Archive for the 'scrum' Category

BarCamp Orlando 2009

This weekend a few of us from Pentaho attended BarCampOrlando 3.  Aaron Phillips gave a great intro to Hudson, demoing how easy it is to install and configure your apps for continuous integration.  Nick Baker gave a talk on project Shandor, Pentaho’s new name for our Java XUL UI Framework.  I gave a live demo of the new Pentaho Report Designer, showing off some of the new features that the guys on the reporting team are working so hard on.

I also got to attend some interesting talks, learning more about Django from Joshua Blount, as well as learning more about Adobe’s raw image support.   I also attended Robert Dempsey’s talk Transparency In Agile, and learned more about his hosted scrum solution Scrumd.

Row Level Security in Pentaho Metadata

Last Thursday, our Scrum Team kicked off a new Sprint around Pentaho Metadata’s Row Level Security.  In April, Jake Cornelius, one of our Product Managers here at Pentaho, started a Pentaho Metadata Row Level Security discussion in Pentaho’s forum calling for community feedback.  We received lots of great input, and we’re now entering the implementation stage of development.  If you are interested, keep a close eye on Pentaho Metadata’s SVN trunk, where we’ll be implementing this new feature.

We’re tackling this feature from two perspectives, and we have two Scrum stories describing what we hope to accomplish for a first version.  To make sure we have all the plumbing in place, we’ve defined a story focused on expert users, who’ll be able to describe a global security constraint that applies to an entire Metadata Model.  In parallel, we’ve also described a story that focuses on a simple user interface.  The second story will include a lot of up front UI design to make sure we deliver an easy to use interface that solves a large percentage of row level security needs our customers and community have.

A Scrum Conversation in Sarasota

We had a good turnout at the Sarasota Java User Group this week, where I presented on the Scrum Agile Methodology.  Thanks go to Joe Healy from Microsoft for hosting, with free dinner and some great free books by Ken Schwaber.  I also want to thank David Moskowitz for organizing the event.  The group had a very informal discussion on Scrum.  Due to the great questions and discussion, I wasn’t able to make it all the way through Mountain Goat Software’s Reusable Scrum Presentation. There were a few folks who had plenty of Agile experience sharing their thoughts on the process.  Most of the tough questions involved how to work with product owners (aka customers) who might not be bought in to the process along with good questions around long term planning with the Scrum methodology.  Agile and Scrum are so different than traditional waterfall software development, that it’s difficult to map concepts from one methodology to the other.

Scrumming in Sarasota

I’ll be presenting on Scrum, Open Scrum, and Pentaho’s use of Scrum at this week’s Sarasota JUG (Java User Group) meeting. I lived in Sarasota for a couple of years before relocating to Orlando, and I’m always looking for reasons to visit! Check out Sarasota’s Java User Group website for more information.

BarCamp Orlando

Michael Tarallo, Doug Moran, and I attended and presented at BarCamp Orlando today. Despite a bit of a down pour, we all had a great time and got to meet a lot of developers here in Orlando and all across the continent. Some of the interesting talks I attended included a demo of Izea’s SocialSpark from Peter Wright, and a rant on Web 2.0 from Sunir Shah of FreshBooks, and of course Doug’s and Michael’s great intro to Pentaho. Robert Dempsey of Atlantic Dominion Solutions gave an after lunch talk on Scrum, and later I followed it up with a talk on Scrum at Pentaho and Open Scrum. Check out slides of my presentation in pdf.

Sprinting At Pentaho - Mondrian Platform Sprint

For the past couple of months, Pentaho’s Orlando developers have been using the Scrum methodology for managing our projects.  For the past two weeks, I’ve been working part time on the Mondrian Platform Sprint.  We’re delivering some exciting new features into open source.  The first story we’re tackling is the ability to create new analysis views within Pentaho’s BI Platform.  What I’ve enjoyed most about this story is working closely with Mat Lowery and Nick Baker.  We’re all working together on the various components, and things are coming together nicely.

The second story we’re delivering on this sprint is the ability to publish Mondrian Schemas to the BI Platform from Mondrian’s Schema Workbench.  I’ve taken the publishing dialog source code from Pentaho’s Report Designer and bended it to fit within the Workbench.  It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of writing Swing UI code, I’m enjoying every minute.

Both of these stories will make Mondrian more usable within Pentaho’s BI Platform.  What is great about sprinting is that we know we’re focused on high priority items that make our products easier to use.

Scrumming at Pentaho

Today and tomorrow, Kenny Rubin is walking Pentaho’s Orlando Engineering team through the Scrum process, along with answering all of our questions about Scrum.  As defined on Wikipedia, “Scrum is a project management method for agile development”.  One point regarding agile software that resonates with me is the elimination of waste from the process.  As a developer, I can’t stand it when I’ve developed a product or a feature and watch it never get used.  By only delivering on prioritized stories, we can avoid unnecessary waste in the code and also unnecessary waste in analysis and design.

For additional information on Agile software, check out the Agile Manifesto.   If you are interested in the intersection of Open Source and Scrum, check out Open Scrum, a paper written by James Dixon, Pentaho’s Chief Technology Officer.