June 2008 Blog Posts

Scott Hanselman discusses Scrum with Ken Schwaber in his recent Hanselminutes podcast. A large part of the conversation centres on the meaning of “done”. When your developers say they are done and have completed a piece of work, what does that mean? Ken argues that unless it means ready to deploy and of known good quality (my words) then it is meaningless and, in fact, that any team can increase the apparent amount of work they do by varying the definition of done to mean something less.

One of the key things that he stresses is that the code must be refactored into a good state that can be used as a firm base for future development and that this is part of the work to get to done.

One of the observations that Scott draws out is that Scrum might look quite heavyweight compared to work done by a team before Scrum. At first glance this seems counter-intuitive until you realise that following a non-agile approach makes it harder to see whether the same definition for done is being used (and it probably isn’t). The team probably wasn’t doing solid testing, probably wasn’t ensuring that refactoring was being done, probably wasn’t creating a quality product.

This sounds all well and good if you have a skilled team working closely together. The question this raises in my mind is whether Scrum can therefore work if you have a mediocre team with only a few very good developers? Will the less-experienced developers be capable of refactoring the code so it’s left in a good state? The argument might go that it’s no better and no worse than another approach and you find out quicker what’s not working.

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Clearing out my loft I came across my collection of Sinclair paraphernalia. I worked my way up through the Sinclair systems, ZX-81, ZX-Spectrum and ultimately a Sinclair QL, all of which I still own. Bizarrely, since I can't remember when, I must have acquired a second ZX-81 because I find I now have two. I also discovered a small selection of Sinclair related magazines and, after a quick search on the web, ran into this fab web site: The Your Sinclair Rock 'n' Roll Years, complete with video montage of the history of the Spectrum, etc. This is awesome!

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Apparently, the IE team sent a celebration cake to Mozilla to congratulate them on shipping Firefox 3. It's ironic that the mozillalinks.org page describing this with photos doesn't exactly display correctly in IE7. However, if you use IE8's new standards rendering mode then you do get the page as you expect.

While it will be necessary for many sites to "get ready" for IE8 to ensure that their content continues to be displayed correctly, some sites written to rely on CSS 2.1 standards will suddenly leap into life.

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Phil Haack has a succinct description of the difference between MVC and MVP based on an explanation of why MVP evolved. Good stuff.

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