Scrum @ Home

2009-03-08 00:12
Scrum has proven to be a suitable toolset for managing software projects: Large, unmanageable tasks are broken up into little pieces that can be easily estimated in terms of complexity or time necessary for implementation. During a fixed amount of time, several of these tasks are implemented. By looking back at previous iterations it is simple to predict exactly how many items can be expected to be ready after the next iteration. Given complexity is estimated it is also easy to evaluate the business value of each item.

If Scrum is a method suitable for managing tasks - Thilo and me asked ourselves: Why not use it to manage tasks such as "Shopping", "Laundry", "Prepare Slides", "Vakuuming"? So we simply tried it out: We set up a whiteboard with the typical Scrum board layout. Each task to do for the upcoming week was noted on a little yellow post it, annotated with a complexity and sticked to the board.

Scrum Board

The funny thing is: The experiment did work out really well. There are a few lessons learned as well:

  • Annotating the complexities helped answering the question "Where the hack did my freetime go to this week?
  • After like three iterations (in our case iteration length is one week) we knew exactly when we had planned for too much and were able to throw out items of lower priority.
  • Making all those tiny little tasks visible suddenly helped in delegating tasks.
  • Having a board with all post its moved to the right does help motivation :)
  • In the meantime we found out it helps to color-code the post-it notes: Tasks are yellow, going out red, meetings with friends blue and so on and so forth. Otherwise it happens all too easy to forget about to relax.


I included a foto of our Scrum board in this blog post. It was taken some time in the middle of the week. Currently, only the fun pieces are left for Sunday :)

Hadoop User Group UK

2009-03-07 23:10
Title: Hadoop User Group UK
Location: London/ Sun Office
Link out: Click here
Date: 2009-04-14


Johan Oskarsson is organising the second Hadoop User Group UK in London in April this year. The schedule is already up:


  • Tom White (Cloudera): Practical MapReduce
  • Michael Stack (Powerset): Apache HBase
  • Isabel Drost (ASF): Introducing Apache Mahout
  • Iadh Ounis and Craig Macdonald (University of Glasgow): Terrier
  • Paolo Castagna (HP): "Having Fun with PageRank and MapReduce"


Tickets are free but limited. So better register soon. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Hadoop User Group UK

2009-03-07 23:10
Title: Hadoop User Group UK
Location: London/ Sun Office
Link out: Click here
Date: 2009-04-14


Johan Oskarsson is organising the second Hadoop User Group UK in London in April this year. The schedule is already up:


  • Tom White (Cloudera): Practical MapReduce
  • Michael Stack (Powerset): Apache HBase
  • Isabel Drost (ASF): Introducing Apache Mahout
  • Iadh Ounis and Craig Macdonald (University of Glasgow): Terrier
  • Paolo Castagna (HP): "Having Fun with PageRank and MapReduce"


Tickets are free but limited. So better register soon. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Hadoop User Group UK

2009-03-07 23:10
Title: Hadoop User Group UK
Location: London/ Sun Office
Link out: Click here
Date: 2009-04-14


Johan Oskarsson is organising the second Hadoop User Group UK in London in April this year. The schedule is already up:


  • Tom White (Cloudera): Practical MapReduce
  • Michael Stack (Powerset): Apache HBase
  • Isabel Drost (ASF): Introducing Apache Mahout
  • Iadh Ounis and Craig Macdonald (University of Glasgow): Terrier
  • Paolo Castagna (HP): "Having Fun with PageRank and MapReduce"


Tickets are free but limited. So better register soon. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Hadoop User Group UK

2009-03-07 23:10
Title: Hadoop User Group UK
Location: London/ Sun Office
Link out: Click here
Date: 2009-04-14


Johan Oskarsson is organising the second Hadoop User Group UK in London in April this year. The schedule is already up:


  • Tom White (Cloudera): Practical MapReduce
  • Michael Stack (Powerset): Apache HBase
  • Isabel Drost (ASF): Introducing Apache Mahout
  • Iadh Ounis and Craig Macdonald (University of Glasgow): Terrier
  • Paolo Castagna (HP): "Having Fun with PageRank and MapReduce"


Tickets are free but limited. So better register soon. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Hadoop User Group UK

2009-03-07 23:10
Title: Hadoop User Group UK
Location: London/ Sun Office
Link out: Click here
Date: 2009-04-14


Johan Oskarsson is organising the second Hadoop User Group UK in London in April this year. The schedule is already up:


  • Tom White (Cloudera): Practical MapReduce
  • Michael Stack (Powerset): Apache HBase
  • Isabel Drost (ASF): Introducing Apache Mahout
  • Iadh Ounis and Craig Macdonald (University of Glasgow): Terrier
  • Paolo Castagna (HP): "Having Fun with PageRank and MapReduce"


Tickets are free but limited. So better register soon. Looking forward to seeing you there.

FSFE Meetup Berlin

2009-03-07 23:07
Title: FSFE Meetup Berlin
Location: newthinking store
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2009-03-12


The FSFE Berlin group is going to meet next Thursday. Topics to discuss at the next Get Together are


  • Document Freedom Day activities.
  • This year is the year of elections in Germany. How do we get the topic of Free Software into the discussion?


Feel free to visit the wiki, drop by and take part in the discussions. After the meetup we will go to some restaurant close by for food and drinks.

Scrum discussions in Berlin

2009-03-07 20:11
As software development cycles become ever shorter more and more companies adopt agile development methods. In many cases companies have switched to using Scrum or are still transitioning from less flexible approaches.

Since last summer Marion Eickmann is organising a Scrum Roundtable in Berlin. The goal is to discuss advantages and problems when introducing and practicing Scrum. But discussions on Scrum itself are also welcome.

Last Tuesday Thilo Fromm gave a presentation on his experiences introducing Scrum in his project. Thilo is project manager and developer at a company developing video surveillance hardware and software. He first gave an overview of the development process traditionally used in the company. Then he described how projects changed over the course of the last few years and how this caused new challenges to software development. Finally Thilo explained the status of implementing Scrum in one of his projects. He finished with (very positive reactions) from various teams in his company.

Slides are available online: Thilo Fromm: Scrum in the Waterfall

The talk was followed by very interesting discussions on this exact implementation of Scrum as well as experiences of other participants using Scrum for their projects. Discussions were accompanied by really great italian food.

The next roundtable will be announced on the blog of Agile42.

March 2009 Hadoop Get Together Berlin

2009-03-07 19:50
Since last summer, newthinking store Berlin is hosting a Hadoop Meetup every quarter of the year. The scope of these user group meetings is not only on Hadoop projects but deals with technologies necessary with storing, processing and searching large amounts of data.

The meeting last Thursday featured a talk by Lars George on his experiences using HBase in customer projects as early as in 2007. His talk discussed his requirements for a distributed database. He then explained the basics of HBase and described his experiences using the software for customer projects. Bottom line for me is that although in a very early stage the project does provide a lot of value: Instead of re-implementing your own solution it is possible to benefit from the efforts of others. One thing I consider especially remarkable is the effort of the HBase community helping users in case they run into problems.

The second talk was from Jan Lehnardt on CouchDB. Jan explained the main design goals of the system. He detailed the architecture of CouchDB. Then he explained how Erlang made it possible to reach the goals in comparably short time.

The slides of the talks are both available online:

Lars George: HBase

Jan Lehnardt: CouchDB

The talks were followed by several questions and interesting discussions (with some beer in the Keyser Soze close by).

The next Get Together will be held in June 2009. Looking forward to see you in Berlin by then.

About

2009-03-04 08:55
This is the blog of Isabel. I am committer at Apache Mahout. In my free time I am working on Apache Mahout, organising the Apache Hadoop Get Together in Berlin and speaking at various conferences explaining the ins and outs of Hadoop in general and Mahout in particular.

Disclaimer: I am writing this blog with my “Apache hat” on my head. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer’s view in any way. Except when explicitly stated otherwise activities and events described are not related to my daytime job.