I’ve seen a serious uptick in new web publishing projects, over the last 6 months. I think a lot of web developers are pretty unsatisfied with the current approach to the creating content on the web. Stuff like Wordpress, Drupal, Tumblr, Movable Type, etc, all have there pain points, shortcomings, and serious baggage.
So… we enter a “old but new” wave of how to publish to the web. Albeit, the new shiny platforms are built for developers, but keep an eye out for Jekyll-inspired static site platforms like Harp, Roots, Punch, DocPad & Wintersmith because they could be a strong indicator of what’s coming down the pike.
I’ve worked on a few Agile\Scrum projects since 2006 and just wanted to share some notes that I think might be helpful.
The Project roadmap
A roadmap is a high-level plan that describes how the product is likely to grow. The Artifacts (below) of the roadmap are not deliverables, since they have no value to the customer. It is key, that the roadmap be owned by the entire team. Therefore, everyone should contribute to creating and modifying these artifacts.
- User Story: a way to describe a piece of functionality that an end-user wants.
- Epic: A large story that most likely be broken down into multiple stories later on.
- Theme: simply a collection of user stories. However, user stories may belong to multiple themes.
- Spike: A technical issue that needs to be figured out or experimented with before tackling an Epic, Story, or Theme.
Planning meetings (every 2 or 3 iterations)
- Talk about MMFs (minimal marketable features)
- Prioritize into Themes & Epics
- Retrospectives: The team shares what has worked well and was hasn’t. The good, the bad & the ugly
Iteration meetings (weekly or bi-weekly)
- Re-evaluate the top priority items. This is the team’s chance to adjust direction.
- Create the user story drafts (as a team)
- Estimate user stories (difficulty scoring: 1-5)
The most important part is to continuously make adjustments until a process works well for the team. These terms and practices really just serve as an agreed upon language for the team. Which helps foster efficient communication for the team and also other stakeholders.
As you may know, N3rd Street (in Old City, Philly) is a pretty attractive place for a budding developer/technologist. The surrounding area is also a pretty great place to live.
However, anyone that doesn’t have access to the area (like an Aussi I met at a conference in NY) will probably never realize such a place exists, even if I told them “you should consider Philly”.
So…I think there’s more that could be done (in an authentic way) to leverage this community as a way to introduce hackers, designers and tech people to Philadelphia.
While there are some great resources like WeWorkInPhilly.com, Technical.ly/philly, & n3rd.st I’m not sure they’re focused enough to convince a recent grad in Iowa or Florida to give Philly a serious look. I think IndyHall is probably doing the best job advocating the area, but co-working is not an attractive option for everyone, especially if they are looking to relocate.
I’m no expert when it comes to recruitment, community or even marketing, but I see this as an opportunity to help Philly advocates (like me) to spread a compelling story and introduce more talent to the area. Plus, many startups seems to be experiencing this recruitment problem in Philly.
Would love your feedback or if I missed any big efforts on this topic. Thanks.
This is a guest post from Valeri Karpov, a MongoDB Hacker and co-founder of the Ascot Project.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me for help with PostgreSQL. As someone who’s been blissfully SQL-free for a year, I was quite curious to find out why he wasn’t just using MongoDB instead. It turns out that he thinks MongoDB is too difficult to use for a quick weekend hack, and this couldn’t be farther from the truth. I just finished my second 24 hour hackathon using Mongo and NodeJS (the FinTech Hackathon cosponsored by 10gen) and can confidently say that there is no reason to use anything else for your next hackathon or REST API hack.