Blog

Dealing with a moving target
May 13, 2011

We recently launched our first Social Media game, www.pinmeifyoucan.com - for Contiki. It’s a Google maps integration with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. It was a challenging project on tight timescales which presented some unique problems ...

Icon or Ican't be bothered.
April 28, 2011

Picture the scene. You’ve designed and built an iPhone app. You’ve put your heart and soul into it. Years of experience have finally come to fruition; all your imagination, moxie, know-how and learning from computer science or graphic ...

I'm a ScrumMaster. Huh?
April 15, 2011

  My wife and I had a friend over for dinner last night and during conversation she asked me what it is I do. I replied that I work for a software consultancy and I’m a QA and ScrumMaster. ‘Huh?’ was the reply I got. I kno...

Kanban in the Cape - Part 2
March 23, 2011

In Part One of this blog I discussed how we set up the kanban board and the process we used to try out kanban for the first time on our own internal Timesheets application. Here is what we learned about the process. The first thing I learned, as ...

Steak vs Cucumber as BDD tools
March 13, 2011

When I joined the world of Ruby on Rails development and testing I was quite happy with all the tools and testing frameworks available, I was using a lot of them during development process. Words like Rspec and Cucumber quickly became part of my v...

Kanban in the Cape - Part 1
March 9, 2011

After reading the book ‘Kanban and Scrum - Making the most of both’ (Henrik Kniberg & Mattias Skarin, 2010), I was quite eager to give Kanban a try on a project. All I needed was a project that had fantastic clients that understand...

Production Issues and 3rd Line Support Processes
February 25, 2011

Another perfect release- this is what it’s all about, now time to kick back, cocktail in hand, bathing in the glorious glow of heaped praise as stakeholder after stakeholder thank Goldilocks and the Three Bears for managing to translate thei...

Agile Tools for the Support Team
February 25, 2011

In an ideal world there won’t be any problems in production. In an ideal world there’s a great soundtrack playing while the dev team, PMO and the business high-five one another in slow-mo.  If you’re talking about a complex ...

Git rebase
February 17, 2011

Many people new to git wonder: “what is rebasing?” and “why would I use rebase?”. Following is my attempt at an answer to those questions. Git lets you easily mess around with branches. A branch is just a set of commits wi...

Are you victim of Stockholm syndrome?
February 11, 2011

I recently listened to a podcast called ‘Developers Life’ where a couple of developers and project managers talked about some rotton projects they’d worked on and how it’s sometimes hard to get perspective and realise that ...

And now we come to the end of RubyFuza.. now
February 10, 2011

You might be wondering what’s up with the strange title. It’s just one of those conference things – you come to the end of a conference and you are on a “conference high” and cant stop reminiscing about what went on...

Has the future turned out the way it was supposed to?
January 19, 2011

Here at Unboxed, we’ve recently received delivery of a brand new lava lamp - the novelty lights that are filled with lurid oils that hypnotically swirl around. Today, it seems to me that the lava lamp’s retro styling makes them an ob...

A thought on pair programming
January 18, 2011

When discussing pair programming, I have never heard the following point of view. So I’ll just shoot and cover. Let me introduce it with an example. Imagine for a second that you have an appointment at a location you’ve never been bef...

Happiness and motivation
January 12, 2011

It’s 7 month since I joined the ubxd crowd and I think it has been the most productive 7 month in my life. I asked my self why. What drives me, challenges or motivates me ? I think that you have already heard about companies like Zappos, Gor...

TechHub and Silicon Roundabout
December 21, 2010

Yesterday, I posted a message on twitter. It went like this: “TechHub is currently just a PR company producing misleading press releases. The idea they represent Silicon Roundabout is wrong.” I thought quite hard about this short u...

Web De-What?! (1 Part Graphic Design to 2 Parts User-Interface Desi...
December 7, 2010

Why is it that some things can look incredibly beautiful, but quickly lose it the moment you start interacting with them? Nope, I’m not talking about an old flame I met down the local discotheque: I’m referring to Website Design. Why ...

Scrum-ban aka common sense in Agile
December 1, 2010

Not long ago I saw a presentation about Scrum and kanban and the differences between them. At the end of the presentation the presenters were suggesting that we should take from both these methodologies. This new mixed methodology could be called ...

Shonky Internet - Cowboy Builders and the Online Gold Rush
December 1, 2010

When I bite into my apple, I don’t expect a cheeky worm to be wriggling around inside. I don’t expect the wheels to fall off my speeding bicycle, I don’t like it when shoes fall apart on the first wear, and I hate when my parachu...

Not so cool as cucumber
November 22, 2010

The problem There’s just one tiny validation to add to a user model. The impact on the application code is small whereas the impact on the test code is enormous. The change takes a day to implement. The context A large code base, Rails 2....

On Feedback Loops and Agile
November 19, 2010

I was talking to Matt Frank the other day and he mentioned something important - agile is all about feedback loops. I’ve been thinking and reading over this concept for a while now and I’ve come to the conclusion that feedback loops ar...

The problem with software
November 18, 2010

It is well known that about 50 years ago the first real computer programs started crawling out of the oceans… Even with all the improvements and accumulated knowledge that we have nowadays in our computer-based civilization, users have been...

five.tv a.k.a project Cape Town
November 17, 2010

The desire for a site re-design together with the difficulty of editing existing content prompted Channel 5 to commission a rebuild of their main website and a consolidation of their catch up service Demand 5 with the new site. Development kicked ...

How does agile development fit with budgets and financial controls?
November 16, 2010

For the last 12 months I have been immersed in an agile development environment which really follows the agile mantra, e.g. stand ups, pair programming, test driven development, 2 week iterations, retrospectives, refactoring, and the development w...

Categorising Workarounds
November 15, 2010

You’ve just done a new release. The Sales team find when they take a new customer’s details and hit ‘save’ they don’t end up on the place new order page, so they can’t make a sale! Which means they can’t g...

Don't let the Train make you Strain
November 12, 2010

On Monday I was standing on a packed train looking out at a platform full of glum people expecting to be able to get on the train. No chance! At least I am slowly heading in the right direction unlike those poor people standing on a cold and wet p...

Pair programming with your mind
November 10, 2010

My last post was about pair programming. Recently I start working on a small project where I can’t pair with anyone. So I started thinking  “what could I use from pairing even When I’m not ? ”. My first thought was to...

In White Space... No One Can Hear You Scream!
November 8, 2010

 “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo Da Vinci On my travels through cyberspace this week I hit upon this spooky website…  http://yvettesbridalformal.com/ It reminded me of a serious and consistent ...

A dev's point of view - agile helps focus.
November 4, 2010

Forget Pro-Plus or extra strong coffees, you don’t need this or a trip down to Spec-Savers to help keep focus.  The answer is agile. I’m not going to speak for other devs, but I have a seriously overactive mind.  Just as I g...

Agile and Angry Birds
October 25, 2010

I have recently converted to iphone (‘about time’ I hear you say) and with that comes the many recommendations on apps. It was on a recent road trip with the family after the 100th ‘are we nearly there yet?’ that I succumbe...

Waterfall Syndrome
October 21, 2010

Is there a disease called Waterfall Syndrome? I personally think we can see it taking hold in a number of large organisations. Companies should start to recognise it and help those who are suffering with the symptoms. I am sure that if we carried ...

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