Sprint Goal in Scrum

Myth: Having A Sprint Goal Is Optional In Scrum (Scrum.org)

Sprint Goals are one of the more elusive parts of the Scrum Framework. Most teams know they are important, but few use them – for a variety of reasons. In this post, Barry Overeem and I bust the myth that Sprint Goals are optional in Scrum. And we make an effort to show what makes them so vital in the face of complex work. And more importantly, what you can do to start working with Sprint Goals from now on.

I really like this article because I am in a Scrum team where everyone works in his/her niche area. So far we haven’t used Sprint goals. I agree with the observation in the “What happens without Sprint Goals” – section, especially:

Without Sprint Goals, each Sprint implicitly has the same purpose: complete all the work. This makes all Sprints the same, and can make people (rightfully) complain that they are artificial;

So if you’re in a Scrum team that doesn’t use sprint goals, this is definitely a must read.

Agile back to basics with Robert C. Martin

Episode 125 – Agile back to basics (The Cynical Developer Podcast)

In this episode we talk to Robert C. Martin, many of you might know him as Uncle Bob, and we’re here to talk Agile and taking it back to basics.

A great podcast episode with Robert C. Martin on “Agile – back to the basics”. So what are, in the time of Scrum, LeSS, SaFE etc., the basics of Agile?

Apparently, “Uncle Bob” has a new book in the works, “Clean Agile” (duh!), covering this subject.

On point he makes is that often engineering practices like Pair Programming, Test Driven Design and Refactoring are overlooked. Especially Scrum does not comment on these. But without these practices, technical debt is likely to accumulate (see FlaccidScrum).

GOTO Berlin 2017

The last two days I spent at the GOTO Berlin 2017 conference. It’s a conference “by developers for developers”. Three out of four keynote speakers were women (last year four out of four); I have got the impression that inclusivness is an import part of the conference. There seem to be more female attendancees than on other tech conferences.

I enjoyed the conference: the keynotes, the talks, the food and the beverages, the people.

The first keynote on Thursday was held by Anita Sengupta about “The future of Mars exploration“. In the first part, she focused on the Curiosity mission. She developed the parachute that was used during the decent on Mars. Cool. Prof. Sengupta showed us some actual video shootage from the mission. In the second part of her talk she talked about the challenges that a human mission to mars would face, especially radiation.

The evening keynote on Thursday “Number crush” was held by Hannah Fry. She showcased some interesting data from human (and cow) behaviour. It’s hard to summarize her talk in a few sentences. Make sure to check out her website.

Raffaelo D’Andrea held the morning keynote on Friday on autonomous drones. He was part of Kiva Systems, a company that build robots that brings stuff in a warehouse to human packers. It got aquired by Amazon that uses this technology in its warehouses. It’s astonishing to see all these robots moving around bringing stuff from A to B. The main theme was the autonomous drones D’Andrea developed in a company called Verity studios. They are used on broadway, in Metallica concerts. A key concern for him are safeness (no drone is going to crash) and reliability. Very impressive!!!

Susan Landau held the evening keynote on Friday on “Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age“. She talked about end-to-end encryption and locked phones. A thing that was new to me is “tainted leaks” where documents from “a target” are stolen, messed with and then “leaked” in order to discredit the target and generally generate mistrust.

Attendance Joy Clark did some cool sketch note of the key notes and some talks.

I especially enjoyed the talks by Dan North (“How to break the rules” and “Agile revisited“) Gregor Hohpe (“Adopting DevOps? You are Aiming at the Wrong Target!” and “Enterprise Architecture = Architecting the Enterprise?“), Steve Smith (“Measuring Continuous Delivery“) and Adam Tornhill (“A Crystal Ball to Prioritize Technical Debt“).