Catching Up

I’ve been far too busy lately and whilst there have been lots of things I wanted to post about, time has not been on my side. Before I start to forget some of the points I thought a quick post was in order.

  • @media 2008 was great. Slides and audio are just filtering onto the blog now. A highlight for me was Indi Young‘s talk on Mental Models. I now have her book on my desk (waiting for having the time to read it) and I’m excited about how the technique might interface nicely with the User Stories we use for feeding requirements into our Scrum development process.
  • Also at @media, I managed to catch up with Nick, who was as insightful as ever. He’s on the lookout for a Cold Fusion developer, if anyone is interested.
  • On the food front, if you’re down on the South Bank try Giraffe. Also not bad was the food at Auberge, not far from the IMAX.
  • One interesting point is that there was a lot of talk about ‘agile methods’ from the presenters, but I wasn’t getting the impression that there was actually a great deal of understanding as to what they really entail. We use Scrum at Black Marble, albeit with some pragmatism as there are some things you just can’t do when you’re not working on time and materials. I find that the increased level of dialogue between team members that Scrum gives improves the execution of the project no end. If you want to know more about Scrum, Ken Schwaber‘s books are a good, quick read.
  • On the smartphone front, the iPhone 3G looks nice, but given my company infrastructure, the Touch Diamond looks more so. Also, the Diamond is nice and small which is something I’ve been searching for in a smartphone for a while. Big nod of respect to Opera – I have a beta of 9.5 on my TYTN right now and it’s a very nice mobile browser. I’m looking forward to seeing what the polished product is like on the Diamond.
  • I have yet to get chance to install it, but the beta Power Pack for Windows Home Server is available which addresses the data corruption bug. I have a single disk in mine right now and to be honest it’s not doing much other than backups, but I’d recommend one just for that – simple and straightforward image-based backups of all the PCs in the house. Great!