All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG and RPGnow. Bring these games to your table!
Welcome to part five of our series, processing the results of the Amazee Agile Agency Survey. Previously I wrote about forming discovery and planning. This time let’s focus on team communication and process.Josef Dabernig Fri, 12/08/2017 - 15:51 Team Communication
When it comes to ways how to communicate, the ones that got selected with the highest rating of “mostly practised” where “Written communication in tickets”, “Written communication via (i.e. Slack)” as well as “Group meetings for the entire team”. The options that most often got selected as “Not practised” where “Written communication in blog or wiki” and “Written communication in pull requests”.
For us at Amazee Labs Zurich, a variety of communication channels is essential. Regular 1-on-1 meetings between managers and their employees allow us to continuously talk about what’s important to either side and work on improvements. We communicate a lot via Slack where we have various team channels, channels together with clients related to projects, channels for work-related topics or just channels to talk about fun stuff. Each morning, we start with a short team stand-up for the entire company where we check in with each other, and that’s followed by a more in-depth standup for the Scrum teams where we talk about “What has been done, What will be done and What’s blocking us”. Written communication happens between the team and customers in Jira tickets. As part of our 4-eyes-principle peer review process, we also give feedback on code within pull requests that are used to ensure the quality of the code and train each other.Process
We talked about iteration length in part 1 of this series. Now let’s look into how much time we spend on which things.
According to the survey, the majority of standups take 15 minutes, followed by 5 minutes and 10 minutes with a few ones taking up to 30 minutes.
This also reflects ours: we take 10 minutes for the company-wide stand up amongst 24 team members and another 15 minutes for the Scrum Team specific stand-ups.
For the review-phase, teams equally often selected 2 hours and 1 hour as the top-rated option followed closely by 30 minutes. 4 hours has been chosen by a few other teams, and the last one would be one day. For the retrospectives, the top-rated option was 30 minutes, followed by 1 hour. Much fewer teams take 2 hours or even up to 4 hours for the retrospective. For planning, we saw the most significant gap regarding top rated options: 30 minutes is followed by 4 hours and then 2 hours and 1 hours were selected.
In the teams I work with, we usually spend half a day doing sprint review, retrospective and planning altogether. Our reviews typically take 45 minutes, the retrospective about 1.5 hours and the planning another 30 minutes. We currently don’t do these meetings together with customers because the Scrum teams are stable teams that usually work for multiple customers. Instead, we do demos along with the clients individually outside of these meetings. Also, our plannings are quite fast because the team split up stories already in part of grooming sessions beforehand and we only estimate smaller tasks that don’t get split up later on as usually done in sprint planning 2.
When looking at how much time is being spent on Client work (billable, unbillable) and Internal work we got a good variety of results. The top-rated option for “Client work (billable)” was 50-75%, “Client work (unbillable)” was usually rated below 10% and “Internal work” defaulted to 10-25%. Our internal statistics match these options that have been voted by the industry most often.
I also asked about what is most important to you and your team when it comes to scheduling time? Providing value while keeping our tech debt in a reasonable place has been mentioned which is also true for us. Over the last year, we started introducing our global maintenance team which puts a dedicated focus on maintaining existing sites and keeping customer satisfaction high. By using a Kanban-approach there, we can prioritise timely critical bugs fixes when they are needed and work on maintenance-related tasks such as module updates in a coordinated way. We found it particularly helpful that the Scrum-teams are well connected with the maintenance-team to provide know-how transfer and domain-knowledge where needed.
Another one mentioned, “We still need a good time tracker.” At Amazee we bill by the hour that we work so accurate time tracking is a must. We do so by using Tempo Timesheets for Jira combined with the Toggl app.
How do you communicate and what processes do you follow? Please leave us a comment below. If you are interested in Agile Scrum training, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Stay tuned for the next post where we’ll look at defining work.
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Over 8 years have passed since there was a DrupalCamp in tropical Nicaragua. With the help of a diverse group of volunteers, sponsors, and university faculty staff, we held our second one. DrupalCamp Lagos y Volcanes ("Lakes & Volcanoes") was a great success with over 100 people attending in 2 days. It was a big undertaking so we followed giants' footsteps to prepare for our event. Lots of the ideas were taken from some of the organizers' experience while attending Drupal events. Others came from local free software communities who have organized events before us. Let me share what we did, how we did it, and what the results were.Diversity
In line with DrupalCon, we used the "Big Eight" social identifiers to define diversity and encourage everyone to have a chance to present. Among other statistics, we are pleased that 15% of the sessions and 33% of the trainings were presented by women. We would have liked higher percentages, but it was a good first step. Another related fact is that no speaker presented more than one session. We had the opportunity to learn from people with different backgrounds and expertise.
BADCamp, Drupal's largest event outside of DrupalCons, is truly an inspiration when it comes to making affordable events. They are free! We got close. For $1 attendees had access to all the sessions and trainings, lunch both days, a t-shirt, and unlimited swag while supplies lasted. Of course, they also had the networking opportunities that are always present at Drupal events. Even though the camp was almost free, we wanted to give all interested people a chance to come and learn so we provided scholarships to many attendees.
The camp offered four types of scholarships:
- Ticket cost: we would waive the $1 entry fee.
- Transportation: we would cover any expense for someone to come from any part of the country.
- Lodging: we would provide a room for people to stay overnight if they would come from afar.
- Food: we would pay for meals during the two days of the camp.
About 40% of the people who attended did not pay the entry fee. We also had people traveling from differents parts of the country. Some stayed over. Others travelled back and forth each day. Everyone who requested a scholarship received it. It felt good to provide this type of opportunities and recipients were grateful for it.
As you can imagine, events like these need funding and we are extremely grateful to our sponsors:
- Agaric provided money to cover expenses. They also gave me two full weeks off to focus on camp organization.
- MTech provided money to cover expenses. They also helped with the camp organization and sent speakers to present sessions and trainings.
- The Drupal Association awarded us a Community Cultivation Grant. That money was used directly to fund scholarships and lower the ticket price to $1. If you are not a Drupal Association member yet, please consider joining to support their work.
- Universidad Centroamericana provided the venue and Internet connection at no cost. This was a huge saving! They also helped promote the event among their students.
- Buildamodule.com and Drupalize.me provided free (educational) memberships to give away at the event.
These are people who attended from afar. Some were scholarship recipients. Others got educational memberships.
Although we worked hard to make it possible for interested people to attend, we knew that some would not be able to make it. In fact, having sessions recorded would make it possible for anyone who understands Spanish to benefit from what was presented at the camp.
We used Kevin Thull’s recommended kit to record sessions. My colleague Micky Metts donated the equipment and I did the recording. I had the opportunity to be at some camps that Kevin recorded this year and he was very kind in teaching me how to use the equipment. Unfortunately, the audio is not clear in some sessions and I completely lost one. I have learned from the mistakes and next time it should be better. Check out the camp playlist in Drupal Nicaragua’s YouTube channel for the recordings.
Thank you Kevin. It was through session recordings that I improved my skills when I could not afford to travel to events. I’m sure I am not the only one. Your contributions to the Drupal community are invaluable!
Lucas Hedding lead a sprint on Saturday morning. Most sprinters were people who had never worked with Drupal before the camp. They learned how to contribute to Drupal and worked on a few patches. One pleasant surprise was when Lucas went on stage with one of the sprinters and proceeded with the live commit ceremony. I was overjoyed that even with a short sprint an attendee’s contribution was committed. Congrats to Jorge Morales for getting a patch committed on his first sprint! And thanks to Holger Lopez, Edys Meza, and Lucas Hedding for mentoring and working on the patch.
Northern Lights DrupalCamp decided to change the (physical) swag for experiences. What we lived was epic! For our camp, we went for a low cost swag. The only thing we had to pay for was t-shirts. Other local communities recommended us to have them and so we did. The rest was a buffet of the things I have collected since my first DrupalCon, Austin 2014: stickers, pins, temporary tattoos. It was funny trying to explain where I had collected each item. I could not remember them all, but it was nice to bring back those memories. We also had hand sanitizer and notebooks provided by local communities. Can you spot your organization/camp/module/theme logo on our swag table?
We were very lucky to have the support of different local communities. We learned a lot from their experiences organizing events. They also sent an army of volunteers and took the microphone to present on different subjects. A special thank you to the WordPress Nicaragua community who helped us immensely before, during, and after the event. It showed that when communities work together, we make a bigger impact.
Two weeks after the camp, we held two Global Training Days workshops. More than 20 people attended. I felt honored when some attendees shared that they had travelled from distant places to participate. One person travelled almost 8 hours. But more than distance, it was their enthusiasm and engagement during the workshops that inspired us. The last month has been very exhausting, but the local community is thrilled with the result.
The community has come a long way since I got involved in 2011. We have had highs and lows. Since Lucas and myself kickstarted the Global Training Days workshops in 2014 we have seen more interest in Drupal. By the way, this edition marked our third anniversary facilitating the workshop! But despite all efforts, people would not stay engaged for long after initially interacting with the community. Things have changed.
In the last year interest in Drupal has increased. We have organized more events and more people have attended. Universities and other organizations are approaching us requesting trainings. And what makes me smile most… the number of volunteers is at its all-time peak. In the last month alone, the number of volunteers have almost doubled. The DrupalCamp and the Global Training Days workshops contributed a lot to this.
We recognize that the job is far from complete and we already have plans for 2018. One of the things that we need to do is find job opportunities. Even if people enjoy working with Drupal they need to make a living. If you are an organization looking for talent consider Nicaragua. We have very great developers. Feel free to contact me to put you in contact with them.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to Felix Delattre. He started the Drupal community in Nicaragua almost a decade ago. He was my mentor. He gave me my first Drupal gig. At a time when there was virtually no demand for Drupal talent in my country, that project helped me realize that I could make a living working with Drupal. But most importantly, Felix taught me the value of participating in the community. I remember creating my drupal.org account after he suggested it in a local meetup.
His efforts had a profound effect on the lives of many, even beyond the borders of my country or those of a single project. Felix was instrumental in the development of local communities across Central and South America. He also started the OpenStreetMap (OSM) community in Nicaragua. I still find it impressive how OSM Nicaragua have mapped so many places and routes. In some cities, their maps are more accurate and complete than those of large Internet corporations. Thank you Felix for all you did for us!We hope to have you in 2018!
The land of lakes and volcanoes awaits you next year. Nicaragua has a lot to offer and a DrupalCamp can be the perfect excuse to visit. ;-) Active volcanoes, beaches to surf, forests rich in flora and fauna are some of the charms of this tropical paradise.
Let’s focus on volcanoes for a moment. Check out this website for a sneak peek into one of our active volcanoes. That is Masaya, where you can walk to the border of the crater and see the flow of lava. Active volcanoes, dormant volcanoes, volcanoes around a lake, volcanoes in the middle of a lake, lagoons on top of volcanoes, volcanoes where you can “surf” down the slope... you name it, we have it.
We would love to have you in 2018!
In this album there will be more photos of the event.
This modules allows a two-steps login by first asking for a username or a mail address then a password if a match is found in Drupal DB or any configured LDAP.
Provides a baseline set of configuration for using core Media module and Colorbox to create a media gallery.
Designed to be enabled so you get the goodness of default configuration, and then removed as you don't need it hanging around - the configuration will stay with your site.
If you need an open-source solution for hosting and managing Drupal sites, there's only one option: the Aegir Hosting System. While it's possible to find a company that will host Drupal sites for you, Aegir helps you maintain control whether you want to use your own infrastructure or manage your own software-as-a-service (SaaS) product. Plus, you get all the benefits of open source.
Aegir turns ten (10) today. The first commit occurred on December 7th, 2007. We've actually produced a timeline including all major historical events. While Aegir had a slow uptake (the usability wasn't great in the early days), it's now being used by all kinds of organizations, including NASA.
I got involved in the project a couple of years ago, when I needed a hosting solution for a project I was working on. I started by improving the documentation, working on contributed modules, and then eventually the core system. I've been using it ever since for all of my SaaS projects, and have been taking the lead on Drupal 8 e-commerce integration. I became a core maintainer of the project about a year and a half ago.
So what's new with the project? We've got several initiatives on the go. While Aegir 3 is stable and usable now (Download it!), we've started moving away from Drush, which traditionally handles the heavy lifting (see Provision: Drupal 8.4 support for details), and into a couple of different directions. We've got an Aegir 4 branch based on Symfony, which is also included in Drupal core. This is intended to be a medium-term solution until Aegir 5 (codenamed AegirNG), a complete rewrite for hosting any application, is ready. Neither of these initiatives are stable yet, but development is on-going. Feel free to peruse the AegirNG architecture document, which is publicly available.
Please watch this space for future articles on the subject. I plan on writing about the following Aegir-related topics:
- Managing your development workflow across Aegir environments
- Automatic HTTPS-enabled sites with Aegir
- Remote site management with Aegir Services
- Preventing clients from changing Aegir site configurations
Happy Birthday Aegir! It's been a great ten years.
This article, Aegir: Your open-source hosting platform for Drupal sites, appeared first on the Colan Schwartz Consulting Services blog.
Amazon Polly is a service that turns text into lifelike speech, allowing you to create applications that talk, and build entirely new categories of speech-enabled products. Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service that uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesize speech that sounds like a human voice.
- Extract this module into your modules folder.
- Flush the Cache.
- Enable the Time Range module.
- Create a Date Range field, select Day and time range as field type.
- To select Time range, go to your content type's form display settings and select Time Range
Ever wanted to keep the interface language the same, even when you are translating content to a different language? Maybe you don't speak the language yourself, and just got the translations sent to you somehow? Here is the module that fixes it for you.
It will alter the links to content translations, so you can keep your current language even when editing content in different languages.
This module provides a Drupal Commerce payment method to embed the payment services provided by LiqPay.
A ready solution for accepting payment on your website.
✓ Acceptance of payments using LiqPay payment system;
✓ Tracking payment;
✓ Changes in the status of payment and the creation of a waybill;
✓ Support of test mode.
Workbench Reviewer is a module to allow for content editors to assign individual pieces of content to other users for review. It extends from the Workbench and Workbench Moderation modules. Using additional modules like Workbench Moderation or Workbench Email allows for custom workflows to be implemented.
A new "Workflow" section is added to the right-hand set of tools when editing nodes. This module provides an entity reference field where a user may be tagged as a reviewer.
Ten years ago today Adrian Rossouw committed the first code for the Aegir project. ComputerMinds have been involved in Aegir for many of those years, particularly one of our senior developers: Steven Jones. We asked him some questions about it to mark the occasion.