Setting up your dev environment

November 20, 2013

These days most start-ups / engineering teams are using the same dev setup, even if they are using different technologies in their stack.

This is a useful list to keep so you don’t end up diddling around instead of blasting through your setup like you should.

Here is what I usually set up when I get a new machine (I work mostly on Mac OS X but sometimes I work on Ubuntu):

1. Homebrew (first things first!)

Along with this you’ll need XCode or Command Line Tools.

2. Git (brew install git, see, it’s already useful)

Link your Github account to your new machine.

3. Numpy, Scipy, Matplotlib

4. Postgres / MySQL

5. Whatever else you need that is specific to your team / role.

It’s a short list but don’t be fooled, this will take you at least a couple hours.

#dev environment #git #github #homebrew #mac #office #work

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How to not do Agile

November 7, 2013

Part of “agile methodology” is having what we call “sprints”.

Essentially they are 2-week (that could vary depending on your team) blocks of time where specific items will get done.

It makes planning somewhat manageable because you’ll estimate how much time each item will take to complete, and every sprint you’ll have a “velocity” for how much stuff you got done.

So based on how much you’ve been able to get done during a sprint in the past, and the amount of time you’ve estimated for your current items, you can predict what and how much you’ll get done during the coming sprint.

That’s the summary, but here’s my issue with sprints.

Sprints come with meetings, and meetings are mostly useless.

List of meetings we might have:

  1. Sprint planning. This meeting, and only this meeting, is really necessary. This is where you determine what was completed during the last sprint and what you can put into the new sprint.
  2. Sprint review. This is a bullshit meeting. You spend upwards of an hour talking about things you might improve, or acknowledge things that are currently going well. Mostly we just sit there and force ourselves to say something. You’d be better off not having this meeting. If something really needs to be brought up, send an email.
  3. Mid-sprint review. Now you’re just pushing it.
  4. Backlog review. So you’re wondering about the status of a few items. How about talking to the person who’s working on those items instead of making all of us go to another one of your meetings?
#agile #sprint review #sprints #startups

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