Handing over blogug.ch lists and stats

Posted by Patrice Neff Tue, 22 Nov 2011

TL;DR: I’m shutting down list.blogug.ch and stats.blogug.ch, unless you save it by taking over.

Over the past few years I have been maintaining parts of the blogug.ch project, namely the list and the stats. I haven’t done any actual development on those since 2006 but they have been running fine.

From time to time I even confirmed the blogs to make sure they match our community guidelines. But time has been short for that and the list of unconfirmed blogs has been constantly growing with nobody else picking up the slack. This even though a few people have admin access and access is liberally granted. And of course the stats project shows that people just aren’t blogging anymore.

The final straw is that I now had to switch servers once again, as the old hoster proved unreliable.

So all of this combined brings me to the following decision: I will not migrate my blogug.ch projects to the new server and will no longer maintain them.

Please contact me if you want to take over. I’ll give you the full source code and access to the server.

Overcoming Scrum prejudices

Posted by Patrice Neff Tue, 18 Nov 2008

Scrum is a software development method. It’s been on my radar for a long time but mostly with a negative air to it. After I finally overcame a lot of my prejudices, I recently started to look into it seriously. And it turns out it makes a lot more sense and it’s a lot easier than I used to think. I blame the gazillions of Scrum consultancies out there for sometimes overcomplicating things. In the end it comes down to these few points:

  • Team: Each team is able to fulfill its goals without having to rely on the outside world. They coordinate very intimately – ideally with a short status meeting every day.
  • Scrum master: A person appointed by a team. His job is to keep the team focused, to prevent them from getting interrupted by outsiders and to remove hurdles which keep the team from working efficiently.
  • Product backlog: A prioritized list of stories (aka projects or tasks) which need to get done. Only the top stories get specified and it’s length estimated.
  • Product owner: This person is the lord of the product backlog. He’s the lone decision maker for priorities in the product backlog but coordinates with all the interest groups to make sure it’s balanced.
  • Sprint: The teams split their work in sprints – which by default have a duration of exactly 30 days. At the start of the sprint the team takes the top n items from the product backlog. How many items they take depends on how much they think they can get done. During the sprint the list of stories must not change anymore and the team should not be asked to do things which have not been specified in the sprint.

If you understand those points you get Scrum. Seriously, don’t try to make more out of it.