Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Setting Up a New Windows 7 Box

Here's my list of things to do with a new windows 7 box in 2016: 
Set Preferences
Right-click RecycleBin, select "Properties" and uncheck "Display delete confirmation dialog" box
In the task bar, right-click select properties and set "Taskbar buttons:" to be "Always Combine"
Add environmental variable "HOME" and set to C:\home\mfincher so emacs can find me
Add C:\home\mfincher\bin to environmental variable "Path"
Create C:\tmp so ange-ftp can work.
Turn off error reporting, "My Computer"/Properties/Advanced system settings/Advanced/Startup and Recovery/Settings/System failure, set "Write debugging information" to "(none)"

Install Utility Programs
Install Emacs and a
Install spell (https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/AspellWindows)
Install SoapUI from https://www.soapui.org/downloads/latest-release.html
Install Chrome and Firefox, set up sync in Firefox to get old bookmarks and addins
Install Launchy from https://sourceforge.net/projects/launchy/files/
Install AutoHotKey from https://autohotkey.com/download/
Install ConEmu from https://sourceforge.net/projects/conemu/
Install PostMan inside Chrome
Install Notepad++ from https://notepad-plus-plus.org
Install Mouse drivers
Install visual studio
Install pdf reader sumatra - http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/download.html
Install Paint.Net http://www.getpaint.net/download.html
Install Mezer Tools https://www.bayden.com/mezer/ Windows-s for capture Windows-c for calipers 
Install 7-zip for zip/tar files from http://www.7-zip.org/
Install Process Explorer  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals
Install cygwin, add c:\cygwin64\bin to "Path" environmental variable so emacs can see "gzip"

Install Microsoft Programs
set powershell to use unsigned scripts: add  "set-executionpolicy remotesigned" 
Install sql server 
Install Visual Studio and ReSharper
Copy Files From Old Computer
Copy My Documents, My Pictures, c:\home, c:\opt
copy over all the old databases
Copy over inetpub directories
Copy over old Microsoft Mail archives, *.pst files
Copy root directory of Perforce files, C:\workfiles
Copy the old %AppData%\Launchy\Luanchy.ini config file over to new machine 
Copy Themes from %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes C:\Users\fincherm\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes

Monday, June 06, 2016

Teaching My Nine Year Old Daughter to Program with LightBot.com

I introduced my nine-year old daughter to lightbot.com to show her how to program.  LightBot.com is a wonderful site where you can download a little game to a device (she has a $50 android table) and learn to program a little robot.

The game is amazing at teaching programming.  After learning the basics, the site introduces kids to the concept of functions and recursion (although its called 'loops').  Kids think they are just playing a game, when in reality they are learning some basics of programming.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Why Kanban Doesn't Have Sprints. Agile Austin Lunch May 13, 2016

Thirty Agile Austiners attended a free lunch at Kasasa to discuss with value of time boxing a sprint.

What are benefits of timebox?
Predictability / Focus Priorities / Cadence / Estimation  / well documented, it comes in a box

 Problems with Timebox:
1.  If testing takes four days at the end of a sprint, what are the developers doing those last four days?
Timebox encourages crossfunctional team members; developers that test the last few days.  Is this the best use of their time?
2.  No room to do important bug fixes or building infrastructure.  Too much noise to estimate accurately.
3.  Have to do lots of padding for noise.
4.  Poor quality, and no refactoring, results from cramming something in at the last minute.
5. Timebox has a negative effect on morale, as a sprint is considered a failure if only 9 of 10 items were done.  When this goes on sprint after sprint morale suffers.  Then developers start to pad estimates which then starts to look excessive.

Kanban - one piece flow - watch a single work item carefully to see blockers
Kanban is flow based, Scrum is iteration based.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Photos from Agile Austin May 10, 2016 "Implementing Kanban at Drilling Info"

Jay Paulson from Drilling Info presented the history of Kanban at Drilling Info to 36 people.

My random notes:
Jay took all the Jira issues, put them on sticky notes, and posted them on a wall.  50 items were in QA.  The physical visibility surprised people.

Service Delivery Manager shepherds items through the system.

Four Principles of Kanban
Flow like water around the rocks of resistance
1. Start with what you do now
2 Agree to pursue evolutionary change
3 Initially respect current processes roles, responsibilities, and job titles
4. Encourage acts of leadership at every level in your organization from individual contributor to senior management.  Encourage feedback.

Jay used the getKanban board game
used physical and electronic tool (Rally)
Columns on Board:
Ideas / Robert / Acceptance / Grooming / Implementation / Demo / Release / Verify

Jay is writing leansheets.org.

Little's Law Metric
Delivery Rate = WIP/LeadTime
Teams own their own process

David Anderson's book.

Daily Standup - team creates agenda, place for feedback, customer focus
Replenishment / Commitment Meeting  - part of Planning Session
Delivery Planning Meeting / Weekly
Risk Review - look at blocker to understand risks, review hidden risks, review WIP
Strategy Review / Quarterly - review metrics (lead time, quality, capacity)
Service Delivery Review - weekly
Operations Review / most important monthly meeting of all the managers

Recommended Books:
The Goal /
The Phoenix Project /
Kanban from the Inside by Mike Burrows
Actionable Agile Metric for Predictability by Vacanti

Highly measured process, Key Performance Indicators

Many agile projects fail from lack of discipline in developers.  Agile is not a silver bullet.  Developers need to be disciplined.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Sleep Number Bed Smells Bad When New

We love Sleep Number beds - the kind with an air bladder and remotes to get the right level of firmness.  Recently we bought two new ones for the kids.  But the smell of all the off-gassing of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) was overwhelming for our highly allergic and sensitive family.

We left the mattresses in a spare room with the window open to air out for a few days without success.  They still reaked of plastic.  The smell was in the air bladders and was trapped inside the mattress covers.

I removed the inner bladders and hung them in the garage on some rope to air out.
Over the course of a few weeks the smell of plastic slowly died down.
I put the bladders back in the mattresses and they smelled fine.
We love our new Sleep Number beds now.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Agile Sig - How Yahoo! Embraced Automated Testing

Neil Manvar from Saucelabs who used to work at Yahoo! gave a very interesting presentation on how Yahoo! did QA to fifty people at PlanView.

My Notes::

150 people work at Yahoo! on mail.

Challenges at Yahoo Mail
Multiple browsers on multiple OSes
New browsers coming out
Right to Left languages
Terabytes of data

Used beta version of email internally even for personal mail so everyone a Yahoo tests new versions of email.

Manual testing just doesn't work its not reliable and not scalable

"developers are not bad people."
It's all about getting info back to the developers.

Marissa Mayers gave them 3 months to get framework in place for automated testing, no new features.

Continuous improvement
Pull requested need unit tests and selenium tests.

Ruby and Open Source ruby gems / Cucumber / Watir-webdriver (Selenium)

A build would fail if code coverage was not sufficient.  It had to run in 10 minutes.
256 unit tests run in parallel

He recommended the book "Leading the Transformation: Applying Agile and DevOps Principals at Scale" by Gary Gruver, Tommy Mouser

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SQL Server Error: CREATE DATABASE failed. Some file names listed could not be created.

I recently installed Windows 10 under VMWare and added SQL Server Express to do some work with MVC5 using the default Entity Framework backend.

I kept getting this error:

Directory lookup for the file "c:\users\fincherm\documents\visual studio 2015\Projects\
failed with the operating system error 5(Access is denied.).
CREATE DATABASE failed. Some file names listed could not be created. Check related errors.

It turns out the problem was the identity of the SQLExpress service, "NT Service\MSSQL$SQLExpress"  did not have write permissions in the file system to create a database.  Adding "write" permission to that identity fixed the problem and now my MVC app works with SQL Server.