Thursday, July 16, 2009

Visit to

Just back from an interesting morning with the development team at moveme. Paired with James, their lead developer, and over the morning discussed their approach to agile mixed in with the TTD coding. First thing I noticed was that the tool set was different. They use Tortoise and subversion (no surprise there) but they use xUnit coupled with xUnit is new to me and they felt it encouraged better practices and was more extensible. It was also strange with where you get pass/fail text rather than reds and greens but I could get used to it. They also seemed to be (vehemently) opposed to resharper but I didn't get chance to ask why. James favoured CC.NET over TeamCity as he felt it gave him more control. More food for thought. Might ask them to comment on this.

The interesting stuff was the management buyin of agile (their CEO is a scrum advocate) and the fact that the dev team want to move to more lean/kanban way of working based on there need to respond very rapidly to changing business requirements. These changes come from monitoring the web stats and looking to monitize behaviour. They gave a great example of where they had been able to spot an opportunity to to add a referal link to generate click through money and acted upon it during a sprint after discussing the cost/benefits of doing such a thing. I can see how the whole kanban pull model might work. I'd never been convinced that dev teams needed to respond in days rather than weeks but this example convinced me.

Other things of note are that they felt that they worked better without a tester. That might be because they had had an old school QA tester who found it difficult to work in an agile environment but they didn't think this was the case. Note sure how this approach will scale as the dev team grows again (there was 4 of them). As always in successful teams they had an excellent onsite customer proxy who understood the domain and was vision, rather than sales, focused.

They used the concept of Golden Hours which seemed to be a useful practice and worth trying.

I need to check out which is a project of Alans as I'm not sure what it gives. Some swotting for the return train trip perhaps.

All in all a worthwhile visit.

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