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A Bug-Fix Cycle at Project End Is Good for Everyone

A Bug-Fix Cycle at Project End Is Good for Everyone
By Ben Minson

We have a customized flavor of Agile development, and today as I was talking to one of the program managers about the next few cycles of work in a particular project, he said that the work in the last cycle or two was not yet defined. That’s fine; at least in our version of Agile, the work that was defined generally at the beginning is solidified as we go. Development is planned on an iteration-by-iteration (or sprint-by-sprint in some vocabularies) basis and more broadly on a cycle-by-cycle basis. A cycle contains several iterations of work, and the idea is to have a body of code that can be released to and used by the customer at the end of the cycle. The interaction designers prototype at least one cycle ahead of development.

The manager hopes that most of the new development work will be done at the end of the second-to-last cycle. Read the Complete Article

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Building from Two Sides: Challenges of Writing Documentation Early

Building from Two Sides: Challenges of Writing Documentation Early
By Ben Minson

Have you ever set about doing something in a way that looked efficient from one side but not the other? In The High King by Lloyd Alexander, a young king tells the main character, Taran, how he set about building a seawall from the two sides in order to go twice the speed, but the two ends didn’t meet in the middle. For certain reasons, when I started setting up a low wall for a flowerbed in front of my house, I did much the same thing. But I knew that I would most likely end up almost starting over. I was right.

Similarly, in my work I have had to mimic this dual building process, and I have not reached the point where it will be apparent how well the results match up. The place where the wall must meet is a software release in multiple languages with complete documentation. Read the Complete Article

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