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5 for Friday: Links on Agile Software Development, Cloud Adoption, and Test Automation


Here are some intriguing links from the past week. If you found something equally intriguing, please share in the comments!

  1. For Agile Success, Leaders Must Set Teams Loose Consultants and analysts weigh in on the most effective way to manage Agile teams in this SD Times article. The key seems to be autonomy-enabling leadership: "In a recent Forrester study, leadership was found to be the most important variable for success, surpassing the type of agile methodology used, geographic distribution of teams, and other variables." In other words, "Agile management" means "managing teams so that they can manage themselves." Easy to say, hard to do?
  2. How Do Public Cloud Early Adopters Think About Cloud Computing?   A survey conducted by Appiro highlights that early adopters of the public cloud have had a relatively positive experience overall and that concerns about security and vendor lock-in have been exaggerated. These folks have also found IT to be an active advocate of cloud adoption, rather than an obstacle. Of course, if you are skeptical of cloud-related surveys and the insights they may or may not provide, you can express your opinion here.
  3. Two Products of Software Development  A brief post by Ryan at 37signals with a lengthy comment discussion. His point (a riff on a proposition by Kent Beck) is that the process of software development needs to serve both short-term, systemic functionality as well as long-term evolutionary flexibility. That is, your code should not only address the immediate need but also the possibility that it will have to be amended or changed in the future to address emergent needs. The challenge, as one commenter points out, is accomplishing this under time-pressure and with limited visibility into the future.
  4. UI Tests - How do we keep them from being brittle?  Fairly technical post concerning the challenges inherent in UI testing (rather than simply testing the code under the UI) and how to make UI tests robust enough to handle changes in the application to be tested. Specifically, the author (who goes by the moniker, "cheezy") advocates the use of page objects because they facilitate modification of the test parameters over time and reduce the need for recreating the test from the ground up. This article raises the question: Are we testing the things that need testing, or do we tend to focus on testing the things that are easy to test?
  5. Thought Leaders in the Cloud: Talking with Chris C. Kemp, CTO of NASA  An in-depth interview that addresses the factors driving cloud adoption by the federal government as well as a range of cloud-related issues faced by both the public and private sectors. Interestingly, Kemp notes that, from a budgetary perspective, cloud is practically the default infrastructure option. As he puts its, "[W]e have to actually look at cloud computing in every one of our major IT projects and justify any cases where we're not using cloud." He also believes that the proliferation of mobile devices within in the enterprise will push CIOs to move from private cloud to public cloud faster than they expect.

If you have a link to add to this list, please leave a comment!

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