Testing complex features can sometimes be time-consuming — setting up data, logging in as a user, logging in as an administrator and so on. If that is the case, we also produce brief demo screencasts showing our own user tests being conducted. These allow clients to review progress quickly and easily without the hassle of carrying out lengthy tests themselves. Our approach to deployment is designed to ensure new features go live as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.
We host all sites in development on a staging server, where clients can use the software before it is deployed. Our staging server uses a recent copy of the data from the production server, so new features can be seen working with almost real-time data. If possible, we prefer that clients test important features in detail themselves before they go live. We use a completely automated deployment process to carry out the whole update with a single command and no interruption or downtime.
We also use detailed checklists to ensure the process runs smoothly and no preventable mistakes are made. Our approach to software development Continuous deployment and common sense We follow an iterative, common-sense approach that borrows from the agile methodology. This gives us an idea of what you need, and shows you how it will be to work with us. What information do we need? There are three things we need to know.
Scope What does the software need to do?
Common Sense Software Engineering – Part II; Requirements Analysis
What do you want to achieve, in business terms? What existing software does the software need to work with? Are we replacing an existing solution, or creating something new? Timescale Is there a deadline when the software or certain features has to be ready? Budget Is there an overall budget? Read Step Research At this stage, we analyse the workflows that will be handled by our software and develop a specification in as much detail as possible. What do our specifications cover? Research is charged retrospectively on an ad-hoc basis, using an hourly rate.
- 2) Follow Established Procedures or Processes;
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- Best Practices for Software Development Success.
- Continuous deployment and common sense.
Can you review our progress? You can write your own specification. Can you use that? What do our prices cover? Can we work within a set budget? Many of these best practices might seem like common sense, and they are, but oftentimes only parts of each best practice are employed rendering them less effective , or execution is lacking.
Common sense software engineering – Part I: Initial planning analysis - JAXenter
Knowing a bit more about what each best practice entails will help you recognize if your project is set up for success. Everything from timelines, communication, the scope of work, quality assurance and more will all be taken care of as they should be! Project management is an art form, and with the complexities of a large software project, attention to detail and meticulous organization is imperative to ensure project success. Your input as a client is extremely important to the success of the project. Your market intelligence, your sense of purpose, your vision, all are necessary to software development success.
3 Ways the Agile Methodology Is Flawed
The team you work with should facilitate open lines of communication and be equally transparent with the status of the project and what needs to be done by both sides to stay on track. Weekly, and even daily if the project is exceptionally complex, email or phone updates should be established to ensure regular communication is happening throughout the project so nothing is missed and everyone is on the same page.
The Technical Brief is, in a sense, the manifest of the voyage of software development. Obviously, large defect backlogs are nothing new in projects, but what is new is that agile promotes the practice of ignoring defects. This leads to unmanageable backlogs and, eventually, to ineffective development. I've watched developers, initially caught up in the excitement of collaboration euphoria, end up psychologically worn down by the perpetual defect list to the point of burnout.
Agile projects are responsible for burning out many a good developer, which is far from the agile promise that projects "should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. The second flaw, development over planning , hits the agile principle of "responding to change over following a plan. The methodology, however, does not distinguish between big and small changes.
Every change has a cost, but agile does not account for this. The result? People often change really big things late in the game using the rationale that since it's an agile project, it can handle it. The only way the project can handle this is by adding iterations. As that happens, defects that might have been easy to fix at one point get harder and harder to fix, since the code base keeps changing.
This principle encourages poor and irresponsible planning while hiding its effects.
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As iterations continue and the defect list grows, the customer becomes more frustrated—not only because of the lack of quality, but because delivery expectations aren't being met either. This is much different from more traditional practices, where you have a project based on well-defined requirements and changes are managed through a Change Management process—which, while sometimes byzantine, will at least state time and monetary costs more clearly.
The third flawed agile principle is collaboration over management. Agile emphasizes self-organizing teams that "do the right thing" in some sort of group evolutionary manner.
Nothing against empowering individuals—many traditionally managed projects don't use people well—but agile isnt always consistent with responsible management. You don't need a methodology that takes authority away from a single individual. In too many agile projects the Scrum Master is little more than a hapless cowboy waving his arms in despair while his charges go in all different directions at once. You cannot replace accountable and responsible project management with some immature utopian myth of self-organization.
That's no science for success. One thing that's seductive about agile is the name. We like the idea of being agile in our thinking. Agile as a methodology cannot deliver agile thinking, however, and inevitably ends up preventing it. Think of "agile" as the ability to take the input of all the variable elements of the project—budget, time, design patterns, reusability, customer needs, corporate needs, precedents, standards, technology innovations and limitations—and come up with a pragmatic approach that solves the problem at hand in such a way that the product is delivered properly.
If there's one key quality a good project manager needs, it's prioritization : The ability to take the pressures of all project elements and determine which path to follow based on what's most important to achieve. Remember, the goal is to deliver a quality product on time and to budget; as a rule, there are always some elements that have to be sacrificed to fulfil the needs of the others. It's the How to Develop Next-Generation Project Managers role of the project manager to define and maintain the project priorities so they can function as a decision framework for team members as they carry out their tasks.
One of the hardest things for many developers is pragmatism.