Posts Tagged Under: Management

Gamify Your Workplace

While Emily Blunt may have been positively enchanting portraying everyone’s favourite nanny on the big screen last year, who can forget Julie Andrews’ classic words from the 1964 original:

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and – SNAP – the job’s a game!”

In that very short sentence, Mary Poppins was able to convey a powerful message of work engagement that as is typical with rebellious children, would go on to be ignored for decades to come. In fact, only now is the true hidden wisdom behind those words being rediscovered today.

This is thanks to gamification.

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Software Metrics: How We Promote Transparency

If you’ve ever worked on a project where very little — if any — attempt was made to keep everyone involved up to speed with development, then you’ll certainly understand how infuriating this can be.

In fact, even those who were blessed enough to have never suffered the ordeal will more than likely still relate, at least on an intellectual level. The Dalai Lama, for instance, while never once a software guru, famously stated that “a lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”

And naturally, here at Software Planet, we couldn’t be more in agreement.

This is why we have put in place a series of mechanisms that can guarantee that you, our valued customers, will be kept informed at all times.

Yet of all of these, perhaps the best example is that of our software metrics.

 

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FAQ #1: Why Do You Require a 2-Month Termination Notice?

Today, we are starting a brand new series of articles on some of the questions Software Planet Group are asked the most. Our hope is that these will someday serve to help you quickly refer to them in the future, should any queries arise.

The first of these questions has to do with our 60-day termination clause — that is, if our customers no longer wish to work with us, then we ask that they provide us with no less than 2-months’ notice.

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Pitfalls of the Estimation Process

No estimation process can ever be foolproof, and the same is true when dealing with user stories. For this reason, in this article, Software Planet would like to lay out a few of the most common pitfalls that stand dangerously in the way of preparing reliable — and achievable — estimates.

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Making the Most of Code Review

Every Agile development process strongly stresses the motif that the main goal of developers should not be to concern themselves with side issues, but rather to generate working code. This allows us to implement a variety of features in accordance with our customers’ requirements.

Unfortunately, however, out in the real world, it is crucial to not only strive to implement functionality, but also to ensure your code will be kept clean and without duplicates, being easy to understand, support and extend, makes extensive use of automated tests and presents as little as possible technical debt — that is, valuable work postponed by virtue of restrictive deadlines or other more pressing priorities.

This is why over the years, both customers and programmers have jointly devised a number of solutions for assessing code quality as well as providing projects with the appropriate level of support, throughout development. Of all of these, however, one popular technique distinctly stands out — the exceptional practice of code review.

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Our Development Process

At Software Planet, we take great pride in our customer-centric development process. This is why from start to finish, a striking sense of partnership is present in all we do.

Still, we recognise that for those with limited exposure to Agile development, an inescapable learning curve may also be perceived; so for this article, we would like to walk you step-by-step through our tried-and-trusted methods.

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Tuning into the Bigger Picture

The great Earl Nightingale once stated that people with goals succeed because they know where they are going. All too often, however, while our short-term goals are more than apparent, tugging and pulling at us with every passing moment, the overarching reason for doing what we do appears to get lost in the process.

In fact, this is often a criticism reserved for Agile development itself. Because so much time is spent focusing on small tasks every week, it is not unheard of for developers to lose sight of important objectives, without which the end result of a project would quickly dissolve into a sloppy, disjointed mess.

“The first step is recognising you have a problem!” the AA meeting — Agile Aid — speaker says in the back. Yet at Software Planet, we take great strides to ensure no problems will arise in the first place.

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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.

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What Great Tech Leads Are Made Of

For developers interested in moving up the ranks, the idea of becoming a tech lead may be as appealing as it is intimidating.

After all, when leading development teams, only a small proportion of the skills acquired as a programmer will prepare you for the role.

Gone are the days of merely aiming to design and write quality code. Instead, developers must now learn to understand people, resolve conflict and effectively juggle an extraordinary amount of tasks.

Thankfully, here at SPG, we are all about keeping things simple.

So to make this transition as seamless as possible, here are some essential skills every tech lead hopeful is expected to bring to the table:

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Diagnosing and Dealing with Problems of Productivity

So your software development team has had a bit more than a hiccup. Productivity has stalled and frustration is increasing by the day.

You know it’s time to do something about it, but what exactly would that be? After all, up until this point, every single one of your attempts has fallen flatter than a pancake.

If any of these ring true, you could have a morale health problem on your hands.

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