Using Story Points in Agile

There are two possible ways to use story points in Agile. One is toxic, demoralizing, and will probably drive your developers to look for employment elsewhere, while the other is mildly helpful, which is about all you can hope for from story points in Agile.

Can you tell which is which?

Approach 1

“This [story / issue / ticket / whatever] was estimated as only 2 points (about one day’s worth of work) but it took a whole week to complete!

“Why did it take so long?!”

Approach 2

“We estimated this [story / issue / ticket / whatever] as being 2 points (about one day’s worth of work) but it ended up taking an entire week.

“What did we miss in estimating that could have told us that this task was more than 2 points worth of work? How can we improve our process?”

Responding to “Beware of ‘service objects’ in Rails”

I recently stumbled across Jason Swett’s “Beware of ‘service objects’ in Rails” blog post. While I appreciate the perspective, I think it gets a number of things wrong. I replied to this post in a comment, but wanted to post my thoughts here as well in the hopes of encouraging more dialog about this important topic.

If so inclined, please feel free to comment below with your take on this subject.

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Best Practice: Use Long-Format Flags in Shell Scripts

When working on the command line, it’s perfectly fine to use short-format flags. For example:

$ ls -al

This is memorable, easy to type, and helps you focus on accomplishing the task at hand.

However, when writing shell scripts that will be used over and over, it’s tempting to write in the same, comfortable short-flag style. However, compare the following:

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