25 Oct
2007

AYE – A Conference for the Softer Side

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Some of the most respected thought leaders in the softer skills side of the Agile movement have come together to produce a conference focusing on their areas of expertise. The likes of Esther Derby, Dave Smith, Johanna Rothman, and lighter side gurus are getting together in Phoenix from Nov. 4th-7th to present on issues of […]

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16 Oct
2007

Teaching vs. Coaching

I was recently asked my thoughts on teaching versus coaching. Are they the same? What are the differences? Which is more desirable? Although Dictionary.com tells us that coaching and teaching are nearly synonymous, that isn’t interesting. We can redefine the terms for our purposes, and therefore here is a breakdown of the differences as I see […]

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8 Oct
2007

10 Ways to Stop Context Switching

Context switching is rapidly changing from one focused task to another in a short amount of time. Back when we were ignorant of such things, we called this multi-tasking and thought it was good. While multi-tasking is handy in computers, it is not possible in humans. True multitasking looks more like walking and chewing bubblegum than switching quickly between […]

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27 Aug
2007

Communities of Practice

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One of the many valuable new ideas I picked up at Agile2007 is that of Communities of Practice (CoP). The basic principle is not ground breaking, but it puts a formal structure on a highly effective organizational pattern many people forget is available to them. The concept is deadly simple. People of like mind within your company come together […]

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4 Jun
2007

Explaining Heuristics

I frequently hear unfamiliar terms in conversations at work.  Often, I can infer the meaning of what has been said by listening to the context of the conversation.  It is more confusing is when the speaker himself is unsure of the meaning of a word they have used. This happens a lot in computer or technical discussions.  Big […]

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15 Apr
2007

Don’t Use Risky Mock Data

Scenario 1 The Scrum team is ending a 3 week iteration developing a custom CRM for your company.  Despite the fact that no one should be writing yet another CRM, the team is excited to show the shiny new forms in Sprint Review.  The one developer who can be cajoled into speaking opens the application and the AJAX-enabled […]

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9 Apr
2007

IT Related Volunteer Opportunities

It is interesting to note the volunteer opportunities available to people with I.T. related skills.  That such opportunities exist speaks to the ubiquity of computers and software in our daily lives.  Computing has become so normalized as to be considered a necessity for economic growth, job searching, educational opportunity, and other services. Here are some local volunteer opportunities in […]

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