Skip to main content

Scrumming the night away

Today I decided to do a small experiment.

I was scribbling up a tiny todo-list when I thought "Hey, why don't I do some rough estimation on how long these things will take?". This is what the list looked like at first (at 18:00):
  • Short bike trip - done at 18:30
  • Do some planning for Objectware-uni (training for the new folks) - done at 19:00
  • Fiddle with personal bank-stuff, bills, etc - done at 19:30
  • Write this blog entry - done at 20:00
  • Do some maintenance programming for a customer - done at 22:00
So off I went on my little bike trip, trying out those new bike-shoes that click on to the pedals (did I mention that I cycle to work and I think everybody should do the same?). Naturally, I bumped into my neighbour that I had to help out with moving a fence, and neighbour-chat with for a while. By the time I got back it was 19:20.

Darn. So I had to re-arrange my estimate:
  • Bike and neighbour - done at 19:20
  • Objectware-uni - done at 19:30 (would have to be quick!)
  • Bank business - 20:00
  • Blog - 20:30
  • Programming - 22:00 (1/2 hour less than originally estimated)
On I went to wiki down the uni-plans. Was I quick about it? No. It is very hard to rush stuff that involves thinking. In fact I was so enticed with the state of the wiki that I blew off half-an-hour cleaning and moving stuff around on the wiki. By the end, the time was 20:00. Re-estimating:
  • Bike and neighbour - 19:20
  • Objectware-uni - done at 19:30
  • Wiki-stuff - 20:00
  • Bank - 20:30
  • Blog - 21:00
  • Programming - 22:00 (1 hour less than originally estimated)
[In the moment of writing, it is 21:30, the deadline for my latest blog estimate, so I will have to hurry up now.]

The bank stuff went pretty quick (10 minutes). But then I felt hungry. I eat extremely slow, and I eat a lot (much to the annoyence of fellow lunchers and diners). I made dinner, ate (while reading TheServerSide discussions) and was ready to move on at 21:00.

New estimate:

  • Bike and neighbour - 19:20
  • Objectware-uni - done at 19:30
  • Wiki-stuff - 20:00
  • Bank - 20:30
  • Dinner - 21:00
  • Blog - 21:30
  • Programming - 22:00 (1,5 hours less than originally estimated)
And now my time for blogging is up. Spending a half hour programming doesn't seem very worthwhile, so I'll rather spend the rest of the evening relaxing and planning tomorrows bike-trip to work (lotsa logistics involved there).

Conclusions:
  • Keeping a plan like that made me work more efficiently
  • I quickly discovered things I wouldn't have time for
  • I always discover new tasks I'll have to squeeze into the program
  • I'm easily distracted by these new tasks (will have to work on that)
  • Food takes time and must be planned for (will have to work on that too)
  • Your plan will continously be disturbed by people who want to chat on MSN/IM
Overall, the best thing about Scrum is that it makes you more aware of what you and your team is doing, and what steps can be taken to improve your development process. The next best thing is that it allows you to break estimates and openly admit it without anyone yelling "Sue these guys!"..

Popular posts from this blog

Encrypting and Decrypting with Spring

I was recently working with protecting some sensitive data in a typical Java application with a database underneath. We convert the data on its way out of the application using Spring Security Crypto Utilities. It "was decided" that we'd be doing AES with a key-length of 256, and this just happens to be the kind of encryption Spring crypto does out of the box. Sweet!

The big aber is that whatever JRE is running the application has to be patched with Oracle's JCE in order to do 256 bits. It's a fascinating story, the short version being that U.S. companies are restricted from exporting various encryption algorithms to certain countries, and some countries are restricted from importing them.

Once I had patched my JRE with the JCE, I found it fascinating how straight forward it was to encrypt and decrypt using the Spring Encryptors. So just for fun at the weekend, I threw together a little desktop app that will encrypt and decrypt stuff for the given password and sa…

Managing dot-files with vcsh and myrepos

Say I want to get my dot-files out on a new computer. Here's what I do:

# install vcsh & myrepos via apt/brew/etc
vcsh clone https://github.com/tfnico/config-mr.git mr
mr update

Done! All dot-files are ready to use and in place. No deploy command, no linking up symlinks to the files. No checking/out in my entire home directory as a Git repository. Yet, all my dot-files are neatly kept in fine-grained repositories, and any changes I make are immediately ready to be committed:

config-atom.git
    -> ~/.atom/*

config-mr.git
    -> ~/.mrconfig
    -> ~/.config/mr/*

config-tmuxinator.git  
    -> ~/.tmuxinator/*

config-vim.git
    -> ~/.vimrc
    -> ~/.vim/*

config-bin.git   
    -> ~/bin/*

config-git.git          
    -> ~/.gitconfig

config-tmux.git  
    -> ~/.tmux.conf    

config-zsh.git
    -> ~/.zshrc

How can this be? The key here is to use vcsh to keep track of your dot-files, and its partner myrepos/mr for operating on many repositories at the same time.

I discovere…

Always use git-svn with --prefix

TLDR: I've recently been forced back into using git-svn, and while I was at it, I noticed that git-svn generally behaves a lot better when it is initialized using the --prefix option.

Frankly, I can't see any reason why you would ever want to use git-svn without --prefix. It even added some major simplifications to my old git-svn mirror setup.

Update: Some of the advantages of this solution will disappear in newer versions of Git.

For example, make a standard-layout svn clone:

$ git svn clone -s https://svn.company.com/repos/project-foo/

You'll get this .git/config:

[svn-remote "svn"]
        url = https://svn.company.com/repos/
        fetch = project-foo/trunk:refs/remotes/trunk
        branches = project-foo/branches/*:refs/remotes/*
        tags = project-foo/tags/*:refs/remotes/tags/*

And the remote branches looks like this (git branch -a):
    remotes/trunk
    remotes/feat-bar

(Compared to regular remote branches, they look very odd because there is no remote name i…

Considerations for JavaScript in Modern (2013) Java/Maven Projects

Disclaimer: I'm a Java developer, not a JavaScript developer. This is just what I've picked up the last years plus a little research the last days. It's just a snapshot of my current knowledge and opinions on the day of writing, apt to change over the next weeks/months.

We've gone all modern in our web applications, doing MVC on the client side with AngularJS or Ember, building single-page webapps with REST backends. But how are we managing the growing amount of JavaScript in our application?
You ain't in Kansas anymore So far we've just been doing half-random stuff. We download some version of a library and throw it into our src/main/webapp/js/lib, or we use it from a CDN, which may be down or unreachable when we want to use the application..

Some times the JS is minified, other times it's not. Some times we name the file with version number, other times without. Some times we get the latest library of master branch and name it with the commit-id in the fi…

Microsoft ups their Git efforts another notch

This week Microsoft announced first class Git support embedded in the coming version of Visual Studio.

Now, it's not completely shocking. We could have seen it coming since Microsoft started offering Git repos on CodePlex, and more recently offering a Git client for TFS. In any case, these are some big news. Scott Hanselman weighs on some features and some more background here.

For those who are a bit unaware of what the Git situation on Windows looks like these days, I've dotted down these notes:
Some explanation on these:

msysGit has long been The Way to use Git on Windows. It's basically a port of Git itself, so it's a command-line tool.GitExtensions (includes Visual Studio integration), TortoiseGit, Git Shell, posh-git and most other tools are powered by msysGit.libgit2 is a native library for doing Git stuff. It is developed completely separate from Git itself. The above tools could (and should) probably use libgit2 instead of hooking onto and around msysGit.Github…