRUM out yet - do it already. It’s dead simple to get started and will give you results (faster, reliable deliveries, better team spirit, happier customers) right away.

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A lot of Team System

This entire week has been concerned with Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team System (VSTS).

There are really a lot of interesting features in this product. Some are excellent (the source control system and the ability to share data in the development project) and some not excellent yet (i miss a lot of easy configuration stuff for msbuild for example). In short i like it. A lot.

But the more I learn about TFS the more I want to use TFS to the full extend of the product. I have a hunch that it will rock more and more as you start to use more and more features.

There are also a lot of interesting and useful stuff on the NET about it. Here are some introduction videos for example:

ps. Changed my mind - that link is GREAT. The first two videos I...

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