Release of DbFit 2.0.0 RC5

Quick People Blog

I am pleased to announce the release of DbFit 2.0.0 RC5 – it’s been a while since the last release. The ZIP archive can be downloaded from the DbFit homepage.

The highlights:

  • Support for encrypting database passwords – if you are working in an environment where you aren’t allowed to store database passwords in plaintext, you may wish to use the encrypt utility that ships with DbFit to encrypt the password.
  • Oracle: support for the BOOLEAN data type

As always, there’s a whole host of minor improvements and bugfixes. You can find all the details on the “What’s new” page.

A big thanks goes to:

Jake and Yavor,
The DbFit Development Team

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ALE 2013 Unconference – Bucharest, Romania 28-30 August 2013

This year ALE 2013 Unconference will take place in Bucharest, Romaina on 28-30 August 2013.

I’m glad that ALE unconference became a regular event and is even reaching lands quite near our country. (Romania is a neighbour of Bulgaria).

Keynote speakers: Joe Justice, Liz Keogh and Bob Marshall.

Proposals submission for speakers: http://ale2013.alenetwork.eu/call-for-proposals/

Registration: http://ale2013.alenetwork.eu/registration/

The event is an unconference. Anyone can contribute and is good to be prepared with ideas to talk about, and to ask others about their experience in the domains of Agile, Lean and Software Craftsmanship.

Ideas are emerging all the time so best to keep up to date with the source:

Main site of the event: http://ale2013.alenetwork.eu
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/2013-Agile-Lean-European-Unconference/223341781143688

Leancamp Sofia – 23 May 2013

This week I managed to attend a unique event – Leancamp Sofia. It was an Open Space un-conference about Lean startup, Lean, Agile, Kanban, Customer Development, Design, … and other topics. I liked the idea of bringing up in one place all these topics and people interested in them.

While in 2011 there was the Lean Spark 2011 conference in Sofia covering similar subjects – Leancamp is an event with a bit different format and it’s the first time when it’s taking place in Bulgaria. So I was curious to see how an open space event of this scale would work here.

There was no hard pre-agreed agenda: whoever wanted to present something described his talk in ~30 seconds and for a 15-20 minutes in the morning (+ a few minutes around noon for the afternoon) we had a schedule for the day. Four rooms were allocated for the event (in VUZF university).

And it worked quite well actually – there were enough people wishing to host sessions on many interesting topics.

Some sessions were running in parallel which as usual was kind of problematic for me since I couldn’t attend all. There was an initiative geared towards collaborative taking of notes – not a substitute of live attendance but still may help to get idea of “what happened there”.

More info and pictures from the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/142961449222164

There was an indication that there will be more Leancamp events here (next one perhaps ~6 months). Within the organizers is Start It Smart entrepreneurship club so for whoever is interested – perhaps a good way to get notified about similar events is to get in contact with them.

Free evening lecture by Danko – 28 May 2013 @ Festa Sofia Hotel

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Danko Kovatch will be giving free evening lecture on 28 May 2013.

When: 28 May 2013, 19:00

Where: Festa Sofia Hotel, Bulgaria

Who: Danko Kovatch is a renown agile expert and inspiring speaker and he’ll will be visiting our country by that time for delivering a Management 3.0 Course.

I’ve managed to attend a few such lectures with Danko in past – and it has always been a great experience. Highly recommended!

The event is free and open for anyone interested.

BGOUG Spring 2013 Seminar – 17-19 May @ Hissarya

The Spring 2013 Conference of the Bulgarian Oracle Users Group took place in Hissarya from 17th to 19th of May 2013.

As always – it was quite dense event full of interesting presentations on various topics provided by speakers from around the world (including gurus like Tom Kyte, Tim hall and others).

This time I decided to make an experiment and I gave a talk myself: “Test-driven development of database code with DbFit and Oracle Database”.
Some takeaways:

  • Pay attention to remaining time. Ensure time for questions/demos/etc.
  • Don’t delve too much into abstract theory
  • In case of projector trimming slides – don’t forget it’s possible to resize them
  • Live demos are good but still it could be useful to have screen-shots embedded in slides
  • Having water is important 🙂 (Good that organizers have ensured that in advance)

 

ScrumBulgaria – April 2013: Research of Agile methods adoption in Bulgaria

It has been a while since I posted here for the last time so I’m catching up with a bit delay.

During the April 2013 gathering of Scrum Bulgaria group – Stavros Stavru presented report of a survey about the “State of Agile Software Development in Bulgaria”.

While such kind of surveys have their limitations – it still provides quite interesting findings. It’s actually the first survey about Agile of this kind in Bulgaria (and not only in Bulgaria).

More information and the report itself can be reached from following references:

state_of_agile

David Anderson in Bulgaria – 19-21 March 2013

David Anderson, the “father” of Kanban Method, has visited Bulgaria this year to give a course: “Kanban: Optimize success training” by David Anderson and Teodora Bozheva on 20 – 21 March, 2013 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

He also gave an open lecture in the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Sofia University on 19th March.

I’m glad I managed to attend both the lecture and the training. While I had read the Kanbank book before that – I still learned a lot and I had useful insights.

Tracking multiple collaborators per work item

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Recently I came across following issue. In an electronic (or physical) Kanban board it’s possible to assign a given work item to specific person. Many work/task tracking tools support that (and it’s not specific for Kanban only).

What I wonder about is the possibility to have multiple people working on same item at the same time. In some cases – the work item can be decomposed into several smaller sub-items. I’m not talking about these. What I have in mind is work on which multiple people work together at same time to produce a single output (e.g. pair programming; or doing some discovery/analysis on one and the same topic – and different people contribute with their findings).

What’s the purpose of tracking who’s working on what

I want to focus on an environment which should stimulates self organization and pull style of work. So the purpose is not to punish/prize the responsible person if he doesn’t meet or exceeds some expectations. (I also consider the team could be non-collocated – so the electronic board is something they rely on for coordinating their work).

So here are some options:

  • Visualizing responsible per work item may help people coordinating their work. E.g. avoiding having tasks in “in progress” state which however are not being worked on.
    Having two responsible ones – may lead to situations where each thinks that the other guy is taking care of that work.
  • Tracking and limiting the number of tasks each person is working on at given moment. (I.e. per person WIP).
    This may be valuable in order to avoid hidden excessive multi-tasking.

Some options for tracking collaborators

  1. Each task must have one and only one responsible person (to avoid the above-mentioned situation: nobody working on the task).
    In our pairing scenario – we can somehow select just one of the pairing team-mates to be primary responsible

    1. and either track the other collaborators as secondary ones;
    2. or not track them at all
  2. To stimulate whole-team approach it could be considered best not to track who’s assigned to specific task at all.
    Since it’s a whole team responsibility. If we assign specific person – the others may tread that task as “foreign” one (especially for teams new to the whole team approach idea).
  3. And what remains is – tracking all collaborators per work item as equals without having a dedicated primary one. (Variation of this is – ability to define team/sub-team working on single task).

Since some tools don’t support assigning multiple people per work item. So in case we want 1.A or 3 – a possibility is to create artificial sub-tasks per collaborator. (I would say – that’s a bit weird decomposition of work and is likely to lead to confusion).

And if we want to follow 2 – then if tools allows work assignment, this may lead to confusion.

Conclusion

Presently we’re working like describe din 1.B and the collaboration on single work item is just not tracked in the electronic tool.

I’m still not sure what would be the best way to handle such scenarios. Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

Scrum for Teams course on 16 Feb 2013

On 16 Feb 2013 Monika and Lyubo from Leanify organized a 1-day training entitled “Scrum for Teams”.

Despite of the sort time (1 day only): it covered quite much: the Scrum theory, a Legoy City simulation game and plenty of interactive discussions throughout the course and during the lunch.

Excellent organization, great lecturers with much experience in the field of Scrum, Agile and Lean. Highly recommended!

Starting to read Discover to Deliver book

Recently I attended a nice webinar entitled “Essential Agile Business Analysis” organized by IIBA with speakers Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman. During the webinar there was a twitter contest which I had the luck to win 🙂 The prize was the new book authored by Mary and Ellen: “Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning & Analysis” (which promises to provide essential practices for rapid discovery of product needs).

Less than a week after that my prize arrived in good quality (unbelievably quick delivery from USA to Europe/Sofia). The book is about 250 pages, really high-quality paper, very well structured. (Details about the contents can be found on book’s site).

So, today I’m starting to read this book. I’ll come back later to share what I’ve learnt from the book.