I always struggled in school as far back as I can remember. Not in every subject though. I thrived in science, computers, and art and was often referred to as a daydreamer, quirky, or creative kid in class. Fast forward a bit where I spent most of my 20s in and out of doctors’ offices for my mental and physical health. Attempting a BFA in Graphic Design, living on my own, working 2 part-time jobs…it was too much. I didn’t understand why everything seemed so overwhelming. What was I doing wrong? Why did I struggle so much more than my peers with simple tasks like getting laundry done or managing a budget? I often wondered, “What’s wrong with me?!” Then, in my early 30s, after all the misdiagnoses and failed treatments/therapies, I was eventually diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
A common question for leadership is…
What keeps you up at night?
I hear it asked all the time. And the reactions run the gamut from thoughtful and deeply reflective to reactive and highly emotional. One of the common factors I nearly always hear is fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Which is why I wanted to share this article with leaders considering or engaging in a Digital Transformation. I’ll begin with three things that are often misconstrued and cause sleeplessness on the part of many leaders.
Back in 1996 I took up golf. I was terrible at it. Like most people who take up a new hobby, I spent a good bit of time (and money) trying to improve.
I went to the driving range a couple times a week, I watched the Golf Channel to pick up tips and tricks (YouTube wasn’t the powerhouse of tutorials it is today), and I read a few books too. But the thing I found most helpful, was actually playing. When I was at my best, I practiced and played a round at least once per week. When I first started playing, I realized many of the more experienced players could easily recall how well (or poorly) they played every stroke in a round. At first, I thought they had better memories than me, but I quickly realized…
If you read my last blog, you might remember that I mentioned that some people thought that Agile had killed QA. Well, here we are again. In this blog, we are talking about the possible demise of another aspect of traditional testing. This time the aggressors are Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. The victim is manual testing. Will Machine Learning and AI replace manual testers? The short answer is no. The longer answer is heck, no! My money is on manual testers continuing to add value no matter what Machine Learning and AI bring to the table.
The QA process in agile differs greatly from QA in traditional testing, such as in Waterfall. Agile has changed the way we think of software quality. In fact, I have read rumblings in the blogosphere that Agile has killed QA. I promise you Quality Assurance is alive and well on agile teams. It just looks different than what most of us are used to. I think people who have promoted the “death” of QA in agile are not looking closely enough at what is really happening. Traditionally, testing was the only task people associated with measuring quality.
Once again, I have the pleasure of welcoming October. Soon it will be cooler and more colorful here in North Carolina. The holidays are coming, and many of my neighbors have already decorated for Halloween. I have been pondering what sort of ghoulish surprise I could cook up this year, and decided to go with one of my favorite creatures… ZOMBIES! Nothing says horror like a good old zombie movie (or TV show), and nothing brings misery to the otherwise happy-go-lucky people that I work with than Zombie Scrum.
Zenergy’s experts have been helping companies optimize modern software delivery methods well before DevOps became a buzzword. Every time we help a client improve their modern software delivery capabilities, we refine our playbook. What works well for one client, may not be the best solution for another. Every solution needs to fit the culture, the teams’ work style, and the software release goals of the organization.
There is some confusion around what agile is versus what agile methodologies are, and often people lump them together. Agile is a mindset (not a methodology) that encompasses a set of values and principles that were compiled by a group of software gurus in 2001. These values focus on customer collaboration, flexibility, a short iterative cycle, value delivery, people centricity, sustainability and simplicity, among other things. These values and principles are not to be confused with the frameworks that have been developed to assist teams in “becoming agile.”
When I first received my ScrumMaster certification, I regularly asked the senior ScrumMasters I worked with what I was supposed to do, besides facilitate Scrum events, enforce Scrum rules, and remove impediments. I tried to be a good ScrumMaster and worked with multiple teams, so I stayed busy, but I had heard that great ScrumMasters could only handle one team at a time. I didn’t understand what could take up that much time. As time progressed, I spent more time reviewing and reflecting on what the Scrum Guide says, and what that looks like in the real world.
The Hare and the Tortoise (or The Tortoise and the Hare, since that is what people told me it was called when I was young) is a fable attributed to Aesop, an ancient Greek storyteller. For those of you who are not familiar with it, a hare challenges a tortoise to a race. The hare, in his overconfidence, decides to take a nap when he gets close to the finish line. The tortoise plods along, eventually passing the hare, and wins the race. The moral of the story is: slow and steady wins the race.