July 11 – Recommended Reading

July 11, 2011

It has been a while since my last Recommended Reading due in large part to the two conferences in June – Atlassian Summit and Agile Australia. There is another great conference coming up early in August – Agile 2011. Apologies if I am quiet until I return from Salt Lake City in mid-August.

F*ck the process, embrace the team! – Ricki Sickenger, July 2011

In this article Ricki argues against all of the agile mumbo jumbo and puts it plainly – if you have a great team you will deliver. Hard to argue. We chop and change things in the GreenHopper team all the time. We do this to get a feel for what our customers are trying, experiencing, succeeding and failing at.

We do this as we build a tool for agile teams. “Oh no!” I hear you scream, “isn’t that what Ricki is arguing against?”. Well yes, and no. The team switches from long sprints to short sprints to kanban. We add estimation and drop estimation. We are constantly changing and adapting to see how different approaches impact the team and how our tool may assist the various approaches that our customers take. We do not want to force people into a certain worldview or approach, we do want to support teams while they focus on the individuals and interactions that will ensure they get stuff done.

The one constant throughout all of this is the GreenHopper team. They are awesome. They get stuff done. Embrace the team!

Inside Google+ – How the Search Giant Plans to Go Social – Steven Levy, June 2011

An interesting read. There have been many thousands of words written about Google since Schmidt moved aside earlier this year. This article points speaks volumes about a more mature Google with reinvigorated founders and a top notch product management team. Seems like Google is up to something big and gearing up for the next ten years. I am keen to see how Google+ plays out over the next 12 months.

Shop Centricity – A Case Study – Steve Mardenfeld, July 2011

I love how the crew at Etsy share so much about their motivation, infrastructure, learnings and development. Code as Craft is one you need to add to your Reeder. Atlassian has something similar which is also a great read.

Analytics is more than just building dashboards and graphs — it’s asking thoughtful, insightful questions and harnessing a wide-array of tools to answer them. Whether it’s large-scale distributed tools like Cascading and Hadoop or more traditional ones like R and Matlab, it doesn’t matter, as long the job gets done. At Etsy, we not only believe in keeping our data around, but we believe in harnessing it — to gather insight, to learn from our mistakes, and to grow.


What articles have you read and enjoyed lately? Please let me know via email or twitter.