Category Archives: Essay Competition 2011

And the winner is...

What was supposed to be a nice and peaceful week turned out to be a thriller as we needed to rank the essay competition entries. Just before our self-inflicted deadline today, and with great difficulty, we came to our decision.  Without further ado, the winners are:

  1. Lisa Crispin, It's not testing
  2. Laurent Bossavit, Allofness of Realtiy
  3. amv71amv71, Becoming More Agile

The essays were judged on their style, readability and content.  A panel judged the essays independently and the results were collated.  There was variance across the judging with all entries on the short-list being one of the judge’s favourite or second favourite.  We pushed all the results into the magic spreadsheet and that’s how we came to our final judgment.

We hope you all enjoyed the competition as much as we did.  And we hope we inspired some people to realise there is more to writing than top-five blogs.

This competition couldn’t have been organised without the help of our sponsor uglyDuckling.nl.  Please click on the link or, if you need your organisation transforming, give them a call.

We’ll be running another competition in the new year and we hope to have bigger prizes and more entrants!  If you didn't win this time, you might win next.  And we are always looking for ways to improve, so please drop us a line with any suggestions.

Thanks, Jamie and Jorrit.

Creative Business


This is the final essay from our short-list of entries to our essay competition. 
The winners will be announced tomorrow (16 September 2011). Without further ado here is Banjo Tope Elvis story of Creative Business.

Creative Business

Creative business is the concept that absorbs theories that aid the creation of either new and non-existing businesses or is the creation of business activity or ventures with limited or available resources. The underly of business is revealed by its reasons for formation which is for profiteering or otherwise; the former being the most popular reason.

Creative business, as a patent discipline of mine, I choose to strictly define as creating business activity or venture with limited or available resources and this should ultimately lead to a new business. The idea of creativity in business is stressed by the ability to establish a business that has concepts, goals and achievements that are entirely new to whatever industry the business is classified under. The idea of creativity endows a status of monopolist on the founder and this in the long run secures the constancy of profiteering so business economical, so business expansive and so business acumenal. Continue reading

10 years of Agile


One of the last essays from our shoart-list of entries to our essay competition. 
The winners will be announced tomorrow (16 September 2011). Without further ado here is Angeline Tan's story of 10 years of Agile.

10 years of Agile: Still more of the same

Some months ago I blogged the top ten list on how to spot a rogue Agile Silverback.  The feedback was varied with many questioning what I was hoping for to come out from my blog post. Some friends were worried about my standing in the Agile community as my describing the behaviors of some Agile Silverbacks who were also signatories of the Agile Manifesto was considered to be bridge burning and professional suicide.

My goal is simple. I want to share my sentiments that there is not need to put up with and condone bad behavior and for a community to be vibrant there has to be accountability by its thought leaders. Agile is not a cult, Agile is a way of work and a way of life. It is all about continuous improvement and integration. So, does Agile walk the walk and talk the talk? My contention is no. Continue reading

The Aloofness of Reality


Here another great essay from our short-list of entries to our essay competition. The winners will be announced tomorrow (16 September 2011). Here Laurent Bossavit essay "The Aloofness of Reality".

The Aloofness of Reality, or: why you should be reading a lot more research papers

Do you think of yourself as an engineer? If you do, what does that mean to you?

My area of expertise is software development. You may or may not think of yourself as a "software engineer" - even if you don't, as a reader of this essay, it's very likely that you work with people who do think of themselves as engineers, so that question may be worth pondering for a moment.

Many people have no trouble thinking of themselves as software professionals. In lieu of a definition we can remember the quip, "a professional programmer is an amateur who never quit", by analogy with writers. But there is a growing sense of unease, among at least a subset of these professionals, with the denomination "software engineer". Witness - whether you approve of them or not - the popularity of "software craftsmanship" movements. (Or more generally of the Agile movement - of which, fear not, I will not be speaking much in this article.)

Continue reading

Essay on financial applications


Here another great essay from our short-list of entries to our essay competition.  All week we will be releasing an essay with the winners finally announced at the end of the week (16 September 2011). Here Orlando Méndez essay on financial applications.

Essay on financial applications

Abstract

In the exercise of my profession, I have mainly worked developing software for financial (decision making) purposes. Six projects at least I can remember. Some for public institutions, some for profit-seeking companies. Regardless of the technology used, these systems were aimed to solve particular problems related to money and time, which is an inevitable dichotomy. Interestingly, two of these projects were canceled during the transition from development to deployment, due to non strictly speaking technical issues. The other four where perhaps successfully deployed and maintained after I left these. Development teams ranged from me and the project leader, to a dozen or so developers. Mostly non-trivial systems, regarding their magnitude. In this essay I argue that (development of) financial applications are as predictable as world-wide economy: seems that works for everybody, but not quite always. Continue reading

It’s Not Testing


Here is the third essay from our short-list of entries to our essay competition.  All week we will be releasing an essay with the winners finally announced at the end of the week (16 September 2011).  So here is Lisa Crispins essay "It’s Not Testing, It’s Not Coding, It’s Software Development".

It’s Not Testing, It’s Not Coding, It’s Software Development: A Rant About Why The Whole-Team Approach Rules

Like so many people I know in software development, I started my software career by accident. By virtue of acing a “programmer aptitude test” and having an MBA, I was offered a programmer trainee position with the University of Texas Data Processing Division. The managers there had a brilliant concept: hire subject matter experts with little or no programming experience, and train them all to write code exactly the same way. The truth is, it’s hard to teach untrained people accounting, finance, or library science. But it’s easy to teach people with those skills to write code. We could and did easily work on each other’s code - collective code ownership!

Continue reading

Becoming More Agile


This is the second essay by amv71amv71 from our short-list of entries to our essay competition.  All week we will be releasing an essay with the winners finally announced at the end of the week (16 September 2011).  
 

Becoming More Agile

This essay describes my own experiences from adopting an agile framework (specifically, scrum). It describes the problems that my team and I encountered during our first scrum project (referred to as “Glacier”) and how we have adapted to improve our approach during our second scrum project (referred to as “Forest”). It’s aimed more at developers but may be of interest to anyone practising scrum. Continue reading

How Meggie The Rabbit Changed My Life


This is the first essay from our short-list of entries to our essay competition.  All week we will be releasing an essay with the winners finally announced at the end of the week (16 September 2011).  So here is Chris Matts story of Meggie and Real Options.

 

How Meggie The Rabbit Changed My Life

On the first day of school after the summer holiday we were always tasked to write an essay about our holidays. We came up with titles like "My summer holiday" or "My trip to Disneyland" or "A week at the seaside".  Of course, we wanted to write stories that mattered "How my family saved the world" or "My fight against crime". This is my chance to write that essay and its called "How Mystic Meg the Bunny changed my world". Continue reading

Essay Competition September 2011 Closed

It has been an exiting month, writing, rephrasing and finally submitting a piece for the Essay Competition before the 9th of September deadline. Now the deadline has come it is time to relax and enjoy the great work that has been submitted. Between now and next week, the 16th of September, the short-list, the top five essays, will be posted to the site. We hope you enjoy the results as much as we have. Continue reading

Financial Agile's First Essay Competition

Financial Agile, with the kind support of its sponsor, Ugly Duckling, are running their first ever essay writing competition.  It is our aim to help promote, and reward, technical writing.  In the agile community we speak of quality in everything we do, yet we are so busy building great teams and great software that our writing suffers!

We are looking for participants to enter an essay of 2,000 words, give or take 200 words.  The subject can be anything to do with financial or software engineering.  We will accept technical entries that include source code; we will accept philosophical entries that deal with technique or engineering’s place in society.  We will accept critiques, too.  We care only about the quality of the writing. Continue reading