Category: Uncategorized

What does it mean to be Agile?

Great Teams

A central tenet of Agile is that the team is empowered to make decisions on how to best accomplish their work in the quickest time possible. What this means is that each team is able to do things that are necessary in order to hit that goal. They structure the work in ways that allow everyone to know what is happening, and who is doing what. They stay in constant communication with the Product Owners to understand what needs to be developed, and they are able to control how it gets developed.  It also allows each team to adjust how things are working for them, in order to make them more productive and efficient. They conduct a Retrospective at the end of each sprint, looking back at what went well, and what didn’t go as well as hoped, so they can make adjustments or ask for additional help in resolving their issues. This empowerment makes people happy, and study after study shows that happy employees lead to happy customers.

Amazing Product

Since the team is happy and empowered to deliver on what the Product Owner needs, the outcome is an amazing product. We are able to shift priorities and work on the most important features quickly. Our Product Owners are able to interact with our customers and potential customers to determine what their pain points are and then focus the attention of the team on creating a solution to meet their needs. As importantly, the team is always focused on quality of the product.  There isn’t a separate team that slows down development or is critical to how something is made. Our Quality people are embedded in the team, understanding what the requirements are at the same time as the developers, involved in the process, and then able to be very effective in their job and complete their task within the sprint. With the whole team focused on delivering a quality product that meets the customers’ needs, it is easier to create a product that customers love.

Full Company Alignment

Being Agile also means we are able to be more responsive to the industry and our customers. We are able to quickly assess priorities and make adjustments to what we are developing, so we are always working on the highest priority items. 

Other organizations are often challenged to ensure that priorities from Sales are communicated to the right teams, that they don’t conflict with the priorities from Customer Support, or that Quality Assurance understands what is coming. They develop lengthy “Business Requirements Documents” or “Technical Specifications” to communicate to the teams what they want, taking months to pass on something simple by going up what hierarchy and down another.  With our Agile Methodology, we have eliminated that outmoded process and have a clear and open communication with all our teams, actively soliciting feedback from all the groups and people who have interactions in the industry or with our customers. This communication and alignment mean that we are able to develop a valuable product faster, which leads once again to happy customers.

Equals Happy Customers

Our great teams, amazing products, and full company alignment together allow us to deliver the highest value to our customers, which in turn, makes them happy. Everything we do is centred around ensuring our customers have a great experience with us and with our software. The key is that we are not just committed to making fantastic software, there are a lot of companies that have done that and failed their customers. We are committed to solving our customers’ problems, to provide them with the tools that they need for them to succeed. Helping our customers succeed, helping them save money, and assisting them to deliver value to their customers is where we focus and where we excel.  Agile allows us to deliver amazing products, be responsive to our customers’ needs, and to help them succeed.

I plan on working from home a lot this year

Looks like Hoth

The “Foodbabe” is just dangerously stupid

The “Foodbabe” gained some notoriety with a post that made Subway change it’s menu, regardless that there was no fact or science behind what she wrote.

Well, she was at it again about airline food. But I love Reddit, there are so many real experts on there that you can get the details regarding anything.  But dissecting the stupidity was extremely well done by user “Churba”.  Read her comments below and enjoy:

Ex Flight attendant here, this needs a cursory skim over.

When your body is in the air, at a seriously high altitude, your body under goes some serious pressure. Just think about it – Airplanes thrive in places we don’t. You are traveling in a pressurized cabin, and when your body is pressurized, it gets really compressed!

Except, you’re not. You’re less pressurized – the cabin tends to be pressurized to the equivalent of about 6-7 thousand feet. You should expand, not contract.

Fun facts – that’s why you tend to get a bit gassy on planes. Flight attendants have mastered the art of stealthily farting as we walk down the aisle – a practice generally known as “Crop Dusting.”

And full disclosure, if you act like a dick to the crew, one of them is probably going to fart on you on purpose. Sorry*.

Also, planes do not “Thrive”, they’re inanimate objects. They are built to survive those conditions, and ensure that you do to.

Additionally, the pressurized cabin reduces the humidity by 40% of what humans typically thrive at.

Ah, No. Cabin humidity tends to stay roughly the same, and increases slowly over time, since you’ve got a few hundred people breathing the same air. I hate to tell you this, but human beings are generally somewhat moist.

The air you are breathing on an airplane is recycled from directly outside of your window. That means you are breathing everything that the airplanes gives off and is flying through.

Nope! Cabin air is brought in from outside, but it’s not “recycled”, nor does it contain what the plane puts out, because if it did, you’d fucking well be dead.

Bleed air is taken from the compression stage of the engine(before combustion) and passed to the environmental control system, which filters it and pipes it into the cabin. There’s also outflow, to maintain a constant pressure and keep up air quality as much as one can in a big metal tube that has a few hundred people farting in it.

The air that is pumped in isn’t pure oxygen either, it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%. To pump a greater amount of oxygen in costs money in terms of fuel and the airlines know this! The nitrogen may affect the times and dosages of medications, make you feel bloated and cause your ankles and joints swell.

Nope! That’s absolutely shit-flinging insane. The reason you feel bloated is because you spend a period of time at a lower atmospheric pressure than you’re used to, and while I don’t mean to make assumptions, Ms Babe’s high fibre/high carb diet and snacks might also have a role to play there.

Did you know certain countries require that airplanes and even passengers be sprayed with pesticide before they take off? This means if you are visiting one of these countries you are breathing in these fumes potentially all flight, especially if they were sprayed on board. Horrific!

Well, yes, that does happen. It’s an insecticide specifically. But you’re not breathing it all flight, due to constant air circulation, and there’s numerous studies to prove that it’s entirely safe for humans. Well, not entirely safe, it’d probably fuck you up if you drank it, but you know what I mean.

Choose a seat as close to the front as possible. Pilots control the amount of airflow and it is is always better in their cabin.

What, does she think that there’s just some big ram-air scoop on the plane, and it circulates like when you put your car’s aircon on outside air? That’s utterly absurd, and completely untrue. The only factual part there is that the pilots do have some measure of control over the pressurization and environmental system.

Bring your own food. Airport and airplane food is overly processed and contains more GMO, pesticides, MSG, and chemicals than can make your head spin!

Her usual bullshit about GMOs, pesticides, MSG, and processed food is already well discussed elsewhere, but no, Airline food does not contain more of any of these than any other food. Except for Processed food, because we do cook pretty much all of it. Sorry, we’re still working on getting Raw Vegan airlines off the ground, but do you know how hard it is to get a 737 to run on kale?

Fast or eat small light carbohydrate rich whole foods. Limit any heavy dairy or protein rich foods. Whole grain carbohydrates are better tolerated than proteins at a high altitude.

Pro-tip – that’s why you feel bloated in the air, lady. Also why you’re farting like a fucking draughthorse, but you’re not going to mention that in the article.

Do not drink alcohol or caffeine on long flights

Unlike the cabin crew, who are generally far more expert travelers than yourself and whom do so on a daily basis, who drink coffee at such a rate that the act of putting it in a cup is merely an anti-efficiency measure to stop them from having stimulant-induced coronaries.

Walk or stretch every 30 mins while in flight, if you can’t get up from your seat, rotate your ankles and raise your arms over your head to stretch

Keep your hands clean with natural hand sanitizer spray and avoid touching your face as much as possible

Credit where credit’s due – these are really good advice. Stretch a bit, walk around a little if it’s not during meal service, drink plenty of non-alcohol fluids, and seriously, hand sanitizer. You don’t know where that plane’s been, and I can only give my strongest recommendation against putting it in your mouth. If you’d have seen the shit I’ve seen, in both the literal and figurative senses, you’d be traveling in a goddamned haz-mat suit.

Also, overweight baggage tags – in return for your well-meaning, but mostly utterly mental advice, make sure you weigh your bags before you leave. Think about what you really need for the trip, and save yourself those MASSIVE extra fees. If we can do a 7 day trip with a 10-15 kilo checked and a carry-on, so can you – and I’ll bet we have far fewer opportunities to do things like wash our clothes than you will.

/*- I’m not actually sorry you probably deserved it.

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