The Importance of Trust in Agile – Neotys Testing Roundup

1. The Importance of Trust in Agile

In this interview, Jeff Nielsen, the senior vice president of engineering at 3Pillar Global, tells us about the key qualities of an effective agile team, the importance of trust in agile teams and how to establish it, and even some of the hot topics of programming today.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds: You’re a big proponent of trust and agile. How has agile development changed the landscape of modern software development?

Jeff Nielsen: The Agile software development movement has helped people understand what really goes on in software development. It’s one of those things that I think a person who hasn’t actually been involved in producing software can find confusing. They can have a very hard time conceptualizing, and there’s a lot of misconceptions out there about what is software development and how it works.

I think the agile movement has been successful at dispelling some of the myths about how software development works. For a long time we had this way of thinking that if we could just figure out the right process, the right approach for building software our projects would go better and it wouldn’t really matter what kind of people we had doing the work. We were fixated on making better processes.

Click here to read the rest of what Nielsen has to say on Agile.

2. Video Lesson Introducing Scrum and Agile

The video lesson Scrum fundamentals by Tommy Norman is a downloadable training which gives an introduction to agile software development using Scrum.

In the lesson Tommy explains all the basics from Scrum like the roles, artifacts, and events, and explains how they can be used by teams. He also provides insight into the history of agile and the agile values and principles.

InfoQ: What made you decide to make this video training on agile and Scrum? Why an introduction training?

Tommy: I’ve been training and coaching teams on Agile and Scrum for around 8 years now and I really enjoy it. The thought had been lurking in the back of my mind to put together some instructional videos for some time so when Pearson approached me I jumped at the chance. While an instructor-led class is one of the best ways to learn, that is not always an option and I think the way the Live Lessons videos are structured makes them very appealing. Lyssa Adkins and Jason Little had already done some great videos on Agile coaching and fostering change, so I wanted to get back to the basics with an introductory Scrum video. I run the Nashville Agile User Group and we have many attendees who are new to Agile and really want a solid understanding of the fundamentals of Agile values and principles and how to implement those using the Scrum framework.

To read the rest of the article click here.

3. The Agile Organization: Are You Ready for Revolution?

Big promises are attractive. And they don’t get much bigger than those offered for organizations that can succeed in making themselves ‘Agile’.

Improved flow (including possible cost reductions), faster reaction to changing market conditions or competitors, happier customers, more engaged employees, reduced waste…

The theory is simple. Agile teams in software development have seen major improvements. Now imagine if these improvements could be amplified by extending the concepts behind Agile to the whole organization.

Part of the attraction is that Agile has produced proven results – at least with individual teams. The various Agile methods are not really engineering ones, and so while code quality does often improve, this tends to be a by-product of other improvements in management.

According to the Version One State of Agile survey in 2013, benefits noticed and felt by teams using Agile methods included: an improved ability to manage priorities; increased productivity; improved project visibility, and faster time to market. An impressive 86% of respondents felt that team morale had improved.

4. Make Agile Fun Again with A Card Game

Alex Papadimoulis, the creator of Release!, an agile based card game, sat down to talk about how gaming can strengthen a company’s work culture and bring teams together, how Release! features industry practitioners and thought leaders, and the best conference swag he has ever gotten.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds: You’re a huge advocate of gaming bringing teams together so when we are talking about gaming, are we talking about board games like Settlers of Catan, or are we talking video games like MMORPGs? What are we talking about here?

Alex Papadimoulis: I think board games are where it’s at. To clarify gaming, I should say I’m more of a board game, card game, those sorts of things. Video games, they might work, but they’re usually focusing on a computer instead of person to person interaction. I think what’s so great about board games is it brings folks literally together. To the same table, looking at the same thing.

Some games can be lightly competitive, some of them are what you would call a little bit of group solitaire. Other ones can be even cooperative too. Depending on the dynamics of the team, you have a whole bunch of variety of games available to bring them together. What it does, I found it helps people see how others think. You mentioned Settlers of Catan, it shows how they start thinking about resource allocation and management. It shows how they interact with trading and things like that. Ultimately, when you know how people work together, you can work more effectively with them.

To find out more about Release! read the interview here.

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