Posts

  • RPG Character Tokens

    I recently started playing Dungeons & Dragons again (after not playing since I was in high school). I’m DM-ing a game for my son, Jacob, and a few other folks. We’re playing 4th Edition, which relies heavily on a battle grid and character tokens to represent combat encounters. In order to save money and hassle, I wanted an alternative to searching for and buying the correct miniatures for each encounter.

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  • Capybara, Selenium and Firefox 3.5

    I banged my head against this one while setting up our CI build for a new project at work and just now figured it out. I added an example integration spec that just visits the default Rails homepage, clicks the “About your application’s environment” link, and verifies the Rails version. This link uses an AJAX action to load the environment details, so I marked it as a JavaScript test, which would cause it to use Capybara’s Selenium driver.

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  • Apprenticeship Program at Renewable Funding - Thoughts?

    The Renewable Funding technology team is moving into some new office space in a few months, and now that we’ll have our own space, I’d like to start up a variation on an apprenticeship program at work. I’m still in the early stages of designing this, and I want to gather some input from the community before deciding how we might run the program.

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  • Production Release Workflow with Git

    After growing the ProjectDX team from three to eight software developers, our release process was a complete pain, and it typically took two to three hours to get a good build on the production branch (and even then some insidious issues would sneak through). By making a few changes to our development and acceptance process, we were able to turn it into a five-minute, low-stress job.

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  • What it Really Means to be "Agile"

    Yesterday, Elizabeth Hendrickson posted her Agile Acid Test in which she asks three questions to determine whether or not a team is truly “agile”. There is also the Agile Manifesto which describes the values that an agile team should adhere to. While there is nothing that I disagree with in either Elizabeth’s post or the Agile Manifesto, there are two simpler questions you can ask that get to the heart of whether or not your team is agile: Can you react immediately and without panic when external constraints on your project are changed, and does your team regularly and frequently review its processes to ensure the answer to the previous question is always “yes”?

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  • New Job (Sort Of)

    The big news in my life right now is that the company I work for just went through a merger, so TSSI is no more, and ProjectDX is now part of Renewable Funding. I decided to accept the offer presented by the new owners–and it came with a bit of a promotion–so I am now Software Development Manager and responsible for guiding and growing the Portland development team.

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  • Retrospective Facilitation

    I facilitated my second release retrospective with the ProjectDX team yesterday. The first, back in October, went well enough given that I was asked to facilitate at the start of the retrospective and had no time to prepare; but yesterday’s retrospective went great since I knew ahead of time that I would be facilitating.

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