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Is Your Organization Prepared to Adopt Agile Successfully?

Summary

Since the writing of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, agile software development has made major gains in popularity. As I write this, that increasing momentum shows no sign of lessening any time soon. However, like all popular movements in business (or society), agile doesn’t always mean the same thing to all people. This is where the struggle to adopt agile software development begins. But couple the confusion stemming from what agile really means with a fundamental lack of knowledge of what kind of environment agile software development needs in order...

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Scrum vs Kanban

What Is Scrum?

Scrum is an iterative, ritualized, process-driven agile software product development framework created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Their official guide can be found at http://www.scrumguides.org/. Scrum organizes software product development around three foundational pillars; artifacts, roles, and meetings, that control the flow of work through the Scrum framework.

Scrum Artifacts

The Scrum artifacts are the product backlog, the sprint backlog, and the product/software increment. The product backlog is composed of prioritized product backlog items (epics, user stories, and bugs). The sprint backlog is composed of...

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What is ‘DevOps’?

DevOps is the collision of "development" and "operations". It is the practice of collaboration and communication between development engineers and operations IT engineers for the purpose of automating software delivery and infrastructure changes. When most people think of "devops" they think "automation". But it is important to remember what devops is automating (software delivery, e.g., deployments, and changes to the infrastructure used to make those deliveries) and why devops is automating these things (to eliminate errors and process lag caused by the time and effort required to perform these deliveries manually).

DevOps...

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Redefining the Sci-Fi MMORPG Experience

What follows is the result of a random idea followed by a thought experiment followed by multiple discussions all which occurred after a decade or more of playing MMORPGs. If you are a game designer or developer and you like what you read here, please feel free to contact me at michael.bartok@gmail.com. Happy gaming!

Disclosure: In the interest of full disclosure, I do not now (September 2016), nor have I ever worked for any company that designs and/or makes video games. I have played Firefall and MechWarrior Online, and...

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What is ‘Agile’ software development?
Agile refers to a set of principles in software development that provides a different perspective from the traditional dependency-based project management methodology known as Waterfall. Agile also encompasses the set of software development methodologies (Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Scrum, eXtreme Programming, etc.) created around those principles.

Origins of Agile

Prior to 2001, Agile was not much of a software industry buzzword, even though DSDM (first introduced in the UK in 1994), Scrum (first introduced in the US in 1995), and eXtreme Programming (XP) (first introduced in the US in 1999) had all been around...
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“Accountability” is just another word for “blame”
"...there’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering."
- Elon Musk, Wired Magazine, October 2012 What a great quote! You've got to hand it to him, Elon Musk can really turn a phrase when he needs to. I've been in the workforce now, officially, for just over 20 years. I've been in the software development industry for just over 10 years. And if I had a nickel for every time I heard some manager or executive say the word "accountability", then I'd have a wheel-barrow full of nickels. The funny...
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Help! My website sucks!
Relax, don't panic. It's going to be alright. I promise. As a web product manager, I get asked about sucky websites all the time. And, yet, I don't get asked often enough to fix some of the truly atrocious websites that can be found all over the internet (like this one). So, what do you do now that you've realized that your website is a hideous blotch on the digital landscape?

Step 1

Every website and every page in a website needs a clearly defined purpose.
Most small businesses treat their websites like amateur digital billboards. And I totally understand why....
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Re-launching the LabTech Partner Portal
On August 5, 2014, LabTech Software re-launched its Partner Portal. This was a major undertaking that saw some 6-9 months of dedicated hard work by over a dozen developers, system admins, trainers, and managers. This is likely the largest project that we will get to work this year and I am extremely proud of what we accomplished. This is our launch webinar recorded on August 8, 2014. I hope you enjoy it!
1280 by 720 single video
I believe that the World Wide Web is the single greatest innovation of our time. No other human innovation of the Information Age has brought more information, more access, more change, more freedom, and more truth to the human race than the Web has. Man has landed on the Moon, and it was probably the most amazing thing that we did in the twentieth century. But how many of us walked on the moon? A handful? Name any other invention or innovation in the course of human history and, barring some advances in medicine, none of...
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Three Principles for More Effective Communication

Over the years, one of the most surprising things I have seen in business is the frightening lack of effective communication - or better yet, any communication at all! The old adage 'the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing' is tired and worn out from overuse, but it's not the cliché's fault, it's ours. Here are three simple principles we can all follow to promote more effective communication at the office.

Transparency

Have you ever watched people move at a crowded train station or airport? How can literally hundreds, if not...

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