15 TechWell Favorites from 2011


Two TechWell editors take take a look back at fifteen articles that were among the most read, the most shared, and the best conversation starters.

As we come to the close of our first year with the TechWell community, including StickyMinds, Agile Journal, and CM Crossroads, let’s take a look back at some of the articles that were the most read, the most shared, and the best conversation starters.

What were your favorites? Let us know in the comments below, and please include a link so others may read them, too!

Agile or Not: How to Get Things Done
by Steve Berczuk
In this post from his blog, Accidental Simplicity, Steve Berczuk takes a look at the good and bad of "doing agile" and suggests that many agile failures have very little to do with the agile process itself.

ALM Tools in an Agile World
By Patrick Burma
Certified ScrumMaster Patrick Burma explores how ALM tools can be effective when using agile development, although it really depends on which particular tool your team ends up using. Burma also describes how the makers of ALM tools are taking in account the growing interest in agile development and are creating tools to address this trend.

Getting to “Done”
By Brian Bozzuto
With software projects, a sign of a job well done is the creation of “production ready” code.  Sometimes, however, not everyone agrees on what is “production ready” or what is a completed project. Brian Bozzuto’s article on his experience in such a predicament shows us the value of accepted definitions and manageable expectations.

Is It Beautiful? Aesthetics in Software Testing
By Rick Scott
This year, Rick Scott wrote a series that takes a look at how we may apply some elements of philosophy to software testing. In this, the final installment of the series, he addresses whether or not software has aesthetic value. What does it mean to have beautiful software, and how do we evaluate it?

Pair Programming in the Clink
By Daryl Kulak
Daryl Kulak shares a fascinating story about his time observing and working with inmates at the Marion Correctional Institution. In it, Kulak joins a group of developers who journey to Marion, Ohio to act as trainers and mentors of agile software development for the prisoners. As Kulak puts it, “It’s like a code retreat, except it’s inside a prison.”

Passing the Baton
by Rinku Sahay
TechWell member Rinku Sahay compares a knowledge-transfer session—one of the least-sought-after activities in a project—to the events of a relay race. If your intention is to get rid of your current responsibility and move on regardless of whatever mess you leave behind, you're doing it wrong.

A Productivity Comparison of Kanban and Scrum
By Charles Suscheck
Charles Suscheck adds to the debate between Kanban and Scrum with this article on his team’s experiment contrasting the two methods. When Suscheck’s team was experiencing efficiency problems, they opted to try Kanban, which, according to Suscheck, boosted productivity by 300 percent. Kanban may not work well in every situation, Suscheck concedes, but it proved very effective in this particular instance.

Software Testing Enters the Cloud: Opportunities and Challenges
By Matt Heusser
There's a pretty good chance that "the cloud" is already impacting your life in some way—whether you're developing software hosted on the cloud or just using the cloud to move documents around. In this article, Matt Heusser takes a look at some of the opportunities and challenges associated with testing in the cloud.

The Two Metrics that Matter
By Neil Fox
“You need to do more with less.” How often have you heard this saying in the past couple of years? Neil Fox certainly has heard it often, and in this piece he describes the best methods for development effectiveness during a global recession.

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