Bellow is my recent post at Developer Economics.
The post is not meant to help you understand agile methodologies. A simple Google search will be enough to reveal tons of posts presenting, explaining, analyzing and suggesting how to make agile methodologies work to your advantage. And we have to keep in mind that they all usually apply to teams of 3 or more people. This post is about the freelance developer who just needs a simple way to manage tasks and projects. I do not claim that I present the absolute and irrefutable Truth; every person has their own way of working. This post simply intents to be a starting point to another way of doing things.
Meet Sally. Sally is a developer, a Samurai Coder, a hero of the day and she absolutely loves writing code. She works as a freelancer and the other day she got a new project from a customer.
Before starting work, she picks up a piece of paper. She writes down the day’s tasks (to-do’s, appointments, ideas etc) and crosses off the completed ones. She repeats the same process every day. These sheets of paper pile up and follow her everywhere… until she finds Evernote. Evernote replaces the paper and uploads her notes to the cloud, but still…. The notes multiply just as much and just as quickly as the papers do. They only stop creating piles on her desk.
Sally is desperately in need of solution – a way to capture and track her customer’s numerous requests as well as the 100+ things she has to do. What about a bit of agility and organization? How about combining simple methods and tools to get things done? Sally gave it a thought and found out the 5 most important things to her:
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My recent post in the Apirise blog:
A startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.
– Steve Blank
A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about:
What its product is.
Who its customers are.
How to make money.
As soon as it figures out all 3 things, it ceases being a startup and becomes a real business.
– Dave McClure
Regardless of the definition of a Startup that you may choose or you adhere to, one thing is common… Speed.
A startup (among others) runs a race with time to reach growth before the cash runs dry. Software development in a startup is equally influenced as a result. Speed to finish the current software development cycle. Focus on specific features and tasks. Fix what needs to be fixed.
Us, as a startup, have to work in such an environment. Some time ago I made a post with the “8 reasons that made us change from Trello to Targetprocess 3“. Today we will discuss how we actually work and a Hard Truth in the end…
A “Scrum-ish” Apirise.
When we started developing our product we wanted to adopt an agile methodology. We are 3 co-founders and we didn’t want to cause overhead in our work towards the product. As such, we do not use any specific method per se. I would describe it as “Scrum-ish”. We combine Scrum and Kanban principles inspired by talks and books of Henrik Kniberg.
In that spirit we use user stories, sprint planning, backlog, retrospectives and we have a Kanban board…
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Two months ago, as Apirise, we attended APIdays in Berlin. APIdays is a conference held in cities like Barcelona, Berlin, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo. The range of topics covered is really wide and include almost everything about APIs. In APIdays you may meet with vendors, developers, companies like Apigee, Facebook, Heroku, Intel, Netflix, Salesforce, Soundcloud, Stripe, Twitter, Zappier and people like Kin Lane or Mike Amundsen to mention only a few… you got the idea.
There is a big trend of API awareness and creating thriving communities that is being supplemented by regional efforts like the NordicAPIs. This creates a parallel networking effect that works in the background. For example, we met with people from Greece that we didn’t know before, but they participated in APIdays Barcelona or older APIdays conferences.
We spoke with them and we saw that there is common ground and will to create a similar community in Greece.
For this reason we created the API Athens Meetup. We start small and expect to «hear» the vibe of the local community. We want to make it a place where we all learn, exchange real life experience, have conversations with startups, companies and developers and hear the challenges they face in getting the word out about APIs in their context of work.
On June 25th we had our kickoff meetup.
An island that has almost everything. We know Crete for many things:
and much more….
What does this mean for anyone going?
Combine your pation for Agile with the Cretan way of life
You are more than welcome to register and join:
Building a startup is never easy! One of the key factors of success is cost reduction – run the business with minimal or even no budget at all, at least in the beginning. How? By taking advantage of opportunities wherever you find them.
Apirise begun just like any other startup business – an idea.
Have you ever been on a team? Have you tried to collaborate efficiently?
If so, you probably searched for tools that could make it work better for everyone. This post (which will be completed in two parts) is meant to share our experience on the subject and describe both the tools we end up using and the process we follow.
One of a team’s initial tasks is the selection of an appropriate work process, a way for its members to collaborate efficiently.
You can typically get there either by using a whiteboard and some post-it’s or by picking a tool that can solve the problem for you.
I tend to rely on the latter.