Friday, October 3, 2014

Userless User Stories

"The Struggle" is real, says TheHackerCIO as he attempts to do "Agile" development in yet another pathological Behemoth corporation.

Central to the idea of the Agile development approach is to drive everything from "User Stories." The point of this is to get Users driving development. To get Users  needs, desires, and requirements into the forefront of developer's attention.

Supposedly, TheHackerCIO has been working in "Agile" environments for several years. But he would love to actually use Agile! Just once. Is that asking too much?

Although they claim to be agile environments, the Pathological Behemoth corporation just forces the round-peg of Waterfall into the square-hole of Agile and let's the chips fall where they may.

For instance, I've seen "User Stories" in the Product Backlog which contained references to the project phase! There are no "phases" in an Agile development. But such is the state of the industry.

The latest outrage is User Stories where there is no actual user! These user stories start off "As a developer I want to ..." and end with so much BS about what non-functional requirement needs to be attained. For example, "As a perfomance engineer, I want to make sure that cache access is less than 10 milliseconds per request."

"As a developer ..."
"As a tester ..."
"As a deployment coordinator ..."
"As a production support resource ..."

Where the hell is the user?

If anyone doubts the stupidity of this kind of approach, I have a challenge for them! Take up this "user story" from my product backlog and start a sprint on it. Hell, I'll give you two weeks. Then we can look at your code.

On this same subject I ran across another blogger who objects. I'm not surprised, since anyone sane would object. But I point my readers to it here.

I Remain,


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Zero to One

Last night Peter Thiel plugged his new book.

It looks amazing!

The lecture was great. TheHackerCIO found Thiel in person to be as stimulating as he is in the many videos available interviewing him, such as on TechCrunch.

I highly recommend getting this book, although I've only made it through the first two chapters.

I think this is the only time I've ever recommended a book without having completed reading it. It's worth reading just for the Preface and Chapter One!

Peter defines technology as "doing more with less." In the lecture he expanded on this, pointing out that we have a big problem with our government at present, because every year it spends more money and get's the same or worse results -- for instance in Education. Which means that government (as it stands at present) is doing less with more. And this was not the case back even in the 1960s. He pointed out in the lecture that we could attack a problem like landing on the Moon back then. We could even declare war on Cancer. Today, no one can or will declare war on Alzheimers. It wouldn't poll well, and couldn't happen. We're unwilling to take on big challenges.

Peter says that "humans are distinguished from other species by our ability to work miracles. We call these miracles *technology*."

Again, get the book. Get it quick. And I'll try to post a more complete review when I've read it fully.

In the meantime, I Remain,