John Feathers' Post

Demo Meetings: The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

According to the seventh principle of Agile development, “working software is the primary measure of progress.”

Before this revolutionary ideal, however, although customers could still in theory be kept informed on the status of their projects, it would take until the very end of a development cycle for them to finally lay eyes on a well-rounded, fully-functioning system.

Thankfully, those days are long behind us, and perhaps nothing better illustrates this point than the brilliant Sprint review — that’s “demo meeting” if you don’t speak Scrumglish.

Read More

Our Stories: The Tireless Mind of a QA Engineer

She steps onto a bus and as the engine revs, wonders why on earth the poor woman in front of her is holding onto the handrail as if her life depended on it. The ensuing jolt, however, quickly dispels that thought and replaces it with a different one: Bad driver.

As she grabs ahold of the nearest hanging strap, she makes a mental note to telephone the bus company as soon as she arrives at work. Reporting the incident will admittedly take a few minutes she doesn’t have, but hey, on the bright side, at least lives will be spared…

Oh! What the— a bulldog is now licking her favourite pair of shoes.

“Come on,” the owner of the cheeky canine says before moving further along the aisle. They really shouldn’t be allowed in here, she mutters to herself, wiping off the drool with her trusted handkerchief.

Read More

The Best Way to Market Software

At SPG, we are often asked how much money should be allocated towards marketing software products. The answer, however, may come as a disappointment, as there is in fact no definitive response.

Instead, what typically arises is a hopeless chicken-and-egg like situation: while most marketing providers will require a certain user base to begin with, the whole point of engaging with them is to attract those users in the first place.

For this reason, and because every project is unique, much more than a hefty wallet, marketing software calls for strategy and discernment.

Take a hunter, for example. If he wished to capture a duck, he may foolishly decide to do so at his local swimming pool. But if he gave the matter a small measure of thought, eventually, it would dawn on him that he would fare a lot better at a pond in the woods.

Of course, the above may seem like a rather blatant misfire, but equally as confounding is that far too many people today are unwittingly pitching their products to wholly inappropriate audiences.

Read More

Our Stories: The Thrilling Life of a Project Manager

If you knew him from outside his work environment, you would probably be surprised by what he does for a living. After all, when spotted in his natural element, Alex Lukavyi can be seen cycling up dangerously muddy hills, whirling down treacherous snow slopes, and even boldly leaping from the occasional aeroplane.

Nonetheless, during the week, the 30-year-old wakes up every day to a cluster of emails, holds stand-up meetings with developers, demo meetings with stakeholders, regular meetings with customers and yes, you guessed it, more meetings.

Alas, it is just another day in the life of a PM — project manager, that is, though he’d probably have fewer meetings as prime minister.

Read More

Top Trends Redefining Enterprise IT

If there is one industry that has undergone massive upheaval in the last decade or so, then that would be IT. The term “digital transformation” may be an oft-used cliché, but one can hardly dispute that it remains as current as ever.

Increasingly, because technology has evolved at a pace far greater than anyone could have anticipated, many businesses are being forced to make one of two simple choices — play catch-up or throw in the towel.

So for all the non-quitters out there still trying to navigate this new technological era, here is a compilation of the most important trends that are turning IT on its head:

Read More

Getting Started With Cloud Migration

So you’ve finally decided to hop aboard the proverbial airwagon and embark on a journey to the cloud. Well done! This could well be the single most important decision you have ever made for your company.

After all, as by now you will have undoubtedly heard, in addition to providing you with state-of-the-art systems, cloud computing could potentially spare your business thousands of pounds each year.

Nevertheless, without proper planning and execution, migrating to the cloud can quickly become a lot more cumbersome than originally anticipated.

And so, with this very thought in mind, we have put together a cloud migration checklist that should hopefully serve to make this process a breeze. But first, there are a few important points to consider:

Read More

Easter Eggs in Software: Our Fun Selection

It’s that chocolatey time of the year again! Bunnies are hopping, people are shopping, and the Easter egg hall of fame just keeps getting better and better.

If you’ve hung around this blog for longer than five seconds, though, you probably know we’re not talking about this classic display or even this other luxurious spectacle.

No, ever since Software Designer Warren Robinett cheekily credited himself in a room concealed within Atari’s Adventure game, the popular tradition of Easter egg hunting has grown to denote another favourite pastime — particularly among tech gurus and aficionados.

So to mark the start of our paschal festivities, let’s take a look at some of the best hidden surprises you can find skulking in your devices right now!

Read More

Overcoming the Legacy Gravitational Pull

Contrary to popular belief, at the beginning of the second industrial revolution, electricity was largely seen as a dud. Though Thomas Edison first patented his famed light bulb in 1879, two decades later, the invention had made very little impact at home — only present in a mere 3 percent of American residences.

Flash forward to the 21st century and you will find that in many ways, this parallels our current digital era. Yes, the onslaught of information may sometimes give us the feeling that we have reached the tail end of the digital revolution, but in reality, there are many signs to suggest otherwise.

Legacy companies in particular are still miles off course. Despite the fact that most businesses have already launched their own website, mobile app or social media campaign, for many old-timers, truly reaping the benefits of the present age amounts to little more than a hazy pipe dream.

Read More

Who Should Pay for Bug Fixes?

In a perfect world, every application would sit comfortably atop wholly stable, never-changing systems.

Unfortunately for utopians everywhere, however, the foundation upon which modern software is built is much more akin to a ticking time bomb.

While software solutions should always be delivered in working order, all it takes is a single Windows or Linux update failing to play well with a program for something somewhere to snap.

And just to make matters worse, these things are completely unavoidable!

But they also beg the inevitable, oft-awkward question: when so-called bugs eventually do make an appearance, who should be responsible for paying for them?

Read More

Five Ways to Help Your Teams Meet Deadlines

While they may well be a leading cause of stress in the workplace, deadlines are something of a necessary evil, as without them — let the anarchists amongst us disagree — human productivity would all but certainly tumble into oblivion.

Yet all too often, strict schedules also give us the impression that the people within our organisations behave much like tireless machines, mechanically churning out their finished products at the mere push of a button.

This, of course, couldn’t be further from reality, and the Agile manifesto makes perfectly clear: companies should prioritise “individuals and interactions over process and tools.”

So with this thought as our guiding compass, here are five simple ways to help your employees meet their deadlines:


Read More