Xebee Goes Live

It started when Saket walked in to my room about a year ago with a proposal to setup a blog where all people from Xebia India can blog. I asked Saket to find right tools to build such blog and find contributors who will publish contents regularly. I thought that setting up a blog was easy but keeping it up-to-date was hard. Blogging is about publishing content rapidly, so less than a regular flow of content would mean losing readers.

Even in the small organisation like us things move at a slower pace so the idea of having a blog disappeared like many other great ideas our team comes up with every week, because implementing an idea is hard. Recently Narinder, Vikas and Sandeep showed renewed interest in setting up a blog site for Xebia India. So quickly a word press theme was developed and a technical infrastructure is created to host the blog site. Read more →

Software Product Business is not about Software Development

Recently, a leading IT weekly, in the Netherlands, Computable, reported that the software product industry is an important source of innovation in Europe. The same article reported that the European software product industry in under pressure from American product vendors. Each decade brings new challenges for various Industry sectors, for example in 70’s the invasion of Japanese car makers in the western markets and the push of Korean and Taiwanese consumer electronic products in 90’s. A great deal of innovation in software business is driven by small and mid-size companies, who either know what customer wants or found a way to rapidly discover what customer wants.

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Web 2.0 Expo 2009 San Francisco

San Francisco 31 March - 3 April: Web 2.0 Expo brought together people with diverse professional backgrounds, having interest in Web 2.0, at Mascone Centre in San Francisco. San Francisco Bay Area, also known as Silicon Valley boasts of high concentration of information technology companies of all sizes ranging from biggies like Intel Corporation to numerous start ups trying to make it big.
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Information Store is not same as Information Radiator

“An information radiator is a large display of critical team information that is continuously updated and located in a spot where the team can see it constantly.”

Source: Agile Advice

Agile project rooms should be organized in such a way that when you walk inside by looking at few charts you should be able to know how a project is going. Alistair Cockburn has called these charts information radiators. By the use of word radiator, Alistair means that your information display should be simple enough to be understood without requiring special skills in data interpretation. Information radiators should be updated several times a day.
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11 Tips to Kick Start Distributed Agile Offshore Projects for Success

You have opportunity to work on an Agile Offshore project. It simply means now your project can be delivered faster and cheaper if you get it right. I would like to share some tips with you that have helped Distribute Agile Offshore projects become successful:

Before I write about 11 tips to make a Distributed Agile project successful, I would like to start with Tip #0.

Tip #0: You should have technically bright people in the team. This is a prerequisite to make a Distributed Agile Offshore project successful. My other tips will not make technically dull programmers deliver a successful project.
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11 tips that will ensure early death of a Distributed Agile Project

You never believed in it. You wondered if it could ever have worked for anybody in past two decades. However, it has arrived. You are going to work Agile and worst still Distributed Agile Offshore. You were skeptical about this right from the beginning when it started in your company but no one would listen to you.

Here are 11 tips that will ensure early death of a Distributed Agile project:
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Star Performers and Commodity Developers

An article by the management guru, Peter F. Drucker, published in Harvard Business Review in 1988 had clues to what new organizations may look like after 20 years. He talked about the end of departmental boundaries and emergence of cross functional teams to perform a task. He warned about the disappearance of the whole layers of management whose main function is to serve as relays. In year 2008 we can see that the middle management has not disappeared. In typical IT services companies it goes by various names such as resource managers, people managers or business unit managers. However Peter F. Drucker would be proven right perhaps one or two decades later because IBM is working on a new project that will automate the management of its IT staff as the Business Week reports in an article on a book titled The Numerati by Stephen Baker.
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IBM Rational Software Developer Conference 2008 in New Delhi

You can’t complain about the venue of IBM Rational Software Developer Conference 2008 because it takes place at one of the oldest luxury landmark of New Delhi known as Hyatt Regency at Bhikaji Cama Place. Wizcraft, a company better known for organizing star studded Bollywood award ceremonies, add a glamour to this themed event around comic strip hero’s. Radio Mirchi and others air radio commercials to advertise the event among their young and upwardly mobile audience which includes thousands of software professionals and users of IBM products in NCR.

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Lean Gurus Mary and Tom Poppendieck at Xebia India

On 6th July 2008 we had opportunity to welcome Mary and Tom Poppendieck at the Xebia office in Gurgaon, in their last leg of India tour, in which they organized workshops on Lean Software Development. Mary, an Engineer, started her career at 3M, as a junior engineer, described how she was mentored by seniors to learn and perform. It was very easy for me to relate the 3M case study at ISB with the actual experience of Mary at 3M. A key point for me to notice was that at 3M the business managers kept two best engineers without any project assignments so they would be available to help juniors.

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Agile need not deliver business value early

Agile methodologies are gaining higher acceptance in the software development community day by day. Agile methodologies show their superiority over waterfall methodologies of software development but in the excitement of having found a better way to develop software, Agilists have started emphasizing that the Agile Methodologies can deliver business value early. The promise of early business value delivery, though a very seducing argument in the favor of Agile, needlessly burdens the software development teams to deliver something that they were never trained for. Using early business value delivery argument in the sales process, you can create an expectation so that the software development team's performance will be measured by the business value they deliver with their software. Agile methodologies or any other software development methodology, for that matter would play a marginal or insignificant role in the early delivery of business value. Agile Methodologies should not be advertised as a new faster way to business value delivery with software.
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